How to Optimize Your Customer Video Review Strategy

A lot goes into making a purchase decision. From initial research to personal recommendations, users will seek out all the information they can get before commiting to a purchase, especially now that the internet facilitates so much of it so easily. But one of the most influential tools at a customer’s disposal are still online video reviews.

Customer review videos are the closest thing you can get to a personal recommendation online. Because these videos are published by actual customers, they carry more weight and are more trusted than anything a company themselves can produce.

That’s because consumer trust in brands is fading. According to the Edelman Trust Barometer, which measures consumer trust in brands and media agencies, 48 percent of the general population trusts businesses, a figure down from 58 percent just one year ago. As consumers start to distrust businesses more and more, their video advertising and distribution efforts, too, are becoming more and more suspect in the eyes of the average buyer.

But, with a customer review video, you’re getting an honest opinion from someone outside the company, which ultimately helps establish trust with more customers. There is no incentive for them to be dishonest and, because video takes more work to create than a written review, you can trust they’re sharing an authentic reaction.

So, how can you best take advantage of this medium you have little to no control over? We’ve got some tips to help you leverage this earned media and start making more sales fast.

The important thing to remember here is that you shouldn’t incentivize a positive video review, but an honest one. Incentivized positive reviews have the potential to taint a company’s credibility and immediately negate any positive associations you may have due to misrepresentation – after all, if you can’t be trusted to post real reviews, can your products be trusted at all?

Instead, offer something like a coupon or free bonus for any video review from a real customer. Video reviews take a lot more effort and time to create, so incentivizing them isn’t bad, as long as they remain unbiased and truly represent the customer experience. Be sure you have a method of authentication so you can prove this person was a real customer.

Once your video reviews start rolling in, you can begin using them in your marketing efforts. Start by picking your favorite customer review and posting it on your product page. Find the best placement for it, either near the product or service images, near the list of benefits or special features, or in its own customer review section.

If you’ve got enough user-generated video content, you can even embed a carousel of video reviews or create a special video montage of user feedback. Seeing these on your product page could be the thing that convinces a user to actually convert.

Screenshot of an Amazon review for the Echo dot  accompanied by video

If a customer submits a very engaging and positive review, consider featuring it in your next email communication. Creating social proof, or the positive influence that comes with seeing a large number of agreeing opinions, can be more influential in the purchasing decision than saving money, according to Gregory Ciotti, the content marketing lead at Shopify. That means, providing proof that others love your services could be just the thing to spur a sale.

Send a dedicated email featuring this customer review video. Use an engaging quote and make it your subject line; then, you can take a screengrab or short gif of the video and add a play button over it to encourage users to click or tap. This should lead them to your product or landing page, where they’ll not only be able to watch the video, but buy your product or service as well.

Does your website have a method of accepting videos from customers? If it does, great! Encourage people to upload their customer messages there. If not, encourage customers to submit video reviews on any other platform that’ll allow it, including Facebook, Yelp, Amazon, and more.

On those individual platforms, you can post organically and encourage your users and fans to share their thoughts via video.

If someone is coming back again and again to purchase your product, you know they’re a fan. Why not go after these repeat customers directly? Set up a campaign and email anyone who has purchased your product at least twice, or however many times you think best signifies customer satisfaction. Ask them to leave a review and offer them a discount on their next purchase – this means you’ll not only get a (most likely) positive review, but you’ll get another purchase out of it, as well.

Great customer service is a must in any industry. You already know customers are more likely to review a product or service when they’ve had a negative experience rather than a positive one. That’s why it’s critical you respond to any and all reviews in a quick and friendly manner.

The same goes for video reviews! It takes a lot more effort to record and submit a video review than it does to write one, so you know there’s an inherent level of passion in any customer willing to go through that process. Respect it. If someone has submitted a positive review, thank them and let them know how much you appreciate their business. Personalize your message with a few details about their purchase. If they submitted a negative review, let them know you’re sorry and working to fix whatever problem they faced. Try to make it right.

Responding to messages has the potential to boost your brand in its own right, too. Customers watching these reviews will see you’ve taken the time to respond and that you’re not only working to fix errors, but that you’re listening to every bit of feedback, good and bad.

A Youtube video screenshot of Chef John Howie responding to Yelp reviews

Content generated by your users is some of the most valuable content you can get your hands on. Its power is greater than almost anything you can make yourself, so it’s imperative you do everything you can to lead the conversation in the right direction. If your business happens to be in one of the more visual industries, like beauty, fashion, or cooking, then you definitely need to encourage your users to submit their own video reviews. Get on it!

If you need help creating your own video content, we can help you there, too. Schedule a creative call with one of our producers and see how we can start bringing your video marketing strategy to life.

Laura Cueva

Laura Cueva