Video Marketing 101 - How to Create an Effective Testimonial Video
Master the Algorithm to Grow Your Audience
Testimonial videos are among the most effective elements of video marketing.
Potential customers want to hear what their peers think. 89% of people read – or watch! – reviews before deciding to purchase a product or service. And according to a 2020 survey, 79% trust online reviews like they would personal recommendations.
Now combine this with the higher engagement rates of video content compared to text – 95%, if you were wondering – and the value of testimonial videos is written in big, neon letters.
To take advantage of that, you need to know how to create an effective and engaging video testimonial. Here’s a step-by-step guide to get you started.
Pick the Right People
First off, you need to identify the right people to feature in your testimonial video.
Reach out to loyal clients that have been with you for a while already. Check your database for people who’ve been using your platform or product consistently, or who have engaged a variety of your services.
These customers have plenty to say about you – and can give your audience authentic insights.
Look for someone who’s had positive personal interactions with you before, or who’s already left you positive reviews. They might be more than happy to give you a personal testimonial.
Prep Your Questions Carefully
While filming the testimonial, don’t freewheel it. Instead, draw up some questions and send them to your interviewee, so they can prepare their responses.
Your questions should aim to evoke emotions.
Asking people about their pain points is a good start. Let them tell you what frustrated them before they found your product, and how you helped them overcome their challenges.
Make sure the testimonial video doesn’t just list features, but highlights the benefits that customers derive from your product or service.
However, don’t script the interview totally. That will ring inauthentic notes – and authenticity is the greatest quality of video testimonials. Instead, aim to have an actual conversation and capture it as naturally as possible.
Pro-tip: Since you won’t usually include yourself in the final video, ask your interviewee to respond in full sentences, and restate the question if possible. For example:
Q: What did you like most about our product / service / working with us?
A: What I liked best about … was …
Ready Your Equipment
While it’s possible to record a testimonial with low-end equipment – over Zoom, even – it will necessarily look and feel cheap.
Considering the high return value of video marketing, it pays off to invest in higher-quality audio and visuals.
You can rent an indoor studio with all the equipment ready, or set up your own indoor or outdoor shoot.
In either case, the three most important elements are:
1 - Microphones
High-quality mics let you cut back on ambient noise and capture clear audio. Best for this are unidirectional shotgun mics (for example, mounted on cameras) or omnidirectional lavalier mics (clipped onto clothing close to the speaker’s mouth). If you’re recording outdoors, wind protection is crucial.
2 - Cameras
Next, choose high-res video equipment (4K quality) and put it on tripods. While having just one camera is okay, two or three are better. Extra cameras allow you to easily add additional angles, making for a more dynamic final edit.
3 - Lights and Shades
These help you create the right lighting and contrasts for the scene. Your interviewee’s face has to be lit perfectly. It’s what your viewers will be looking at the majority of the time, so you want it neither overexposed nor cast in shadows.
Make sure to capture several takes of the entire conversation, and from several angles.
In addition, shoot some b-roll to intercut the final video with. This includes environment shots – especially if you’re filming outside – the result of your work for that client, you and the client standing together, or simply them using your product.
Try to keep the filming process as natural and candid as possible. Don’t fiddle with your equipment, interrupt the interviewee while they are talking, or give them detailed stage directions. That way, they are more likely to feel comfortable in the setting, and forget about the presence of the camera equipment.
Invest in Professional Editing
Once you’re done with the filming, you have to tackle the next task: editing the extensive footage you captured into a short and engaging video, ideally between 90 and 150 seconds long.
Editing a testimonial video can be more complex than it appears. You have to choose the best angles at every point, incorporate inserts and cutaways, correct lighting issues, include filters, graphic elements like logos and brand colors, and animations.
If you’re new to video editing or don’t have an editor on your team, it’s definitely worth investing in professional editing services for the best possible result.
You can either opt for hiring a freelance editor, or reach out to a professional video editing company. In any case, compare a few different offers and check your candidates’ portfolio – and their own testimonials – for proof of experience and quality.
Testimonial videos are an integral part of any video marketing strategy, and an excellent way to engage potential customers.
By picking the right interviewees, preparing your questions, choosing the right equipment and shooting conditions, and opting for professional editing, you’ll come away with a compelling, human video that clearly outlines the benefits of your product and services.