Testimonials are a key part of any company’s marketing strategy. They provide social proof that your product or service is effective and can help increase conversions by instilling trust in your brand. But what type of testimonial is best? In this post, we’ll explore the benefits of written testimonials and when they should be used over video.
Why Use Written Customer Testimonials?
There are several reasons why you might want to use a written testimonial instead of (or in addition to) a video testimonial. Here are some of the most common:
The client is not comfortable in front of the camera.
This could be due to shyness or a lack of confidence, or simply their preference to control how they are represented. A written testimonial will allow them to share their story without having to appear on camera.
The client does not appear happy or enthusiastic on camera.
This can happen for a number of reasons- it may be their culture, they may not have been given good direction, or they may simply not be very expressive. Whatever the reason, a written testimonial will allow you to capture their true thoughts and feelings without having to worry about their on-camera performance.
The client is not a native English speaker.
This could make it difficult for them to understand questions or express themselves clearly on camera. A written testimonial, on the other hand, will give them the time and space to write out their thoughts clearly.
You want to include a longer testimonial.
Videos are typically limited to a few minutes in length, whereas written testimonials can be as long or short as you like. This can be useful if you want to include more detail about the client’s experience or allow them to tell a more complete story.
When you want to include a lot of detail.
A video testimonial can only capture so much information. If you want to include everything the customer has to say including complex technical data, a written testimonial may be a better option.
The client is not appropriate or representative of your target audience.
For example, if you’re selling a B2B product, you probably don’t want to use a testimonial from a stay-at-home dad as prospective customers won’t be able to relate to them and the testimonial won’t be a persuasive testimonial. However, their experience and their story might still be valuable in written form. While video testimonials are more authentic, sometimes authenticity is not appropriate.
The client is not able to get permission from their organization.
This is often the case with government officials or employees of large companies who have strict policies about what they can and can’t say publicly. Again, though, their story could still be useful in writing when anonymised.
There are security reasons for remaining anonymous.
In some cases, people may not want to share their identity for safety reasons or due to the content of the product or service – this may the case in certain industries in particular including Finance, Health, and IT security. A written testimonial allows them to tell their story while remaining anonymous.
You want to control the narrative and be able to edit the output.
With a video testimonial, you’re at the mercy of the footage you have. But with a written testimonial, you can edit it to ensure that it’s clear and concise while still conveying the client’s original message. Often testimonials provided by the client are not necessarily the messages you want to provide and may not be presented in a good customer story. Good testimonials typically tell a compelling story of the customer and their experience
When the story is so long that potential customers may want to skim-read the content.
If a prospect has limited time, they’re more likely to skim-read a written testimonial than watch a long video. This makes written testimonials ideal for sharing detailed case studies or long-form stories.
Your potential customers prefer to consume a story via text rather than video.
Some people simply prefer to read rather than watch videos. If this is your target audience, then providing them with written testimonials will be more effective than video ones.
With a video testimonial, you have more options. It’s possible to export the transcriptions to text and convert them into a written testimonial. However, it’s impossible to create a video testimonial from a written one. So if you aren’t sure which to use, always record the interview and you can change the format at a later date.
In most cases, a hybrid approach can work, with some video and some text. For example, embedding video clips into a written testimonial or using a telling platform such as Wizu. The important thing is to choose whichever format will be most impactful for your target audience at their stage in the customer journey.
Creating a testimonials page on your website that has both written and video testimonials is a great way to provide prospects with a range of different options that is suitable for them.
Written testimonials offer several benefits over video ones and should be used when it is more advantageous to do so. That said, there are also situations where a hybrid approach—using both video and written elements—can be effective. It all comes down to understanding your audience and choosing the format (or formats) that will resonate most with them.