How to Create Powerful Customer Testimonials Using Video
Smart companies create customer testimonials. Why? So their potential customers can hear from (and relate to) people just like them. They learn why they should buy a product and how it could be beneficial to solving their problems. Customer testimonials can do a fair bit of the legwork of a marketing and a sales team, helping to convince leads and move them further through the funnel and closer to a closed deal. According to a research done by Nielsen, 92% of people will trust a recommendation from a peer, and 70% of people will trust a recommendation from someone they don’t even know.
A customer testimonial video entices your audiences, offers them a human story and a real person to connect with through voice, body language, emotion, and empathy.
Testimonials provide evidence that you actually do solve customers problems and in fact, offer some pretty cool benefits. Written testimonials from the average Joe on your website are one form – and are certainly better than nothing – but prospects are sometimes hesitant to believe them if they’re not from a known person at a known company. Video testimonials, on the other hand, are a lot harder to ‘fake’ and therefore, seen as more believable.
So what goes into a customer testimonial video? What are the secrets to crafting a strong video? Here are a few tips of what we do to prepare our video testimonials.
Keep your testimonial video under 2 minutes long
You can go longer but if you’re not versed in editing, framing and pacing, it could get disengaging and the viewer walks away. We say 90 seconds is usually the best and most effective length, with this optimal break-down:
- The first 30 seconds should establish who the customer is
- The next 30 seconds talking about the problem they faced
- During the final 30 seconds, discuss how your product solves their problem
A great customer testimonial is what most B2B buyers are searching for once they land on your site.
Who should you get on camera?
The common mistake with most businesses is putting just anyone who wants to give you a review in front of the camera. While your client intentions are good, it may not translate on camera. You have to be strategic about it so you don’t waste your customers’ time or your own (or your budget!)
Go for an industry leader or an influencer. If you can get a customer with name recognition, that will provide massive value as your enterprise salespeople use your testimonial to sell your product. You know that person who is pretty well known among networking events, in your target geographical area, or someone who has a social media presence. Those are who you want to target first in your video testimonials.
When you’re creating your testimonial video, avoid showing multiple people at once. Instead, interview each person individually, and blend the segments together during the post-production phase. This way you can avoid what often happens when one person is talking in a group setting: someone always looks off screen at someone behind the scenes or simply just looks unengaged.
Aim for Simplicity
Trying to fit in every single benefit into one video might seem like it will get you the biggest bang for your buck. But it actually does the opposite. First, it’s really difficult to fit all of those benefits into such a short video and secondly (and probably more importantly), consumers can only digest so many messages within a short time period. Stuff your video with too many benefits and the viewer will become overwhelmed and walk from your testimonial video without taking away a single thing. Focus on one key project (usually the most recent) for your client to talk about. That way the client isn’t all over the place fishing for compliments in attempt to make you look good.
If you want to tell a deeper story, identify a customer who has a really amazing story to tell. Consider making a video testimonial standalone shoot. You’ll be able to highlight your strong partnership with that company while also giving them a marketing video for them to use as well. This investment it requires a video production crew for one day for one customer, so make sure if you’re going to create this type of video, pick a customer who has really strong story that is therefore worth the investment.
Being on camera can be nerve-racking for everybody. So help your customer feel at ease by setting appropriate expectations. Explain the schedule for the day of the shoot, who else you’ll be bringing with you, and any other details you think they should know. Offer guidelines on what your customer should wear and think about before you come for a candid conversation. Share your vision for the video, too.
You’re busy. Your customers are busy. You both have a million things to do and hardly any time to spare to sit down and chat about the wonderfulness of your product/services. The planning stage can greatly ease both parties state of mind as well as cut down time that maybe missed from the work day. This involves getting answers for where you will shoot, who will be on camera, who is the crew, when will you shoot, and other logistical questions that need to be locked down before you can press record. Here are three main things to consider:
- Questions: Lay out your questions ahead of time to get the stats and information you need out of your interviewees, and plan what your story. Try to keep to the 30-30-30 second rule (30 seconds to introduce your customer, 30 to talk about their problem, and 30 to discuss how your product solves the problem).
- Interviewees: Plan out who they will be, especially if you’re shooting at a conference, because people are busy and you could be missing the gold.
- Location: Figure out where to shoot (and how to get there and back!).
This is where working with a video production company really saves you the time and an insane amount of hassle. But if you’re looking to get your feet wet, the production stage involves the hectic fun of actually filming! You’re on the clock at this point, so everything needs to run as close to the plan as possible so you can get the most out of it. Something will likely go wrong—and that’s okay. If you know this can and will happen, you’ll be better prepared to deal with it. Here are a few things to consider during this stage:
- Lights: Make sure your customers look good with the right lighting. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? But with the wrong lighting, you can cast odd shadows and make people look a little sketchy. That’s the last thing you want in your testimonial video since other customers are supposed to relate to and enjoy this story!
- Camera: Shoot multiple angles in HD, so you’re presenting a good, enveloping experience of the story.
- Action: You need a director who is responsible for the camera and lights and the technical aspects of the shoot. You need a producer as well, who will elicit sound bites from the customer, and who deeply understands the dynamic between you and your customer. That way, the video won’t feel like one scripted, robotic and awkward interview.
- Audio: Audio can’t really be fixed during post-production, so you need to make sure you have good equipment and it’s adjusted accordingly. The right audio will help distinguish you as a credible professional or an amateur!
This stage is when you piece together everything that you did during production, including fusing b-roll, interviews, audio, and the music bed all together into one creative experience.
- Sound bites: Edit to make sure the video sounds good, even if you’re experiencing it with your eyes closed. Does the story line make sense? Once you have this in place, the story stays as is, and you can move forward to the next step.
- Creative edit: This is when you layer in b-roll, motion graphics, and music, and select the best camera angles.
- Upload: Get the file where it needs to be for your own access and distribution, and turn it over to the customer so they can distribute it!
Don’t be scared about creating your own customer testimonial videos! Everyone can start doing it right away, you’re already likely carrying around a camera in your pocket, so start small if you need to. Talk to your customers and test the effectiveness of video for yourselves. Once you get going and want to take your testimonials to the next level, you can always hire a video production company so they can manage all the things you’re either unfamiliar with or don’t want to deal with. Having a video retainer is great for something like this because you can just give us a list of names and we’ll go out and produce those videos for you.
Your audience craves video. Your business needs video. We’re here to make that decision easier for you. Give us a call,