How to Transform Your (Boring) Video Testimonials & Customer Success Stories into a Marketing Opportunity ?

In this article, I will not-be talking about 1. “Why you should have Video Testimonials ?” AND I will not be talking about 2. “How to shoot Good Videos ?”

Because It is a given that Customer Videos are one of the very powerful Social Proofs, and a very credible one it is because for the obvious reasons associated with anything video. And I am not the competent person to comment about the nuances of shooting a good video.

Instead, I will be talking about how to make your video testimonials a very effective marketing tool – effective in getting you more conversions and more leads, which should be the end objective of any customer success asset or social proof in the 1st place.


Bonus Tip #1 :

There are many different kinds of Social Proof – Testimonials, Photos, Case Studies/Success Stories, Videos, Reviews, Social Mentions, etc etc. See the complete list of Social Proofs here – 21-Kinds of Social Proof that you can use in your Marketing

Also see what type of social proof is better for you –  user-generated-content vs. company-generated-content – which social proof works better ?



The 6 Rules to Evaluate Your Video Testimonials & Success Stories

Lets look at video testimonials from various popular companies for best practices. We will do it based on the following 6 parameters. In the end – we will also look at 2 of my favorite video testimonials.

1. Preview – Why Should I See It ?

Unlike text, videos are not suitable for skimming. Providing a preview in the form of an executive summary is a good way of attracting visitors to see the video. It would also be a great idea to provide a text transcript, if possible.

2. Duration – Design for Low Attention Span !

Short is sweet. The attention span of a typical viewer is in seconds. Therefore the duration of the video should not be more than 1-2 mins at the max. Shorter the duration, the higher the chances of the viewer seeing what you want them to see. It is also the main reason for the popularity of video formats like Vine, which are 6sec videos ! In addition, it is quicker to load a short video.

3. Engaging – Make it Interesting.

It is boring to see just talking heads in a video. Make it interesting by covering the context as visually as possible, and making it interactive where possible.

4. Compelling – Does it Convince to Buy ?

Remember the convincing power of a testimonial video  is not directly proportional to the cost of the production. Having a professional crew shoot the video, and lots of editing can make the video look good, but that need not mean that it will really impress your prospects. In this respect, User generated videos will be way cheaper, and might do a better job almost all times.

5. CTA (Calls-To-Action) – Make Sure it does not become a Dead End.

What is the desired next step for the viewer after seeing the video, and is that obvious even without seeing the full video ? remember most people don’t see the full video, no matter the duration. Therefore you need to have your CTAs very clear and prominent.

6. Promotion – How are you Promoting the Videos ?

Any piece of social proof is a valuable marketing resource. Are you actively using them in your content and inbound marketing ? If not, it is a lost opportunity if you are under utilizing a valuable resource. This is where using a popular 3rd party platforms like YouTube helps. It allows users to discover your video as part of the search features of Youtube and Google.


Bonus Tip #2 :

You can promote your social proof in many many ways. see my recent article on how to use your customer testimonials (including videos) to boost your marketing –  Customer Testimonial Examples: 25-Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ best practices)


Now lets see how to apply this to some popular Customer Video Testimonials.

Author’s disclaimer – I am in no way associated with any of these companies. I allowed Google Search to give me the top Video Testimonials  which is a fair way of going about this. The intention of the analysis is purely for educational and best practices purpose. 

Example 1 – Qualys




Preview – 2/5

There is no way to know which video i should watch, and why. The only indicator is the company name/logo and the profile of the speaker.

Duration – 2/5

The duration is ~5-mins. It is more than the recommended 1-2 mins.

Engaging – 2/5

Talking heads is not a very engaging format. Not a good use of the time when the speaker is spending most of the time in listing out all the benefits verbatim.

Compelling – 2/5

It would have been more effective to list the benefits as a text versus someone reading it out in a video.

CTA (Calls-To-Action) – 1/5

There is no CTA buttons. Not in the Video. Not even in the pages where the videos are listed.

Promotion  – 1/5

No promotion of the videos anywhere. The videos themselves are not from a 3rd party platform like YouTube, which further limits the chances of finding these videos.

Final Score – 1.67



Example 2 – Salesforce Pardot




Preview – 3/5

The quote helps guess what the video might be about. 

Duration – 4/5

The duration of ~1.2 mins is awesome. It addresses the attention span issue perfectly. 

Engaging –  3/5

The demo of the application screens during the video gives some ideas of the product itself. Though it is not sufficient to understand the functionality, it does help break the monotonicity of the talking head. 

Compelling – 2/5

Though the screen sharing of the application makes the video interesting, it does not make it that compelling. Of-course, it does make it look more genuine. 

CTA (Calls-To-Action) – 1/5

There is no CTA buttons. Not in the Video. Not even in the pages where the videos are listed.

Promotion – 1/5

No promotion of the videos anywhere. The videos themselves are not from a 3rd party platform like YouTube, which further limits the chances of finding these videos.

Final Score – 2.34


 Example 3 – Courion



Preview – 1/5

There is no preview. The only indicator is the company name/logo and the profile of the speaker.

Duration – 3/5

The duration of ~2.2 mins, which is decent.

Engaging – 3/5

Th video covers the facility and multiple speakers, which makes it more interesting to watch.

Compelling – 3/5

It is compelling.

CTA – 2/5

There is a small link to ‘Contact Sales by Email/Phone’ in the index page. Definitely better than no CTA.

Promotion – 1/5

No promotion.

Final Score – 2.17


Example 4 – Yodle





Preview – 3/5

The quotes and profile of the customer gives a decent idea of what each video is about.

Duration – 3/5

The duration is ~2-mins, which is excellent.

Engagement – 3/5

The video shows the speaker in his/her workplace, doing their day-day job, hence making it engaging.

Compelling – 3/5

The story-line of how the company helped sounds compelling.

CTA – 1/5

There is no CTA of any kind.

Promotion – 1/5

No promotion of the videos beyond the videos page.

Final Score – 2.34


Example 5 – Nagarro





Preview – 3/5

The preview gives an idea of what would be covered in the video, thus helping decide if/if not to watch it.

Duration – 3/5

The videos are of ~2.2-min duration making them a decent duration.

Engaging – 3/5

Showing the details about the customer’s business makes the video engaging.

Compelling – 3/5

The story-line is compelling to try/buy the services of the company.

CTA (Calls-To-Action) – 4/5

Yes. As you can see above there is a contact form in the same page as the video listings.

Promotion – 3/5

Simple thing like posting it on Youtube provides an additional way to promote the videos.

Final Score – 3.17



Example 6 – OfficeVibe




Preview – 5/5

The CultureTalks videos by OfficeVibe has one of the best previews. It actually gives the full transcript of the video. Very Useful.

Duration – 1/5

It is really long running into ~20-mins each.

Engagement – 4/5

It is in an interactive interview format where someone from OfficeVibe is interviewing HR experts in the customer side over Google Hangout, thus making it very interesting and engaging.

Compelling – 1/5

The video is very engaging from the subject point of view – the “culture” within the customer company. But it is not clear how the customer is using the product/service of OfficeVibe in doing whatever it is doing. That connection between the success of the customer and the solution provided by the company is missing somewhere, thus making it less compelling. Actually it is not even clear if the speaker company is one of OfficeVibe’s customers !

CTA – 3/5

If the desired next step is to share the video as a content, then there are the standard sharing/embed buttons, which is great.

Promotion – 5/5

The videos are on TouTube. They are also promoted extensively in social media by OffcieVibe.

Final Score – 3.17

Correction : I got a clarification from Jacob Shriar, Growth Manager at OfficeVibe – the cool dude doing the interviews,  saying that the CultureTalks video interview series is not necessarily with their customers, and hence they are not intended as testimonials for OfficeVibe.

Now it all makes sense. I would still like to retain it here because i think this is still a best practice, and a valuable social proof as such.


Bonus Tip #3 :

I would recommend  doing very similar interviews, but with your customers. You can do this with those customers who are not comfortable to publicly endorse you as the vendor/service provider for their own corporate/legal reasons. But I am sure they will be more open to do a best practices session on a subject matter that you care about. Still a big win for you 🙂


Example 7 – GoPro 




Preview – 4/5

There is no preview, but the cover photo and the short description does give a fair idea of what the video is all about.

Duration – 5/5

The duration varies from 1-20 mins, but the key thing here is that the duration does not impact the end objective – highlighting the capabilities of the GoPro camera.  Irrespective of where you stop, you still get the message. Thus making the duration irrelevant.

Engagement – 5/5

It is very engaging. One of the best videos.

Compelling – 5/5

Very compelling. I am sure you feel like getting one of those cameras even if you are a couch potato whose life does not involve any such outdoor adventures ! 😉

CTA – 3/5

There are many CTA’s like Sharing, submitting your own videos, subscribing to the channel, etc

Promotion – 5/5

It is on YouTube. It is also well promoted on platforms like Mashable. GoPro videos have a cult following among outdoor enthusiasts.

Final Score – 4.5




You saw 7 different examples of Video Testimonials, and the good/bad in each of them based on the 6 parameters. They were just examples for the sake of demonstration, but you can apply the rules to pretty much every video testimonial. 

Overall, you need to pay attention to the following 2 important areas (since it is not always obvious)

1. CTA (Calls-T-Action)

It is a big lost opportunity if you are not using your video testimonials for conversion, especially when they are meant for selling (lead generation) as their primary objective.

2. Promotion

You need to be promoting your video testimonials everywhere. Assuming that your prospects will come searching for them is again a lost opportunity. Keep in mind that 60-80% of the buying decision is already taken before your sales teams get to talk to your prospects. And this is the exact phase where  your social proof in the form of customer videos can tilt the scales in your favor. It would be really smart to bring your success stories in-front of your audience.

If you have other good examples please share via commenting.

If you feel this is useful, please SHARE it with your friends. appreciate it. thanks. anupam


Anupam Bonanthaya is an experienced Customer Success Marketer and the Founder of CustomerRivet – The Social Proof Marketing Experts – Hosted Our-Customers Page

Get More Leads and More Conversions by Optimizing the use of Testimonials, Success Stories, Case Studies, Videos, Reviews, Customer Photos, Tweets, or any other Social Proof, in your Marketing.

Ask for a Demo today to see how it can help “Transform Your Customer Success Marketing”. OR Contact Anupam Bonanthaya via LinkedIn