“Show, don’t tell” is a popular advice given to writers and it applies to businesses too. Often, brands try to convince their prospects using statistics, product features, and professional talk. While that is a plausible way to go about making conversions, there is another method, one that around 89% of marketers consider the single most effective tactic to ensure conversions: testimonials. Customer testimonial videos show your prospects the benefits of your product/service, they show your product in action, and how it helps other people with problems similar to theirs.
Testimonial videos may sound like a field of roses, but every rose has its thorns. In the case of testimonials, the only major downfall is the how; these videos are made up of various elements and the success of your video depends on you getting all of these elements just right. Testimonial videos involve massive amounts of planning and production, all necessary, and the production quality is given utmost importance. To get the most out of these videos, you need to make sure that they are visually appealing, concise, and even-paced.
Don’t worry though; it may sound daunting but once you understand each of the elements individually and practice putting them together, you’ll be making testimonial magic in no time.
1. The Interviewee
The main objective of testimonials is to convey the value of your brand to your prospects in one, short video; your interviewee should help you fulfill this objective as optimally as possible.
The person you choose to interview should be someone that your audience relates to; depending on what you’re selling and to who you’re selling; this person can be an executive or a teacher or anyone in between. Here, you will need to know both, your product and its target audience well. No matter who your interviewee is, they should be credible enough for your audience to recognize them as someone who holds power and someone who can be trusted.
Your interviewee should also have enough data as a proof of the value your product and brand holds. This doesn’t mean you have to stick to big, established companies; you can go for small businesses or start-ups, just as long as they have the statistics to support your brand.
It’s not enough to just get the permission of your interviewee, you need to have the nod from their company, especially the legal team, PR department, and, if needed, the board and other executives as well. So it goes without saying that the person you choose to interview should be one who holds enough power in the company to get the testimonial video approved.
2. The Interviewer
Find an interviewer who is capable of asking the right questions and evoking the right answers. They should have enough knowledge of your brand and understand how your product works. To add to that, they should also be able to guide the interviewee to the desired conclusions, even without a script. Essentially, your interviewer should be able to put your interviewee at ease, keep the conversation flowing smoothly (no awkward pauses or talks about the weather), ask questions related to the product, and tie the dialogue back to the larger narrative (so that you don’t have wasteful bits in your footage that have nothing to do with the product).
3. The Location
There are two possible locations where you can film a customer testimony video: At your events or at the interviewee’s workplace.
If you decide to film at an event that you’ve organized, you will have a captive audience who will readily be interviewed by you and you will be able to film many testimonials at once. But this quantity comes with the risk of the conversations lacking depth as you won’t have a lot of time to interview each person. You will also have to pull staff from your event to conduct the filming, which may affect the event.
On the other hand, if you choose to hold the interview at the interviewee’s workplace, you will get to tell a deeper story. The interviewee will be more relaxed in this environment and you will have a lot more time to get the story, especially since you have to interview a limited amount of people. Filming onsite also deepens client relationships and so is considered to be a marketing touch-point.
Each location comes with its own set of pros and cons; one gives you quantity while the other provides quality. You can choose either one depending on your goal, available resources, and preferences. However, if it is affordable, it is suggested that you should do both and test them to see which one works better.
4. The Resources
Organize everything you will need during the shoot well ahead of time. Here, it is important not to be stingy, even in things that don’t directly relate to the product or your goal. Sure, you shouldn’t splurge unnecessarily, but things like hair, makeup, and lighting improve the quality of the video. To add to that, they also make the interviewee look good, avoiding disapproval of the video on account of their face looking too shiny or too bright.
Then, obviously, are the things that are vital for the interview: the filming equipment. This is one place where you definitely need to splurge; everything from the camera to the tripod needs to fit your needs. So it is best to compare various brands, go through reviews, and invest in only the best. Also, remember to get the interview from as many angles as needed. This not only gives you more material to work with while editing, but you will also have a ready backup in case of malfunctions.
And it does without saying that your video team should consist of skilled professionals; the director, cameraperson, photographer, editor, and everyone else involved should have at least a little experience in their field, or, if they are freshers, they should know what they’re doing. Test them if you must, but choose only the people who you know will fit in with your brand and who know how to do their job well.
A good soundbite can take hours, sometimes days, worth of interviewing, footage, and editing to produce. The more efforts you put into pre-production, the quicker you’ll come by that soundbite in post-production.
5. The Post-production
No matter how long the production and filming takes, have no doubt in mind that post-production will take longer. In post-production, you have to pick out the best parts out of the entire footage and distill the video down to its most essential parts. This means that you can’t skip any part of the process, no matter how trivial it might seem to you. In creating testimonial videos, everything is important; right from the technical bits that give the video some depth like deciding the video length, confirming the timeline, and choosing the soundbite to the creative portions that make the video flow smoothly like the B-roll, product shots, intercuts, and overlay graphics.
Testimonial videos are hard to make; they take up a lot of your time, you have to put in a lot of efforts, but they are the best, most efficient way to convince prospects of the value of your product and brand. They can be a little tricky at first, but as you keep doing it and keep learning, you will master this marketing cornerstone.
Just remember to have a credible, believable, and capable interviewee, an equally capable interviewer, a location that suits your needs, the proper equipment and personnel, and a lot of time for post-production. To learn more, visit our website One of India’s leading Keynote speaker