Is this your first time reading the Mind of AGP blog or visiting our website? First time seeing us on social? Do you trust us with your budget? With your brand or to tell your stories? No. Why should you! It’s our job to build that confidence, nurture it, and prove to you that we will tell your story, differently and with impact. You face the same task when it comes to your own customers and clients. The key to reaching your audience on an emotional level and building the foundation of effective relationships: video success stories.
The Impact of Word-of-Mouth in Marketing
Less than half (48%) of Americans trust business as an institution. It’s not hard to understand why. Comcast, for example, is one of the least trusted businesses in the US and faces lawsuits over blatant lies they told consumers (e.g. that certain fees were mandated by the government when they were not).
Listerine was called out for claiming its mouthwash prevents tooth decay as effectively as flossing. Forget that substantial scientific evidence proves otherwise. Kellogg came under fire for advertising that Frosted Mini-Wheats were clinically proven to improve children's’ attentiveness by 20% and that Rice Krispies support immune systems. Who knew pumping your kids full of sugar and simple carbs in the morning was so healthy! (It’s not; they lied.)
These brands — and, unfortunately, many others — sold their customers lies. No wonder we don’t trust anyone! Well… we do. Our peers. According to Nielsen, 83% of consumers trust peer recommendations over advertising. Word-of-mouth is far from dead in the digital age; in fact, it’s more vital than ever.
- 71% of buyers in the awareness stage and 77% in the evaluation stage say that customer testimonials and case studies were the most influential type of content.
- 60% of buyers search for testimonials and customer reviews while researching solutions.
- 90% of buyers who read or viewed customer success stories say that it influenced their purchase decision.
Video success stories capture the power of peer voices; they build trust; they show your prospects and customers that you can, have, and will provide effective solutions.
The Problem with Traditional Case Studies
There are two, mainly:
- They’re boring.
- They come off as disingenuous.
Remember how consumers don’t trust you (yet)? They’re skeptical: any company can skew data, misrepresent the facts, or flat-out lie. We’re far more likely to believe a customer review than a traditional case study.
The keyword is traditional. When done well, case studies are one of the most effective marketing tools at your disposal. The key is highlighting the customer; most case studies are dry and data-driven. Yes, B2B buyers do need this information to make purchase decisions — but they’re human too. They want to hear real stories from real people.
Breathe Life Into Your Customer Success Stories
Google, Yelp, Amazon, TripAdvisor, Angie’s List… these review sites all offer helpful insights for consumers, but they’re static. Video success stories enable your audience to see, hear, feel, and empathize with their peers. They make an impact.
In this testimonial, FreshBooks user Sarah talks about the challenges she faced as a business owner and how she “struck gold” when she found this solution.
It’s relatable, it’s memorable. Sarah speaks authentically, and we end up rooting for her. She’s the focus of the piece — and that is critical in building trust with your prospects and customers.
Success stories are not only invaluable for B2B and B2C brands; they’re effective for nonprofits and causes as well. AGP worked with the Carmel Youth Assistance Program to document the story of a family that grew through fostering and adoption. Take a look.
The video underscores the importance of fostering/adoption through the lens of one family’s journey. And it’s heartwarming to see the love. Certainly the biggest success you could ask for!
Customer Success Stories Build Loyalty
When you recruit customers to share their stories, you demonstrate that you care about them and that you see them as part of your brand’s journey. Their stories are integral to your own. Carplex did this with great emotional impact:
You can see that Carplex cares about more than making the sale. They care about providing reliable vehicles to those who need them. They care about establishing long-term relationships. They care about Noe!
The Keys to Successful Success Story Videos
Let your customers tell their stories. Each of the video success stories we showed you here feature customers who speak a message from the heart. They’re not scripted or couched in PR-speak. They’re authentic, emotional, and impactful. Avoid jargon and prioritize authenticity.
Highlight the struggle and the solution. Encourage customers to speak about the challenge they faced and how they found an answer that helped them improve their lives.
If applicable to the customer, you can also include any reservations or objections and how they were overcome. In this AGP customer story, for example, Maggie from Scribfolio speaks about the initial reservations she had around budget, as well as the impact her video had on her business. Take a look:
Use a logical progression.
Within that structure, you have room to be creative and compelling to ensure viewers are engaged throughout.
Where's the Story?
As you interact with clients or customers, think about who has a great story to tell. Whose job was made easier with your solution? Who’s life was enhanced with your product? Who had challenges that many of your target audience struggle with, and how did you help? Ask them to tell their stories.
Many will be hesitant about getting in front of the camera; reassure them that they’re just sitting down and having a conversation. Remind them that you’ll be there every step of the way (and we’ll be there for you).
Ask yourself this question: Do our customers trust us? Give them a reason to. Video success stories communicate your solutions, your value, and your differentiators through the eyes of their peers. AGP helps you bring these stories to life.