5 Reasons Video Reviews Outperform Written Ones Every Time


5 Reasons Video Reviews Outperform Written Ones Every Time

The best marketing strategy ever is – care.
Read between the lines of this brilliant quote by Gary Vaynerchuk, and you’ll see that its meaning is actually twofold. First, the purpose of this new marketing philosophy is pretty traditional – it’s supposed to make customers care for your brand enough to make it their go-to source of products and services. And second, the only feasible way of achieving that is by showing that you care for them first.

It is how you define today’s experience economy, which is centered on the consumer.
Their needs and pain points, wishes and preferences, are the only thing that matters. Base your business strategies on anything else, and they simply won’t care. Provided with numerous choices, modern-day customers are allowed to be picky when it comes to their product and service providers. The upper hand goes to brands that know how to make them feel satisfied, valued, and taken care of.
And currently, what your customers care about is – video.

The fourth annual State of Video Marketing Survey, conducted by Wyzowl and republished by HubSpot, shows that 72% of people would rather use video to learn about a product or service. That’s a lot of consumers. As a practice for the new age, video marketing is steadily redefining the rules of the game. 81% of businesses already use it as a tool for acquiring, converting, and retaining customers.
This could mean only one thing – modern-day consumers love watching videos.
Let’s see how this translates to customer reviews, and why video trumps text every time.


Why This May Be the End of Textual Content

For a long time, the phrase content is king referred primarily to written text. Marketers were advised to use a wide spectrum of textual formats, from traditional articles and user guides to FAQs and feedback surveys. Such content remains the alpha and omega of SEO and online visibility, thus raising brand awareness, establishing someone’s authority in the field, and increasing their trustworthiness.

If you google how much textual content is created on the internet each day, the internet will surprisingly fail to give you a specific answer. Data can be measured, just as well as text messages, but textual content itself has become immeasurable. The web relies on text (you’re reading one right now), so much so that the readers are now showing signs of information overload. We’re drowning in text.

One New York Times article, titled Welcome to the Post-Text Future, explains it in simple and straightforward words: “The thing you’re doing right now, reading prose on a screen, is going out of fashion”, with the author adding, “The defining narrative of our online moment concerns the decline of text, and the exploding reach and power of audio and video”. A great number of stats confirm this.

How Will This Post-Text Future Look Like?

This is not a hard question to answer. Anyone who spends their time on the internet can see how the currents are changing, and in which direction. On social media, we express our emotions and opinions with emoticons instead of words. When they are more complex, we opt for gifs instead of sentences. Instagram has become the platform of choice for many users, topping oversaturated Facebook Feeds.
Truth be told, the post-text future is already here.
In 2018, Netflix will spend $8 billion on original video content. Around 800 million people already spend more than 30 minutes watching Instagram Stories every day, while 1 billion of them go to YouTube for at least a 2-hour long daily portion of videos. Printed media is shelved until someone decides to use it as a movie script. Novels and comic books are turned into TV shows and blockbusters.
Is it because video is simply more snackable?

All Things Considered, Why Is Video Better than Text?

By incorporating color, visual cues, dynamic movements, and sound, video can impart much more information than text, and therefore tends to influence consumer perceptions in different ways. According to Weathers, Sharma, & Wood (2007), the information mediums with peripheral cues are more likely to grab the attention because they serve as stimuli that activate our processing channels.
It’s all part of a concept called media richness theory.
This theory suggests that messages with a variety of cues are perceived to be more clear and attention-grabbing. You can test it yourself, by comparing a 2000-word long block of text against a 2-minute video. Not only can they offer the same amount of content in different time scopes, but your brain will actually process video around 60,000 times faster than text. Reading is active, watching is less so.
If you take into account the current tempo of our existence, you’ll find that convenience is the number one factor in deciding the course of the day. In our B2C context, this requires reduction of all customer effort. What video contributes to this is not only ease of consumption, but also substance. Clips may be shorter and less cognitively demanding than text, but they are just as meaningful and fact-dense.


Why Video Reviews Definitely Outperform Text Reviews?

Going back to the marketing strategy for the new age, which is defined by digital connectivity on one side and the experience economy on the other, we must introduce another concept that’s just as crucial for maintaining profitable customer relationships as caring, and that’s building consumer trust. When it comes to trustworthiness, both brands and their marketing experts are facing a major crisis.
With all the fake news and data privacy scandals circling around, it’s really no wonder that consumers are no longer interested in taking your word for granted. Brands must go one mile extra to regain their trust – rather than devising elaborate marketing schemes, they should simply put their reputation in the hands of consumers. It’s called taking control over the narrative by giving control to the customers.
In between engaging audiences and building trust, video is a perfect medium.
Here’s why.
  1. Video Displays Nonverbal Communication

We all google the product we want to buy before spending a dime on it.
Our purchase decision process consists of six stages: need recognition, information search, evaluation of alternatives, purchase decision, purchase, and post-purchase evaluation. And, since we no longer trust brands to be honest in their marketing campaigns, we seek information from impartial sources.
In one way or another, all these sources rely on user-generated content.
Both video reviews and their textual counterparts fall under this category. They are nothing more than content created by consumers themselves during the post-purchase evaluation stage, and with an intention to let others know whether or not a certain brand, product, or service is worth their money.
The difference between customer review videos and written testimonials is, once again, in their potential to build trust. A written review can be fabricated – the reader has no way of knowing who actually wrote it and whether or not it’s false. A video review, on the other hand, is fully transparent.
An excessively skeptical consumer can see the person leaving a review, and google their name and picture for further evidence of impartiality. But, not only that. A video displays nonverbal communication too, which means that a careful observer can easily discern if the review is fake or not.
  1. Video Envelopes Various Forms of Content

Unlike text, videos consist of both visual and audio cues.
This is very important in the context of a reliable customer review, since it gives a consumer an opportunity to actually perceive the product with at least two senses. If that product is a smartphone, a video review can let the consumer see how it looks from all angles. If the product is a guitar, the consumer can hear how it sounds. Video is a medium that simply cannot hide the truth from a watcher.
Now, consider a video review for, say, a new ice-cream flavor.
Sure, a text review written by an eloquent ice-cream buff can do a nice job in describing just how this dessert tastes. But, this text can also be spoken out loud on the video, together with genuine expressions of joy or dislike that the reviewer will be giving off as he or she tastes it in front of your eyes. The same is true for service reviews, as you’ll be able to see precisely how the reviewer feels about it.
In less words, videos are brilliant tools for reducing consumer uncertainty regarding product performance, as this type of customer reviews has the ability to illustrate how a product performs in action and thus convey a more realistic impression of product experience. This is not only helpful to the consumer, but it also adds to the credibility of the review in ways that textual content never could.
  1. Video Eliminates All Customer Effort

We already said that video is less demanding than text, so let’s elaborate on that.
It’s in human nature to be lazy about things that can be done the easier way around. Cognitively speaking, texts require some heavy lifting because reading is actually an active process. While studying this article, you’ve certainly checked your Instagram at least once. A good movie, on the other hand, makes you forget about your phone. It’s all due to a fact that reading calls for a longer attention span.
Who wants to read a long text when you can watch someone reading it for you?
Of course, we wouldn’t dare say this about good literature. But, when it comes to customer reviews, it’s true for so many people. In marketing, this contributes to the reduction of customer effort, which in return guarantees a better experience with the brand. Give customers an opportunity to get familiar with your products and services easily and quickly, and they’ll be happy to choose you over your rivals.
Video reviews simply provide a more frictionless customer journey.
  1. Video Prompts Shares and Inspires Action

It’s not only that content consumers find videos more easily digestible, but it’s also that video reviews are for some reason more likely to get shared. Perhaps it’s because consumers trust them to maintain their personal integrity – if they share a review that turns out to be fake, their own reputation on social media may get tarnished. Maybe it’s because video reviews simply look prettier on their feeds.
Whatever the case, social videos generate 1200% more shares than text and images combined.
And, in terms of word-of-mouth marketing, this number should not be ignored.
As for actual sales, numerous statistics suggest that video reviews drive more conversions than their textual counterparts. Along with everything said thus far, a video also incites action by being more interactive. A CTA received directly from a brand can never be as powerful as a CTA received from an objective consumer of that brand’s products and services, as it is 100% honest, unfabricated, and real.
In fact, according to HubSpot (see intro for reference link):
  • 81% of people have been convinced to buy a product or service by watching a brand’s video.
  • 95% of people have watched an explainer video to learn more about a product or service.
  • 97% of marketers say a video has helped increase user understanding of their product.
If numbers are this high for videos that are professionally created by brands, then it’s only logical that user-generated video reviews possess even greater potential for convincing customers that the product at hand is worth their time and money. You know, considering that they are actually objective.
  1. Video Is Now Better for SEO Marketing

Customer review videos are now better for SEO marketing too.
While all previous benefits contribute to building customer trust, this one contributes to building brand awareness. Online presence and visibility on Google SERPS are nothing less crucial for success – without them, there would be no customers to persuade into trying out your offer in the first place.
Video testimonials come with keywords as well, which are too scanned by Google crawlers. Since there are still fewer videos than texts in the online realm, they have a better chance of reaching audiences who search for a particular keyword. More precisely, videos have a 45 times better chance of doing that.

But Wait, Isn’t Video Content Harder to Create?

Care and trust are mutually dependent – if your brand doesn’t really care for its customers, then your customers won’t really trust it to do what’s best for them. But if you show them just how important they are, they’ll do more than stay loyal to you. They’ll be glad to take some time to create a video review of your products, and let others know how much they have enjoyed their experience with you.
And no, video reviews are not harder to create. Everything you need is a smartphone with a camera.
Video reviews, as we’ve seen, outperform written ones every time.
Here’s how to get them, from one happy customer to another.