Testimonial Videos: A Powerful Marketing Tool

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Before you complete a purchase, are there any steps that you take before swiping that card or clicking the “purchase order” button? Well, you’re not the only one. Consumer research shows that “97 percent of consumers read online reviews before making a buying decision in 2017”. (You can read more on that subject from Bryan Caplan here) . What does this mean for your business?

Customer reviews are becoming more important and influential in this digital world. Reviews are easily given and easily accessed by everyone. This can be both beneficial and detrimental for a business. While you can’t always control the reviews, you can make sure that share the positive feedback as much as possible. This is where customer testimonial videos come into play.

We’ve all seen customer testimonials and understand their purpose. These videos are high-quality content, give a lot of positive insight into the company, and it allows your future customers to hear from your current ones. That is extremely valuable.

Creating testimonial videos can be a lot of work, so here are some insights on how to execute a project like this.

Pre-Interview

  1. For any customer testimonial, you need to find customers willing to participate. Not everyone is willing or feels comfortable getting behind a camera and speaking to someone about a product that they purchased. The key is finding and motivating a customer that has a positive experience with your company. You can reach out to past customers and incentivize them with a gift card to participate. If you survey customers regularly, reach out to the ones who give great feedback or contact the ones who have already given positive reviews on their own. The most recent customers, who have recently have interaction with your company are usually the easiest and best volunteers to attract.
  2. Once a customer has agreed to participate and the interview has been scheduled, you need to give the customer some prep information and confirm details. In an email, confirm the time, date and location. Also, give them answers and guidelines to the following type of questions: What should I wear? How long will it take? What should I say? For the last question, in order to remain authentic, tell the interviewee that while it is good to start thinking about what you are going to say, the conversation, however, will not be scripted. Instead, it will be an informal chat with the camera rolling. Then give them a couple sample questions to look over.
  3. Before, going to the interview, make sure that you have all of the questions that you want to ask planned out. Even though you can’t and won’t control what the person will say, it is important to remember that you have certain goals and objectives with this project. Have a clear idea of what you want to highlight, whether that’s customer service, the product itself, or hear the story of your customer’s and his/her experience.
  4. Whether you are filming the interview yourself or hiring someone to create this video, it is important to make sure that you are on the same page and the vision of this project is understood by everyone. Also, make sure that all equipment is ready and tested before going. If you are doing it yourself, feel free to conduct a few practice interviews. Be interviewed yourself on camera so that you know what your customer will feel like when they are being interviewed. See the “DIY Kit” suggestions at the end for some simple equipment to easily get started.

Interview

  1. Setting up for the interview can be tricky and should be well thought out. Here are some basic aspects to think about:
    • Background
      • Not too distracting
      • Not vulnerable to changing elements during the duration of the interview
    • Lighting
      • Determine shadowing on faces
      • Strong, main source of light (sun, light through window, light)
      • Secondary light if needed
    • Framing
      • Subject in line with the rule of thirds
      • Eyes looking across the majority of the screen/empty space
      • Camera at or near eye level
      • Enough space above subjects’ head
  1. Once everything is set up and working, have a conversation with the interviewee while he/she is behind the camera before getting into the questions. Help them feel as comfortable as possible. Chances are that your customer has not been behind a camera and interviewed before and that will be apparent in the final video if they don’t feel comfortable enough.
  2. When conducting the interview, only look down at the questions you have prepared when it is time for the next question. While the customer is talking, be engaged and maintain eye contact. Looking down at your questions or checking the camera over and over again will distract the interviewee. Making it a real conversation will make a difference in the end.
  3. The main camera that captures the customer speaking will be what is called your “A-roll”. B-roll is secondary footage that compliments your A-roll. No one wants to watch a video of a talking head. B-roll makes it more interesting and pleasing to watch. This footage needs to compliment not take away from the main message. Make sure that you have a plan of when, what and how you will obtain your B-roll footage.

Post Interview

  1. Follow up with the customer after the interview. Thank them for their time and give some highlights of the interview experience. Let them know when the video will be completed and share it with them once it is. The customer will be excited to see what they helped create and be motivated to share it with others.
  2. Put together your final video and share it with a few people to get some feedback. Make any necessary changes. Now you can publish it and reap the rewards. You can place these videos in certain places on your website, share it on social media, show it to customers at your store, etc.

When done correctly, customer testimonials are very beneficial to your company. Your future customers will listen to your current customers through these videos. They will have a positive experience and connection with your business before they even make their first purchase.

*DIY Kit:

  1. Tripod- https://amzn.to/2aYhjxt
  2. Smartphone holder tripod mount- https://amzn.to/2yKb1h0
  3. Microphone- https://amzn.to/2CTD3d9
  4. Light- https://amzn.to/2yrjB1e

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