February 25, 2019

Four Incredible Powers of an Authentic Testimonial Video

This article was originally posted in January 1019 and updated February 2022. 

close-up photo of woman's face with green eyes and dark hair










There’s a reason people all know the phrase “A picture is worth a thousand words.”

Have you ever sent a text or private message to someone, only to have them misread or misunderstand the point you’re trying to make?

Or tried to write a description of your vacation spot to email to a friend but were unable to capture it in words?

Or, worse, sent an intended joke that actually came across as offensive to the recipient? Oops.  

Part of the reason for this is because visual information is processed differently than written communication, and 90 percent of the data the brain receives is visual. But this is not the only reason that video marketing has become one of the fastest growing marketing trends in the world.

It takes time to read because it takes time to process all of the letters, words, sentences, and paragraphs in a post. And we’re in a global time where we simply don’t have any extra time to read. So when we come to a site that offers the option of clicking “Play,” most users will select this option.

Testimonials: The King of Marketing Videos

There are many types of professional marketing videos, from – storytelling to product descriptions – but one of the most powerful is the Testimonial.

Not just any testimonial that can feel like a soap opera-y infomercial, but a truly authentic one that helps your clients connect to your story and your brand.

Today’s consumers expect businesses to be transparent and are slow to respond to companies that don’t incorporate customer-centric marketing. That’s why developing an effective marketing strategy that incorporates the power of testimonials videos with authenticity can be one of the most powerful ways to get your brand recognized and remembered.

Research on Videos – What Do the Numbers Say?

Research shows that consumers are more likely to pay attention to visual stimuli than written as well as much more likely to remember it. This is called picture superiority effect and statistics show that video posts are clicked three times more than plain text.

You probably already know how effective video marketing campaigns can be, but do you know the power of an authentic customer testimonial video? Here are just a few interesting statistics:

  • Big Commerce reports (among other things): 88 percent of customers trust online testimonials as much as personal recommendations from friends and family.
  • One report concluded that customers who are emotionally connected to brands have a 306 percent higher lifetime value than customers who are just satisfied.
  • Customer testimonials are the most effective (51 percent) types of video marketing, followed by tutorials (50 percent), and demonstrations (49 percent) as reported by Curata.
  • 87 percent of video marketers reported that video gives them a positive ROI — a massive difference from the 33 percent who felt that way in 2015.

Clearly, there’s no shortage of research to indicate the remarkable power of testimonials, but what makes a good and authentic video testimonial?

Video Builds an Emotional Connection

At the top of the reasons why video testimonials work is the unmatched potential for an emotional connection. Today’s consumers want to know your business understands them. You have the answers to their problems. You get it.

Take, for example, this fundraising video for a non-profit:  “Gillis – Spirit Awards Video.”

This video – like the majority of effective marketing videos, tells a story.

A powerful testimonial that begins at the beginning: the problem.

An emotional battle with an at-risk child whose mother has tried everything and is terrified she will lose her son. The son who sometimes struggles to express where he was in the beginning and describes his destructive patterns that he didn’t understand.

The middle – where we see the peak of their struggle: unsurmountable rage, helplessness, fear of death.

And finally, the ending where the solution is found.

Why does this work?

Humans need connection in general. With the highly personal demands of today’s consumers, it stands to reason they need to connect to your business and what you have to offer.

This particular video is made effective in part because it reaches through cyberspace and identifies a deeply emotional aspect of the human condition and lets viewers know they are not alone.

Video Recognizes the Need for Human Interaction


A carefully crafted, effective testimonial video captures the essence of human existence.

It is not scripted (never, ever do this; it takes away the authenticity) and allows viewers to see that the people in front of the camera are not paid actors.

They’re real people.

For example, in this video, the simplicity of seeing the speaker wave to people he knows as they walk by provides an element of realness of small town life while also drawing on the speaker’s expertise (which also establishes his credentials and credibility).

This is an example of how to subtly, but effectively, incorporate authenticity into a testimonial, which makes it more powerful.

Video Builds Community Trust

Although overall video marketing ranks high on ROI, consumers are far more likely to trust peer reviews than any other form of marketing.

In fact, research shows that more faith is put in consumer reviews than on suggestions from friends and family, and 63 percent of consumers indicate that they are more likely to purchase from a site if it has product ratings and reviews. You can take that to the bank.

Educational Testimonial Videos Can Change Lives

Imagine watching a video about treatment for addiction that taps into the deepest, darkest parts of an addict’s psyche.

Add to that how addiction affects friends and family, and you get a story that goes deeper than just the life and struggle of an addict.

For example, this video aptly illustrates the beginning, middle, and end of the addict’s story, as well as what his family experienced.

But, in addition to telling the story, it teaches viewers about different ways of dealing with things. It teaches, for example, other mothers of addicts that being co-dependent will not help their addict child and it has nothing to do with not loving them.

Or how about this video, where children – unscripted – express sometimes heart-wrenching thoughts about what it must be like for other children to grow up in violent households.

Perhaps even more powerful are the unspoken (drawn stick figures) testimonials of the children whose lives were changed completely by Rose Brooks Center.

Such an emotionally charged video could be exactly the thing that gives someone experiencing abuse the courage to leave a dangerous situation.

It’s not promotional. It doesn’t boast. It doesn’t need to. That’s how powerful a testimonial video can – and should – be.

Ultimately, anyone can do a customer testimonial video, but it’s better to have professionals who can capture the magic; who have an eye for the moments that matter; who can skillfully capture your brand and its message without being promotional.

The experts at Scenic Road are available to help you create the most impactful customer testimonials available. Our video services take people on a journey that helps you establish yourself and your message.

Contact us today, and let’s discuss how our video production services can enhance your overall marketing campaign.