How to Get Referrals and Video Testimonials From Customer Advocates

The phenomenal success of Harlem shake video was yet another example of people’s willingness to record and broadcast themselves. After all, Youtube is the 3rd biggest social network by active usage. In addition, the increasing availability of high quality video cameras on smart phones and tablets coupled with the ease to upload and broadcast videos has continued to drive the aggressive growth of online videos.

Challenges to B2B marketers

Still, talk to any B2B marketer and you will rarely hear them say that they know exactly how to get testimonials. I have found the analogy with the Spielberg movie “Catch me if you can” apt at times when B2B marketers explain how they try and ‘catch’ their customers for a testimonial or referral! It is not that your customers are not satisfied with your product or service.  There just seems to be a psychological inhibition when it comes to delivering what is perceived to be a serious video versus the spontaneity that overcomes people when they are recording a ‘fun’ video. Still, chasing this elusive goal of capturing customer videos is an important one.  In fact 1 minute of video is estimated to be worth 1.8 million words!

Brand advocates can help!

Obviously the Advocatehub is one ideal place to approach your advocate community for a request to record a testimonial. However, the same inhibition exists for advocates, even though they may have done much more challenging tasks like references, referrals, reviews and other valuable services that are integral to advocate marketing.  To overcome this, we have been experimenting within our own hub with a new web application called GetBravo, that makes it easy for anyone to start recording themselves. One of our super advocates Fred Bals, customer advocate from Ektron, was the first to submit such a video



Along with being an early responder, he is also an early adopter and is attempting the same video application within Ektron’s advocate community (aka inner circle). The beauty of this system is that the amateur nature of these customer-recorded videos makes them authentic and trustworthy when viewed by others. Professionally produced videos still have an important place in B2B  marketing but I sincerely believe that tens or hundreds of authentic customer videos will inevitably trump a few well choreographed professionally made videos.

Advocate marketing: advocates generated videosTry a recording

So, what do you think of video marketing and what are your own experiences? Do you think your best customers could be convinced to record a testimonial? Leave a comment below or even better – leave a video – just click the link and start recording!

8 Responses to How to Get Referrals and Video Testimonials From Customer Advocates

  1. Interesting new challenge option for Influitive customers. I like it!

  2. Yes it’s always difficult getting people on camera…The question is quality, how can you control what others have in the background or if they say ah and um and like every 4th word? Does quality event matter today? With $4,000 to $7,000 per video “professionally” done is there an ROI there? Any thoughts?

    • Great points Jeff. The ‘perceived’ lower quality of these videos is what gives them their authenticity, however, the quantity of these videos is what will lead to ROI. In other words, one customer video of low recording quality won’t do much but 10 trustworthy customer videos of varying recording quality might. This strategy might also depend on the size of your company. For instance, I think this is a viable strategy for startups to small/mid-sized companies but might not work as well for larger enterprises.

  3. Kate Lynch says:

    i think this could be a great technique for use at events — spontaneous video recordings while interacting with product on a laptop or tablet or phone

  4. Ray Gans says:

    I think capturing the enthusiasm of our advocates on video is a great idea. It should come off as genuine which is always good and as long as folks realize that a Hollywood performance isn’t expected (probably by showing them examples of others doing the same thing), then the fear associated with being recorded can probably be overcome with a little encouragement.

    • couldn’t agree more about having examples of videos that others have done. I think most people (including myself) get more encouraged when I see that others were not afraid of doing it.

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