Category Archives: Big Tips

Have you thought about your video testimonial marketing lately? If not, then it’s something that should be high up on your list of priorities. After all, there’s no endorsement quite like one from a genuinely happy customer who wants to spread the word about your product or service. 

Deciding to do a customer testimonial video is one thing, but making it is where the hard work starts. That’s why we’ve put this guide together, looking at how to make a customer testimonial video to market your business. 

The importance of word of mouth

Word of mouth is one of the oldest forms of marketing, and it also happens to be one of the best even in today’s landscape. An impressive 73 per cent of customers say they trust a business after reading a positive review. 

For all of the marketing tricks out there, organic opinions still reign supreme. Consumers are just much more comfortable trusting other consumers than they are the word of your business. Essentially, it doesn’t matter how great you think your offering is – it’s all about what the people using it think. 

What is a customer testimonial video? 

So how do you capture the thoughts and opinions of customers? By using video testimonial marketing, you can share the message of your customer base with the world while increasing your business numbers. 

Many marketers use customer testimonial videos as opposed to written reviews because they offer a live insight. You can implement one to illustrate the value of your product or service in video review form, adding more vibrancy to the testimonial in the process. 

That’s not to say you shouldn’t focus on written reviews, too, as they certainly have their worth. But using video testimonial marketing gives your reviews another dynamic and brings them to life.  

Handy tips to make an excellent customer testimonial video

Find the right way to ask your customers for a review

Candidates for your video testimonial marketing should be familiar with your business rather than brand-new customers. The longer they’ve used your brand, the more comfortable they’ll be being an advocate for your offering. 

It also may be worth approaching them via email. Speaking to them on the phone may be somewhat uncomfortable and make it feel like you need a direct answer. However, an email gives them time to think about your offer, and they may be more inclined to accept if there’s no pressure involved. 

Lastly, make sure that you’re completely transparent about what you want – detail how the testimonial will work and what will be required from their side. You will get them on board earlier if you lay out the format and what they can expect from the experience. 

How to ask the right questions

So you’ve got customers onside and ready to tell the world about your brand. That’s great! But there’s still a little way to go. The last thing you want to do is press record and let them have at it. Instead, you want to create a tightly-knit video that hits all the main points to make your brand stand out. 

Therefore, you need to be ready with the right questions to ask. Think about the problems you’re trying to solve with your products or service and what it was about the experience with your brand that made it stand out for the customer. 

Also, think about what made them happiest about using your company. Was there a particular thing that you did, or was it the overall experience? By getting customers to answer these questions you can paint a picture of your brand and give the audience more insight into your company. 

Shooting the video

Think about the angle and scene: where will you film the video? Will it be indoors or outdoors, in an office or somewhere more casual? All of these elements will contribute to the type of video you create, as will the angle.

Lighting is key, so you should test the setting of the chosen location to see if it offers the right amount of light. You should also ensure that the people in the video are clearly visible, with their faces in the shot and voices well heard. 

If it’s someone’s first time doing a testimonial (or being on camera), it might be worth considering a quiet location where they feel comfortable and can fully focus without outside pressures and noise.  

Making them feel comfortable is essential. Your customer is doing you a massive favour by agreeing to be in the video, and you should do everything possible to calm their nerves. You want them to speak confidently about your brand, which means they need to be comfortable in front of the camera. 

Once you do start filming, leave the camera rolling and capture as much footage as you can. At the time, you may not feel like you got everything you needed. However, when reviewing, it often turns out that you captured more than enough compelling content. 

Editing is the last and most important part of the process. The video will need to look sharp, so you’ll need to edit it to ensure the finished version looks polished and is ready to go live. Video testimonials should also be relatively short to keep the viewers’ attention, which means you’ll need to edit it down to achieve a good run time. 

In-house or using an external video production company? 

Filming and editing are two primary components of a video testimonial, and you want to make sure you get them just right. If you have experience in filming and editing (or have team members with experience), then you may want to keep it all in house. 

However, it’s worth exploring external options and hiring a professional video company. They will be able to tap into their experience and execute a watertight video that hits all the right spots and showcases your brand in a good light. The in-house option may be the cheaper one, but you want your video testimonial to be a success. And working with a professional filming company can help you achieve that goal. 

Summary: making a customer testimonial video that markets your business

Customer video testimonials have the power to add authenticity to your brand that marketing campaigns can’t. They’re real and showcase genuine people talking about authentic experiences. Capture that, and you won’t need to make any magic happen because your customers’ words will speak for themselves. 

George Hughes is a former television Director and the Founder of London based video production company, Small Films. His company helps brands to communicate with a wider audience using strategic video content.

If you are looking for a testimonial video company to shoot your next film, then do get in contact with Small Films.

Video explainers can be highly beneficial assets for your business, as they showcase exactly what you do and how you do it. But for a video explainer to pop and have the desired effect, the script needs to be just right. A great script clearly explains the contents of the video and gets people intrigued about your brand. A bad one can do the opposite. 

But how do you write a killer video script? We’ve put together a list of handy tips, so your script is more Hemingway and less text chat. 

Why you need a killer video script

The story is the heart of your explainer video, and it’s key to whether or not it will be a success. Of course, the story comes from the script, which acts as the foundation of your entire video explainer. Get the script right, and you can strike up an instant connection with your viewers as they understand your value proposition right off the bat. 

How to write a great video explainer

Define your story

It’s easy to get carried away thinking about all the great things your brand offers and therefore you’ll want to include every one of them in your explainer. But diving straight in and trying to feature all your products or services probably won’t end well, leaving you with a convoluted message. 

Instead, you should lay out your story in advance. Start by deciding on the key themes that you want to cover in the video. This could be a problem-solution led video that poses your company offering as the hero that makes your customer’s life that much easier. 

Alternatively, it might be a process overview, which offers a how-to guide for your product or service. Whichever one you choose, you’ll want to provide a basic setup and payoff for the viewer, encouraging them to take action once it has finished. 

Grab the viewers’ attention from the get-go

People have short attention spans, especially when it comes to interacting with a business online. Therefore, you don’t want to spend too long setting the scene. Instead, try aiming to draw them in and get their attention quickly. 

Outline the problem they face from the very beginning, and get straight into the details. You only have a few seconds to capture their attention, and a video explainer isn’t the place to spend a significant amount of time building up the story. 

Write words that bounce off the page

Writing a script isn’t like penning a blog post or other forms of written content. It’s created with the aim of a live performance. Therefore, the language needs to differentiate from your typical article. 

Don’t try to sound too smart with complicated words – keep it simple and use words easily translated into visual actions and essentially come alive once spoken. Simple changes in dictation can really enhance your script. Your script shouldn’t be condescending or overly complicated and instead should sound conversational.

Speak to your viewer 

Making something that could be seen by thousands of people sound personable can be tricky. But instead of thinking about all the people who will watch your video, write the script as if you’re talking to just one person. 

Speak to your audience directly and look for opportunities to enhance your viewer’s experience. Write in a second-person voice, referring to them as “you”. It might seem like a minor tweak, but it can have a major impact on the audience. 

Explain the how and why

The how and the why aspect of your video is the most important section, and it requires plenty of thought when it comes to writing it into the script. Share all the benefits, showing your audience how you solve a problem with your offering.

This section also needs the most energy, as it’s the part where you want to excite the viewer. Be selective about what you highlight and keep it concise. This is the section of the video that could invoke a buying decision, so give it the most time out of everything else in the video. 

Don’t write more than needed

Explainer video scripts should be as long as they need to be and no longer. The average explainer video lasts for around 60 seconds, which roughly equates to 160-180 words. It doesn’t sound like much but gives you the chance to pen a watertight script. 

And remember: those 60 seconds won’t be filled with words. You will also need to think about language, tone and pauses throughout the script. That’s why you should keep it to 180 words maximum, even though the voice actor can perform up to 240 words per minute. 

Internal or external?

You may also deliberate over whether to write the script in-house or use an external company. In-house is the cheaper option, but unless you have professional script writers working for you, it’s worth exploring using an external company. 

A professional video company will aid the process along the way, asking you to fill out a brief. This is designed to help you think about your business from a different perspective and define what matters most.

They will take that brief and turn it into a watertight script that highlights the best parts of your business and resonates with customers. So before deciding to write the script in-house, it’s worth exploring external options before making a decision. 

The right script for your explainer video

If you nail the script for your explainer video, you can expect a positive response from viewers. And by following our tips, you’ll have a strong chance of writing an explainer video script that conveys your message and gets people watching with interest and interacting with your brand. 

If you would like support from an explainer video company with your next project, then don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Explainer videos are becoming an integral part of marketing for brands, but how do you make one that actually sells your product or service? It’s easier said than done, especially with so many videos out there competing for our attention. But it is possible, and we’ve put this guide together so you can make an awesome explainer video that sells.

Some explainer video stats

Before we get into the finer details about how to create a great explainer video, first, let’s look at some important statistics. According to the State of Video Marketing Report, 96% of people said they watched an explainer video to learn about a brand’s offering.

Seventy-nine percent went on to say that a brand video persuaded them to buy a software tool or app, while 68% preferred watching video over text to learn about a new offering. In other words, video content – and specifically explainers – have the power to strike a chord with audiences. 

Create explainer videos that actually explain things

You’d be surprised how many brands create an explainer video that does little explaining. That’s not to say they haven’t tried; it’s just that they get so caught up in the idea of creating a video that they lose sight of its purpose. 

Preparation is key when it comes to making an explainer video. Don’t rush into things, and spend some time thinking about what you want it to achieve. Put down a blueprint and ask yourself questions as you go: does it make sense, can you refine it to make it clearer, how good is the script (more on that in a bit)? 

A meticulous approach is required, especially if it’s going to sit on your website home page. An explainer video will be the first interaction many people have with your brand, so you want to ensure that it’s clear and concise. 

Write a killer script (with great narration)

Or get someone to do it for you. Either way, you’ll need a strong script if you want to reach the right audience and send a message that resonates with them. A well-written script holds the key to nailing your explainer video. 

We recommended getting this done externally, as it allows someone to come on board and provide a fresh perspective. With the right direction, they should be able to explain it in a way that viewers can understand, whether they’ve never used your brand or are familiar with your offering. 

It’s worth exploring the idea of hiring a professional video company. They can help you with the script and even filming, asking you to fill out a creative brief that will make you dive deeper into your business to derive the best aspects from your brand. 

Keep them short and sweet

While there’s an argument that more people are reading and watching long-form content, a video explainer is best kept short. Ultimately, it’s sales-led (as opposed to purely informational-led), and the less you say, the more likely people are to remember your message. 

As a rule of thumb, industry experts say you should keep it to 150 words per minute, and an explainer video should be no more than a couple of minutes. The longer the video, the higher the chance that people will switch off early. 

You may be tempted to cram tons of information into the video, but less is more in this case. Only 58% of people watch business-related videos to the end if they’re under one minute. So keep that in mind when you’re confining the length of your explainer video. 

Choose the right type of explainer video

There are several different types of explainer videos, so you want to ensure that you pick the right one. Options include live action explainer videos, where a non-animated video provides information about your business. 

You could opt for a live stream on social media, offering a real-time experience to your audience and fielding questions from viewers. Animated explainer videos are the most popular format, as they allow for more creativity than a live-action video. 

Another option includes a whiteboard explainer video, where animation is hand-drawn and erased on a whiteboard. This is one of the most cost-efficient types of explainer videos available.

Focus on the benefits (not the features)

Reeling off feature after feature might sound good as far as industry jargon goes. But customers want you to cut through the noise and watch a video that explains how your product or services will help them. 

Show a clear problem, solution, how it works and a call to action. If you abide by those four factors, then you have a great chance of creating an explainer video that pops and conveys your intended message. 

Customers are time poor and don’t have the patience to hear hundreds of benefits. Instead, they want solutions to their problems. So focus on providing the pros in your explainer video and get consumers excited about using your brand. 

Summary: selling with explainers

Explainer videos should be at the top of your marketing agenda, and by following our tips, you can increase the chance of making killer videos that sell. You can boost your bottom line, too, as you drive up sales with a watertight video explainer that acts as a gateway to your business and gets consumers hooked from the second it starts.

Check out our article, how to find the best video explainer company for more insights and some killer explainer video examples.

If you are looking for an explainer video company for your next video project, then do get in touch – we’d love to help.

This is probably one of the most common questions we get asked when talking to new clients. And no surprise. It’s extremely difficult to get a sense of what video production costs when doing a cursory google search. Our industry is shrouded in mystery over what we charge, with most companies holding their cards very close to their chest. Not only that, but when you do get quotes in from a few suppliers, everyone seems to be charging wildly different amounts. No wonder that “how much does a video production cost?” is one of the most burning questions on the lips of people looking to do video. 

This is the ultimate guide to unpacking costs so you can make an informed decision about how much to invest in video and how to pick a supplier that’s the right fit for your business. I’m going to let you in on the secrets of how we charge for video production and the general industry benchmarks for various types of video. Lets demystify pricing and make life easier for everyone! 

Firstly, it’s worth mentioning that there’s a very good reason that most video production companies don’t advertise their prices. There’s nothing nefarious about it. The simple reason is that most don’t have fixed prices for videos. Why you might ask? Because most video projects aren’t a cookie-cutter approach. Each project often has multiple elements to it that are figured out once the client has provided a brief. Imagine you want a new kitchen… you could do it yourself with some second hand units for a few hundred pounds or get a high-end kitchen company to install it for tens of thousands. The same principle goes for creating video content for your business. 

Let me give you an example. Three companies have the exact same brief for a video – they want a 2 minute explainer video that talks about their new product. The first company is a start-up that hasn’t made any sales yet and the budget for video is coming from the founder’s own bank account. The second company is a 5 figure small business. The third company is a multinational corporation with 2500 employees. As you can probably appreciate, each of these businesses will have different expectations for the outcome of this video. They also almost certainly have different budgets. So this is what it costs in this hypothetical situation. The startup has no budget, so the Founder hires her friend’s son to do the job. He’s studying film at Bournemouth University. He’s happy for the experience but she still pays him £300 which is minimum wage over the 10 days it takes him to complete the project. She gets lucky and the film does the job. It’s very rough around the edges but it’s only a stop gap while the company generates some momentum. The Small Business hires an experienced freelancer that they often work with. He charges them £3,000 + VAT. He completes the project in 30 days because he’s fitting it in around other jobs. They are happy to wait because they know they’ve got a deal. The outcome is good but not award winning. Finally the big corporate hires a production company for £30,000 + VAT to create their explainer video. They want fast turnaround so the project is completed in 15 days. The production company brings in a specialised team and delivers a very high-spec film that wins an award at Cannes Lions. So if you ask me “what does an explainer video cost?”, I’ll say, “that depends”. 

“OK I get all that” I hear you say. “But how much does video production cost? Just tell me the numbers for different types of production! And how does your industry create a quote?”

Fine I’ll tell you but I’m giving away all the secrets now. 

To understand the costs, you need to understand how video productions are staffed and the work that goes into them. In that way, you can probably get a better understanding of the costs associated with your particular project. 

There are 3 parts to a video production project that we generally call “Pre-Production” (Everything before the filming from consultation and creative ideation to finding crew and shoot planning), “Production” (usually the filming but also anything that’s critical to filming such as storyboarding and set design) and “Post Production” (Editing, Animation, Motion Graphics, Sound design). So when you come to a video company with a brief, they are considering all three parts of the project and what will be involved. So let’s take a very typical example… 

Case Study: A Case Study Video

You are a service based B2B business and you want to create a case study video with one of your star clients. You want professionals to complete this and you don’t want to micromanage the project so you get 3 quotes from video production companies. Here’s what’s involved in that project…

Pre-Production

The Account Manager or Producer fact finds with you to get a sense of the project in phone calls and a face-to-face meeting. He/she establishes the narrative for the case study and suggests 3 interviews to film – one with your client and two with members of your team. Reach out to your client begins. They set up the filming time and location. Then there’s some back and forth over where to film the interviews. The Producer works with you to write questions for the interviewees and create a narrative thread to the case study film. 

Production

The Producer, Camera Operator and Soundman come to film the interviews.  They setup and light each interview shot. They film the interviews and then grab other shots to help tell the story. Door to door, including travel, this is a 10 hour day. 

Post-Production

The Producer obtains brand guidelines, fonts, logos and other assets to include in the edit. He/she then works with an editor to communicate the story. The editor goes through 3 hours of footage, trying to condense it down to 2 minutes. Music, titles, graphics are added. The film is also usually “graded” which means they need to adjust light, colour and retouch any shots then give it an overall “look”. Successive versions of the edit are reviewed internally before the first draft is ready for the client. Most companies offer 2 rounds of client amends. Once those are done and the client is happy, the film is “exported” at the best quality, checked and then sent over to the client. 

Depending on the complexity and ambition of the project, this whole process can take between 7 and 15 days of combined man-hours to complete. All these individuals are skilled and creative. Most will have a University degree. What do you think it’s worth? A builder re-doing your bathroom might charge £5 – 10K for a similar length job. To give you an idea, with most production companies in London quoting for this type of job, you can expect a range between £2,500 and £5,000 if it’s a simple production. The cost varies depending on factors such as – how much work is needed in the set-up, does the shoot require travel, how premium does it need to look and what shots are being included in the edit? For a more complex project like this for a bigger company, £5,000 – 15,000 would be a more likely range (think multiple interviews shot very stylistically, whizzy motion graphics, premium stock footage). You can see there’s quite a bit of variation! 

Starting to get a better picture? OK let’s look at some other examples… 

What about if you are a B2C company rather than B2B? You have products to sell to the consumer and making sure your product “looks the part” is going to be really important. Whether you are an FMCG brand with a healthy snack or an E-Comm business selling a board game, you know that it’s a dog-eat-dog world where consumers are incredibly fickle. So how much does video production cost? 

Let’s take the FMCG brand for example. They want to make a series of adverts to run on Facebook, Instagram and Youtube that show the quality of the ingredients in their Goji berry bar, their commitment to sustainability and the nutritional benefits of going Vegan. Without going into the specifics of pre-production, production and post-production on this one, already this project is sounding more complicated. We’re going to need serious creative brainstorming, an understanding of the customers we’re speaking to and an in-depth knowledge of the brand story and product. We might need storyboards to plan out the shoot. Props, ingredients and a studio to film in. Maybe set design is required and a food stylist. We need the big boy lights to make the product look good and actors to demo the product. Oh and we need to run tests with the product beforehand to understand how it handles under the scrutiny of the camera lens. As you can probably appreciate, if this is a food startup then they will be on a shoestring budget where £5K might be too much for this project. If it’s Nestle then £50K might be too little. 

How much does video production cost? I hope I’m giving you a fuller picture but also helping you to understand that it’s a “how long is a piece of string” question. But let’s keep going… 

You’re an events company. You want to promote the events you hold with videos of the events. So you need an event video. A very common and practical use for video. Surely we should have fixed prices for this too? But look how 3 of this company’s events might be quoted for; 

The first is an evening networking event that’s just 3 hours long. All you want is a highlight video. The production company sends a single, junior camera operator to grab some footage without sound. The editor assembles it into a fun 45 second promo film with music. Job done. The second film is for a 1 day conference that you are hosting. This film needs to be 2 minutes long with interviews, soundbites from the speakers on stage and shots of the event. This is now a 3 man team – Producer, Camera Operator, Soundman. But it turns out we’ll need 2 x camera operators to get the coverage that’s required. And a site recce is also needed to make sure things go smoothly on the day. Then your PR firm asks for the edit to be ready the morning after the event so overnight editing is required. So as you can probably appreciate, a question “how much does it cost” is impossible to answer until the project has been fully specced out. And finally, your annual big event is taking place over 3 days in Paris. We need multiple crews, on-site editing and different videos created throughout the day. Where do we begin with this one? 3 different events, 3 different scopes, prices ranging from £1000 – 30,000. 

Lets pick another one… 

In the B2B world – Animations. You can honestly get these done for under £500 if you go for the cheapest possible option – cookie-cutter company that you found on Upwork. Why are they so cheap? Because they are recycling pre-built characters, icons and templates that have been created to service a large volume of clients. The experience is going to be invariably pretty painful as you won’t be able to customise what you want and you will have to micromanage every aspect of the production. But then it is £500 after all! If this isn’t the approach you want to go for then start thinking more in terms of £5K, 10K, 20K if you want something to look good. It’s going to take an animator at least 2 weeks to produce anything good. And if you want it to look really good, then you’ll need storyboards to begin with, an illustrator needs to create designs first then an animator brings them to life. 

And one last example… 

A promo film for the new winter line of a fashion brand. The price depends on the brand. If you are an emerging brand without two pennies to rub together then find a videographer who specialises in fashion. Agree the creative direction internally and produce your own rough storyboards (scribble them on the back of a napkin if need be). Project manage the production yourself by finding the location, models and props then have a crack at Directing. It’s going to cost you a few thousand pounds all in all, maybe less if you pull in loads of favours. It’s also going to suck ALL your time for the next 2 months so be prepared for that. 

If  you are a well established, household fashion brand looking to film a TV advert then of course you don’t do any of this yourself. You hire a professional video production company and possibly even reach them through your creative Ad agency who have come up with the concept for the film. You’ve spent a month agonising over the details of absolutely everything and getting those approved by other stakeholders. And on the shoot day, you’ve thrown the kitchen sink at it. Not including the creative agency fee, the production costs anything upwards of £100K. 

“George, you are frustrating me now. Just give me the costs. Stop giving a range”. 

How about this, how about we get more granular about what individual crew members charge and how companies pass that cost on? Let’s take a camera operator as an example. Most production companies will have a mix of in-house and freelance camera operators. The more specialist the camera operator, the more likely he/she is freelance and charges a higher fee. Here’s the spectrum – a junior camera operator in their early twenties who is just cutting their teeth might command £150 per day including an entry-level camera. An experienced camera operator might charge £1000 per day and then hire their kit on top of that. The same principle applies to Directors, Editors, Drone operators, Animators and practically anyone working in production. It’s a freelance world where the more experience you have, the more you charge. Because you are normally experienced, fast, slick, reliable and frankly highly talented. So if you want to work with the best, you have to pay for the best. 

For any production company to provide a good service to their clients, they have to mark up the prices of all their staff members or freelancers. Not because they are being “greedy” but because there are large overheads associated with production work that need to be accounted for from the time it takes to establish relationships with and “road test” the best freelancers, check their availability, hire them and facilitate their work, through to costs associated with production like office rent, equipment, software and general business management. The typical net profit margin for a successful production company is anywhere between 10% and 20%. And most companies reinvest that in growing the business to better serve their clients. So if you do ask for a 20% discount, just remember you are probably asking them to make no money on the job. 

I hope you’ve found this article useful and you have a better understanding of “how much a video production costs” and if you still aren’t sure then ping me an email and I can answer any further questions.

Would you like support from Small Films for your next video? Then give us a shout at info@smallfilms.com

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 straight forward. 

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 is 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 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. 

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

 

Great news… You’ve decided to commission some video content for your business which means you are about to make your company stand out from all your competitors. Bad news… You now need to find a supplier.

You start to get those cold sweats brought on by the thought of scouring the internet for the best video production company, having lots of exploratory phone calls, gathering quotes and then wading through the different proposals to work out which company is the best fit. It can be a minefield. Particularly if you haven’t done it before.

If your business is based outside of London, then you will inevitably be faced with a choice. Should you work with a video agency that’s local to your area or should you cast your net further afield and include the nation’s capital in your search? What are the advantages of working with a London video production company over a local one? To help you navigate this quandary, below I’ve included some top things to consider when making your choice. I must caveat that the situation is far from black and white. Each video agency you look at will be vastly different and not fit with the “standard” rule of thumb I’ve included below. So make sure you ask as many questions from your supplier as you can and interrogate their track record. 

Video Production Talent 

London

London is a huge city that has an irresistible pull for video production creatives who want to forge a career. There’s a lot more opportunities for employment than other parts of the UK. This means there is a vast pool of highly qualified individuals which leads to some of the best creative work. 

Rest of the UK

Whilst talent may not be as readily available in some parts of the country – particularly rural areas, if you are close to cities like Bristol or Manchester, you will find a thriving creative community who are creating high quality work. Local companies may rely less on freelancers and employ in-house staff instead. This leads to great training and loyalty. 

Video Production Resources

London

One big advantage to London is the wide availability of various resources needed for video production from filming locations and studios to equipment rental houses, prop hire companies, actors and specialist crew. The wide availability of freelance talent also means that capacity is rarely an issue. Jobs can always be taken on and can be done very quickly if the need arises. 

Rest of the UK

Depending on the area your video production company is from, they may be in easy reach of some breath-taking filming locations that don’t cost an arm and a leg. For instance a video production company in Brighton will have access to town as well as beaches and the Sussex downs. Not only that but often, in-house resources for things like travel, aerial filming and editing mean that they can respond quickly and competitively. 

Video Production Experience

London

We are a video production company in London so it’s going to sound disingenuous of me to say that London agencies have the most experience. It’s definitely not as black and white as that. Yes, many of the most sought-after video production companies are based here in London. That’s because many of the biggest brands are also based in the city, leading to some of the best opportunities. But alongside the good companies there are also hundreds of video production companies who are trying to get started and may not be as good quality. Be careful to fully assess the company’s track record before you book them. 

Rest of the UK

There are some phenomenal companies outside of London and they aren’t hard to find, if you put your mind to it. Take a good look at their past work and the sorts of clients they’ve worked with. It will be obvious that they are working nationally or even globally with some great businesses. For smaller, local companies, you may find that they have a more generalist background, working with small, local businesses and so don’t need to compete on a national level for work. The advantage is that they have worked with many local companies just like yours. The disadvantage may be that their experience may be limited to local production.

Video Production Skills

London

There are various skills associated with video production from the filming crew to editors and animators. For many productions a single videographer who can film and edit will suffice where others may need set design, directors, specialist cameras, motion graphics and colour correction. Any company has the ability to source the right specialist for virtually any video production skill, regardless of location in the UK. However, these skills are very easily sourced in London. 

Rest of the UK

As I’ve said, any company can bring tremendous levels of skill to the table and specialist video production knowledge. However a company that is outside of the capital may find it harder to find the right freelancer for the more specialist skill. If you are commissioning an ambitious filming project that will require a lot of specialist skills, make sure your supplier knows how to find the right specialists to make it happen. 

Price

London

Yes, London video production companies can (but not always) be more expensive than working with a local video production company. This is because there is a cost associated with travel outside of the capital including hotels and mileage. Overheads may also be higher because of London rent, wages and other factors. However, where a London video agency may charge more, they can typically work nationwide and respond extremely quickly to briefs. 

Rest of the UK

Video production companies based in cities like Norwich, Plymouth, Bristol, Manchester or Glasgow can often be just as expensive as a London agency if they have pedigree and are highly sought-after. However, video production companies situated in more rural locations are likely to be much more affordable due to lower overheads. If price is a significant factor in choosing your supplier and your budget is tight then going local may be the way forward. 

Customer Experience

London

As per my note about there being good and bad companies, customer experience can vary tremendously across different video production agencies. However, because of the huge freelance economy in the capital, video production crew tend to be very seasoned. They’ve cut their teeth with scores of clients in a myriad of different environments which means they’re less likely to get flummoxed by any issues or make mistakes. This can lead to a less stressful experience for the customer. 

Rest of the UK

Again, customer experience varies across companies all over the country. However, one advantage of local companies who have in-house staff to do the work rather than relying on freelancers, is that they are well trained in “how the company does things”. So there’s likely to be more consistency across their work. It’s worth noting that some London companies have predominantly in-house staff and some companies outside of London work almost entirely with freelancers, so tread carefully when making any assumptions about customer experience. 

Trust

London and the Rest of the UK

When choosing to work with a video production company, trust is arguably one of the biggest factors in picking your supplier. It’s why most people will rely on referrals when picking a business. London based businesses are much more likely to work with a London video production company because they will have been referred and can easily get to know, like and trust them. The same goes for local video production companies. If your business is based in Taunton, Oxford or Birmingham, it’s more than likely you’ll have been referred to a local company and had an opportunity to meet them in person. There’s a greater trust that they will do a good job. However, I would challenge you to base your choice of supplier not just on the safe option of feeling like you trust them. Look for the company that will do the best job for your business, then let them build trust with you through sharing their work, testimonials with past customers, references and conversations to establish a relationship. When you do that, you’ll find that on the whole, most companies will do everything they can to create the best possible work for you and can be trusted to do a good job.

If you are looking for a video production company in London, then do get in touch – we’d love to help.

Customer testimonial videos help build trust, authenticity and interest. No one sells a product better than your existing customers, but how do you create a great customer testimonial video and market it to your audience? 

How Customer Testimonial Videos Can Increase Your Sales

Long before the days of the internet, televisions and phones, companies would rely solely on word of mouth to generate business. It’s one of the oldest forms of marketing, and it’s still one of the best. Eighty-eight per cent of consumers place the highest level of trust in word-of-mouth recommendations.

Today, however, we have the technology to help us increase the reach of word-of-mouth recommendations. That’s where customer testimonial videos come in, and they’re one of the best tools for your business. Not only are they the most affordable marketing method, but they also increase trust with customers, validate your products and service and sell what you do. 

After all, no one sells your product better than existing customers. They are the ultimate social proof, offering a seal of approval like no other. Usually, they can tell the story better than you, as they have a first-hand experience without any subconscious bias. 

So it’s safe to say that customer video testimonials are vital for evolving your business. But how do you make one and use it to increase sales? That’s what we’re here to tell you with everything you need to know about customer testimonial videos. 

Video testimonials in the food and beverage industry

If you’re a B2B, customer testimonial videos are a no-brainer, and you should already be contacting your clients to get them on board. If you’re a B2C, then your customers can rave about products and help spread the word. 

This is especially true in the world of food and beverage, where customers can review your food products or talk about their experience with food services offered. There are many different approaches, and recommendations about food always hold that little bit extra of weight. 

How to make a customer testimonial video

Every piece of content you make should be about the story, including your customer testimonial video. There’s no need to overthink things like putting a customer testimonial video script in place. Authenticity is key here, but there does need to be a structure in place. 

Ensure the narrative is compelling, with a clear beginning, middle and end. Introduce the problem for the customer, followed by how you solved it and what the customer’s experience was like working with you or using your product or service. Then look at how things have changed for them since using it. 

Simplicity is also important for creating a compelling customer testimonial video. Don’t overcomplicate things with the message and try to keep between three to five points. Finally, round it off with a call to action, with the customer referring the business at the end of the video. 

How to film your customer testimonial video

Once you have a structure in place, you will need to think about how you’re going to film the video. The interview is the primary focus, but try including shots of the product to help bring everything to life and add another layer to the content on screen. 

Create an extended version that expands on the testimonial and can be used as a case study. Doing so will give you extra content to use in your marketing efforts and provide deeper insights into your product and customers.

Again, authenticity is important – don’t fake the reviews, and make sure you’re using genuine customers who are eager to talk about their positive experience with your brand. Include tangible results instead of “fluff” that doesn’t offer any real value. 

You want customers to express their positive emotions, diving into how you helped solve their pain points. To achieve that, you will need to offer more than “I thought this product was great”. Get them to talk about the “how”, paint a picture of the issues, and use statistics if you have numbers to show. 

How to use customer testimonial videos

Once the customer testimonial video is complete, it’s time to put it out there into the world. The distribution is key, and you want to hit the right channels to connect with new audiences and maximise your chances of people seeing it. 

Website

Your website site is an obvious home for a customer testimonial video. People who go to your website will look for social proof of your product or service, and a video only increases engagement chances. You can have a dedicated page for testimonials, and it’s also worth placing them strategically on your homepage. 

Sales team

Customer testimonials are such powerful sales tools, as they offer real-life proof of product or service. Therefore, you should arm your sales team with testimonials so they can share them with potential customers to shorten the sales cycle and establish trust. 

Marketing

There is plenty that you can do with a customer testimonial video when it comes to your marketing efforts. Use them in email blasts, write content around them, release the entire interview for a more in-depth look and share them across social media. 

Summary 

If you want a great return on investment then testimonials are the way forward. They build trust like no other marketing method and offer a real insight into what it’s like using your product or service. And when they’re in video form, they provide a new dynamic, offering extra elements of persuasiveness and personality to get audiences feeling excited about your brand.

If you are looking to create a customer testimonial video and would like support from a video production company, then do drop us a line, as we would love to have a chat.

Hiring a video production company is easy. But choosing the right video production agency for your business is much tougher. With countless production companies to choose from, it might feel overwhelming to find a company that can create the video content you’re looking for, at the right budget and in the right style. But by knowing where the pitfalls are and all the questions you need to ask upfront, then you’ll be well on your way to finding a video supplier that is a great fit for your brand. Below we’ve detailed the top steps to take when looking to hire the best video production company for your business. 

Decide on a project scope

Start off by defining your project scope and what you want to get out of the video. You may be looking to sell more products and wanting video content that can champion their best features.  Perhaps your brand has had a revamp and you’re wanting to reposition it to a new audience or you’ve launched a new app and you’re looking to drive return on investment through a Facebook campaign. Each of these types of videos will have a different scope of requirements, and may require a different sort of supplier, so always kick off with this step first. 

Define your budget

Working out the budget for your video is a key step in the process as this will determine the appropriate suppliers within your price range. Video production costs can vary enormously depending on the scope of the project and the experience of the supplier and so it is important to define what budget works for your business as a starting point.  Base your budget on the outcomes that you hope to deliver with your video, as well as taking into account the amount you feel comfortable investing. 

Decide on the style of your video

The style of video you can choose from varies enormously, whether that’s animation, live video or a mix of the two. Documentary style videos create a more TV-like experience for the audience, whereas a product video animation is more functional and is there to be informative for the viewer. Whilst the video production company can advise on what style may best suit your project, it’s best to have an idea upfront as this will determine the type of supplier you approach.     

Create a clear and concise briefing document

To make sure that you get comparative quotes between suppliers you will need to be clear about the scope of work.. We recommend including the below when reaching out to each video production company to make sure they cover everything in your quote. 

  • Project description
  • The objectives of your video
  • Target audience
  • KPIs
  • Use of your video i.e. website, email, social media
  • Key deliverables, i.e how many videos, aspect ratio, length of videos
  • Style of video required, i.e animation, live filming, actors, voiceovers etc. Include any examples of videos you have found which match your ambition for the project. 

Search for video production suppliers

Start off by looking for a video company with expertise in your sector.  This may be a food and drink focused video production company or a sports video agency. Check out each agency’s previous work, looking for work that is similar to what you’re looking for such as the style, objective of the content or what the video is marketing.  Going by recommendation is also a great way to find a new supplier to ensure that you’re using a supplier that is trusted by your peers.    

Check their credentials are up to scratch

When checking out video suppliers, make sure to take a look at their credentials.  Do they have case studies that can back up the quality of their work or valid customer testimonials and reviews that showcase how great they were to work with? Ask them for examples of work that match what you are looking for to get an idea of whether they would be the right fit for your project. Check out their setup such as team size, location and their skills and always research their capability to understand if they may be able to support in other areas beyond your video production needs, i.e amplifying your video through digital marketing

Ask them how they quote

When gathering costs for the project, be sure to establish what’s included. Some agencies may may not include all costs in their quote such as travel expenses or location fees.  To avoid unexpected costs, make sure you get clear on what’s included. 

Compare the top quotes considering budget and credentials

When choosing between quotes, look out for any major differences between them. This might include things such as the number of day’s filming, how many rounds of revisions you are allowed at the edit stage or whether expenses are included or not. If they’re non comparable then whittle down to your favourite suppliers and ask for revised quotes so you can compare like for like.

For big projects with a large budget, asking the video production companies to pitch creative ideas or asking for client reference calls may also be acceptable, but don’t expect video production companies to do this for all projects. 

If you’re looking for support with your next video project then do drop us a line, as we would love to help. 

 

If we asked you to name the second largest search engine after Google, you’d probably say it was Bing, followed by asking if Bing is even still a thing. It turns out it’s not Bing, though it’s still a thing. In fact, the second largest search engine is none other than YouTube

With three billion searches per month, YouTube is an excellent platform to promote your brand, both organically and using paid ads. The Google-owned video platform can be a far more effective source of marketing than many other traditional options. 

YouTube is a great place to market your brand, but it requires a strategy, and you can’t simply upload a few videos in the hope of something going viral. Instead, three primary types of content work best on YouTube: Hero, Hub and Help, and in this guide we’re exploring how each one can yield strong results on the UK’s second-largest search engine.

Gaining leverage on YouTube

Having an impact on YouTube requires a deep dive into the types of content already found on the channel. YouTube even breaks down its content into three different categories. These are, of course, Hero, Hub and Help.

Each one serves a different purpose, offering audiences distinct videos that invoke a specific emotion. Before you begin posting on YouTube, it’s handy to understand how each type of content works so you can plan your strategy more effectively. 

Different types of content on YouTube

Hero

If you’re looking to go big or go home, then Hero content will appeal to you, as it creates a big splash and drives people to your channel. If it was a personality, Hero content would be an attention-seeker. Think big campaign launches or specific milestones, and you’re not far off what Hero represents.

Hero content is all about creating big waves, but it’s not something you will regularly use on YouTube (more on that in a bit). It’s reserved for when you have that one piece of news you really want to share with the world. 

Hub 

Creating Hub content means thinking about the value you provide the audience. Its aim is to entertain and keep people engaged, watching your video and wanting to click on the next one. This might include topics on current trends or particular niches related to your industry. 

If, for example, you’re a food and beverage brand, Hub content might include a cooking mini-series showing audiences how to make recipes over four or five short videos. The goal is to get people watching all the videos in the series because they’re engaged and want to know how to make the entire recipe. 

Help

When it comes to Help content, it’s all about answering the questions people are searching for in your industry on Google or YouTube. When people search a query on Google, it either returns a text result or video, and the more consistent you are with this type of content, the higher your chances of showing up in the search results. 

If your video answers the right questions, then it will rank organically on page one. By answering important questions, you can build trust with audiences and drive them onto your channel to create a bigger following for your brand. 

How do I choose the right content? 

So should you create Hero, Hub or Help content to drive your brand? Ideally, you’ll use all three methods to build a diverse range of videos that excite, insight and educate your audience. However, there are some aspects worth noting. 

Hero content, for example,  doesn’t work if you try and do it all the time. Therefore, you should keep this for when you have something really important to say, such as a product launch or seasonal storytelling. 

You’re left with Hub and Help, which should be regular touchpoints in your content strategy for YouTube. Aim to create a solid mixture of insightful Hub content that keeps people coming back for more and educational Help content to build trust. 

How many videos you create depends on capacity and where YouTube marketing ranks in your general marketing strategy. But we recommend consistency, posting at least a couple of Hub and Help content pieces each month. 

Making Hero, Hub and Help work for your brand

The “triple H” of content on YouTube can be a major driver for engagement. Once you’ve decided on how much you can create, work out whether it will be executed in-house or if you will partner with third-party companies to bring your strategy to life.

Then create a catalogue of Hub and Help content, building up the number of videos you have and introducing yourself to audiences on YouTube. Once you’ve built up engagement and created a sense of community on your YouTube page, it’s time to go for the Hero content. 

When performed correctly, this strategy has the power to turbocharge your brand and give you a significant footing on YouTube. And even though this type of content is favoured with YouTube, you can use it as a blueprint for other content strategies and implement it across the rest of your marketing outreach. 

Hero, Hub and Help inspiration

Many brands have nailed their Hero, Hub and Help content on YouTube, including Volvo. The Swedish carmaker has always been a leader in creating content, and its Hero, Hub and Help content has racked up hundreds and millions of views and counting.

Volvo

Hero

The Volvo Hero content has been viewed more than 100 million times and certainly goes big, with one specific video using Jean-Claude Van Damme to tell a story of stability and precision for Volvo’s Dynamic Steering for their trucks. 

Hub

If you’re a truck lover, then Volvo’s Hub content on YouTube was made for you. There’s a range of entertaining videos of stunts, innovations and much more truck-related content designed to keep the audience clicking on that “watch next” button. 

Help

Volvo’s Help content is designed to teach you how to drive their cars and understand what goes into the makeup of their vehicles. With videos on things like the I-Shift Dual Clutch, the car brand educates the audience, getting them familiar with their new innovations.  

Summary

Using Hero, Hub and Help is a great way to understand the dynamics of YouTube and create content that excites your audience. Building a successful triple H strategy can add a new layer to your YouTube channel, increasing engagement and ultimately boosting your bottom line. 

George Hughes is a former television Director and the Founder of video marketing agency Small Films. His company helps brands to communicate with a wider audience using strategic video content.

Want a professional hand in creating compelling, authoritative video content as part of your marketing? Get in touch today.

 

When it comes to social media, one thing is a given: TikTok isn’t a fad. The platform exploded during the first lockdown and now has 800 million users worldwide. On top of that, it has been downloaded more than two billion times.

People have found fame on the platform, using its 60-second video clips to provide easily digestible, lighthearted content. And Brands have taken note, with everyone from  Chipotle to The Washington Post using TikTok to ignite a spark with their audience.

It offers a pathway for brands to tap into younger demographics and strike a chord, whether you’re in the business of food and beverage or serving the public with breaking news. But how should you approach TikTok if you’re unfamiliar with the platform? 

First-hand insights from a pro

As part of Small Films’ Food and Drink Marketing Month, we invited Timothy Armoo, CEO of Fanbytes, a leading influencer marketing agency that creates Generation Z content (TikTok’s primary demographic), to share some of his insights.

We’ve taken Timothy’s wise words and laid them out below. There are plenty of tips on how you can approach TikTok and create a strategy that helps you reach new audiences and gain more traction. So read on, and find out everything you need to know about using TikTok for your business. 

Actually useful stuff you can use to win on TikTok

Right off the bat, it’s important to note that whenever there’s a new trend on the internet, a steady stream of people jump on the bandwagon and share their advice as if they are seasoned pros. When in fact, all they’re doing is regurgitating basic information that doesn’t dive deeper into the how of the new craze.

That’s certainly the case with TikTok, and something this article avoids. Instead, this guide looks at two key questions most marketing managers want answers to: what is the best content for TikTok and how do you run campaigns on TikTok? 

What type of content should you create on TikTok? 

The TikTok algorithm 

Before flexing your creative chops and making content for audiences, it’s important to understand how TikTok’s algorithm works. The best way of doing this centres around following three primary principles found on most social media websites: 

  • Show more content related to your interests – the more content of interest that a social media platform can serve to you, the more engaged you will be with the platform. This leads to…
  • Spending more time on the app – the longer you spend on the app, the more a social media platform can learn your habits about the type of content you like so they can…
  • Serve you more ads – social media platforms make their money from ads, and it’s in their best interest to serve you with the kind of advertisements that will engage you. 

TikTok, in particular, has become extremely proficient at showing its audience content related to its interests. Let’s say you start using the platform to watch food-related videos. TikTok will flood your account with more food content, using its algorithm to personalise the content you see and keep you coming back to the app.

Understanding TikTok as a marketer

From a marketing perspective, the goal is to show more content that people find interesting. And while that might sound like an obvious suggestion, it’s one of the areas where brands often fall short on social media because they complicate matters.

One of the biggest misconceptions people have about TikTok and social media at large is about the importance of going viral across the entire platform. Instead, the focus should be on picking a specific niche within TikTok’s ecosystem that lets you delve deeper to build better content.

Therefore, if you’re a food & beverage brand, the goal shouldn’t be to master the whole of TikTok; it’s about connecting with the platform’s community of food and drink lovers. Profiles don’t go viral unless you’re an influencer or celebrity – instead, it’s the videos that perform well, and TikTok’s algorithm favours videos over profiles. 

TikTok’s content funnel

We’ve established that it’s more about creating content for your community rather than for the whole of TikTok, and that essentially means starting small. As a food & beverage brand, one of the avenues that may be available to you is the use of recipe creations. Using these, you can see how they resonate with your audience.

If the food & beverage community takes to your recipes, TikTok will start showing videos to people similar to those in your community. And if that goes down well, your videos will start showing on the For You page on TikTok, which is where all the best content picked up by the algorithm goes. 

Circling back to the TikTok algorithm 

Interacting with content in your community means you’re “warming” the algorithm – it’s the stage where you influence it the most. Let’s say you’re a vegan brand and want to grow your TikTok presence. You’d start by viewing and commenting on other vegan accounts, which tells TikTok that you’re interested in the vegan community. This is warming the algorithm.

Then you begin to feed the algorithm by creating content feeding into the kind of stuff you’ve already interacted with. This lets TikTok know that you’re an active member of that community, at which point it will start serving audiences with your similar content. 

Ensuring organic success on TikTok

There are four pillars to ensuring TikTok success and keeping track of how the algorithm works. These four traits tell the algorithm that your content is successful, to which it will start expanding the pool of people who can see your videos.  

  • Watch time – are people watching your videos to the end, or do they stop before it finishes? 
  • Rewatch rate – how many people watch your video at least twice, if not more? 
  • Share rate – are people engaging with your videos enough that they want to share them with others? 
  • Comments – do viewers feel the need to comment on your videos after watching them? 

Understanding the dynamics behind these four traits will help you navigate TikTok and its algorithm, so you can produce the type of content your audience wants. It will also help you better understand how to create good content. 

What is good content?

So the primary question now centres around “what constitutes good content?”. Answering that is slightly trickier, as only you and people deeply connected to your business will know about the brand and what makes it tick. However, that’s not to say there aren’t some tried and tested formulas you can lean on.

Creating “useful content”, such as hacks like “xx of the best” or “how-to” guides is usually a good place to start – just remember that TikTok videos are only 60 seconds and your content should be concise and to the point.

You can be funny or aspirational if the fit is there, but ultimately it’s about resonating with your audience. And once you have a grasp over what your audience wants and start producing regular content, you can branch out and work with influencers to optimise your content. 

How do I run influencer campaigns on TikTok?

Why influencers? 

Like all social media platforms, the role of influencers has evolved over the last few years. Platforms like Instagram and TikTok are especially influencer-led, and the right collaboration can enhance your brand’s standing – but it needs to be organic. 

Understanding the frameworks

Getting results is the primary goal of any influencer marketing on TikTok, and there are a few components worth taking into account to understand your campaign needs better and achieve the desired outcome. 

Influencer retargeting

For many brands, successfully reaching an audience on TikTok requires authenticity, especially if you’re product-led. The content should be more about the video rather than wheeling an influencer out to say flattering things about your product.

The best way to do this is with influencer retargeting, which involves creating an organic influencer campaign and tying it to a paid ad that directly drives conversion. That means using influencers as the creative, which allows a more native approach and leads to more inclusive content. When done right, the creative becomes the most important aspect, which, in turn, powers the brand behind the campaign. 

Leverage trends

Many brands are quick to create their own hashtag, but using existing trends is a smart way to leverage other well-performing content. Brands who successfully start their own hashtags are already well established and need deep pockets to ensure it becomes part of the TikTok lexicon.

Whereas, leveraging current trends can yield better results. However, it’s important to make the distinction between viral content and growing content. The goal is to ride growing content and be part of it when it goes viral, rather than hitching onto the back of something that’s already exploded. 

Episodic content

Perhaps one of the most underrated aspects of TikTok is how episodic content feeds into watch times and gets people spending more time on your brand’s page. It’s a smart way for you to achieve results and tell TikTok to get people circling back to you.

One way to do this as a food & beverage brand may involve creating a dish over the course of several videos. It has that cliffhanger element and keeps coming back for more as they want to see the entire recipe.  

How influencer campaigns fit into the broader picture

Tiktok serves a purpose in two primary ways: a destination for driving sales and a source for engaging and interesting content. With the latter, you can use the platform as the primary source for content and then promote it on other social media platforms with superior targeting to help drive more conversion.

The results of this approach can turbocharge engagement and your bottom line, with some brands seeing as much as 50 per cent conversion rates and return on ad spend of up to 10 times the initial cost. 

Summary

Whether you’re using TikTok to drive direct sales or build your brand’s following across all of social media, Timothy’s tips can put you on the right track and help you go deeper under the bonnet of one of the fastest-growing platforms on the internet. And you can use these insights to build a successful TikTok following for your food & beverage brand by creating high-level content that satisfies the algorithm and delights your audience.

Find out more about Timothy Armoo and Fanbytes

George Hughes is a former television Director and the Founder of video marketing agency Small Films. His company helps brands to communicate with a wider audience using strategic video content.

Want a professional hand in creating compelling, authoritative video content as part of your marketing? Get in touch today.