No matter what you sell, or to whom, one thing is true…
Your business lives and dies by its track record.
So the more testimonials you have where customers RAVE about how awesome you are, the more new business you’re likely to attract.
But what if you are a brand new company, with a brand new offer, and you simply haven’t had the opportunity to rake up dozens of amazing testimonials?
Or scratch that — what if you’re LEGALLY FORBIDDEN from using testimonials — like many lawyers and Registered Investment Advisors?
What do you do then?
That’s exactly what we’re going to discuss today.
If you want prospects to see your brand as THE authority in your industry, then testimonials might seem like the one and only path to making it happen…
…but luckily, they aren’t!
There are lots of marketing assets you could leverage to position your company as the go-to expert in your niche. And in today’s episode, I will show you five of those!
Mind you, not all five will fit your brand and industry to the T… but I guarantee that you’ll be able to leverage at least one or two of them to grow your business, no matter what you do.
So let’s get started!
1. Build trust with your audience with Q&A videos
Q&A videos are SUCH an underrated content format. You know, dear listener, I always hear entrepreneurs fret about how they want to create relevant content for their audience, but it’s just so hard to know what they want to learn.
And it is — if you completely ignore audience questions. If your followers, leads, prospects, and buyers ask you things… then you already know what kind of content they want.
THERE’S your goldmine of insightful and relevant things to create!
So how can you leverage Q&A videos in your business? There are literally too many use cases to list, but here’s some ideas for different stages of your funnel…
- Collect troubleshooting questions from existing customers and clients and make a handy-dandy video library of quick tutorials for them.
- Post short-form Q&A videos on Instagram Reels or on TikTok — the discoverability is HUGE, and they make you look like an expert.
- Host a livestream where you answer audience questions on a topic, or about your offer. Also, hot tip: you can later repurpose this one long-form video into an absolute MOUNTAIN of short, snackable content!
- Create an entire video series around answering customer questions you get in the mail, comments, or DMs. You don’t even need high production values *or* a content plan — just a steady stream of questions to answer.
Q&A videos engage head-on with your audience’s needs and goals, and they clearly position you as THE expert in your industry. Don’t sleep on them!
2. Differentiate your brand through “contrarian content”
Now, I hope you’ve got what it takes, dear listener, because this content format needs you to PICK A FIGHT.
Don’t worry though, it’s not with a brand or a person, but an idea or a trend.
The method behind contrarian content is simple: identify a trend everyone in your audience or industry is talking about — and offer a different take.
Go against the grain. Be the lone nonconformist voice in a sea of people and companies all saying the same thing.
…But of course, ONLY do that if you genuinely believe in your position. I can’t stress this enough — please don’t produce contrarian just to be edgy and score brownie points!
When you lack true conviction, customers can smell it.
For a good example of this type of content in action, think back to the start of the pandemic. Remember how everyone and their mom was cutting ad spend to save money?
Well, some of the smartest marketers I know called for business owners to INCREASE their ad spend. They said it was an opportunity. Because the prices were getting SO cheap, and the competition was running SO scared, smart entrepreneurs could stand to grow in that period of chaos and uncertainty.
And you know what? They were right!
There are two things that make contrarian content so powerful:
First, it capitalizes on existing trends, which means you can access a huge untapped audience…
But also, it delivers a completely different message to what everyone else is saying, which naturally attracts more attention to YOU — and not the gazillion other voices weighing in on the topic!
When done right, it is an incredible force. And I hope you add it to your arsenal.
3. Showcase your life-altering value with case studies
These are a life-saver when you’ve had only a few paying clients so far. When you NEED prospects to take your expertise and your value seriously, having just a couple of testimonials won’t cut it.
So instead of going WIDE with many testimonials (that you don’t have)…
…you want to dive DEEP into specific customer stories. That’s another way to demonstrate the impact of your offer — and it’s arguably more powerful!
So what does it take to create a persuasive case study video? Here’s my advice:
- Involve your customer or client if you can. They are the hero of the story, and it will come across 10 times more impactful if THEY tell it. That’s why one of the best formats for a case study video is a simple customer interview. Sit down with them for 30 minutes and later edit it down to your preferred length, so only the juiciest details remain.
- Emphasize the TRANSFORMATION you’ve helped create. Spend time on how the client / customer has been struggling before you started working together — this is crucial context that will make your impact look incredible. And describe the “after” picture in just as much detail.
- Be strategic about which details about your product or service you include, and which ones you leave out. The main rule of thumb is: if it’s not relevant to the problems, goals, or results mentioned in the case study, ditch it.
Also, one last tip: you might be tempted to include a call to action at the end of your case study video… well, don’t! It may come across as too salesy and jarring.
Instead, ask your customer or client: “What would you say to another [type of customer] who’s struggling with the same problem you did?”
And then watch them do your pitch for you. Neat, huh?
4. Mentor your prospects with webinars and workshops
Many businesses play their cards close to the chest and hate to share knowledge for free. And even though I understand where they are coming from…
…I also believe this is a massive strategic mistake.
Before they pay you, your customers want to know that you’re the real deal. That you know your stuff, and you can help them. AND — that they’re not going to regret their buying decision.
That means, if you want your prospects to see you as an expert, then you must SHARE your expertise generously!
Here are three powerful ways to implement this video marketing strategy:
FIRST, host training events for your existing customers and clients. Teach them how to make the most of your product or service, so they are more successful… which means YOUR BUSINESS will be more successful as a result.
A good example of a company doing this right is Squarespace. They know that some folks will have trouble designing their own websites no matter how simple and intuitive the process is… so Squarespace hosts webinars and workshops to help them.
They know it ultimately benefits their business!
SECOND, use live events to sell your offer. For example, if you’re a business coach or consultant, you can teach your audience how to create a kick-butt growth marketing plan… and then offer to help in implementing it.
It works so much better than a regular sales pitch, because you’re basically providing value upfront and saying, “Hey, you could totally do this yourself and succeed, but here’s how we can help you do it 10X faster and get exponentially greater ROI.” Who could say no?
And THIRD, you can attract new, hot prospects with this strategy. Find a business to partner with and put on a guest training for their audience. Don’t pitch anything — just teach something mind-blowingly valuable, and give away a lead magnet at the end, or invite people to book a discovery call with you.
And that’s it! You’ll add plenty of fresh leads to your business, many of whom will graduate to paying customers later.
5. Become a thought leader with teardowns / critiques
Do you have strong opinions about a brand, a product, a service, a piece of content , et cetera… that YOU think is doing something right — or WRONG? And are you willing to express those strong opinions in a video? Then you can take advantage of this strategy!
Teardowns and critiques of other people’s “stuff” are yet another persuasive way to share your expert knowledge. It’s just that this time, instead of teaching it, you will be putting it on display to potential customers and clients.
Now, this strategy is powerful, but you want to be careful about how you implement it. You must never come across as putting someone else down, or being negative just for the sake of it. Keep your critiques constructive and good-natured — and don’t forget to praise people and brands when they do something right!
Here are a few examples of how you could leverage teardowns and critiques in your video marketing…
- Look for willing subjects! Ask your audience to submit something for feedback, and give them free advice on how to improve. That’s a killer way to convey your expertise and value.
- Do a deep dive on a brand you truly admire, to try and tease out what makes them so amazing. Chances are, your prospects admire them, too — and they will view YOU as the expert by proximity.
- And finally, when you do critiques, stick to big-name brands whenever possible. For one, everyone’s heard of them, so viewers will take more interest in your video. And more importantly — nobody likes it when you tear down an underdog!
But please, even when you critique big brands, keep it constructive. Less along the lines of “this is terrible” and more like “here’s how this can be improved.” Instead of literally tearing others down, help to build them up with your feedback.
It’s a small shift, but it makes all the difference.
See? You don’t have to have a treasure trove of testimonials on hand in order to establish your brand as THE authority in your industry!
If you’re willing to share your unique knowledge, engage with other voices in the space, pull back the curtain on your best case studies, and give feedback on trends and new developments in your market, then you will be able to cultivate the image of an expert.
And when your prospects need a trusted brand to partner with… yours will be the first name that comes to mind.
That’s all I have for you today, dear listeners! I hope you implement what you’ve learned today, and stay tuned for more episodes of Video Marketing Secrets.