Video testimonials are a great way to share your company’s success stories and build your reputation and trust with your existing customers and prospects. We were inspired to elaborate on this subject after reading Anna Johansson’s article in Business 2 Business Community. We also recently completed our own video testimonial (see above) and wanted to share our experience.
Johansson’s article focuses on 4 important considerations when creating your video testimonial:
- Contact the Right Customers – Make sure you use cheerleaders for your company, who are charismatic, enthusiastic and satisfied.
- Guide your customer, without writing a script – have an idea of what you want to achieve and guide your customer in that direction (more on this below).
- Be Brief, 2-3 mins. in length – Yes, but with a caveat (see below).
- Choose good lighting and a good background – True, but there’s more to it (see below).
Scripts are for actors
It’s important to go into your video testimonial with an idea of what you want to achieve, but without putting words in your customer’s mouth. We will often write a script with the questions and answers filled in, then try to ask the questions in such a way that we get the desired answers. Also, don’t be afraid to ask the same question in different ways; you may find you get the best answer after coming at the same question from another angle. Here are a few sample questions to consider:
- What was their experience working with your company?
- What problem did they have that your company solved?
- What was the outcome of working with your company?
- Describe the value that your company provided?
- What would they tell others about your company?
Also, it’s important to be open and responsive to answers that you didn’t expect. Your customers have their own unique perspective on what it’s like working with you, and this is an opportunity to find out something about your company that you may not have known. Dig into these unexpected answers to learn more details, and you’ll find out about some of your company’s strengths that you may not have been aware of.
Types of Video Testimonials
Johansson mentions a couple types of video testimonials. Her first type is where you cut between the interview with the customer and shots of their product, their work environment, or the customer working with you (AKA B-Roll). The other is simply showing the customer talking. Our video testimonial above is similar to her first example, but we decided to interview several of our clients and combine it into one video that focused on a theme. By featuring multiple customers in one video, it may be easier to tell a story about your business. We have a video on our blog that illustrates her second example and you can see it here. Also, don’t ignore the possibility of customers submitting their own videos to you. These could be as simple as a webcam video, but you could also create a contest around the video testimonial and give a prize to the customer who submits the best video.
Video Testimonial as Case Study
There is another way to approach your video testimonial, and that’s as a case study. In this example, you feature both your customer and your employees that worked with your customer on a specific project. The video details what problem the customer had, why they chose your company, and the process they went through with your company to solve the problem. This is another good structure in which to tell a compelling story about your company. Enlisting your employees who were involved in the project allows you to share parts of the process that your customers may not have even been aware of, and in doing so, you illustrate the process from multiple perspectives.
Brevity – but don’t sell yourself short
There is much talk about the short attention span of viewers, and the importance of keeping videos short. This is true, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be thorough in the production process. Take the time to get multiple answers to the same question, because it may take a few tries to get the answer you’re looking for. Take advantage of all the time your customer is willing to give you. If you have excess material, you may be able to use it in more than one video. It’s in the editing process where you shorten your material down to the appropriate length; disk space is cheap, so don’t be shy about shooting extra.
Production values for video vary greatly (and is determined by skill as well as money). However, these days a lot can be done with affordable technology, so experiment and see what you come up with. Lighting and a good background are important, but having good sound is just as important. And putting your subject in a quiet environment is just as important as having a good microphone. Also, after you’re finished with the interview with your customer, try to take some time to get shots of their workplace, their employees and their products. Remember what they talked about in their interview, and try to get some shots in their workplace that you can use in the video to illustrate what they talked about. This is the all-important “B-Roll” that will flesh out the story.
We hope we’ve given you some ideas on how to approach video testimonials. Your customers can be your most important spokespeople, and featuring them on video is a great way to share their experience with your company.by