When did you last buy from Amazon without reading at least one review? Thought so.
It works the same way for software developers and vendors too, trying to market and sell applications, often to buyers in other countries or continents.
And the more complex or high value the software deal, the more potential clients are suspicious about what you aren’t telling them.
It’s frustrating for the dev, but painfully true.
In fact this client scepticism cuts right through the software market, from high to low
– right up from the $5 PlayStore phone app
– which can easily end up cluttering SD card space after discovering the app’s code wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.
As a software developer or marketer you know three certain facts about your clients:
1 – They’ve all bought software or systems before – for social, hobby or business reasons
2 – Some applications never quite worked as advertised
3 – Nonetheless even partly unreliable apps have accomplished minor miracles for them.
There’s a new market scepticism arising about software purchases
– a very human reaction to the blindingly high volume of software packages now available to help at every level of a person’s life.
Everyone wants to buy the magic of our age, yet everyone is either openly or secretly suspicious because of previous disappointments.
And this is where a new type of software video production comes to our aid.
Bridging the credibility gap with video
So how does the ambitious developer or technologist bridge this credibility gap?
The answer is to have other people speak in your favour – on video for all the World to see.
Everyone wants to see what the other person thinks before making a commitment.
These types of people come in two flavours:
1 – Informed clients who can offer testimonials on camera interview
2 – IT or application experts who review your package on camera and explain why it’s good.
Both these types of interview video can help you enormously, so let’s examine both.
1 – Client testimonial videos
A good client testimonial video is one that talks in depth about your application.
Whether a $5 app or a £50,000 annual service contract, the principle is the same.
I’ve seen video testimonials where the client proactively discussing the application has delivered more sales than any amount of marketing guff & promise.
People love to see existing customers discussing and using the app they’re thinking of purchasing, especially if the user is famous, or works for a famous company
– which provides a bit of celebrity leverage to sweeten the whole message.
The bad news is that client testimonials are hard to get.
Many clients will not appear in front of camera, even if they want to. Their company won’t let them.
Nonetheless when you can get them, smart testimonials can be gold.
And even once the client has agreed to appear on camera for you, you’ll find it’s difficult to pin them down to a date, time and location that fits in with your video crew’s production schedule.
Nonetheless, once agreed the end results can be astonishing.
Here’s a sample – one of a series of three testimonials we produced for an Irish software & systems company looking to further penetrate the UK market.
Decide for yourself if this type of message will swing sales in your favour.
2 – Expert review videos
These are far simpler ways to acquire credibility. You can pay an expert to turn up at the right time and explain all the technical stuff on camera for you.
It’s an honest review of course, and takes an intelligent view of the marketplace.
As an example, here’s a review that takes the approach of “explaining the problems” of data centres, without directly plugging the data centre installation company who paid for the video to be produced.
It’s smart, it’s believable and it works because it makes potential clients sit up and think more closely, leading them towards the vendor’s solution.
Expert reviews can work for any app of any size, any price, as they inform in advance to buyers the potential challenges or issues they might face, as well as the obvious benefits.
How long should testimonial or review videos be
Most interviews – whether for testimonial or review can be edited differently.
An in-depth interview is usually cut 3 ways:
1 – a soundbite 1 minute version
2 – a 2-3 minute home page version
3 – a 15-20 minute long version
The message is: Don’t be tied to a single runtime decision.
Make alternative runtime versions and deploy them tactically at your different customer touch points.
For example, all leads should see the long version. They’ll watch if they’re serious.
But passing traffic may be engaged better (at first) by the One Minute Wonder.
The challenge is to bridge the credibility gap by getting others to do it for you – on video.
This applies as much to systems and technology companies as it does software or application vendors – or whether your marketplace is financial & banking, architects – or maintenance engineers on a construction site.
If a testimonials video is to difficult to produce, usually for lack of volunteers, then get an Expert Review video.
It’s the independence of clients and experts that wins for you
– in a buying culture of “show me a review. And then show me even more reviews”.
These are the key facts about software testimonial and review videos for developers.
Feel free to reach out and discuss this with me in the Comments below.