How to Create a Successful Testimonial Video

How to Create a Successful Testimonial Video


Marketers are passionate people. Once something produces results, they will stick to it as long as they can. Such is the relationship between the modern-day small business owner and video marketing. And yet, old school reviews remain one of the most useful tools for creating a trust for your product. Up to 84% of customers rely on reviews and testimonials, trusting them as much as they would a close friend.

With the proliferation of video on the modern web, testimonial videos have become the cornerstone of a lot of companies’ marketing strategies. Corporations like Evernote, Segment, and Google are all part of the testimonial video craze. So, how do you, as a businessperson and marketer, create a successful testimonial video lead generation campaign?

What is a Testimonial Video?

First things first, a testimonial video is like a review in video form. It involves having a satisfied customer share their experience with your brand and have them vouch for you to potential leads.

Powerful and effective testimonial videos are generally composed of the following segments:

  • A short segment that deals with introducing relevant parts of your company – it could be as simple as displaying the logo or a close-up shot of the office building or introducing the staff.
  • An introduction to the person who will be delivering the video testimonial and business they do, including how relevant it is to your business.
  • The next segment takes the most time and bulk of space. The client should summarize the kind of problems they face at their regular business and how they ran into yours. If they have tried other products before, they should also share their experiences with them and why your solution ultimately benefited them the most.

The Preparation Phase

Before you even get started making a video, you need to figure out what kind of feeling your video is going to have. There are a lot of approaches to it – Google often does playful videos with a lot of effects edited in, for example. However, the video needs to feel as authentic as possible. A good testimonial video will typically let the customer say whatever they have to say without the use of a script.

Believe it or not, people can tell the difference between a scripted recording and something that’s genuine. That is, of course, unless you’re able to afford both terrific actors and amazing playwrights and editors to pour over your scripts. A scripted video can be done, it just takes a lot of more effort and planning to get right.

On that note, make sure you enlist the help of professionals for as many individual roles as possible. Have a team of writers handling the questions that are going to be presented to the client, get a crew of cameramen for the shooting, and have video editors and graphic designers to take care of post-production finishing touches.

Lastly, always work on their time, not yours. Since they are sacrificing time out of their day to help you out with potentially no compensation in return, give them time to elaborate themselves. Have your detailed questions at hand, and, if possible, make it a conversation rather than an interview.

What kind of client should do the video testimonial?

Video marketing is a game of patience. Don’t jump into it and accept the first person to say yes to your request for an interview and place them in front of a camera. The client should be well-versed in your business with regards to three different areas:

  1. Statistics regarding your business

The customer you choose should have a good grasp of what your product does together with tangible evidence of how they have been able to benefit from using it. For example, the ROI of your product in their business model or how well it is integrated with existing solutions are all nice pieces of information to have at hand.

  1. Are they or the company they represent well known?

A customer that works for relatively larger firms that have already built up brand reputation will be an easier sell to people than smaller businesses. It does depend, however, on what kind of video lead generation you’re going for. If your target audience is small business owners, a firm that tackles a well-known problem by integrating your business would still be a big win.

  1. Do they agree to your use of the recorded film?

People can be finicky, and they can land you a lot of legal trouble if they are unable to make up their minds. Before the video goes live on your site, make sure it has gone through the legal department first. It will save you a lot of headaches.

  1. Where and when can the videos be taken?

If we lived in an ideal world, we could phone up the client, and they would tell us they are free during any day of the week and would be delighted to stop by the studio for a video shoot. You could be lucky enough to catch a client at such a time, but what if you aren’t?

If they can’t make it to you, it will come down to a total of two choices:

Go to where they are

The video doesn’t have to be set against a lavish backdrop to be great. The testimonial video would be a lot easier to work on in post-production if the camera crew can set up their equipment, but if you have no choice, even set against a blank wall would have to do.

At a conference

If there’s a conference coming up any time soon and the client will be participating, you’re in luck. It’s an excellent opportunity to show up and record some high-quality videos for better video engagement rates and pass it on to the design and animation team. They will take care of making sure it works for the modern video player and satisfies the average customer.

Tips to make your campaign successful

Make your video as natural as possible

Reports suggest that video marketing leads to 97% increase in brand awareness and an increase of 77% in sales. With this level of ROI in video marketing, you tick all the right boxes while creating a video campaign.

The most important thing your video should relay at the end of the day is authenticity. It should feel as natural as possible. The trick to being able to capture believable and natural responses is asking the right kind of questions. They shouldn’t be loaded – such that they can only be answered within a limited subset.

Additionally, allow them the time and freedom to speak without having to be directed on where to go by you. They will likely have a lot to say, so it will be up to you to select whichever portions of their answers suit you the most. The highest video engagement rates recorded have been with testimonials that feel like conversations rather than clear responses to questions.

Don’t rush it

Getting the client and recording the video is only half of the dirty work. The most challenging task is the editing process, which can take several weeks and at times, even months. From a designer’s perspective, video editing is a lot of work and should not be rushed, or you risk getting a stale product at the end of the day.

If you did everything right, you should also have a lot of different footage to base your final testimonial video from. Once done, all you need to do is get the right host and video player, and you’re good to go!

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