11 inside tips for an effective customer testimonial video

George M. Hughes, Founder and Creative Director, Small Films

28th June 2021

written by George Hughes

If you are in the business of selling business-to-business then you are probably facing some of the same challenges we all face:

  • Grabbing your ideal customers’ attention is hard. 
  • Building trust with them so they buy from you is a slow process. 
  • Communicating the value your product or service brings is not always straightforward. 

It’s frustrating because you know you have a fantastic business that can truly help your prospective customers. So why can’t they see that? 

This is where video production comes in and specifically customer testimonial videos. If anyone asks me what’s the first video I should create for my business, I always tell them to go shoot some customer testimonial videos. These things are like business rocket fuel. 

Customer testimonial videos are where you put your existing customers on camera to talk about working with you. They talk about life before your product, why they chose to work with you, what life is like afterwards and why they would recommend you. 

They are going to do more for your company than virtually any other marketing asset. Here’s why…

  • Customer testimonial videos are like word of mouth on steroids.
  • Your customers will sell your services better than you ever could. 
  • They are going to win you leads and close more deals. 

I’m sure you’ve already got written testimonials from happy customers. They are probably buried somewhere on your website getting very little attention or they sneak into your quotes and proposals as an afterthought But unlike text, video is highly eye-catching. It engages the viewer because you can tell a story. And it can’t be faked or manipulated like written reviews. 

The best part is that customer testimonial videos can be put to work as a sales and marketing tool via your website, social media, email and even paid advertising. You can actively use them to generate interest in your business and bring customers across the line. 

But, but, but… 

You need to have a proper plan of attack when adding these powerful weapons to your marketing arsenal. So before you commission a video production company or videographer to do the work, here’s my 11 insider tips for an effective customer testimonial video. 

TIP 1: Choose the right customers

Sounds obvious doesn’t it but this is the most important part to nailing a customer testimonial video and it’s easy to get this wrong. Your “best customer” with your “best success story” might not always be the best person to put on film. Remember, you want them to really sell your services to new prospects, so they’ve got to have a bit of charisma and feel comfortable on camera. If your customer is a major introvert or a monotonal bore, then they might not be right for this project. Maybe there’s someone else at the company who could speak on camera instead? 

TIP 2: Choose the right case study

Customer testimonial videos are going to work best when the case study is simple to follow with a clear outcome. Whilst it’s great to know that you are “lovely to work with” and “nice people”, what your prospective customers are going to want to see its results. So pick a case study that demonstrates a tangible benefit to the person talking. Also, think tactically about what areas of your business your sales and marketing team need help with. Maybe it’s enterprise clients you have the most trouble getting across the line. If that’s the case then think about creating some customer testimonial videos from some of your enterprise clients. 

TIP 3: Script it but don’t script it. 

If you want your customer to come across as being genuine and truthful, then it’s best not to script the video and ask them to read from an autocue. Far better to ask them questions and get genuine responses. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t write a script of what you hope they’ll say and then ask them questions to try and elicit the right answers. So if you want them to say “working with the team was a dream” then ask them “how was it working with the team”. And if you want to say “we double our turnover as a result” you ask “did turnover increase after working with us?”

TIP 4: Nail your storytelling

A good customer testimonial video has a beginning, middle and end. Also known as the narrative arc. In this context you want to start by introducing what life was like for the customer before they engaged your services, they should then talk about why they chose to work with you rather than someone else. They should move on to talking about the process and how it worked before then explaining how their life has changed for the better since working with you. A nice ending is for them to sign off by saying they would recommend you to anyone else looking for your services. 

TIP 5: Choose the right location

The ideal location for a customer testimonial video is at either your customer’s offices or your offices. By doing that, the camera operator can then shoot some additional footage to edit in with the interview footage. For example, general shots of your customer’s office and signage, your customer at work or having a meeting with the team. Shooting the video in a contextual setting will help bring the story to life. Consider “recreating” a few scenes like you greeting your customer at reception or having a brainstorming meeting. These will look great in the edit. 

TIP 6: Set dress the back of shot

If you want your customer to command authority and add weight to your business, then they need to be shot against a professional looking background that isn’t messy, cluttered or boring. Make sure that your team or your camera crew have spent time evaluating the background of the shot to make sure it reflects the right look and feel for your business. 

Tip 7: Coach a good performance

Charisma, conviction and an engaging performance are essential if you want your customer to come across well on camera. Your video production company or videographer will be responsible for coaching your customer on camera but if you are shooting this yourself, then make sure you allow plenty of time. If you have enough time then you can go slowly, put your customer at ease and get several takes of each question so they get into the flow better. 

Tip 8: Keep it short

The most effective customer testimonial videos are short and sweet. We typically recommend 1 – 2 minutes long unless you are getting into a quite detailed case study. People’s attention spans are short and they are time-poor, so don’t expect them to watch for much longer than that. Condensing your message down to a 1 minute video is also an excellent exercise in getting straight to the point. 

Tip 9: Use motion graphics

Adding some motion graphics to your customer testimonial video can be a great way to bring the information alive for the viewer. Make sure to include a graphic introducing the speaker’s name, job title and company. If any key points are raised then consider repeating them in text on screen, or if they mention how their revenue increased, how many leads they won or other facts, then put these statistics up as well. 

Tip 10: Include a Call to Action

So easily forgotten, all videos must have a call to action. You need your customers to “do something” after they’ve watched your video so make sure you tell them. Most call to actions after a customer testimonial video tend to be “visit our website” “book a call” or “email us”. Make sure you include your company logo and contact details. 

Tip 11: Leverage your customer testimonial videos effectively

The best video in the world will do nothing for you if no-one sees it. So you need to put in the graft and make your customer testimonial videos work for you. Put them on your website in key locations alongside a written case study, put them out on your social media channels and host them on YouTube for good SEO. Give them to your sales team to send to prospects so they can close deals faster and include them in proposals or quotes for work so you validate your product or service. You can even run paid advertising campaigns (with your customer’s permission) on Linkedin, Facebook, YouTube or Google. 

So there you have it. My 11 tips for nailing your customer testimonial videos. I hope you’ve found it useful. This should help you to brief your video production company or videographer so you get the best out of this project. And if you want to find out more about this awesome service then click here. 

customer testimonials infographic

Want Small Films to create customer testimonial videos for your business? Then give us a shout at info@smallfilms.com

 


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