Written Reviews VS Video Testimonials

Picture of Rishabh Pugalia
Rishabh Pugalia

June 11, 2024


Which matters more – quantity or impact?

This question lies at the heart of the debate between testimonials and reviews. Written reviews offer the potential for volume (dozens or even hundreds of customer snippets) and can quickly paint a picture of overall satisfaction.

However, do they leave a lasting impression?

Video testimonials on the other hand, while more resource-intensive to produce, trade quantity for emotional impact. How do you decide?

Let us look at some questions to understand the importance of choosing the right social proof:

  • Should you focus on the quick and accessible written review or invest in the emotionally impactful video testimonial?
  • Can video testimonials demonstrate the solution more effectively and convey its value than written reviews attempting to describe the same process?
  • At what specific stage of a customer’s journey would a video testimonial be more effective in overcoming hesitation compared to a written review?

Let’s discuss testimonial vs review in a little more detail and learn about the benefits, formats, and differences between the two.

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    We have made videos for 150+ B2B & SaaS companies.

    Explainer Video, Product Demo, Remote Video Testimonials, and more.

    What Are Written and Video Testimonials?

    Written Testimonials are short paragraphs by customers that highlight the user’s experience of your product, service, or company. They are typically displayed on websites, brochures, and other marketing materials.

    Video Testimonials are recorded videos of customers sharing their experiences with your brand. They often involve a customer speaking directly to the camera, sometimes incorporating footage of them using the product or service.

    Benefits of Text Testimonials

    Common benefits of text testimonials include:

    1. Easier for customers to leave a review

    Customers can quickly type a few sentences about their experience, even on their phones. There’s no setup, lighting, or need for rehearsing like with video. People who are camera-shy or simply don’t want to put much effort into a review find text to be an approachable format.

    2. Less Time and Cost Involved

    Text testimonials eliminate the need for video equipment, editing software, and potentially hiring videographers or editors. Collecting and managing text testimonials requires minimal time and resources for your team.

    3. Quicker Scroll

    Potential customers can quickly scan multiple text testimonials to get a sense of the overall positive sentiment. Even people who are short on time can get the gist of the text testimonials, which might encourage them to take further action.

    4. Accessibility

    Text testimonials are easily compatible with screen readers used by those with visual impairments, making them accessible to a wider audience. Text testimonials can also be translated into different languages using readily available tools, expanding your brand’s reach to multilingual audiences.

    Here is a text review from one of our clients, Tailwind:

    We know how to sell your story using your product UI

    Benefits of Video Testimonials

    Between reviews and testimonials power of testimonials is higher because of some benefits like:

    1. More Interactive

    A video puts a face and personality to a customer’s success story. It creates a stronger emotional connection that a simple text quote cannot.

    2. More Convincing = More Trustworthy

    It is hard to fake sincerity on video. The tone of voice, facial expressions, and body language convey a level of trust that goes beyond the written word.

    Video testimonials also have the “Real Person” Effect. Seeing someone relatable vouch for your brand makes skeptical potential customers much more receptive to your message.

    3. Retain More information In Detail

    Videos allow customers to expand on their experiences, explain their challenges, and explain the step-by-step process of using your product/services. The combined audio-visual cues leave a lasting impression.

    4. High Shareability

    Videos are highly shareable on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, etc., which increases your organic reach to a wider audience. Well-crafted videos that relate to the audience have viral potential.

    5. Shows Quality and Diversity

    High-quality video testimonials subconsciously reassure viewers about the quality of your product/service as well. Videos let you showcase a variety of customers, which could provide a clearer picture of the particular brand’s customer base.

    Here is an example of a ScaleX video testimonial for Content Beta:

    Making a video for B2B & SaaS products needs a different mindset.

    Key Differences between Text Reviews and Video Reviews

    There are some key differences between text review and video review that have to be understood when deciding between testimonial vs review. Here are some of the main differences:

    1. Text reviews can be easily faked

    Anyone can type a glowing review, whether a real customer or someone hired to increase ratings. This lowers trust.

    It’s significantly harder to fake genuine enthusiasm and body language on camera. Seeing and hearing a real customer builds greater trust and credibility.

    Trust is vital for a hesitant customer. Video testimonials reduce risk perception and create the social proof necessary to drive conversions.

    2. Video reviews are more converting

    Rely on the power of words alone and may feel less compelling, making them easy to skim and dismiss.

    Combine visuals, sound, and human emotion, making them more captivating and engaging. They hold attention longer, allowing the message to fully sink in.

    High engagement means your message has a better chance to persuade. When viewers are invested in the testimonial, they’re more likely to consider taking the next step.

    3. Lesser budget for text reviews than for videos

    Text reviews are easier and cheaper to collect. Customers can write them with minimal effort at any time.

    Video testimonials typically involve greater effort – scripting, recording, and editing. This might involve hiring professionals and increasing production costs.

    Budget is a real factor. When done right, the higher investment in video testimonials often pays off through increased conversions, making them a worthwhile long-term strategy.

    4. Can add elements to a video

    Text Reviews can be embedded in various places (websites, emails) but lack the visual punch of video.

    Offer dynamic elements like music, graphics, and transitions for greater storytelling potential. These videos can be shared on social media, maximizing visibility. Content repurposing allows you to adapt them for different platforms, expanding your reach and influence.

    5. Videos improve brand recall

    Written reviews may blend into other written content on a web page, making less of an impact.
    Humans remember visuals and stories better than text alone. A strong video stays with the viewer long after it’s over.

    If your brand stays in a potential customer’s mind, you’ve already won a big part of the battle when they’re ready to make a decision.

    Here below is a Twitter quote to emphasize the importance of video testimonials:

    We have made videos for 150+ B2B & SaaS companies.

    Explainer Video, Product Demo, Remote Video Testimonials, and more.

    Factors to Consider When Choosing Testimonial Format

    Here below are some factors to consider when choosing between testimonial vs review format:

    1. Purpose/Goal of the Testimonial

    What outcomes do you aim to achieve?

    Quotes and ratings offer quick validation, while videos and case studies provide in-depth stories that emotionally connect with your audience.

    2. Target Audience

    Who are you trying to reach?

    Consider their demographics, preferences, and online behavior. Testimonials that address the unique issues your target audience faces will feel more relevant and trustworthy.

    • Are they tech-savvy young professionals more receptive to videos? Or older consumers who may prefer written formats?
    • Where do they hang out online?
    • Will they be browsing your website (a case study might work), checking social media (short video clips), or reading reviews on third-party sites (written reviews are suitable)?

    3. Placement

    Where will the testimonial be displayed?

    For example, we usually tailor testimonials for landing pages to align with the specific product/service featured on the page. This helps us focus on benefits that are directly relevant to the visitor.

    Here are what other pages might mostly carry:

    • Website: Consider a mix of quotes, case studies, and videos.
    • Social Media: Short video testimonials or visually appealing quote graphics.
    • Email Marketing: Text-based testimonials or links to video testimonials.
    • Ads: Snippets from video testimonials or impactful quotes.

    4. Budget

    How much are you willing to invest?

    The most effective approach often involves using a blend of testimonial formats tailored to your specific goals, audience, placements, and budget constraints.

    • Low budget: Focus on written testimonials, social media testimonials, or simple customer-generated videos.
    • Medium budget: Invest in short, professionally edited client testimonial videos.
    • High budget: Consider full-fledged case studies with professional videography and editing.

    We know how to sell your story using your product UI

    Why Video Testimonials are More Effective than Written Testimonials

    Video testimonials often pack a more persuasive punch than written ones for several key reasons:

    1. Trust

    Viewers can see the person speaking, hear their tone of voice, and observe their body language. This creates a sense of authenticity and personal connection that’s harder to achieve with just text. They’re less likely to dismiss a video as something the company made up.

    2. Emotional Impact

    Video testimonials capture a customer’s genuine enthusiasm, excitement, or relief. These emotions are contagious and resonate with viewers on a deeper level, making them more likely to relate and internalize the message.

    3. Memorability

    Humans process visual information much faster and retain it better than text. Video engages multiple senses, making the testimonial more likely to stick in the viewer’s mind.

    4. Storytelling Power

    There are different types of video testimonial and each one is selected based on your specific goals. Customers can explain their problem, the solution your product/service provided, and the positive impact in a way that’s both relatable and impactful.

    5. Shareability

    Videos are the most shared content format online. A great video testimonial is more likely to get shared on social media (YouTube, Instagram), expanding your reach and organically increasing brand recognition.

    Here is another example of a testimonial video by Lawcus for Content Beta:

    Making a video for B2B & SaaS products needs a different mindset.

    When To Use a Testimonial Video or Write-Up

    Different occasions might demand different types of social proof. For example, on a product page, where a short, focused video testimonial could showcase a specific feature and its benefits. In an email newsletter, where a written testimonial with a customer’s photo adds a personal touch.

    1. When to Use Testimonial Videos

    • Building Value and Trust: Videos are good at showing genuine emotion and non-verbal cues, greatly increasing trust in the customer’s experience.
      Greater trust → more credibility → more value (when more customers trust your brand)
    • Complex Products/Services: When your product/service has multiple features or requires a more detailed explanation, a video can illustrate the benefits in a visually engaging way.
    • Emotional Storytelling: Videos are perfect for storytelling. They allow you to highlight a customer’s pain points, the transformation your solution offered, and the resulting positive impact.
      Note: Video storytelling isn’t about listing product features or using flashy marketing tricks. It’s about creating a real connection, showing your audience that you understand their problems and that you have a solution that truly helps.
      Audiences are tired of empty claims; they crave the authenticity that video delivers. By showing real people and their experiences, you build trust in a way that words and pictures alone never could with video storytelling techniques.
    • High-Value Offerings: If you have a premium product or service, the higher investment in a video testimonial can be justified by the potential for greater conversion rates.
    • Social Media Impact: Videos are shareable and drive engagement on social media platforms, expanding your message’s reach.

    2. When to Use Written Testimonials

    • Quick and Easy: Written testimonials are faster to collect and publish, perfect for when you need social proof on short notice.
    • Budget Constraints: If your budget is limited, written testimonials offer a cost-effective way to gather customer feedback.
    • Specific Feature Feedback: When you want to showcase the benefits of a particular feature, a short and focused written quote can be effective.
    • Multiple Testimonials (not always): Text testimonials are easy to display in batches on your website, allowing visitors to scan through numerous reviews quickly.

    Use impactful reviews and testimonials together for the best social proof and SEO value. Also, continuously collect new stories to keep your social proof fresh and relevant.

    We have made videos for 150+ B2B & SaaS companies.

    Explainer Video, Product Demo, Remote Video Testimonials, and more.

    What To Include in Written and Video Testimonials

    Here below is a table on what to include in a testimonial vs review:

    Element Written Testimonials Video Testimonials
    Customer Identification Name, title/company Name, title/company, brief introduction
    Problem Specific challenge faced The challenge faced, told in a relatable way
    Solution How your product/service solved the problem How they found you, how your product/service worked
    Results Quantifiable results (e.g., "increased productivity 20%") Demonstrations, positive change, enthusiastic delivery
    Personal Touch Short quote, unique detail Genuine emotion, passionate recommendation
    Call to Action Mostly not included Direct endorsement (e.g., "I highly recommend...")
    Visuals Photo of the customer (optional) Branding elements, product demonstrations (if applicable)

    Why Choose Content Beta?

    Want to create a video testimonial that shows all your potential customers why they should choose you? Do you want to obtain the maximum potential of a client’s testimonial? Then you are at the right place.

    With a proven track record and 150+ satisfied clients, Content Beta is a reliable partner for all your video marketing needs. Our full-stack Creative as a Service team is for hire at a monthly flat fee. We offer over 150 creative services, including SEO-optimized videos.

    What sets us apart?

    • Transparent Pricing: Our pricing plans specify the time allocation for each content asset, so you know exactly what you’re getting into.
    • Efficiency Turnaround: Experience fast 1-2 day turnarounds for simple tasks and roll over any unused credits to future services, ensuring zero waste.
    • Seamless Collaboration: Our cloud-based platform enables your team to collaborate effortlessly with ours. Make easy point-and-click revisions and manage all your brand assets in one centralized location.

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    So, testimonial vs review, which one is better? It is important to understand that reviews and testimonials aren’t mutually exclusive. A winning strategy often involves using them both in moderation, depending on the context and placement.

    Written testimonials offer volume and SEO benefits, while impactful videos build trust and emotional connection. This combination provides potential customers with diverse and convincing evidence of your brand’s value.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    Often, yes. Video testimonials are more effective than written ones because they engage viewers on multiple levels with visuals, sound, and the customer’s authentic emotions. This makes them more memorable and likely to build trust.

    The testimonial that is better for your business depends on your goals and resources. Written testimonials are faster to collect and cost-effective. Video testimonials often have a greater impact but are more resource-intensive.

    Yes, you can combine written and video testimonials. A mix of formats is a winning strategy. Use video testimonials to capture attention and written ones for volume and SEO benefits.

    Reviews are customer feedback, both positive and negative, often found on third-party sites and the positive ones on your landing pages or website.

    Testimonials are carefully selected, positive customer stories that you showcase on your own channels for marketing purposes.

    We have made videos for 150+ B2B & SaaS companies.

    Explainer Video, Product Demo, Remote Video Testimonials, and more.

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