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.
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.