State of Customer Story Telling - Episode 1 - Supercharge Sales and Revenue Using Customer Stories

In this episode, we talk about using customer stories in your marketing strategy. Sam shares why increasing trust with your customers makes every part of your job as a marketer easier. Sam explains how video testimonials are one of the fastest ways to increase trust and help you close the deal. We also talk about why video testimonials are superior to written testimonials, and much more.

[00:00:00] **Sam:**
As human beings, we evolved to read faces. That’s how we judge people, for better or for worse, in many cases. You don’t get that via text. So, the future of customer stories is not text. The future of customer stories is video, and all of the different mediums that video is becoming.

Hello, and welcome to the very first episode of The State of Customer Storytelling. The podcast and video series where we delve into all things customer stories related, and how you, as a B2B marketer, can leverage customer stories to close deals faster.

This is a podcast from Testimonial Hero. I’m Sam Shepler, the founder and CEO of Testimonial Hero.

We also have Chase Hannah, our head of marketing, and we’re excited to chat today.

Chase, start us off.

[00:01:08] **Chase:**
Yeah, definitely. So let’s kick it off with why video testimonials matter in B2B.

[00:01:17] **Sam:**
Great question. Why do video testimonials even matter in the first place? Well, at the end of the day, what video testimonials enable is simply to build trust faster.

In any buying process, and particularly a B2B buying process with a large ACV—a high-consideration sale—you really need a significant amount of trust to facilitate that. Trust is basically the grease that lubricates any deal, and moves it along. If you don’t have that, everything is just going to move slower.

Having the right video testimonials that align with the verticals that your buyers are in, and providing helpful and relevant context from trusted third parties are the best way to build that trust, and close those deals faster.

[00:02:21] **Chase:**
Definitely. I like that a lot. So, we’ve noticed that there’s a shift from marketing content to customer content.

Can you expand on that?

[00:02:32] **Sam:**
Absolutely. Great question.

Customer Content is marketing content. What I mean by that, and what I really want to hit home, is, we used to live in a world where you could achieve great results as a sales team, as a marketing team, leveraging your own content. Saying, “Here’s what we do. Here’s what our product does. Here’s why we’re different. Here’s why you might be interested.” By using traditional marketing content.

We now live in a world where traditional marketing content is not enough. If you want to win deals, and win deals at the speed and at the rate that, frankly, you’re going to need to in today’s landscape, the best B2B companies out there are leveraging customer content. They’re leveraging customer stories.

If I’m a B2B buyer, and I’m comparing two solutions, and they’re pretty much neck and neck in a lot of ways, one of the things that’s going to be the tiebreaker is which company has more compelling customer stories.

So, it’s not just having customer stories, and having them be authentic and accessible, and integrate in an exciting format like video. It’s not enough. Because your competitors will have it. The game is changing. Marketing content alone is no longer enough to compete at a high level. You absolutely need great customer stories, as well.

[00:04:27] **Chase:**
Now that makes sense. love it. You know, great way of putting that to, you know, in the past, when we’ve talked, you’ve mentioned that making cus you’ve mentioned making customer stories, a competitive advantage, can you drill down there? You know, how can customer stories be a competitive advantage?

[00:04:43] **Sam:**
Yeah, it’s a great question. So, you know, I kind of hit on it a little bit in that last point, but let’s, let’s drill down more. So. In what ways are customer stories actually a competitive advantage? if I’m a B2B buyer and I’m comparing two solutions, one of the things that, I am going to be looking at, because let’s, let’s remember, you know, buyers do about 80% of their research before they talk to a salesperson.

First of all. So, so if I’m doing my. research you know, taking a look at, you know, comparing two three or four different, solutions, the one that has the best most robust most helpful and, you know, most relevant customer stories that are accessible to me as a buyer that is going to be a huge advantage.

You know, compared to, you know, the ones that don’t, it’s going to actually increase the trust index the level of trust I have in, in that solution. and, for that reason, I I’m I’m, you know, even before I talk to a salesperson, you know, if I’m a buyer I’m going that, into that deal with, with, already an elevated level of trust as compared to, maybe the company who really had a couple.

Generic written, text testimonials, but didn’t have any, world-class video testimonials. So in, in, then we can even go on further in the sales process. So, you know, if I have an objection, you know, or a question in the sales process, which all buyers do–they always have, a question a fear or doubt, no whether it’s an outright objection or just simply a question–who is going to have a more effective sales process, you know, the, the salesperson and the company that says, you know, that uses the traditional thing, which is feel, felt found. I understand how you feel that way, here’s how our customers actually felt. And then they found this and like, versus, versus a company that says, yeah, that’s a great question.

Here’s exactly what our customers have to say about. So it’s, it’s just, it’s basically customer Content. especially as you get further along the sales process, you know, and you get into these, specific, QFDs–these specific questions, fears and doubts–having the ability to just have a repository of, world-class, customer videos around every single topic that you, your buyers will care about is a huge, competitive advantage. In summary, you know, it it’s really all throughout the buyer journey, right. it’s a competitive advantage to even generate the lead I don’t want to reach out to a company who I don’t think, you know, it who I think is just going to waste my time. Right. So like, you know, you you’re going to generate more leads and then, you know, throughout, you know, that sales process, you’re going to be able to leverage customer stories, to reduce friction and ultimately, close the deal, much faster

[00:08:01] **Chase:**
That’s great. Love it. You know, you’ve touched on this already, you know, with this last question, but. Diving in a little deeper, how do you come up with a winning customer storytelling strategy to really push that narrative even further?

[00:08:14] **Sam:**
Yeah. Yeah. Great question. So when it comes to, you know, the strategy, for, you know, customer story, it’s, it’s pretty simple. And it starts with, you know, understanding your, your, your company priorities and your company strategy, like at a high level. So, and then you want to fit your customer stories, strategy to that, and it should support it and in the line and, you know, again, very simple, but not always easy.

So you know, the, the, the, the con the customer story strategy stems from your, your, your overall company strategy and your strategic initiative. So with that in mind, you know, you, you want to figure out, okay, like what. You know, what is our strategy? And if you’re depending on your level and your company, you know, you may or may not know exactly what it is, right.

If you’re a marketing manager, you might want to check in with. with your manager and just realign it cause, you know, strategy shift on, on a frequent basis and, you know, understand that. So, so first and foremost, it’s like clarity on strategy. So like, you know, say, you know, and, and then, then it’s where does, where do customer stories fit in to support that?

So for example, in like where are the gaps. So, for example, you know, say your strategy as a company is you want to, move and move up market. so, more enterprise deals or maybe you want to move, horizontally into a specific vertical, if either of those are true, then the question you need to ask is do we have all of the customer stories to support that?

goal And, and if not, then that is, that becomes a priority. another question you can ask is what are the, you know, three to five, you know, customer stories we need that would just make everything so much easier. so, so that is, that is where you start really it’s, it’s all about, you know, the customer storytelling, strategy you know, is, you know, is, is based on, you know, your, your overall, or overarching strategy. then, first things foremost, it’s filling the gaps, you know, so you’re, you’re, you’re, you’re doing a gap analysis and then you’re, prioritizing and ranking, you know, what is the, you know, w you know, what is going to move the needle.

That is how you can decide. You know, which customers you’re asking for testimonials, You have, hundreds or thousands of customers. who do you ask? again, it depends on your strategy, If you’re trying to move into, a new vertical. Get, you always want to get, ask the customers that represent, your strategy.

So that’s, that is, you know, that, that is what it’s all about. nothing shocking, but very important is that the customer storytelling strategy has to align with your overall strategic priorities

[00:11:19] **Chase:**
Definitely, you know, and you, you went into detail about, you know, getting the strategy analysis and seeing what you’re gonna have to do with that. But what would you say the number one most important thing for a winning customer Storytelling strategy is if you had to pick one thing, what’s the best

[00:11:36] **Sam:**
Yeah. So I think, yeah, it’s a great question. So what is the number one most important thing for, a winning customer storytelling strategy? I think that it’s a tough question, but. I think it would be, comes to a term called, the principle of parity So parity as in, likeness, or sameness.

The number one thing is that you want to capture customer stories from the same type of customers you are focusing on prioritizing and selling to in your. go-to market shoes, that don’t fit are not a bargain at any price. you don’t want to put effort into, capturing stories from customers that no really don’t represent the future of, your your priorities.

So, you know, you, you want to focus on, you know, that those, the customers that, are best fit, or, at least, you know, you know, align in, in. That is going to be more effective because the principle of parity is all about this. Is this a psychological principle that, that basically states, we, as humans are influenced and persuaded, in a greater degree by, you know, people we perceive to be like us, You know, parody again is basically sameness. Right. So, you know, that is the key is, is. You want to, you know, if you’re going after a specific ICP, Ideal Customer Profile Profile your customer stories should be from that ICP. if there’s, if there’s one tip I would give is to say like, okay, if you do this, you can do a lot of other things wrong, but you’re going to still be successful, that would, that would be it

[00:13:30] **Chase:**
Okay. So that all sounds really awesome. I’m sure everyone wants to know this, any tips on how to get customers to agree to a video testimonial. We know that can be very difficult at times.

[00:13:40] **Sam:**
Yeah, that’s a great question. So, one, one tip to get customers to agree to a testimonial. A video testimonial is to set the expectation early. In the sales process actually, approach that, conversation early, and potentially even include it in the contract, in, in your sales agreements.

You know, there’s a big misconception here. Some people say I don’t want to hold customer’s feet to the fire to get a testimonial agreement. And like, that’s not at all what is happening in practice. Right. So like, Actually, you know, how it works is like you can make those, you know, first of all, if the customer doesn’t have a great experience of their product, you’re never going to call in that agreement, Like you’re not, you’re not gonna, you’re not gonna, hold someone’s feet to the fire for something they don’t genuinely want to. do So you know, that is, that is the big thing. so basically like having agreements for video testimonials and other, advocacy activities in your contract agreed upon in advance, just starts the conversation earlier and, And basically, you know, you know, if, and when, you know, the customer has a great experience, you know, they would give you a testimonial anyway, but it’s already been discussed.

It’s already, technically in the contract. So, it’s just much easier to, to make that happen. secondarily, you know, it’s, it’s a great. you know, in, in, in, from a sales perspective, it’s a great bargaining chip, you know, or a trading mechanism, So like maybe, your, and, and you can work, if you’re a marketer, you can talk with your sales leaders in, in kind of Institute this, if it’s not already happening, but basically like, buyers are gonna obviously ask for, different terms, different discounts, in sales, you always want to, you know, you never want to just give something for nothing.

It’s always a quid pro quo, Okay, we can do this if you do this. And that’s just, that’s just, you know, the basics of, of good, good salesmanship. video testimonials are in the agreement to do a video testimonial pending satisfaction. is one of the best, things you can pull out in one of those situations.

So, you know, maybe so, that would be my biggest tip is, including, having more of a practice of including, you know, the clause in your sales contracts that, pending satisfaction, you know, customer X agrees to do a video testimonial again, it’s not, like you’re strong-arming them or holding their feet to the fire for it.

You’re only going to do it with people who genuinely would be excited to do it And so, I think that’s a big misconception. and, also, you know, again, really practical implications from the sales negotiation side as well. you know, if you have to, be in a situation where you’re slightly discounting or, giving, favorable terms, Getting that video testimonial agreement is something that companies are usually very happy to do in exchange for a small discount or more favorable terms

[00:17:22] **Chase:**
Definitely. So we’ve given them a discount and, or we’re just working with them and they’ve given us a testimony. Let’s go from there. How can you think about ROI and measurement in terms of video testimonials? How are we seeing the return there?

[00:17:36] **Sam:**
Yeah, it’s a great question. And one other thing to add is like, in terms of the discount, it’s actually, you know, in, in many cases it’s like better. Include the clause by default. So we have, you know, customers, you know, we have many customers who that, you know, their default is,

You know, they default to including, you know, the, the video testimonial clause in there, you know, pending satisfaction and then it gets taken out and then eventually it gets put back in, in the, in the negotiation process.

So, so, so that is. That’s another thing is like, if you really want to capture more, you know, agreements or testimony, it’s just like, well, you can, you can default to that. in, in regards to, to your other questions is a great question and know, how do you, how do you measure like the, you know, how do you think about the ROI of video testimonials?

Like how do you, how do you measure it? so, you know, so the, the short answer is like, it’s, it’s very easy to, And after you produce video testimonials and, you know, you’re there w your sales team is using them to see, like, you know, a, are our salespeople using them and are they influencing deals? And are they, they, they actually, you know, helping close deals and are, you know, our is time to close, decreasing, and does sales want more of them?

You know, because let’s think about this for a second. 80% of marketing content that Marketing makes there’s a study, maybe what we’ll link to in the show notes, but it’s basically pointing, it’s like 80% of content that Marketing makes actually like goes unused by sales. you know, not incredibly shocking, but like the fact that sales actually is using these video testimonials, You know, that that in and of itself is a huge win.

So like utilization is a huge win, like sales will not be asking for things that aren’t valued to them. Right. So if they’re asking you for more video testimonials, like that is, that’s a huge sign and they’re probably asking you for, if you’re a marketer, they’re probably asking them for you right now. If you talk with sales, secondarily, I mean, if you really want to dig into the details, you know, you can, you can see, you know what, you know, you can measure time to close.

You can make. you know, how much their pipeline is influencing, how much revenue. and then furthermore, if you really want to dig in, I mean, you know, if you use a video hosting platform, like video card or Wistia, you can, you can easily there’s many others, but those are, those are the most common business ones.

You can, you can plug all that into your marketing automation platform and you can measure everything to your heart’s content. You can do lead scoring. you know, most people don’t do that because like being honest, like there’s some things in marketing that we do because they just make sense. Right?

Like not everything, like if we only did things that could be perfectly measured, like we wouldn’t necessarily be great marketers. Right? Certain, certain things in marketing, we have. Because we have conviction and then make intuitive sets and I would pause it that, you know, video testimonials are one of the best examples of that.

I mean, we, we know that, you know, just again, like we can, you can think in from like psychological first principles and like human nature and, you know, you know, you know, we know we need trust to close deals. we know that, you know, video testimonials are great way to increase trust and you know, the more video testimonials that we can have that address, you know, the, you know, that question, fears and doubts that buyers have and are also aligned with, you know, the key verticals that we serve.

And then you make them accessible on your marketing site and you make sure sales is aware of them and using them then, you know, it’s, that is, really like the ROI will take care of itself. That being said, like, like I said before, if you want to dig in and get crazy with it, it’s totally, you know, measurable to your heart’s content.

But to me, it’s one of those things where it’s like, you don’t have to go crazy measuring. because you can, it’s like self-evident and then the sales results are also self-evident and talking with the sales team, it, you know, it will be very clear the impact.

[00:22:14] **Chase:**
Great advice really like that. So we go ahead. We, we get our testimonial. you’ve talked about how the sales team can really use it, but, you know, once we get the testimonial, where can we get, you know, most use of it on the, on the, on the internet, on the web, on social media, where are we seeing the best results?

[00:22:32] **Sam:**
Yeah. Great question. Yeah. I think one of the mistakes that, marketers, you know, that we can make is we get these testimonials and then we sequester them on only a very, page of our website that doesn’t have a whole ton of traffic. first thing is Put them out where people will see them, obviously a customers page is super key, but they should also be on your homepage.

Like, you know, and this has to do with quality and this is why quality matters. Like you don’t want to put a, you know, you know, like, so you don’t want to put something bad on your homepage. It’s just not going to, you know, in terms of production quality and, and, and, you know, every, everyone is happy To do things that are cheap and cheerful, but like that shouldn’t be cheap and cheerful should not describe your homepage or your marketing site, you know, unless you’re a two-person startup. that is why, and I’m sure we’ll get to this. I think he’s like, that’s why production quality matters.

Like you, you know, everything you do as you know, is a representation of, of, of your company and of your product and, and you, you, you can’t put something, you know, unless you, you’re proud. You’re proud of about. being Cheap and cheerful. you don’t want to put something cheap and cheerful on your homepage.

You want to put something that is high quality and, you know, obviously authentic you can’t sacrifice authenticity, but, but yeah, so, so coming back to the original question, it’s gotta be. You know, you got to put it everywhere that your buyers are gonna see it. So, you know, maybe that is, you know, so don’t just hide it in one area of your site, Put it on your customers page put it on your homepage in the right area.

Maybe you have industry pages, for key verticals and you can put those customer stories on, on all those pages as it corresponds to the vertical. in In addition to the website, Micro content on social, shorter versions. social media attention span is, you know, you’re competing with people scrolling feeds And there are so many other options for them to get distracted. So like, you know, on social, you know, if you’re, if you’re keeping your website customer videos under two minutes, try and keep them under 60 seconds on social. Right. You know, 45, 30 to 45 seconds is a great, you know, length for, LinkedIn, for example.

Then of course, you know, arming your into your S your sales people arming your individual sales reps. with A whole catalog library of all of these videos that address the individual, QFDs questions fears doubts then they have just a, a quiver where they can, you know, in any situation that occurs, they can just pull out the right piece of content for that situation.

[00:25:35] **Chase:**
That makes sense. I really like that. So let’s say I’m a marketing manager. I really want a testimonial and I need the sign off, you know, I’m not the one making every single decision.

What kind of question should I ask my manager, you know, about getting video testimonials? how can I convince them, you know, where do we go from there to, to get this going?

[00:25:56] **Sam:**
Yeah. Yeah. Interesting question. And,

I think, you know, hopefully you won’t have to, you know, if you’re a marketing manager and you’re, you want video testimonials and, but you, you won’t need your boss to sign off. I mean, I would say hopefully you don’t have to convince them too hard. or that would be like, if it, a little bit, if they might be a little dated, honestly, and behind the times, if they don’t.

That, you know, video testimonies are necessary, but, but, but also like that’s okay too. I mean, different companies have, you know, different levels of sophistication and different levels of, different markets they’re selling to. Right. So, you know, I would just ask the questions, honestly, like, you know, I wouldn’t try to convince them.

I would just ask them some questions, like, you know, what’s our, what are our priorities in terms of the, you know, the, you know, the personas that we’re trying to reach, oh, we’re trying to reach this persona. What sort of customer stories do we have, you know, to support that and to, you know, help, you know, in that effort.

Well, we don’t really have any, or like w you know, or we only have, you know, written static PDFs, you know, have we, have we thought about customer videos? Have you seen what our competitors are doing with customer videos? have you seen what, you know, other company X who’s, maybe not our competitor, but you know, is, is, has amazing.

You know, you know, page or our amazing number of customer videos on their homepage. Have you, have you thought about, you know, doing, what do you think about doing something like this? so, so yeah, I would, I mean, I would say, you know, great, good questions are the most important thing. And, and honestly, you know, it’s true for so many things.

I it’s, right. It’s it’s, it’s, it’s often. Not the answer. It’s like asking better questions and I would, if you were a marketing manager and you are, do you want to drive this? I would start asking those questions, ask those, ask those questions, you know, you know, and, and I think that will work really well.

And both, you know, from like a effectiveness perspective, but also from a career perspective, I mean, you know, it’s great to be the person. Like customer videos have such a huge impact. And unlike a lot of There are a lot of marketing projects you do, you know, as a marketing manager, as, a marketing director, even that like, they, it’s very hard to, to, know if they’re a huge win, they, happen and they’re positive, but it’s not like something that your CEO or, the whole company is like, this is amazing, but. Video testing, getting a series or even just one amazing customer video done that blows people away. and then being able to say, I drove that project, I did that, that is something you can hang your hat on, as a marketer and, everyone knows that you did it and everyone knows the value of it and you know, your, your sales team instead of your sales team is going to love you.

Your, your, your CEO is going to be aware of it and he’s going to be excited. honestly, the other thing is the morale of your team is going to go through the roof because that’s the other thing that is an interesting benefit of, customer videos that, the, they actually help inspire, your team and they help with recruiting as well, because everyone wants to work for companies who are doing, meaningful and great things. And, you know, unfortunately sending, a potential person you’re recruiting a case study, isn’t going to do it. it’s not exciting.

The PDF written case study or anything. It’s like, it’s, it’s, it’s not, not today in the world we live in, but if. if you’re sending them, oh, by the way, here are some examples of how, you know, companies are seeing, results using our solution, that’s meaningful and because it’s emotion, it’s emotion that matters and it’s storytelling that matters.

Both of those things, that is what video is made for. as a medium You know, emotion, in particular, like you don’t get tone through text, you, you D the emotion is, is you can only do so much, you know, through, through text And, so, you know, so, so that’s, the other thing is just like the impact that it has, on, you know, your team morale, and also for people like your engineering team, you know, in a, in a software company, They often do not like we’ve had many instances of, of our customers at Testimonial Hero saying Wow. these videos, I showed them to our whole company and they brought so much context and meaning to you know, other people who are in customer service customers, like, or engineering who maybe like aren’t, aren’t, directly involved on, on some things.

The, morale and the inspiration is almost as big of a benefit as the revenue, you know, generation

[00:31:13] **Chase:**
No, that makes a lot of sense. Great answer.

So we know we’ve really dived into the strategy. Let’s shift gears a little bit. Let’s talk about the types of, testimonials out there and, you know, the companies working with them, what type of companies and verticals, or even some verticals would you say benefit the most from video testimony?

[00:31:33] **Sam:**
Yeah, that’s a great question. you I think in terms of companies that, you know, what type of companies benefit from video testimonials? I know any, anyone will, but especially. well, anyone will, because again, it’s like, just like a principle it’s like trust, increased trust is always going to have a net positive and that’s at the end of the day, you know, you know, it says, it says it on our, on our t-shirt right here.

And, you know, it’s like we power trust, you know, that that’s what we’re doing. and so, but, but yeah, so anyone, but in particular, you know, deals that need, you know, companies that need an increased level of trust. So like higher consideration sales, higher ACV. Right. Like 10, 10 K ACV Up, you know, especially.

Then of course, I mean, you know, very large deals. It goes to that same, but you know, if you’re selling, you know, if, if I’m, you know, a buyer and I’m subscribing to your, you know, software, and it only costs me, you know, 39 99 a month, and it’s a monthly subscription. I mean, I, I can, you know, it’s not a huge deal necessarily, right?

Like, you know, if the ACV is like 39 a month and like, it’s like, well, worst comes to worst. I’ll just cancel. So it’s like, I don’t need the trust barrier. It’s a smaller commitment and trust barriers, lower. So w. You know, w video testimonials and, you know, great customer videos and great customer stories really come into play is when the trust barrier is higher, there’s higher ACVs, you know, bigger, bigger deals, higher consideration. Say.

[00:33:12] **Chase:**
So there’s a lot of options out there for video testimonials. We’ve seen, you know, I see software out there, but I mean, that’s definitely on the lower end of the spectrum for video testimonials.

Why do not want the cheapest video testimonial option?

[00:33:27] **Sam:**
Yeah. Great question. So, you know, so first of all, if you were. If you’re only selling, if you’re selling something, that’s like, you know, 9 99 a month, you know, little software tool or like, you know, you know, whatever it’s like yeah. Maybe a cheap option is, is viable. Right. but you know, in general, you know, you, you want a proportionate response and if there’s going to be like a pretty.

Did, you know, you want a proportionate response that’s going to work for you. And like, there’s going to be a really big disconnect. If you are selling, you know, something with like a 50 K ACV and you have a, you know, a really great customer and just like a kinda, you know, cheap and cheerful video, you know, and also like you’re not going to be able to leverage that, you know, on your homepage.

It’s not going to align, like you have a, you know, you have a beautiful homepage and perfectly designed, and then you have this like dark grainy, you know, zoom recording, video testimonial. It’s just, it just doesn’t fit. Right. So like, you know, the really the questions is, and also it’s like how you do, how you do everything is how you do anything.

So like, you know, when you have a higher quality, and again, authenticity and quality are not mutually exclusive. Like. You know, the best quality with zero authenticity is just as bad as, you know, you know, no quality at all. Right. So like authenticity is table stakes. Like it has to be like, extremely authentic video.

Like that’s why we don’t obviously script anything. It’s all, you know, interview based. Right. So, and that’s another thing with, with apps is like, you’re not, you’re, you’re not getting like that interview experience. You’re not getting a real conversation. and, and so, so it’s not getting to that authenticity, but yeah, the, the main thing is like, you know, if, if you’re selling something with a high ACV and you know, it makes sense to you and you only get like one ask of your customer to do this, it makes sense to invest.

Like it would actually be like, you’re sort of like, you know, you have a certain amount of. you know, political capital and you, you get one ask for your, for your testimonial. It doesn’t make sense to, to blow that on something with limited utility, right. And by limited utility, I mean, you know, it can be posted on the homepage.

It, it’s just, it’s not, it’s it’s, you know, has utility, but it’s just not super impressive. Like you have really that one ask it, just, you have the economics work, work out in terms of your ACV. And if you’re, if you’re planning to use this and it’s going to influence deals like in. It pays to do it. Right.

And so, yeah, that’s basically, it, it just doesn’t make sense. you know, if you, if you want to do it right, cause you’re not going to have the, you know, as many places to utilize it, you’re, the results are not going to be there. And at the end of the day, you don’t get to do it over. So you might as well do it right the first time.

[00:36:37] **Chase:**
Great argument for, you know, why software is not always the most pertinent solution for sure.

[00:36:42] **Sam:**
And actually, so let’s talk about some examples of when software could be, you know, the good example, right? Like again, if you were selling something really cheap, you know, and like it’s not a high consideration sale, you know, a quick little video testimonial clip captured via software could be, could be great, right?

Like it doesn’t like if you’re, if you’re selling, you know, if your ACV is, is in $9 a month, It probably doesn’t, you know, software is the right, you know, so it should be, it should be proportionate. It should be a proportionate response and calculated. Right. secondary, another example is like, e-commerce right.

Like, you know, if your, you know, average order value is $45 and you’re selling, you know, some direct to consumer product, it’s like, yeah, you, you, you need a proportionate response and that might be a software testimonial. So like broadly speaking, like I’m not at all. You know, software testimonials, I’m just for, you know, a proportionate response in, you know, taking into account what your ACV is and what the, you know, how much utility you want your customer video to have in the.

[00:37:51] **Chase:**
No, th that’s a great way of putting it in a good argument too, for software. When it’s when it’s pertinent, like you said, Moving on. We know that in 2020 COVID really threw everyone for a loop. and with that, the advent of remote testimonials has become much more prevalent these days. Can you talk a little bit about on-site versus remote with video testimonials and the pros and cons between the two.

[00:38:17] **Sam:**
Yeah, it’s a great question. Yeah. Site versus remote video testimonials, I think, you know, at, for a long time. And I would argue, you know, before, up until, you know, testimonial here, you know, there wasn’t really, there, wasn’t a good option to make, you know, remote testimonials. you know, you know, there, there just wasn’t like, you, you know, you, weren’t getting a remote testimonial and, you know, putting it on the homepage of, you know, a $50 million company.

And, and, you know, that’s what people are doing now, like, you know, with, with us. and because we sort of cracked that code. So like basically, you know, the. you know, in, in terms of like the differences, it’s like, you know, the on-site testimonials, you know, you’re, you’re filming with a videographer and you’re using, you know, the latest and greatest.

You know, cinematic, you know, technology and like it’s going to be extremely, extremely high quality. So, and so, and it’s going to be, it’s going to be a little bit different. You’re going to get more, more B roll. so generally speaking, you know, if it’s an option, the way I think of it is like, okay, If it’s an option, you know, cause we have to consider, you know, the COVID situation.

And thankfully like I think in more and more places, it is becoming like very option. Like we’re doing a lot of on-sites now. but, but basically, you know, if it’s a marquee customer, like if it’s one of your, you know, your marquee customers, you’re your biggest logo. And they’re open to an onsite like that is, you know, that is probably the way to go because it’s, again, it’s like you get one, you get one shot.

And you know, if you only get one shot, like do it right to the, to the maximum of your ability and, without having to sacrifice anything in that, that may mean onsite. Now, the it’s certainly not. I requirement because. I think, I mean, that was really what we, what we, our whole thing. And like our whole mission of the company is to make, you know, all video testimonials, you know, highest quality and effortless.

So that includes, remotes as well. This is more of a strategic conversation and maybe we’ll have another episode where we get into the tactics of how we do that. But if anyone’s curious, they can obviously just go to our website and see examples of what we’re talking about, in terms of the quality of the remotes.

So, so yeah, I think, you know, other than that, Other things to consider are, you know, on-sites are definitely more expensive. Right. You know, we’re talking about getting, you know, a whole crew out there and filming, they take their a little bit more of a lift, from, from the you’re testifying customers end, you know, the crews going to be there for a couple hours.

You know, so it’s, there’s a little, just a little bit more of a lift there, again, not a crazy lift or just, just a couple hours, but you know, it’s more than their lift for a remote testimonial. Just attending a 30 minute meeting, you know, and having an interview through our process. Right. So, so yeah, I think those, those are the things to consider.

If you’re in, especially if it’s, if it’s a marquee customer, you know, default to onsite and then work backwards from there. if it’s someone who you, if you really want to make sure. The smallest as possible, or the person’s obviously working remotely from home, that then it’s like, you know, really like the onsite.

And then the question in the goal is like, let’s, or then it’s the remote rather not, not the onsite. And then, and then the question is, well, how do you make the remote testimonials? You know, just insanely high quality. And obviously like, that’s what, that’s the problem we solve. so, so that that’s, that’s how I would think about.

[00:42:26] **Chase:**
Good point, but to speak to that, that makes a whole lot of sense with, you know, tangent off of. The on-site testimonials, there’s also event testimonials. Where does that fit in? You know, how do even testimonials compare and there’s even the, you know, the hybrid option.

Tell me a little bit more about VIN testimonials and

[00:42:46] **Sam:**
Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. So, event testimonials can be fantastic because they can be an extremely efficient, time efficient as well as cost efficient, you know, a way to capture on. So, you know, we’ve worked with, you know, an example of this, and we’ve worked with many, many B2B, tech companies and they do, you know, use your groups, or, you know, customer advisory boards, you know, the different sometimes called different things.

But the idea is they get all their customers in person. you know, and, and again, this is mostly before COVID, but it’s coming back. you know, they get all their customers in person. And, you know, for a day they do their customer advisory board. They talk about, you know, product strategy, product roadmaps, get advice on all of everything around, you know, product strategy, product roadmaps, from their, their, you know, their biggest champions.

Right? So if you have a customer advisory board and it’s in person and you’re not. Leveraging it to collect video testimonials. I mean, that is, that’s definitely a missed opportunity because let’s, let’s just think of it. You have all of your best customers, often your biggest as well, and definitely your biggest supporters who are power users of your, of your product.

And you have all of them there in the same location for, you know, 24 to 48 hours. In in, you know, if you’re not carving out, like even like, like 60 minutes, you know, in often we would do this, we do this on like, on like a lunch break or like, like a little bit of time. He’s like, you get a bunch of people I do a quick 15 minute interview and you have, you know, 10, 15 testimonials over the course of just the breaks during the day.

So, so yeah, I, you know, first and foremost, it’s like, I mean customer advisory boards and user groups, our golden opportunity to capture customer videos. secondly, you know, industry events and conferences, you know, this, you know, we, we’ve done a ton of as well where, you know, you. Basically say, it was a big conference, like, RSA or black hat, you know, for cybersecurity and like every most everyone, you know, if, you know, if you’re a marketer, you know, in, in for all of your customers are probably in town for, you know, for black hat and you can.

If you’re having a, there’s really two things that we see common one, you know, if you’re hosting a party, you can actually, you know, we’ve helped companies with this many times, it’s like set up like, very similar to a user group. You set, you set up a video testimonial capture station at your party, at your like after party slash event.

You know, again, all of your, your customers are there. and you know, it’s a great thing. Or, you know, you can set it up, set up a capture station, with a videographer in a, in a hotel suite. So that’s another thing that we’ve done a lot of it’s like, you know, you, you obviously, you know, you’re coordinating with your customers prior to the.

You know, you’re, you’re having this conversations with them prior and you get the agreement and, but during the event, it may be an industry conference. Again, it’s in may, it’s not your, you know, user group, but you, you have a hotel suite, you know, you’re working with, a partner, you know, like us and you just bring.

You bring people up to the hotel suite for 30 minutes and you knock out 3, 4, 5 of those more over the course of the day. And again, it’s just very, it’s very efficient way to capture customer stories now. we’re definitely seen, you know, more of a shift toward hybrid. So this kind of actually goes full circle where, you know, you know, remote testimonials can still be captured around your, your, your, hybrid events.

And, you know, because for example, like now post COVID like are like, you know, moving to Attica Aveda, or just in the new world that we live in. It’s like a lot more in person events are going to be. So there’s going to be an imperfect people in person, but there’s also going to be people who are just tuning in and remotely.

And that’s great. That’s awesome. Like it’s, it’s, it’s great to have that option. so, so what you could do as a marketer is say for your user group is you, you have, you have both right. You capture on-site testimonials capture five or seven or 10 on-site testimonials from the people that attend in person.

And then you capture the remote testimonials as well. from, you know, people that are attending remotely now for the remotes. It, you know, it, it could happen. It doesn’t have to happen during the session like it does with an onsite at a customer advisory board. Right. But you can still use the session as part of a conversation when you go to ask for the testimonial.

And you could even, you know, we’ve seen a lot of companies do it remote testimonials in advance of their user. And then actually show the, the, the customer videos that are the remote customer videos at the user group. And that is awesome because that is one of the, best motivations for your customers to, appear in a video testimonial, you know, is actually, the ability in the opportunity to.

To share their expertise and share their knowledge and be held up as an expert amongst their peers. Right? So like we earlier in a conversation, we talked about, you know, the financial aid, you know, discounts, incentives, and, and, and another, you know, the other big, you know, motivator is, is, you know, actually.

Helping make, you know, your customers shiny light in your customers and helping make them a superstar amongst their peers in their industry, you know, et cetera, et cetera. So if you can come to them and you can say, Hey, Mr. Or Mrs. Customer. You know, I, I, we’re having a user group, you know, I love to, you know, hold you up as an example of best practices for, you know, people who are getting, you know, you know, driving, you know, incredible change and getting the most out of our product.

And would you be open to a quick 30 minute conversation where we can capture your story? We’d love to, you know, air it and share it. you know, with, you know, everyone at the user group and across the industry. And then you’re, you’re actually giving people something. Psychologically rewarding and also very practically rewarding from a careers perspective, right.

You’re giving them the psychological benefit of, of being able to, you know, share and, and, you know, be listened to and be heard and, and, and be honestly held up as a beacon of best practices, which is, which is great. I mean, everyone that that’s, that’s just awesome. Like, people love that. and then you’re also giving them the practical, benefit of like, okay, Everyone in the industry that I’m in and say, if I’m like a product marketer and I’m talking, I’m giving a testimonial about product marketing, that’s going to be seen by all my peers in the product marketing industry and other executives.

It’s it’s career PR, at a lot of different levels. So, I know that was a lot that we covered, but I think those are, those are a few of the big,

[00:50:24] **Chase:**
No, that’s great. And you know, that’s great argument for VIN testimonials, and let’s really hope that they keep continuing to come back. They have right now. So finally, we’ve, we’ve talked a lot about customers and honestly, mainly we focus on customers, but tell me about employee testimonials. Like what is the value of employee testimony?

[00:50:43] **Sam:**
Yeah, it’s a great question. So, you know,

It’s it comes down to the same principles. when for employee testimonials and the value of employee testimonial videos, it’s the same principles it’s it’s trust, right? It’s raising the trust index. It’s. And essentially, you know, whether it, you know, nothing happens, you know, without, without sufficient trust to, to facilitate that transaction, that agreement, whether it’s a sale or it’s, you know, a individual choosing to, you know, work for, you know, your company, right.

You know, people, especially in today’s world, like people. Have options of where they want to go, where they want to work. Right. You know, th th the transition to remote work, and in the overall climate that we’re in, you know, you know, great people have tons of options. All right.

So like, it’s, it’s always been like a quote unquote, like war for talent. Right. But like, it that’s more so than ever. And that is why, you know, video testimonials, employee testimonial videos are more. you know, more needed than ever, right. Cause you know, if I, if I’m going to make a career change or, you know, like I need to know that I can trust that I’m doing the right thing, you know, right.

As, as a, as an employee. So like, I like, I’m going to look to that, you know, again, it comes down to competitive advantage. if I, if I’m being recruited by two different companies and one of them has. You know, you know, not a, a ton of, you know, recruitment marketing that is, you know, has a lot of, you know, video in it.

Maybe they just have a pretty basic stuff or if I’m being recruited, another company has it, the recruitment marketing is chock full of authentic video testimonials. Like, again, my, my, I might still take both of those calls, but my trust index is already going to be so much higher with the company that has all the employee video testimonials.

So, So, yeah, I mean, it’s, it’s, you know, it, I think we’re, we’re recruitment marketing E is the key term here, like, and you know, just like we as marketers, we need to market to our customers to drive revenue, you know, talent acquisition professionals, or marketers themselves, depending on where it sits in your org.

They, you need to market your, your, your employment brand to candidates as well. Right? So, so at the end of the day, like employee testimonials, it’s the exact same thing, except for the, agreement that you are, you know, that you’re trying to facilitate, isn’t a purChase. It’s, it’s, it’s someone, you know, awesome people, agreeing to join your team in your.

[00:53:34] **Chase:**
That’s great. You know, that makes a lot of sense for employee testimonials. And I mean, as you said, they’re more important now than ever before. Sam, thanks a lot for your time. Really appreciate it lot here and some good takeaways. That’s all the questions I have for you today.

Any last words that you’d like to go over?

[00:53:52] **Sam:**
Thank you, Chase. This has been super fun. I’m very excited to keep doing more of these.

My closing thoughts are, it really comes down to the unchanging, timeless, human psychological principles. That’s really what we’re talking about when we talk about customer storytelling and video testimonials. We’re increasing trust, and when we do that, every part of our jobs as marketers becomes much easier.

With that in mind, what are the priorities? Where are the gaps? What is our strategy?

Do we have the right customer stories to execute that strategy at the best possible speed? Where does video fit in? Because, obviously I’m biased, but the reality is there are psychological principles at play in terms of why we do that right now. The reality is, as human beings, we evolved to read faces.

That’s just the way that we evolved. We evolved to read and trust micro expressions on faces. That’s how we judge people, for better or for worse, in many cases. You don’t get that via text. So, the future of customer stories is not text. The future of customer stories is video, and all of the different mediums that video is becoming.

The next thing is, in the near future, we won’t be on a traditional web browser. We will be in a more of a augmented reality situation—in a virtual reality situation.

This is several years away. So, it’s more looking into the future, but as we move eventually out of a browser, video is only going to be more important. Again, it’s just the emotional factor of video. You can’t tell tone from text.

Last, but not least, as I harp on why, as marketers, we need video. We’re still relatively early. A lot of companies don’t have any professional video testimonials, and the opportunity for our listeners is to make it your competitive advantage. Don’t wait until your competitors have a whole page of 10 amazing onsite and remote testimonials for every single vertical, and then micro content that addresses every single question or doubt that your buyers have.

Don’t wait to get to that point. Be the person in your market who gets to that point first, and you will reap the rewards of that.

[00:57:10] **Chase:**
Well said. I’m excited to continue to diving into further video testimonial strategy in the future with you.

Thank you so much, again.

[00:57:17] **Sam:**
Awesome. Thanks Chase.

We hope you learned something new from this podcast and we are always here to help you with your testimonial needs. Reach out today to talk to the experts in video testimonials

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