More threads by Garrett Sussman

Mar 15, 2016
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Are Video Reviews the Future of Online Word of Mouth?


“You’ll never be able to walk on your own, ever again.”

Arthur Boorman was a disabled vet. After a brutal career as a paratrooper, his knees were shot. His back was damaged. He was depressed, overweight and struggling, topping out at 297 lbs.

He had given up on life.

“Wouldn’t you?” he asks, as he shares his story. Only he didn’t give up. He reached out to someone for help. He contacted a personal trainer by the name of Diamond Dallas Page and asked for guidance.

Dallas was skeptical at first.

But he was moved by Arthur’s story. The two men began emailing and speaking with each other on the phone. Dallas would teach, guide and support Arthur on his journey. Their goal?

Don’t give up.

His review, his story is nothing short of inspirational.


We see him struggle and fall. He falls over and over and over again. But each time he falls he gets back up. Both Arthur and Dallas shared their doubts. It seemed as if he was past the point of no return.

He kept fighting.

Arthur’s story is compelling not because it’s unique, but because we can see it. We see where he came from, what he went through. We watched him overcome incredible odds showing everyone, including his doctors, that he’d walk again.

When it comes to Online Reviews, Video is Powerful

Customers have an immediate reaction to video when it’s used well. They’re captivated by the reviews other customers share, whether it’s a group review or one-on-one session.

Even better research shows that…

Video, as a channel, continues to grow quickly. But, video reviews for the most part, aren’t growing as fast.


Prospective customers want to see video reviews. Customers on the other hand, aren’t as eager to give video reviews.

Most Customers Won’t Give You a Video Review

That’s the rationale right?

That customers are unwilling to give you a video review, because they want to maintain their privacy. Or they don’t know what to say, or something. Whatever the reason, video isn’t actually a focal point for customers. It feels tedious, it’s a chore.


Actually, yes.

It’s as if there’s this imaginary barrier that keeps people from recording videos. Maybe they don’t want to take the time to upload a video. Maybe they want to give their video a once over before uploading.
Whatever the case, customers aren’t sharing – at least that’s the commonly cited reason. But that may not be the real reason.

Here’s why.

Video reviews are typically specialized and focused around five specific areas:


Businesses understand the value of a review in a way that consumers don’t. So it makes sense that it’s easier for businesses to get a video review from… other businesses. Here’s a B2B video review Wistia, a video hosting SaaS company, made for HelpScout.


Travis Wilber on Vimeo


Crunchy moms focus on environmentally friendly, organic and natural products. These women typically bake their own bread, grow their own food, eat vegan, etc. These sub-cultures have their own rules, social norms, and jargon. Why does that matter? Video reviews in these cultures function as a trust building mechanism that’s used to establish audience credibility. Here’s a Crunchy Mom reviewing cloth diapers.



The entertainment industry – movies, music and games – has a rich history of video reviews baked right in. Customers will seek out video reviews from critics and fans alike. For example, here’s Deadline’s review of the Netflix Original, House of Cards.



The vast majority of video reviews come from professional and semi professional reviewers. Here’s Consumer Reports analysis of 740,000 vehicles and their report of this year’s most reliable brands.



Product reviews focus on the product, how it functions, what happens when you use it, etc. Amazon product reviews typically show the product in action and it’s something customers can upload directly with their review.

Of these five types, only culture and product focused reviews come from consumers. If you’re in an industry that depends on the other types, it’s a good idea to take a hands on approach with reviews. Reach out to customers directly to get the reviews you need.

What about mainstream services like Google, Facebook, or Yelp? Google and Yelp are notable exceptions but vast majority of review sites haven’t made video reviews a priority.


Yelp rolled out video reviews in 2014, but they’ve quietly placed video on the back burner, making them mobile only. They’ve also forced app users to dig a little bit.


What’s the opportunity for business owners with video? Are there any opportunities?

The surprising answer is yes.

Read the full post by Andrew here.

Whoa Garrett! Wonder how long it took Andrew to craft that post with all those videos and screenshots?
It looks like a whopper, as so many of your posts are.

Look forward to reading the whole post on your site.

Happy New Year to you, Jon and the team!
Thank you Linda! Happy New Years to you too!

This year has really flown by!

With the focus on video content in 2016, it will be interesting to see how quickly video appears in the online review space. It's definitely already big for company testimonials.

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