6 Proven Steps for Producing Video Testimonials that Boost Sales and Marketing

On the fence about producing customer testimonial videos? Wondering if the hassle and the consistent spend are really worth it? Stop wondering and start doing! 

Humans are social beings; and we are hardwired to crave approval, belonging, and third-party validation. In business, acquiring that validation happens over the internet, at the touch of a button as we research the products and services that serve our goals and make our lives better. 

You could incessantly tell your potential customers how great and unique your product or service is, but it will never have the same impact as when that message comes directly from your existing customers. Whether we like it or not, the experience and opinions of our tribe are having a significant impact on our decisions. That’s why testimonial videos are a great marketing tool for building brand trust and exactly what your prospects need in order to convert themselves into paying customers.

What makes customer testimonial videos so powerful?

Testimonials are vital to business credibility and their power stems from customers’ trust in the product and delight and the service. They are the number one marketing asset companies crave, because it’s validity in the eyes of prospective customers looking to makes sure their selected product or service really is the best fit out there. But according to Insivia, viewers absorb 95% of the information when it’s in a video format as opposed to only 10% of it as a text.

One might argue this could also be said about written vs video testimonials. An already powerful piece of content marketing becomes even more comprehensive as the body language in the video adds an extra layer of familiarity, credibility, and authenticity to the person speaking about your products and services.

Steps for creating your first customer testimonial video

There are several things to consider during the process of creating valuable customer testimonial videos that will serve as marketing and sales material for you team. Here are a few, easy, steps to help you get started:

1. Find the right customers for the job.

You could start by thinking who will be willing to help you in this initiative wholeheartedly and who can put your product or business in a good light. After shortlisting a few names, try to tag the names you have based on expected camera presence. Track criteria such as coherence of ideas, presentation skills, love of showbiz, passion for teaching. Anything you know about your advocates can help.

The message you want to send across to the viewers through the testimonial should be educational, should be a true and inspiring story, and it should be about the person and their experience, not your product.

When you are ready to approach customers and present them with the opportunity to express their enthusiasm, try to contact them personally. Even if initially you might be tempted to get behind the laptop and write an email, a call is more personal and faster. It allows you to get into more details about the proposal and answer any concerns immediately.

2. Do your homework and prepare relevant questions.

If you want to get the best results out of your video testimonial, think first of the audience for which you are producing the content. Look at the buyer journey and walk a mile in your prospects’ shoes. What are some common questions you see in the decision-making process? What are some repeat objections that your sales team has to address over and over again? To make your research even more accurate, try speaking with your colleagues from sales, product development, and customer success. They have a front-row seat to your customer’s biggest pain points, challenges and frustrations. Then, based on that research and with your audience in mind, prepare a list of questions and the topics you want to cover during the interview for the testimonial.

These questions should be oriented towards offering your prospects additional and exclusive insights about your product’s benefits, the overall buying experience, and the delight associated with the overall purchase.

While it might be helpful to give your advocate a heads-up about the questions you will ask, the key to a successful customer testimonial interview is having your clients answer your questions spontaneously, without previous rehearsal, in an open and relaxed way. That will then translate into a natural, authentic vibe for the testimonial as well.

3. Find the perfect location for an interview.

The key to finding the perfect location for your testimonial is to choose a spot where your customers feel comfortable enough to have an open chat with you.

Your office or their office are the obvious choices and are good options, especially if the crew is familiar with the space. But if the circumstances ask for it you can get creative. A quiet corner at an event, an indoor setting like a local cafe, or somewhere outdoors with a nice background but few distractions. Your options are limitless.

What you might want to consider is that the surroundings can be relevant to the viewers of the video testimonial and boost the message you want to send across. For example, if you are filming a story about health care tech, you should film in the middle of the patients that are the end beneficiaries of the product, not in a server room where your solution is installed.

4. Set up the camera, adjust the lighting, and provide context for your viewers.

After you’ve found your ideal location and prepared the list of questions for your client, it’s time to set up your equipment – microphones, cameras, and lightning.

There are many options to choose from in terms of technical equipment, from different types of microphones, various techniques for lighting, to the positioning of the interviewee. Ideally, you don’t want your interviewee to face the camera directly, just a bit to the side, so your customers feel comfortable and the conversation flows naturally.

At this point, you could choose to work with an in-house video production team or an external one that could also supply you with all the equipment and technical know-how needed.

Once everything is set up, it’s time for the camera to roll.

5. Start your interview with confidence and a plan.

Now that it’s finally time to have that nice, casual conversation with your most loyal customers and you’ve prepared a list of questions in advance, try to conduct the interview in a way that doesn’t seem rehearsed or robotic. Don’t tell advocates what they SHOULD answer. You can’t know better what has delighted them about your brand. Instead, you could use your questions more as a guide than a script and focus on the conversation itself, walking your interviewee through all the stages of the story line.

Your goal is to cover all your questions and let your customers openly speak about their experience with your product, service or business. That should provide you with plenty of raw footage for the editing.

You focus should also be on asking more questions that help spark emotions and emphasize the benefits of your product instead of its features. Here are some examples of questions:

  • What were some of the main business challenges before you discovered our product or service?
  • How did each challenge impact your business day, your colleagues, your clients?
  • On what websites did you start looking for a solution to these problems?
  • How has our product or service helped address these challenges?
  • How has your activity or the experience of your client improved as a result?

It’s also a good idea to stay away from yes-or-no questions that might make it difficult for you to follow-up and it is often difficult to get the response inside the final video without capturing you as well. 

6. Now the fun part – editing.

At a first glance editing can seem overwhelming. You should think of your raw video footage as a diamond in the rough that needs a little polishing to turn into a pure, valuable gem for your sales and marketing efforts, capturing the voice of your happiest customers and attracting even more of them.

The goal is for your video to have a steady storyline at the end of the editing phase. If your footage contains repetitions or doesn’t have a good, logical flow, consider trimming it down or rearranging the story to give your video testimonial rhythm and structure. It’s a best practice to keep the video under 3 minutes. Even under one minute if you can.  Our attention spans decrease every day. You want to make sure your video is long enough to capture the most important part of the conversation, but short enough to keep it relevant and on point.

Another important part of the editing process is to incorporate b-roll that can give your audience context. Typically, that includes shots of the city and surroundings, customers in their office environment, arriving to the office, attending meetings, working alongside other team members, or sitting in front of the computer and using your product. While you’re at editing, take the opportunity to correct lighting errors and remove background noise as much as possible.

You might also want to emphasize certain video aspects with graphics and animations that will make your video personal. This includes adding your brand colors and background music to give a motivational pace to the testimonial and make it more entertaining.

Don't miss out on the user generated trend!

But what if cam and crew, finding a set, traveling to location, production and editing are too much of a hassle or simply out of your budget? Don’t give up just yet, there are options and alternatives. The best out there is user generated content. Authentic video testimonials at a fraction of the budget for cam and crew productions. Also, faster to produce and helping your marketing team keep-up with the endless demand for customer content.

Find out about the latest trends in User Generated Content and how it creates sales and marketing boosting armies for our beloved King Content. Download the guide below and send it to your customers so they are educated on how to help you best.

Taking on your first video testimonial project can be intimidating, but with the right support, you’ll succeed. At Advocacy Maven, we have acquired a great deal of knowledge about customer testimonial video strategy and we can help you take your video marketing efforts to the next level.

Tell us what you think!

Do you have experience with video testimonials? Are you leveraging your users directly or do you send a video crew to the customer location? Do you film at events? Post your comments below: