Humans are social beings; we are hard-wired to crave approval, belonging, and third-party validation. In business, this validation can be easily achieved over the Internet, at the touch of a button, as people research the products and services that serve their goals and make their lives better.
You can tell potential customers how great and unique your product or service is, but it will never have the same impact as if it were to come directly from your customers. Whether we like it or not, the experiences and opinions of our peers have a significant impact on our decisions. That’s why video testimonials are a great marketing tool for building brand trust and exactly what your prospects need to be converted into paying customers.
What makes customer video testimonials so powerful and unique?
Testimonials are essential to business credibility, and their influence comes from customers’ trust in the product, service, and experience. They are a key form of marketing, as potential customers want to ensure they choose the best product or service. According to Insivia, viewers absorb 95% of the information when it is in a video format, as opposed to only 10% of it when it is in text form.
Many would contend that this also applies to written versus video testimonials. They become even more effective as a tool for content marketing. Additionally, the body language in video testimonials adds an additional layer of familiarity, credibility, and authenticity, making it easier for viewers to relate to people speaking about the products and services.
How do you create 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 about 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 show business, and 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 you are initially 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 in-depth research about the customer, the product benefits you want to emphasize, and prepare relevant questions.
If you want to get the best results out of your video testimonial, think first of the audience for whom 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 customers’ biggest pain points, challenges, and frustrations. Then, based on that research and with your audience in mind, prepare a list of questions and topics you want to cover during the interview for the testimonial.
These questions should be oriented towards offering your prospects additional, 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 any prior rehearsal, in an open and relaxed way. That will then translate into a natural, authentic vibe for the testimonial as well.
If you need inspiration for your interview questions, feel free to contact us.
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 obvious choices, but you can also get creative. You might consider a quiet corner at an event, an indoor setting such as a local cafe, or somewhere outdoors with a nice background and few distractions.
When deciding on a location, you may want to consider its relevance to the viewers of the video testimonial. For example, if you are filming a story about healthcare technology, you may want to film in the middle of the patients who are the end-beneficiaries of the product, rather than in a server room where the 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 lighting.
There are many options to choose from in terms of technical equipment, from different types of microphones, various lighting techniques, 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 needed equipment and technical know-how.
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.
Your focus should also be on asking more questions that spark emotions and emphasize the benefits of your product, rather than 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 a good idea to avoid asking yes-or-no questions that may make it harder for you to follow up. It can be difficult to get the response in the final video without having you in the frame too.
6. Now the fun part: editing!
At first glance, editing can seem overwhelming. Think of your raw video footage as a diamond in the rough which needs polishing in order to become a 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 does not have a good, logical flow, consider trimming it down or rearranging the story to give your video testimonial rhythm and structure. It is best practice to keep the video under 3 minutes, or even under 1 minute if possible. Our attention spans are decreasing every day, so 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. This typically includes shots of the city and surroundings, customers in their office environment, arriving at the office, attending meetings, working alongside other team members, or sitting in front of the computer and using your product.
While editing, also take the opportunity to correct lighting errors and remove background noise as much as possible. You may also want to emphasize certain aspects of the video with graphics and animations that will make it more personal. This includes adding your brand colors and background music to give a motivational pace to the testimonial and make it more entertaining.
If camera and crew, finding a set, travelling to a location, production, and editing are too much of a hassle or simply out of your budget, don’t leave yet: there are options. The best one is user-generated content. Authentic video testimonials at a fraction of the budget of a cam and crew production, faster to produce and helping your marketing team keep up with the endless demand for customer content.