Take a few moments to think about the last purchase you made. It could be anything from buying a new car or booking a holiday to selecting a film to watch with your friends last weekend. Whatever it was, there’s a good chance that you sought out a few customer reviews before you made your decision.

In this age of online opinions and commentary, consumers want to know if they can trust a business before they purchase a product or invest in a service, however costly that product or service.

Of course, third party reviews are beyond the control of businesses but there is another way to promote your business’s goods or services through independent third party opinion.

Enter the video testimonial.

The Power of Video Testimonial Content

The sheer volume of marketing and advertising content online can sometimes feel overwhelming. The result is that consumers tend to be unreceptive to many of the traditional advertising methods that were once extremely powerful drivers of sales. Sometimes though, appealing to consumers directly is important to clinch that deal or make that sale. But however you do it, direct video marketing will always sound bias because they are coming from you.

This is where testimonials can be so powerful, because they put a third party in front of the camera, providing a review or an endorsement of your brand, products or services. It’s this level of separation and independence from your business that makes testimonial video so convincing and influential in building trust with your audience and converting consumers who are very close to purchase.

It’s likely that your business has already received testimonials from your audience. You might have built a strong portfolio of Google reviews, or you might have received direct email correspondence that you have gone on to publish on your website. Whilst written testimonials are extremely beneficial, they do not carry anything like the weight that a video testimonials can provide. There is, after all, something extremely persuasive about actually watching someone enthusing about your business or products to camera.

Creating an Effective Testimonial Film

Customer testimonials come out on top as one of the most effective types of video content (after tutorial videos and video demos). Although video testimonials are easily one of the most powerful marketing tools available to you, they are notoriously difficult to get right. The implementation of a powerful and effective video testimonial strategy demands careful consideration and a clear plan that outlines your objectives.

Here are six key tactics and considerations to bear in mind when shooting a testimonial film:

1. Select the Right Customers

There are several important things to consider when you are selecting the clients or customers you want to feature in a video testimonial for your business. The first thing should be making sure your chosen customer has something good to say about your business. If you’re doing things right it’s likely that you have a large selection of happy customers to choose from, but do make sure to ask beforehand what they thought of you.

Another thing to bear in mind, is finding someone who is both compelling and comfortable talking in front of a camera. This can be a bit trickier, as it’s hard to vet people en masse. You might be able to find hundreds of people who like your brand, but unless they can provide compelling testimonial on camera, you will struggle to create a persuasive interview. This can be ameliorated to some degree by an experienced video production agency, who will be able to coach the subject in good interview technique.

2. Avoid Constraining Scripts

Testimonials need to feel natural and authentic, so avoid scripts. Although ideally you want your interviewee to say something specific, putting words into their mouth will nearly always make them sound inauthentic and undermine the entire point of your testimonial. Avoiding marketing speak in general is absolutely essential so avoid the temptation.

Instead, treating the situation like an interview and aiming to extract a natural and genuinely enthused response will always deliver the best results. You can then brief your interviewee on what kind of questions you’re going to ask beforehand, so they can mentally prepare for them.

Your interviewee might also find it easier to relax and provide honest and more convincing testimonial if you aren’t in the room; so letting your production company take over here is a good idea.

3. Emphasise the Why

Potential customers know that they can go to your website to learn about specific features and read product descriptions, so this type of information isn’t what they’re looking for when they choose to watch a video testimonial. Instead, they are looking for the thoughts and opinions of real people who have found genuine solutions in your products or services.

Asking your interviewee key questions will help you to ensure that your video testimonials provide the right information. These questions might include:

  • How did this product/service solve your problem?
  • Why did you decide to start looking for a solution?
  • What was most frustrating about your experiences before you started using our product/service?
  • What has our product/service allowed you to do differently now?

Specifically avoiding closed questions that elicit a “yes” or “no” answer will ensure that the responses you receive are useful, detailed and allow the space for your interviewee to talk specifics on how your product / service turned out for them.

4. Forge Emotional Connections

Sharing positive statistics can be an excellent way to appeal to certain consumers, however forging emotional connections is extraordinarily powerful and should ideally underpin every video testimonial you produce.

If a potential customer can feel how overwhelmed or frustrated your interviewee was before they discovered your product or service, seeing how your business has helped them to reach their ideal resolution can be extremely persuasive.

5. Integrate Supporting Footage and Strive for Clarity

Even the most compelling speakers will struggle to hold an audience’s attention for several minutes at a time if the camera is solely on them (regardless of how many angles you shoot them from). Integrating supporting footage that is relevant to what is being said will help you to create a visually engaging video that will hold the attention of your audience from start to finish.

Even the most compelling supporting footage won’t save a testimonial video that quickly gets lost in technical detail however. Whilst it can be important to get some of this information across, especially in a B2B setting, getting straight to the point immediately and talking about benefits not features will always work better so try to focus on that for the main.

6. Shape a Considered Marketing and Distribution Plan

It’s one thing to produce a great testimonial video, but it’s another to ensure that the right people watch it at the right time. Publishing it on your website and crossing your fingers simply isn’t enough, which is why a considered video strategy and activation plan is so important. At the very least you should aim to promote your final product across a variety of your paid, earned, and owned media channels.

Working with a Video Production Company

Although it might be tempting to reach for your iPhone, working with an experienced video production company will help you to produce a polished final product that will appeal to your ideal audience and deliver a solid ROI.

A professional video production company will have the creativity, experience and tools to ensure that your testimonial captures attention for all the right reasons. They will use a variety of techniques to do this, including implementing a professional interview filming technique, selecting the ideal soundtrack, and seamlessly integrating relevant cutaway footage to enhance the overall production quality of your video.

Additionally, they will understand how to get the most out of your featured clients or customers, who might not have spoken in front of a camera before. The result is therefore much more likely to appear authentic and believable, which is ultimately the core component of every successful video testimonial.

Testimonials deliver the most significant results near the end of your marketing funnel and, as such, should be convincing enough to enhance your conversion metrics. At a time when marketplace competition is fierce, video testimonials could be the thing that ensures you stand out from the crowd for all the right reasons.

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