Tips for Creating Video Testimonials

Create Effective Video Testimonials That Really Work

Our guide to producing authentic video testimonials to convert the ‘undecided’

You know how great you are at what you do. Your staff also know how great they are, but how can prospective customers know how great you all are without you being perceived as simply blowing your own trumpet?

For many years ‘Word of Mouth’ (WoM) has been widely regarded as the most effective form of marketing. It’s something the PR industry has grasped in earnest – it’s hard to beat the power of third party credibility when it comes to communicating a positive reputation.

“Video Testimonials are the next best thing when it comes to Word of Mouth”

But instead of waiting for news to naturally spread about how much your product or service has helped many of your customers or clients in the past, why not get proactive with your recommendations with the creation of video testimonials.

Before you do however, let us give you some tips based on our own experience of producing video testimonials for our clients over the years.

Top Tips for Creating Effective Video Testimonials

Keep it Real

Video testimonials from your customers or suppliers need to be ‘real’ – i.e. feature a genuine customer instead of an actor and should not be overly-scripted. An authentic endorsement from somebody who is genuinely happy to have dealt with your organisation is worth its weight in gold.

Give your subject a helping hand

Speaking on camera isn’t the most natural thing to do for most people, and when put under the spotlight, it’s very easy to become tongue-tied or indeed suffer a complete mind-blank. So to help get the monologue flowing, arm yourself with some loose questions to help guide your subject if they get stuck for words.

Ask the right questions

Don’t just prompt your subject with questions such as “what else”? or “anything else” – you’re not going to extract much meaning from that. Prompt your subject with carefully thought-out questions that will enable you to get some real insights and will enable you to frame the video testimonial in a way that will showcase your key messages.

Questions to ask your testimonial interviewee include:

• Tell us why you chose [name of product] / chose to work with [your company name]?

• Had you previously tried other products/services? Why didn’t they work?

• What specific feature did you like most about this product?

• How has this product/service/relationship made your job easier?

• Why would you recommend us/it to someone else?

Set your objectives before you start

Before diving in, think about the objectives of your video testimonial.

What do you want viewers to do after viewing the video, how do you want them to feel, and how will your testimonials be promoted / integrated into your current marketing activity?

Having an idea of what outcomes you hope to achieve will enable you to set out the testimonial in the most effective way. If you are hoping to use a video alongside a written case study for the website, you’ll want to ensure you include a bit more context and background to the subject’s purchase.

If on the other hand, you are hoping to create a montage of footage from various customers for an advertising campaign, it’s important to ensure your frame your questions in the right way in order for your soundbites to fit your message.

Think about any additional footage you might need

Think of creative ways in which you can include other relevant footage within the video testimonial. Adding some cutaways of your subject enjoying your product or engaging with your service can not only add content to their testimonial, but also adds an extra layer to what could potentially become quite a one-dimensional video.

Don’t be afraid to reference the negative

It’s a fact of life that nothing runs smoothly all of the time, so don’t be afraid to include reference to any problems / something negative your subject has encountered – either in their dealings with your company or product, or prior to purchase. Not only does this help with ‘keeping it real’, but also provides the opportunity to mention how great you or your product was in resolving the issue.

Story telling in video testimonials

Tell a story

Just like with a written testimonial, don’t forget the what, why & how before talking about the success of your product or service. People need context and they need to be able to hear how somebody else’s experience may relate to their own.

Consider your branding

Remember that video testimonials are a vital part of your marketing mix and as such should be treated in the same way as any other piece of activity when it comes to branding, ‘house style’, and tone of voice. Think about how your footage is going to help reinforce your company image and ensure that the shooting style is reflective of your overall brand.

Do a few takes

It’s rare that you’ll get that perfect shot first time, so do a few takes and change the shot sizes so you can edit them together if needs be.

Make time to speak with your subject beforehand

Speaking to your guest interviewer before you start will give you an opportunity to put them at ease and ‘loosen them up’ before you start. It’s also a chance to discuss the desired outcomes of the video testimonial and help them visualise how their footage will be used.

Taking all of the above into consideration will stand you in good stead for creating a video testimonial, or series of videos that will help you convert viewers into real customers. Remember, that creating a video is never the ‘end result’ however and that once produced, you’ll need to have a clear plan for promoting it to your desired audience, whether this be via social media, on your website or through your email marketing.

Simon Greene Associates has over 30 years’ experience of bringing videos to life for companies large and small. Perfectly placed to advise you on what works and what doesn’t, our team would love to help you out on your next video production project. Give us a call on 01787 378422 or contact us today.

Choosing guest host or speaker for event

How to choose the ideal host or guest speaker for your event

When it comes to hosting an event, whether this be an award ceremony, conference or other, having the right host or guest speaker can make all the difference.

If you get it right, the results can be electric. If you get it wrong, your event will be remembered by everyone for all the worst reasons.

Celebrity Speakers & Event Hosts

Using a big-name ‘celebrity’ of screen, stage or business excellence as a guest host for your event certainly adds an additional hook for attracting delegates. But with speakers of this ilk often entailing a substantial investment, it’s important to ensure you not only choose the right person, but that you get the most out of their involvement.

So, what are our top tips when going through the selection process?

1. Consider your audience.

Are your delegates evenly split between male and female? Is one age group more heavily represented than another? Do the demographics of your event attendees lend themselves to a particular type of host? Keep all of these in mind and, book the best person for them – not just because the CEO or MD is a fan.

2. Seek advice and suggestions from a trusted agent or booker.

Being a famous TV actor or business guru doesn’t make someone a good awards host or speaker. Get some testimonials from those in the know to ensure your ‘special guest’ doesn’t fall flat.

3. Ask the agent about their relationship with your chosen host

Agents are numerous and some will offer faces just to appear bigger and more capable than they really are. The best agents are trusted by the artists and genuinely earn their 20%. Don’t assume that because someone is on their list that they know them well.

4. Don’t just go for the ‘biggest name’.

The most expensive name or biggest celebrity isn’t necessarily the best fit for your event. Their presence in the room is what your people will take away with them, so don’t be afraid to go with lesser known personalities, if feedback suggests they can bring something special to your event.

5. Write a brief.

Prepare a comprehensive brief and make sure that every single one of your requirements are detailed in any agreement or offer.

Celebrity Event Hosts

The guest host with the most!

6. Speak to your guest host or speaker before the event.

Arrange a briefing call with the celebrity / speaker / host a week or two before your event. Any earlier than that isn’t worth it as it won’t remain fresh.

7. Learn from your guest host

Work with and take advice from the talent you’ve booked. You may organise one event per year, but they are probably doing this all of the time. Take into account their feedback on what works and what doesn’t.

8. Longer doesn’t = better

In our experience, longer on stage doesn’t necessarily mean better value. Think of it along the same lines as ‘quality not quantity’. Take advice from the person you’re booking and what works best for them.

9. Look after your host

Almost goes without saying. Make them feel looked after from the moment they’re on site. Even the most seasoned of performers can be as human and vulnerable on stage as the rest of us.

10. Say thank you!

Finally, make a point of following up with a personal thank you for a job well done. The best gigs aren’t forgotten in a hurry and it works both ways.

Having helped major brands and small businesses plan, host and capture their corporate events for over 25 years, we are well-placed to advise you on how to turn your plans into a memorable occasion for all involved.

Let’s talk on 01787 378422, or drop us a line here.

Keep your powerpoint presentations interesting

How to keep an audience interested in your Powerpoint presentation

Does your Powerpoint include lots of facts and figures?

If you have to deliver a long series of facts, remember that it’s not the facts and figures that are important, it’s the underlying meaning or outcome of those facts that will strike home.

With that in mind, it’s important to structure your presentation in such a way that your message will truly resonate with those who are listening.

Figure out what your ‘story’ is before you begin, and take the audience on a journey with you that will result in them taking the action you want – whether this is changing their mind about a particular subject, encouraging them to sign up for further education, or purchase a product or service.

This doesn’t mean you should start your presentation with “Once upon a time”, just that you should build it in such a way that the chronology of the topic is clear.

Avoid ‘death by Powerpoint’

Can you think of any ‘hooks’ or plot twists that can be shared along the way to keep the audience interested and highlight your key points?

Avoid death by powerpoint presentation - our tips

You might find that writing an initial ‘script’ away from PowerPoint is helpful before you go diving into slides. This is a useful exercise that not only enables you to plan your story in advance, but also allows you to refine your messaging, including cutting and rewording any sections you’re not sure about, before spending too much time fitting text to slides that you may not need.

We have helped to create hundreds of presentations for our clients so are pretty well versed on what works and what doesn’t. If you need assistance in writing your script, storyboarding or getting your timing right, let us know.