In this article I would like to tell you how you can increase the conversion of prospect viewers on your website by up to 200%. Seems outlandish doesn’t it, even the voices said you wouldn’t believe it? However during some experiments with some strong controls that was what was achieved by the addition of a simple video. Let’s talk about the hierarchy of social proof.
I have spoken previously elsewhere about social proof, social proof is a fancy new name for testimonials. Although in fairness the term covers much more than testimonials. It is also used as a term of reference for other proofs of trustworthiness. In essence, social proof affects people in a simple manner, they think “they bought it; it is safe for me to buy it”.
More and more research undertaken points to the impact of social proof on buying patterns. It appears that social proof plays a large part in the purchase of big ticket items in particular. In fact while I was researching social proof and its impact I came across a strange fact.
People say that they may not necessarily fully trust the testimonial or opinion of a stranger. However it will still sway their opinion in a purchase decision. Now that is quite an interesting statement if you take it a face value. It would appear that social proof is quite persuasive on the buyer during the buying process.
Many people think of the use of social media and online channels when they hear the term social proof. However, at Audiology Engine we believe that social proof can and should be used across all of your marketing channels, not just online. However, for this article I want to focus on your main online channel, your website.
We believe that social proof is where it is at for website engagement and conversion. Social proof has existed for centuries. Social proof at its core is word of mouth referral. Word of mouth is a major indication of credibility, the credibility of a product, service or service provider. Word of mouth has very much moved online.
Testimonials help to overcome customer anxiety or fear in the purchase process. That fear can be around many topics, in our profession it can be service based, instrument quality based, efficacy based. You can alleviate these anxieties by deploying testimonials that address those concerns. The question is what type of testimonial do you deploy, text based or video based?
We believe there is a hierarchy of social proof, text based testimonials are at the bottom of the pile, nice but a bit like getting a kiss from your cousin. Text based testimonials accompanied by a picture, now you are talking. More like a kiss from your racy second cousin once removed. Video, video is the pinnacle, everyone of your childhood crushes just lined up to play tonsil tennis!
So, you can see why we always push for video based testimonials because we believe that video has real power. We never get it, do I have to put you people into a headlock? Because I will! Our penchant for video is based on more than just gut (although some would say I have a lot of that) in fact a couple of years ago I came across a particularly interesting article on a marketing experiment site that I read, pertaining to the use of testimonials on websites.
I found it fascinating at the time and its clear message has always stayed with me. They conducted an experiment with a particular site that involved multivariate or what is more commonly known as A/B testing. They used text and video testimonials in the testing process and the results were clear. Both testimonial types affected conversion rates.
For text based the increase in conversion was increased by 25%. However video testimonials increased conversion by just over 200%. Yes I typed that correctly, 200%. The conclusions were as follows;
Testimonials played a significant part in increasing the conversions in this radical redesign test. The size of the conversion lifts correspond to the different treatments (smaller gain from the text testimonials, larger gain from the video clip).
What factors made these testimonials more effective?
- Their proximity to aspects of the process that created anxiety — the last two pages of the registration process and submission of personal information.
- Their authenticity, particularly the video clip, helped prospects relate to real customers and see their own problems being solved.
- Their tone helped lend a more personal feel to the registration process; this tone was also reflected in changes to the copy and calls-to-action.
Improving website conversion using testimonials
I would advise you to completely read the article detailing the experiment. It is particularly interesting reading even though it was based on a different industry segment. Personally think folk are folk, where there may be anxiety in a purchase decision, people will react in a similar manner. The deployment of video testimonials on your website may well lead to higher lead conversion rate.
A higher conversion rate of prospect viewers to leads will mean more qualified leads to your Practice. We all know that more qualified leads mean more sales. With all of this clearly in mind, is it not time that you considered using video testimonials in your healthcare marketing strategy?
We really think so and just recently we have got a chance to actually test our theories. We have just finished a site for a UK independent which includes a fantastic video. The video is deployed in the header on the home page and auto plays when you land on that page.
We spoke and the lady listened, she engaged a videographer to capture some video testimonials and some imagery of her shop. To say what he delivered was a video would be an outrageous understatement of fact, he delivered a top quality visual representation of exactly what the brand was and what it stood for.
Engagement so far on that site is pretty high, but we have only monitored it for a couple of weeks. Our SEO strategy has only begun to be felt and the site is just starting to creep up the rankings. In six months we will have hard data on what exactly that type of video does to engagement and conversion.
Nonetheless, we think it will be a winner. The deployment of media rich testimonials on your online healthcare marketing can be relatively simple.
There are different ways of doing it, in the case of the website I just spoke about, it is an in depth affair. However, you can embed YouTube videos very easily in websites. So you should not stop at staid testimonial pages or testimonial boxes on your pages. You should include video testimonials; you should use them in several parts of your website.
It stems back to what we are trying to achieve, we are trying to allay anxiety in the purchase decision. Therefore we could consider differing testimonials on different parts of your site. Perhaps we should focus on different testimonials that answer differing anxieties. On your service and care or on your home page, perhaps you should consider a testimonial which talks about the care you provide.
Perhaps a testimonial for the efficacy of the instruments you fitted on your instrument list page perhaps. Consider what fear you are trying to allay, what anxiety you are trying to reduce. In this manner you can deploy testimonials that are designed for strategic effect. I will return to this subject later when we have some hard data in relation to conversion and engagement on the sites that we manage that have included video.
In closing, the evidence is there, video testimonials changes inquiry conversion on websites dramatically. Shouldn’t you finally take a look at deploying some?
About Geoff Cooling
Goeff is the co-founder of Audiology Engine. He has experience at both retail and wholesale level within the hearing healthcare world. He has been the author of the Just Audiology Stuff blog for several years. He regularly writes articles for industry publications pertaining to branding and on-line marketing. He understands SEO, social media, inbound marketing and online marketing as it pertains to the hearing healthcare world and brings this understanding to our services.
He has a wealth of experience in business development support in hearing healthcare. He is intimately aware of the difficult position that most independent practice owners find themselves in. Increasing competition from bigger players, a changing customer and changing technology make independent practice a more difficult proposition. He believes that his skill set can help your practice secure it’s place and thrive.
Last modified: July 25, 2015