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Testimonials in the Time of TikTok

December 1, 2020 | Video Testimonials on Websites

Small business owners, TikTok will change your world.

You don’t dance and wave your arms, you say?  So how will TikTok change your world?

In 2020, TikTok is making made video self-expression cool, fun and ubiquitous in the United States. 

And, TikTok can be cool, fun and profitable for small businesses, too.

TikTok now has 1 billion users worldwide who dance, wave their arms and express themselves on video for friends and strangers.

“TikTok was the most downloaded app in the US in 2018…

In February 2019, TikTok hit one billion downloads globally… and was declared the 7th most downloaded mobile app of the decade.”


Why is TikTok important for small business owners?  

  • Because the Chiropractor who asks his customer for a video testimonial after he cracked their back is anxious about getting rejected.
  • Because the hairdresser who just did a hairdoo is uncertain what her customer will say about her on video. What if her customer says something silly on video?
  • Because business owners all over the world still depend on local word-of-mouth marketing to build their businesses.

That’s right, over 80% of the worlds’ businesses are still are not online in a meaningful way and do not depend on online traffic or marketing for new customers.  

Google and the rest of the big search giants want to change that.  But, back to TikTok…

Chiropractors and hairdressers don’t post TikTok videos.  Not in their day job, right? Not to market their businesses, do they?

Video testimonials (but, not TikTok)  are becoming a huge opportunity for local businesses to create their  local brand using the most trusted expert on their product or service:   existing customers.

How will video testimonials help small businesses?

Because video testimonials for small businesses can be what text reviews have become for small businesses since Google Reviews started in 2002.

Gary Vaynerchuck, in 2013’s The Thank You Economy, predicted EVERY small businesses will eventually move to online social media, specifically video.

But, small business owners will embrace online marketing in the way small businesses have always marketed: 

  •    a good product
  •    awesome customer service
  •    rapid feedback through local word-of-mouth marketing.

The challenge of TikTok for small business owners

Unlike choreographed dance steps, there is no plan for online video for small business marketing.  

  •    What do you talk about?
  •    What do you say?  
  •    Is this an interview?  
  •    Is it a ‘how to’ video?  

In the face of uncertainty, what do so many small businesses do?  Nothing.

TikTok has changed Online Influence

Lest you think I am some TikTok dance  god, let me disabuse that notion: the one family video we made with my  18-year-old son was prohibited from being displayed with this post.  Apparently, I’m not that good.

But, TikTok is getting people to  change their behaviors by layering video self-expression onto the review  and sharing economies pioneered by small business review sites and  social networks.

Just look now, if you are a TikTok user, at the number of in-stream TikTok business videos and advertisements.

That’s what TikTok did.  It created a culture that has normalized video self-expression and sharing.

Why would customers give a video testimonial?

The video testimonial is quicker and simpler than the text testimonial.  Best is to capture the video at your point-of-sale, while your customer is fired up with enthusiasm over your service.   

Text Review vs. video testimonial 

Five years ago, we could question why  a customer would give a video testimonial, and not a written review, on Yelp or Google Reviews.  

Google started experimenting with customer-generated video reviews in 2017.  

Today, the video option seems a pretty realistic alternative to a simple text review.  TikTok has made user generated video even more commonplace.

Collect video testimonials at the point-of-sale

Most testimonial apps email the customer after they have left your shop.

The oft-cited Neilson Review that 82%  of people are influenced positively by online reviews.  Simply adding video to your website can improve your organic search traffic by over 150%.

What do you think?

Did TikTok change peoples’ willingness to express themselves online vs. text/print?

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If you are an influencer who deals face-to-face with people, like a dentist or a real estate agent, you can become an online influencer using short, testimonial videos on popular social platforms.

We can show you how.

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All the hashtags, hypertext links and tech-y stuff?

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