Almost every consumer in the world today has similar buying habits. Before deciding to try a new bistro in town or buy a must-have item online, you find out what other people have to say. You don’t want to waste your hard earned money on something that won’t live up your expectations.
90% of consumers admit their buying decisions are influenced by online reviews (Marketing Land)
Word-of-mouth advertising is still considered as the most effective marketing tool there is.
Why? It’s all about knowing the experience before the purchase. When you decide to purchase a product or avail a service, you are not just buying a material object.
You are buying the experience you expect after using it. And that’s what customer testimonials are all about – sharing experiences.
- Customer testimonials have the highest effectiveness rating for all types of content marketing, with a rating of 89%.
And with the ever-growing popularity of social media sites, sharing those customer testimonials with a worldwide audience couldn’t be easier.
Why Customer Testimonials Are Powerful
Customer reviews have a big impact on your brand perception and sales growth. Here are its major benefits:
- Positive customer testimonials help to establish the credibility and reliability of your business.
- Customer testimonials help you present a wide portfolio of clients and it shows potential clients how diverse and versatile your company can be.
- Having customer testimonials on your own website can speed up the purchasing process for your customer.
But over the years, the consumer has grown smarter and now it’s difficult to prove the authenticity of these testimonials.
Anyone could have written this! – is the general thought consumers get when they read a testimonial.
In most cases, they are right. Many businesses have earned a bad reputation by fabricating make belief testimonials just to boost sales.
So what is the scenario now? Is there really no way to protect the credibility of testimonials anymore?
Enter The World Of Customer Testimonial Videos.
Customer testimonial videos work because:
- They are more engaging and customers will pay more attention to a video than a word copy.
- They feature real people and customers who you can actually see. This builds trust and authenticity of your brand.
- Great testimonial videos are designed in a way that highlights pain points that customers can relate to, and how your business can offer a solution to this. This helps to create demand through necessity.
- Videos are almost the only thing that people see on social media today. So testimonial videos can be shared on these platforms and you can reach out to a larger and more targeted audience.
- Website visitors are 64% more likely to buy a product on an online retail site after watching a video.
- Website visitors who view video stay on a website an average of 2 minutes longer than those who don’t view videos.
This blog is about the best tips to shooting an inspiring customer testimonial video. We will be covering two major areas in this blog post.
- Content tips for a creating a great testimonial video.
- Production tips for a great testimonial video.
So let’s get cracking
How To Make A Great Testimonial Video
#1) The Video Must Have A Story
Whatever the content of your video is, if there is no story, people are going to lose attention. It’s just human nature. Nothing sparks curiosity more than a story.
By this I don’t mean you start off your video with “Once upon a time..” (Although some brands could pull it off). By story, I mean there should be a flow to the message of the video.
Not a natural story-writer?
Not to worry, here’s what you need to know.
Your Story Should Have Two Structures:
1. An organising structure : This one is pretty basic. Here’s what it looks like:
Yes, It’s that simple, but don’t underestimate its value because of its simplicity. A lot of stories don’t seem quite put together because it either lacks a good start or ends quite abruptly. An Example of this would be like
- Start– The client starts to speak about himself and his needs.
- Middle– Then the client found out about your brand and all the great services that you provide. Explains how your brand stuck out from your competitors.
- Ending– The client wraps things up by explaining how his needs are now satisfied by your brand.
You would be surprised at how many brands out there fail to implement a structure like this. When you watch a video without a structure, you have no idea where things are going and all you hear is the client go on and on about the boring features of a brand.
Always remember that your viewer is human; to catch his attention you must tell a story.
2. A Concept Structure: While the above structure is important to hold the viewers attention, it is the concept structure that is going to make the difference between an average video and an inspiring video. This is what it looks like:
Customer Desire – This is what the customer wants to achieve ultimately . You need to think and find out what your customers deeper desires are. Let’s say you are a business like Skype.
What your customer wants – Technology to make video or voice calls to anyone around the world.
Your Customer’s Desire – To stay more connected to friends and family.
As you can see there’s a big difference.
Rarely is your character’s desire the product that you’re offering. Look deeper than that, and find out what they truly want—the thing that your product can help them achieve. – Wistia.
Always begin a testimonial video by making the client state what his desires are. All your potential customers will have similar desires, and reminding them of this is a powerful psychological trigger.
Pain Points: These are all the obstacles that come in the way of the customer achieving their desire. It’s important to mention these in the video as these are problems that potential customers can relate to. By reminding them of these pain points we are creating an urge or necessity to purchase
Solution: This is where your brand comes to the rescue with the solution. It’s important that the customer feedback sounds genuine. For instance making bold statements like “These guys are the best” or “Nobody does it better than these guys” can seem manipulative. Instead, as your client to talk about how specifically they benefited from your service. We will talk more about this below.
Outcome: Finally end the video with a statement of how your brand’s product or service brought the client closer to their customer desire.
#2) Avoid Memorizing Scripts.
The whole point of having a customer testimonial video is to show the human side of business. People love to hear about genuine clients and their experiences with doing business with you.
How do you expect to be genuine if you have your client in front of a screen talking like a robot?
This is why you should urge your clients to speak from the heart.
Here are some pointers to keep in my mind
- Have a long conversation with your client during the recording. Don’t jump right into the main discussion points. Ask him what he had for breakfast or how was the commute to the office. If it’s the CEO of a company, ask him about the story of the company. This makes sure that the conversation flows.
- Ask him if he has prepared any material for what he is going to say. Then tell him to forget all about it.
- Not everybody is a smooth talker. If you find the client stuttering a lot or using a lot of ‘ums’ and ‘ahs’ in the conversation. Pause the recording, polish the words that he used and ask him to say it again. At least this is just a modification of what he already said and so it would make him more comfortable.
#3) Connect To Your Audience Emotionally.
The objective of having a testimonial video is to convince and convert potential customers. But if there’s anything that sales persons and ad men have taught us, it’s that people are inspired to act based on emotion and not facts. So if you want your video to convert, you need to touch the viewers on an emotional level.
What can you do about this:
- Make a list of all the words that you think best describe your brand’s persona. It could be fun or inspiring and so on. Take a good look at these words and try to incorporate them into the theme of your video
Slack’s testimonial video is a good example of this. I would describe Slack with words like playful and simplistic. Now take a look at their video to see if you can relate to this
#4) Speak About benefits Over Feature.
It can be tempting to have your client talk about all the cool features of your product or service.
But the important thing to keep in mind is that people don’t care about the features.They care about how exactly these features will benefit them.
Think about Apple’s marketing tactic. Rather than say that iPods have 8GB of memory they told the people exactly how many songs or videos you can store with that kind of memory. The latter is what customers want to know.
Before the shoot, create a list of all the key features of your product or service and identify the benefits of those features from the clients perspective.
So if your client wishes to talk about the features of your product or service ask them how exactly those features helped them.
Let’s take a look at another example by iAuditor, a safety report management app for miners, firefighters, and safety inspectors.
You will notice that the technical features of the app are not even mentioned. They have really focused on demonstrating how the app has benefited them and made their lives a lot safer.
Suggested read: Ryan Waggoner’s Addicted Process To Get Customer Testimonials.
Production Tips For Client Testimonial Videos
#1) Keep The Client At Ease
Remember that the lead actors in your video are your clients. They may not be the most impressive actors. But that’s okay. We don’t need actors, we need real people.
The thought of being in the spotlight and in front of a camera can be overwhelming. It’s your job to make sure that the client is comfortable because if he screws up that means more hours shooting and that’s more cash out of your pocket.
Here are a couple of things you could do:
- Brief your client about the schedule of the shoot and what your expectations are. Give him an overview of the entire process, show him where all the cameras are and so on. Keep him in the loop.
- Before the shoot, suggest some ideas on clothes and what colors to choose from. Give him some options. Your client shouldn’t worry too much about what to wear the day before the shoot.
- Tell your client to stop focusing on acting and just have a normal conversation while shooting. You could have the same conversation before the shoot as a trial run.
- Ask your client if you can shoot the video at his office or any other place that he is familiar with. The shoot can be quite nerve racking, a familiar setting can at least make him feel that he is in control of his physical surroundings.
- If the client thinks only about the main talking points of the video, he is thinking too much. Avoid this by talking about a lot of things. Ask him questions that he can answer quite comfortably, and when you feel he is comfortable enough, slip in the main talking points. You can later trim the video to get just what you want.
#2) Shorter Videos Are Better
With the explosion of content on the internet, you might have noticed that our attention span has decreased dramatically. But have you wondered exactly how much?
According to a study conducted by Microsoft Corp., the average attention span of humans have reduced from 12 seconds to 8 seconds. Let’s put that into perspective – The average attention span of a goldfish? 9 seconds.
This is why it’s important that you keep your videos as short and simple as possible.
- According to best practices, the ideal video length is less than a minute, so plan your talking points wisely.
- Before the shoot, create a storyboard and estimate the average time you need to spend on each frame. This can be done after you create the Concept Structure as we discussed above.
- Brief your client, the expected time to spend on some of the questions so he can get an idea of how much information he needs to share
#3) Have A Unique Format To Your Video
A majority of the testimonial videos out there use a standard format of a single angle shot of the client talking directly to the camera. But viewers are tired of seeing the ‘talking head in front of a screen’ format. This format is not visually engaging enough.
Why do you think movies are so entertaining. The same scenes are captured through different perspective camera angles that make sure the audience are visually stimulated.
Here are some pointers to make your video more engaging:
- Setup multiple camera angles for the same shot. If you do not have enough cameras, try repeating the conversation with the same camera setup at different angles. This has the added advantage that your client becomes more comfortable with what he is trying to say.
- Use different locations. Take a tour of the client’s office space and try to get shots of you talking to the client while walking around. This takes care of keeping the viewers visually stimulated
- Talk to other employees of the client, not just the CEO. Try talking to different employees who were influenced by the product or service that they provided.
- Take shots of your product or service in action. Ultimately that’s what you want to showcase, so having clients using your product is a good idea.
Some Alternative Approaches To Customer Testimonials (From Boast):
- Send out an email asking customers to shoot a video about why they love your business.
- Schedule a tweet or a Facebook post asking followers to share a favorite memory of your brand.
- Run a contest that asks customers to showcase creative uses of your product.
- Set up a booth at your next event where visitors can shoot a quick video about their experience.
- Mount an iPad in your office or storefront where customers can rave about you.