Is Video the future of Reviews?

In many meetings, workshops, interviews and lectures, we are asked the question what the future of online reviews will be. For the past five years, our answer to this question has been: video. We believe that:

  • In the next 1 to 3 years most retailers have added the possibility to upload a video review to a product landing page;
  • Brands turn their earned video media from everyday influencers in a video gallery on their own websites;
  • Consumers prefer watching video reviews above written reviews;
  • Video reviews have more influence on the purchase intention of consumers than text or images.

Is a video review more effective than a review in text or image format?

A scientific study has been done to get an answer to this question. Here’s the layout of the study:

Products they used in the study

A backpack, a digital camera, and a video game

What effects did the scientist test?

  • The credibility of the review
  • Helpfulness of the review
  • The persuasiveness of the review
  • Effect on the intention to purchase the product

Which review formats did they test?

Text, image, and video.

Findings of the scientific study on the effects of a video review vs. text and image reviews

Interaction effect on Persuasiveness

The persuasiveness of a review was highest in video format and mostly for the backpack. This was not what the scientists expected. They thought the camera would do best. Further on in this blog I will share some light on why we think the backpack scores best.

Interaction effect on Credibility

The credibility of a review was almost equal in all three review formats with one exception: the video game got a significant better credibility score in a text review compared to the image and video review format.

Interaction effect on Helpfulness

Video reviews were regarded as most helpful for all three product types. Text and image were almost equally regarded as helpful. As with persuasiveness, the video review of the backpack was the winner in the video review format.

What effect does a video review has on the consumer purchase intention of a consumer?

This is, of course, the million dollar question. We have already seen that video reviews have a strong effect on three different interaction behaviors but does this mean it also has such an effect on the consumer purchase intention? According to the study it does. Based on the study, to quote the scientists, we strongly support the hypothesis that video reviews have a stronger effect on the consumer purchase intention of a consumer.

What do the findings of this study mean for the review marketing strategy of a brand?

For sure it means that brands need to start getting video reviews about their products. How they do it, differs per brand and product type as it turns out that many variables have to be considered when thinking about video reviews.

Many variables impact the success of Video Reviews

Here are a few variables that impact the success of video reviews:

  • Length of the video
  • Quality of the sound in a video
  • Who made the video
  • Is the video authentic?
  • What product is reviewed in the video

Although all these variables have some kind of effect on the viewer, at this point for every brand, there is no other way than trying out what works and what doesn’t. No scientific research has been done that helps us create the right formula for video review success.

This means for all of us that we need to test if shorter video reviews perform better than longer ones. And we can only assume that video with good sound is regarded as more helpful than those that have poor sound. But we need to test that assumption too.

The study gives us a clue on one thing: the product type that benefits most from video reviews. A backpack is considered a search and experience product, the digital camera is seen as a search product and the video game as a pure search product. A product that is both a search and experience product seems to be most effective.

Would you like to know more about video reviews?

If you, like many of our Clients need video reviews too and want to know about the subject, don’t hesitate to contact one of our teams.