9 Tips to Help Create a Killer Testimonial Video


9 Tips to Help Create a Killer Testimonial Video - Eric Sachs SEO

Video is a powerful form of content – and it works for brands online. Nearly 52% of marketing professionals across the globe say video is the type of content with the best return on investment. And considering 65% of people are visual learners, what better way to connect with your potential customers than by featuring one of your most satisfied customers on video?

If you’re avoiding video for any reason and think a written customer testimonial will do the trick, you could be missing out. While a written testimonial will help with building trust and credibility, it won’t likely pack the same punch as a video. Your website visitors are 64% more likely to follow through with conversion after watching a video.

How can you make the most of testimonial videos from current customers, to win more customers in the future? Take a look at these tips.

Prepare and Send Questions Ahead of Time

To prepare the interviewee for the experience, prepare and send the questions you plan on asking ahead of time. This is especially important if they have never been on camera before, or if they are nervous about their appearance.

This allows the interviewee to prepare their answers ahead of time, and avoid any surprises during the recording session. They don’t have to stick to their written answers 100% of the time, but it lets them get an idea of what they want to say and how they want to say it before the big day. And, if you don’t want the final product to be presented in an interview format, you can edit the questions out when you reach the post-production stage. Which brings me to my next point…

Ditch the Script

I know it seems like you’d want a script to keep the star of the testimonial video on track. But the problem with scripts is, you can tell when someone has memorized their lines, or is reading from a piece of paper that’s off camera – or a teleprompter like setup.

You don’t want the video to sound forced, robotic, or insincere, and that’s the risk of using a script. Instead of having your marketing team write out something you want the person to say, talk to the customer ahead of time about the things you want them to talk about, and include any key points you want them to mention.

When it comes time to sit down for the interview, sit and have a conversation with the person. The more candid the video, the better. It may not feel like it’s the best approach, but it will allow authenticity to shine through – and that’s what you and your prospects want.

Present Context

Provide context to your viewers by showing something about where the video is taking place. This could be where you’re recording geographically, or other background information on where you are and why you’re there. This way the viewer has a bit of information about the client and the story you’re presenting with the video.

Keep it Short

Most marketing videos need to be kept short, but this is definitely the case for a testimonial. Your sweet spot is about 45 to 60 seconds – and you can say a lot in that time period – but you can easily go up to three minutes or so.

Does this mean your entire interview needs to take that long? No – you’ll want to spend more time with the interview than that, because what you want in the end is up to three minutes of usable material. The magic of the camera and editing – which we’ll get to in a bit – allows you to splice the video into something that works as a great testimonial even though you may have had a rather extensive conversation during the interview itself.

The final product will likely be a result of many snippets of the conversation, so there’s no need to worry about finding a continuous 45 second clip that’s perfect. You can create it in the editing stages.

Speak to Benefits – Not Features

Features of your product or service are great because they are usually what provide the benefits. But people don’t really care about the features – they want to know more about what the product or service will do for them and how it will make their lives better. Focus on the benefits – and show, rather than tell what those are, if and when possible.

Think about time saved, money saved, ease of access and so on. How did your product/service help your interviewee solve problems in their personal or professional lives? That’s what you want to talk about.

But, keep it simple. You don’t want to cram every single benefit in a video, because your video will likely run way longer than you need it to. Not only this, but people can only digest so many messages at a time – so if they watch the video and there’s too much going on, they may not really remember anything.

The thing is, you can have more than one testimonial video, from different customers. What helped Sally may not have been an issue for John, and what helped John may not have helped Teresa. When you have multiple testimonials, you can showcase a wider variety of case studies where your products or services have helped people – without trying to shove all the benefits into a single video.

Think About Locations for Recording the Video

To create an effective video, the background and context are only part of the equation. You also need to consider the overall composition of the video, which means taking time to consider various locations and venues for recording the video.

The right answer depends on several factors such as: your industry, the products or services you provide, the proximity of your customer to your space for meeting, and so on. If your office space is sufficient, that’s wonderful – but it will only work if you have customers who are local to the area, or are willing to travel.

Make it Visually Interesting

If you have a wonderful conversation with your interviewee, you’ve got one component of a stellar testimonial video – the audio. No matter how interesting the testimonial video is, it can get boring if it’s nothing more than three minutes of a talking head.

That’s where post-production comes in to add more flare to the final product. You can include product shots, multiple camera angles of the customers, add text on a plain background, or b-roll footage.

Share a Story

Stories sell. They allow prospects to relate with your interviewee and your business. Though it may feel awesome to convince a customer to record a testimonial for you, that’s not enough. You need more than an expressionless, robotic customer, to get the most from your efforts.

Ask them to tell a story when you put them in front of the camera. Maybe they can talk about what led them to your product – the pain points they were dealing with, and how your company solved it. Or, they could talk about their experience with your company compared to their previous provider, detailing why they’ve chosen to remain your customer. Just make sure they don’t mention the other business by name – you don’t want to make it seem like you’re attempting to make your company look better by trashing the competition.

Edit and Polish Before Using with Prospects

No matter how natural your interviewee is in front of the camera, you’ll have some editing work to do. The video needs to be edited so the message has a nice rhythm to it, and remains short and smooth. You’ll need to be sure the final video is a small enough file size to stream well on the web, but high enough quality that it looks professional.

If you recorded the video yourself, but aren’t confident in your editing skills, you may want to consider outsourcing the task to someone with more experience. Keep in mind that hiring a professional videographer often includes editing, but is typically too expensive for many startups and small businesses.

Video Doesn’t Have to Be Intimidating

If you’re not ready to create videos on your own, let us help you. We have video design and marketing expertise that can help you craft the perfect testimonial video for your audience. This way you can focus on what you know best, while avoiding the stress of creating the content yourself.

SEO virtuoso, CEO @Sachs Marketing Group. Focused on being of service to business owners - helping to better position them in the eyes of their audiences.

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