5 Reasons Why Consumer Video Testimonials Are Great For E-Commerce

Our own CEO Justin Nassiri was in Video-Commerce.org discussing the five reasons why video testimonials are great for e-commerce and are a smart decision for brands and businesses.

Check out the article, but here are the reasons below:

1. Gets consumers’ attention quickly through an emotional connection

2. Builds trust with consumers

3. Peers are more influential than brands

4. Lower production costs

5. Helps build your social media fan base

Why The Hunger Games Nailed Word-of-Mouth Marketing

There’s no denying that word-of-mouth marketing is one of the most effective ways to build buzz around your brand and make your marketing spend go the distance. Word-of-mouth marketing is not only extremely effective, but also inexpensive if leveraged strategically.

One only needs to take a look at the recent opening box office success of The Hunger Games. Suzanne Collins’ dystopian tale made over $155 million in just its first weekend. Lionsgate built a strong word-of-mouth marketing campaign into its overall marketing strategy, and with the right planning and execution, built enough buzz to nail their opening weekend. Here’s why Lionsgate’s word-of-mouth marketing strategy worked:

1. A built-in fan base existed.

“The Hunger Games” started as a trilogy book series, which quickly garnered millions of fans. The demand for the books is huge — more than 24 million copies are in print and according to the New York Times, around 9.6 million copies are in circulation domestically. The Hunger Games’ clocks their Twitter followers at more than 420,000. These fans were ready to be mobilized, activated, and leveraged for an explosive word-of-mouth marketing campaign. Got fans? Are they energized and passionate? If you have the fans — and they’re committed to your brand — consider utilizing word-of-mouth marketing campaigns to build brand awareness and presence.

 2. The conversation emerged organically.

Using social media tactics and other online channels, Lionsgate incensed fans to authentically excite each other. Starting back in June 2011, Lionsgate made sure to slowly release a series of promotions across social media channels to drum up interest. A big component was releasing engaging and viral video content about the stories and characters, and encouraging fans to submit and share user-generated video content on how excited they were about the movie.

Fans of “The Hunger Games” felt that they were not only talking about, sharing, and spreading the word around the movie to their peers – they were doing it of their own accord. Everyone hates being sold to, and fans aren’t dumb. If you can empower your fans to do what they would naturally do when they love something (that is, share and broadcast their love to everyone close to them), you’ve nailed a key element of a successful word-of-mouth marketing campaign.

3. It was simple to go viral.

The days of relying on just movie trailers and posters are over. Lionsgate knew that social media channels are some of the easiest ways to target the majority of prospective moviegoers, and they’re perfect channels for having conversations and sentiment virally explode. When a successful word-of-mouth campaign is your goal, planned and timed uses of Facebook contests, Twitter scavenger hunts, movie blogging, YouTube, Tumblr, and live streaming to engage and get your fans talking will pay off.

3 Takeaways From YouTube’s Kevin Alloca’s TED Talk

“We all want to be stars,” explains Kevin Alloca, YouTube’s trends manager. If you haven’t had a chance to check out his TEDYouth talk on “Why Videos Go Viral” – it’s definitely worth viewing.

Why Videos Go Viral – TEDYouth

Alloca discloses some impressive YouTube video statistics such as “two days of video get uploaded very minute,” but then he drops the bomb: “Few videos go viral.”

As the Double Rainbow guy groans (whose viral video has gotten over 33 million views): “What does it mean?”

It means that today, if you nail three attributes, it’s much easier to become a part of the collective pop culture experience, to launch to fame and yes, to go viral. These are:

1. “Tastemakers”

Alloca points out that videos are uploaded and then usually creep along in obscurity until a pinnacle moment happens: a “Tastemaker” (or “Influencer” as we here at VideoGenie call them) discovers the video and shares it with their large and energized audience. It’s extremely important that any video wishing to have a place in viral history come across the laps of individuals who, not only have energized followers, but also have the desire to introduce new and interesting content to their audience base. When employed in marketing, most successful video campaigns must have a way to identify and leverage these influencers.

2. “Communities of Participation” 

Video content that allows audiences to have a participatory role in the phenomenon – whether it be through sheer emotional connection or incentivized call-to-actions – will have the highest chances of going viral. Participation is key – pure enjoyment of content won’t be the trigger that leads to viral success. Relating this lesson back to successful video and user-generated content (UGC) marketing campaigns, audiences must feel compelled to participate – either by sharing, responding to, or recording their own video.

3. “Unexpectedness”

If someone wanted to craft the idea for and film the most perfectly embarrassing fall, it wouldn’t be as successful or have as much impact as an unexpected “fail” fall moment captured on video. A key component of unexpectedness is authenticity, and truly authentic video content (especially UGC) is the ticket to virality.

Alloca believes that this new future of video entertainment will be a world where the “audience defines the popularity” and feels “ownership.” We believe the same will define the future of successful video marketing campaigns, as well.

Four Viral Video Lessons From KONY 2012

Want an incredible example of how a powerful video can spread virally, purely on word of mouth? Before March, nonprofit Invisible Children and its mission were relatively unknown. Today, Invisible Children’s #KONY2012 video, a 30 minute controversial documentary detailing the atrocious acts of Ugandan rebel leader Joseph Kony, has already gathered more than 100 million views since it’s launch on March 5th. It’s the fastest growing viral video in history, surpassing Rebecca Black’s “Friday,” Susan Boyle’s “I Dreamed a Dream” performance, Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” or the Old Spice Guy video campaign.

The #KONY2012 phenomenon is a testament to how — when leveraged for a cause — an inspiring video campaign with a clear message and mission can have monumental reach, exposure and impact. Enough so that it seems as if literally everyone on Facebook has been sharing the link to the video (or “Posted about Joseph Kony”) and every national news station has highlighted the video during their broadcast segments.

While it’s up for debate on whether the campaign’s media backlash (and counter-backlash) is warranted, there are some key takeaways around Invisible Children’s successful viral video campaign:

1. Have a clear strategy planned.

While the video content was emotionally compelling and inherently viral, much of the campaign’s success came from having a solid social media strategy set before launch and a clear understanding of the audience. Invisible Children, in partnership with Digitaria, came up with a social video strategy that combined emotional tugs with a simple message. They astutely knew how to leverage social media to spread awareness and activate new supporters.

2. Engaging top influencers is crucial.

The campaign included easy links for people to tweet at, message and engage celebrities (or “Culturemakers”) and their millions of followers. As the campaign homepage says: “When they speak, the world listens.” As viewers of the video tweeted at celebrities and got their attention, tweets and retweets back to millions of followers helped amplify and spread the message astronomically.

3. Have a clear call-to-action.

Whether it be signing the petition, clicking back to the homepage, or entering contact information to be kept updated, the campaign had a clear call-to-action for audiences. If contacting influential celebrities wasn’t enough, the campaign empowered individuals to believe that there’s something very real and tangible they could do to help the situation. This included a section on the campaign website to also tweet at and engage with influential policy makers.

4. Make sure the content is sharable.

With video, it’s important to make sure that the content created is short, effective and sharable. This will lead to maximum engagement and increase the probability of sharing. Invisible Children did a great job creating an engaging message that could be easily shared on Twitter and Facebook. According to Unruly Media, one of the reasons for the video’s success was its high share-to-view rate – 13% of people went on to share the video after viewing it.

Come Join Us At SXSW!

If the movie industry has the Oscars, the tech community has South by Southwest Interactive in Austin. This year, we’re excited to announce that VideoGenie’s been selected to present next week at 5pm on Saturday, March 10th at the InterContinental Hotel. Our talk will be on how “Your Customers on Video Are Your Biggest Asset.” We’ll be hopping up on stage with Anheuser-Busch InBev to discuss how our creative video campaign launched during the Super Bowl drove incredible engagement among fans and new customers.

Ever wanted to know how you can best capture and harness your fans’ passion and energy on video for maximum ROI and impact? How about how video can achieve new levels of authenticity that can’t be achieved by other marketing mediums? We’ll cover all that and more, highlighting examples of best practices with awesome brands like Intuit, ShoeDazzle and Levi’s. If you’re at SXSW – in between attending the panels and chowing down on barbecue – come join us as we showcase how brands can utilize powerful, user-generated video content to take word-of-mouth marketing to the next level.

If you can’t attend, be sure to check back in for the podcast of the presentation. Follow us @Video_Genie to keep up with all the parties we’re going to crash and feel free to shoot us a note. We’d love to see you at our panel!

The New Facebook Timeline Brand Pages: Getting More Personal

Today Facebook unveiled Timeline for its brand-focused Pages.

The changes have been detailed in multiple stories across the news this morning, and we’re excited to see Facebook highlight a specific component in its Pages: a fan’s friends.

If you go to a brand’s Facebook Page now as a fan, you’ll see how many of your friends like the Page. Instead of sifting through a wall of fan comments, likes and haphazardly stumbling upon a friend’s comment about the brand (“Oh hey! Katie likes Starbucks?”), a fan will immediately see all of their friends’ relevant brand activity on Timeline (tags, check-ins, status mentions, likes and comments) highlighted front and center.

While this move seems like a no-brainer for a social network built upon relationships and connections – we’re still pleased to see that Facebook gets that the best way for a brand to connect with a consumer is by leveraging and highlighting the opinions and activities of your friends. At the end of the day, a successful marketing tactic or campaign hinges upon its ability to make an emotional and personal connection. What better way to do this than by pulling in fans’ trusted friends to help tell a brand’s story?

Introducing Facebook’s New Timeline for Brands (credit: Strike Anywhere and MediaPost)

Here at VideoGenie, we understand the power of friends’ opinions, thoughts, likes and general sentiment. While there’s much to be seen with how brands will leverage this new branded storytelling format, one thing’s for sure: connect with the heart of a consumer and you’ll have the best shot at authentic and powerful engagement.

VideoGenie Mentioned as a Top UGC Platform For Retail/E-Commerce Brands

Check out VideoGenie’s mention as a top UGC platform for retail brands and e-commerce sites looking to engage Millennial shoppers.