Sure, online video ads are effective ways to reach customers. But do you know what’s even more effective? When customers create their own online video ads.
That was the message of a second-day South by Southwest Interactive panel entitled “Your Customers on Video Are Your Biggest Assets.” Led by Justin Nassiri, CEO and founder of VideoGenie, it showed how major companies had tapped their customers for online video testimonials.
Advertising is typically a one to many relationship, Nassiri said, where one company disseminates one message to many people. But humans are social and prefer getting personal recommendations. With VideoGenie, brands can latch onto that social power.
VideoGenie lets brands ask for testimonials or host online contests where customers create their own brief videos. Customers record right through the VideoGenie interface, so all they need is a webcam. The interface even lets them see how much time they have left to speak.
Nassiri showed some examples of companies that had effectively used VideoGenie. Shoedazzle, a subscription show company co-founded by Kim Kardashian, asked customers why they liked the service. Nassiri showed a few examples of women raving about the site’s quality.
“It jumps off the screen as authentic,” said Nassiri.
ShoeDazzle found that the average viewer watched 10.4 videos in a row, for an average time of 3 minutes 14 seconds.
The Broadway musical How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying also ran a VideoGenie campaign, one looking for the show’s biggest fan. It received a 980 percent return on investment in ticket sales, Nassiri said, as well as a 20 percent increase in Facebook fans.
“You give the microphone to your customers, they’re going to surprise you with what they say,” added Nassiri.
Also presenting was Winston Wang, global director of strategic innovations in marketing technology for Anheuser-Busch, who told how his company used VideoGenie to find a passionate football fan to report from the Super Bowl. Almost 400 viewers applied. The campaign received 480,000 engagements, including 92,000 shares. Viewers watched submitted videos for 2 minutes on average, and 25 “super- influencers” shared videos with over 1,000 people. The company also gained 180,000 new Facebook fans.
Unvarnished fan-contributed video messages have proven effective for VideoGenie and the companies that use it. Spread testimonial videos everyplace you can, Nassiri advised: on the company site, Facebook site, and anywhere else that your company has contact with customers.
“If you can leverage in some way your customers speaking on your behalf, you’ll be surprised by the results,” said Nassiri.