Video Reviews – Why and How To Use Them For Your Shopify Store
Have you ever watched a video review of a product and walked out of it feeling like you know more about the product than before?
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Have you ever felt more confident about the purchase or more sure of why you shouldn’t buy a product after watching a video review?
Video product reviews are powerful. They drive conversions better than text reviews.
But they are also harder to get. Which is why video reviews and video testimonials are gold when it comes to conversions. They work better than text reviews that you can get relatively easily.
We’ll talk about how to get and use video reviews and testimonials on your store to improve your conversions drastically but first, let’s find out if it’s worth your time:
Should you get video reviews / video testimonials?
To begin with, video reviews are better at converting visitors into buyers.
- People perceive video reviews to be much more authentic than regular reviews. There’s some spontaneity with videos that’s mapped to authenticity.
- Video reviews put your product in a realistic light: this is a real person, who has used your product and has some real-life insight into the whole experience and has shared that on video.
- Video reviews are more valuable because someone has benefitted from (and liked) your product so much that they took some deliberate time to record themselves talking about that experience.
- Video reviews from customers is a form of user-generated content, something that has a big impact on converting visitors into buyers for your store
Now you might actually do just well without having video testimonials littered on your store.
But the opportunities that video reviews offer trump those offered by text or image reviews.
Apple had a fantastic campaign where it ran ads which were just videos shot by iPhone users.
We’ll delve on these a little later but just to give you an example: you can use a video review as a Facebook ad or a YouTube clip to drive more traffic and get more conversions… something harder to achieve with simple, text-only reviews.
How to get video reviews? It’s so hard!
It’s cliched but also true: nothing worth getting is easily had. Video reviews and testimonials are no exceptions to the rule.
There are some hurdles to cross here:
- People are legendarily shy to be on videos. Many people would rather write long reviews than face the camera and record a video review
- There is no great incentive for people to do video reviews anyway. You can’t “buy” video reviews (that’s a risky FTC ropewalk)
- It’s incredibly harder to make a video review than it is to type a few good words
- And because of all these, it’s harder to convince customers and others to send you video reviews/testimonials
But businesses still try and get video testimonials. Because it’s totally worth it.
To begin with, focus on the “low hanging fruits” first and then work your way up.
Focus on the mid-level niche influencers with YouTube channels
Chances are that there thousands of vloggers/video reviewers for your niche/market already. You can run a campaign where you pitch them asking if they’d do a review for your product if you send them a free sample.
Shayla runs an uber-popular YouTube channel where she routinely reviews makeup products.
Depending on your budget (of how many free samples you can afford to send), you might want to narrow down to the most optimal number of vloggers.
If you’re in a high-competition market, you might not be able to get the best influencers. But you can aim for the mid-level ones somewhat easily.
Things you want to look for:
- Decent amount of subscribers on the channel
- Good, average-length (5-15 min) videos
- Approach bloggers and try to get them to do a video review
As much as the world is overflowing with vloggers (real ones and wannabes), there are still a lot of bloggers who exclusively write and post pictures.
It just so happens that many of them are thinking about jumping on the video bandwagon (late as it may be).
So, you could technically send bloggers an invitation to do a short video review of your product in exchange for a free product. I am guessing that a lot of them would be on the fence and refuse but a few will take you up on that offer.
- Get your most-enthusiastic customers to do a video testimonial
While you’re at 1 and 2, you should also setup a separate campaign to get your most enthusiastic customers to do a video testimonial for your product.
Enthusiastic customers are people who have left a glorious review for your product/store, people who emailed you personally to thank you for your product, and people who have tagged you (or shared a post on you) on social channels. Oh, and of course, people who have reached out for some customer query and have left with a very positive experience!
Orabrush lists some customer video reviews on their homepage. These are not the usual, dull reviews. They are from customers whose minds have been blown by Orabrush.
Part of making this process easier would be to set up a service where they can just show up (like a website) and click a button to record their videos right from their iPads or smartphones or computer.
- Offer soft incentives tied to your store but make it clear on the video that you’re doing so
FTC Guidelines make it clear that if you offer an incentive to solicit reviews, you have to mention that explicitly in the review that you’ve offered something in exchange for the review.
This is a bit of a murky space so most businesses avoid doing this (and for good reason).
But in case you still want to take this route, you could offer incentives of various kinds to get reviews from your customers:
- You could offer them a discount coupon
- You could offer them some product for free
- You could add some money to their in-store credit
- Or you could tie a referral program
How to use video reviews you get to increase sales
Getting video reviews is hard enough that once you get, it feels like you’re done. But that’s just 50-60% of the job.
The rest of it is:
- Placing the video reviews in strategic places on your store
- Measuring the impact of videos on your sales / conversions
- Running ads from the video reviews / testimonials (and measuring their conversions)
Now, of course, the obvious end-goal of getting video reviews is to improve conversions, make your brand more visible and make it trustworthy.
So how best to use them?
That question more or less translates into, “where can I use video testimonials to improve my conversions?”
And to that, we have this:
1. Product landing pages
One of the first places you’d want to upload video testimonials is where you get maximum traffic – your product landing pages.
This makes the most sense. If I am on a page selling high-grade kitchen knives, a video review about how the knife benefited a customer is aptly-placed on that page – it would prompt me to watch the review and help me make a decision quicker.
Make sure you don’t over-stuff the product landing page with too many testimonials. One or two should be sufficient (unless you’re selling something exclusive and unique and you want to bolster confidence in the visitor).
2. Dedicated testimonial page
It is general practice for some websites to have a dedicated “reviews” page where they post all the recent reviews their shop has received.
You could do the same – either mix up text and video reviews or have a dedicated page just for video reviews from your customers.
One oft-quoted example of a fantastic testimonial page is ChowNow’s testimonial page full of video reviews.
And don’t forget your homepage. You can embed 3-5 video reviews from your customers on your homepage for the few people that visit your main store page.
One interesting thing you can do is this: cut out those parts from all the video reviews you get where the customer talks about the overall store experience (the user-experience of shopping, customer support experience, how easy or delightful it was to shop on your store etc) and stitch them up together – and feature this on your homepage.
Steve & Kate’s camp’s home page features one big video that almost plays out like a testimonial.
4. Instagram and Facebook
Instagram and Facebook continue to be hot social properties where millions (if not billions) of people flock every day.
Video-views on both Instagram and Facebook have skyrocketed in recent years and that’s why it makes sense to share the video testimonials you get on Instagram and Facebook.
Of course, you should do this in moderation and probably once or twice a week at most.
Sharing on Instagram and Facebook also has another benefit that we cover in the next pointer
5. Run video ads
If you run ads based on conversion pixels and retargeting, video testimonials are probably the best. This ties in well with #2 above – you’ve uploaded video reviews from your customers to Facebook and Instagram already, now it’s good time to boost them too.
To make your video suitable for Facebook ads, you may need some minor editing like minimizing the length and putting your brand in the end.
6. YouTube channel
The next obvious place is your YouTube channel. If you don’t have one, this is a good time to start one.
As such, YouTube will serve as a hosting provider (you can then embed these on your product landing pages and elsewhere). But over time, you could have a sizable playlist of video reviews hosted on your YouTube channel.
Get to work
I know I sound like a broken record by now but getting video reviews is not an easy thing. But is it worth the time and effort you’ll put in? You bet.
Unlike simple text-only reviews, video reviews don’t come on their own. You have to plan your way to get them from the customers (and reviewers).
So, draw up your plans and get to work.