Testimonial Video Production – A Three Stage Approach

Testimonial Video ProductionWhile it may seem overwhelming to create a customer testimonial video at first, the process is much easier when you break it down. Like most forms of video production, testimonial video production consists of three major phases: pre-production, production, and post-production. Take a 1, 2, 3 approach to producing your client testimonials and you may be surprised to find out that the process isn’t nearly as difficult as you expected.

Testimonial Video Production Stage 1: Pre-Production

Before you begin shooting any customer testimonial video, you must have a plan. Pre-production is the stage where you plan everything related to producing your client testimonials. During this stage, you’ll brainstorm, plan, organize, and schedule all of the details surrounding testimonial video production.

For example, which customers are willing to appear in your customer testimonial video? What will they say? When are they available? Where will you film your client testimonials? How much will studio time cost? What equipment will you need? Who will shoot the video? What props will you need? Will you need a makeup artist? What type of clothing should your customer wear for the customer testimonial video?

Much of the testimonial video production work takes place during this initial planning stage. If you plan well, the rest of the process falls into place and you’ll likely produce client testimonials with ease.

Testimonial Video Production Stage 2: Production

After extensive planning, it’s time to produce the actual customer testimonial video. Because you spent your pre-production time wisely, you should have a solid plan. Everyone will know where they are supposed to be, when they are supposed to be there, and what they’re expected to do because you’ve laid it out in pre-production planning sessions.

During this phase of testimonial video production, the customer testimonial video will be shot. Depending on if you’re shooting on location or in a professional video production facility, you may need extra time for setting up the camera, sound, and lighting equipment. Your customers will be coached in how to wear the microphone, where to look when speaking, and how to present themselves on camera. If you’ve created a general script for each of the client testimonials and are using a teleprompter, the video producers will also instruct the customers on how to read the script.

As the testimonial video production gets underway, your customers will have multiple opportunities to fine-tune their client testimonials. Reassure them that they can re-do their testimonials if they stumble and that you can edit out any “flubs.”

Your video production crew will also help you put the customer at ease, making for a customer testimonial video featuring a real customer who is comfortable speaking on camera.

Testimonial Video Production Stage 3: Post-Production

After your client testimonials have been shot, you move out of testimonial video production and into the post-production stage. Your customers can go home while you remain at the studio (or return at a later date) for editing.

It’s rare for any customer testimonial video not to need editing. Even if your client testimonials were shot in one long take with no mistakes on anyone’s part, you’ll likely want to pick and choose the best statements and edit them into a shorter, more viewable video. For example, the raw footage of a customer testimonial video may run five to ten minutes. Even if the customer is well spoken, most website viewers won’t watch extremely long client testimonials.

You’ll likely want to be involved in editing client testimonials. Your testimonial video production facility will assign an editor to work with you. During editing, you’ll tell the editor which sections you want to keep. If you’d rather not be involved, your editor will use his professional judgment to create a polished customer testimonial video that speaks highly of your product or service.

Have you ever produced a customer testimonial video? Share your tips in the comments section below.

Product Demo Video: Tips for Showcasing Your Product

Product Demo Video Tips for Showcasing Your Product

When it comes to producing a product demo video, the video generally focuses on the product and its features. After all, this is the basic definition of a product demonstration video. No matter what your product is, you can easily demonstrate how to use it and produce a product video. For example, if your product is a tonneau cover for a truck, you could film a person installing it, opening and closing it, removing it, and so on. If your product is a multifunction printer, you could record its various features such as scanning, collating, and faxing. However, while these product videos demonstrate the product and its features, they’re missing two important components: prospects and benefits.

If you want to move beyond merely demonstrating your product and truly showcase it, you’ll need to make sure that your prospects clearly understand what’s in it for them. In other words, how will they benefit by choosing your product?

In order to communicate the benefits your prospects will receive, you must first understand who your prospects are and what problems they hope to solve by purchasing your product. For example, is your tonneau cover intended for work trucks or recreational drivers? Is your multifunction printer designed for the small business owner who works from a home office or is it designed for a corporate environment? You likely already know your intended audience but it’s easy to overlook the importance of addressing your target demographic.

Spend some time identifying your ideal customer and write out a detailed description. You could even create a persona that typifies the ideal. Start by asking the following questions: What is your ideal customer’s age and gender?

  • From what socioeconomic class does your customer come from?
  • What are your customer’s goals, desires, and fears?
  • What problems does your customer have?

As the persona takes shape, give him or her a name. For example, if your ideal customer is a hip 20-something self-employed business woman on a budget, you might call this persona “Ashley.” Take it a step further by searching a stock photography site for a photo of a young woman that looks like what you perceive Ashley to look like. By naming the persona and creating an avatar to match, you’ll have a much clearer picture of your customer base.

You may have several categories of customers. If so, create a persona for each category and then decide which persona your product demo video will target. A product demonstration video for “Ashley” will likely require a different approach than one for “Elmer” because Ashley and Elmer have different problems they hope to solve.

Once you know who your product video is for, the next step is matching your product’s benefits with your prospect’s problems. Write down the problems each persona has that can be solved by your product. Next, brainstorm any additional benefits that each persona can expect. As you do so, your product demo video will start to reveal itself.

For example, Ashley may want a low-cost, yet stylish, device with a small footprint while Elmer needs something easy to install and use. Ashley wants crisp graphics and is tired of wasting money on ink cartridges while Elmer would appreciate the ability to magnify documents. Now that you know your persona’s problems and how they relate to your product, you can write the script for your product demonstration video and showcase your product as the product of choice.

When people just like Ashley view your product demo video tailored to that demographic, they will relate because they share Ashley’s hopes, goals, fears, and problems. Similarly, Elmer’s peers will see themselves in the product demonstration video produced for the older demographic. By understanding who your product helps and what problems it solves, you can produce a product video to match.

What are your thoughts on producing a product demo video for a specific persona? Share your thoughts in the comments section below:

Online Video Marketing – Are Your Online Videos Ready for Internet TV?

Are Your Online Videos Ready for Internet TV

Technological improvements in bandwidth and speed helped launch online video marketing, an exciting field that allows you to reach business customers and consumers with promotional video over the Internet. Technology continues to evolve, with the potential to deliver Internet video marketing to the larger screens found in living, family, and conference rooms around the world. Is your promotional video ready for streaming Internet TV devices?

What is an Internet TV Device?

The popularity of high-speed Internet access spawned a revolution in online video, and websites such as Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Prime, soon popped up with libraries of free or low-cost movies and television shows that consumers could watch online. While watching movies and TV shows online has its advantages, watching on a small screen with tiny speakers doesn’t compare to watching on a large screen TV with surround sound. Thus, manufacturers began producing set top devices capable of streaming Internet content directly to the TV. These devices include some Blu-ray players and DVRs, gaming consoles such as the Nintendo Wii and Xbox 360, and standalone boxes such as the Roku or AppleTV. Some television sets now come equipped with Internet streaming capabilities as well.

Though these devices are typically marketed to consumers as a means of watching Internet TV and streaming movies from services such as Netflix, your online video marketing and promotional video productions may find their way to your targeted audience through an Internet TV device.

For example, most streaming TV devices include access to YouTube. If you market your promotional video on YouTube, viewers may watch from their couches instead of their office chairs. In addition, many devices include Web browsers, so it’s possible for viewers to surf your website and view your Internet video marketing clips on their large screen TVs.

What Does Internet TV Mean to Your Online Video Marketing?

While your promotional video may look amazing on a 15-inch laptop, how will it look on a 55-inch HDTV? Video resolution becomes a much more important factor thanks to this possibility. Fortunately, many video production companies specialize in online video marketing and can shoot broadcast quality footage in high definition. If broadcast quality production values and high definition haven’t played a prominent role in your Internet video marketing plan, now’s the time to prioritize them.

Internet Video Marketing – Leveraging Internet TV

While shooting a promotional video with the thought that it could find its way onto the big screen is a good first step, streaming Internet TV brings new possibilities. You could create your own online video marketing channel for many of these Internet streaming devices. For example, a quick look at Roku’s current channel list shows that CNET, Fandango, JTV (Jewelry Television, a company that sells jewelry and jewelry making supplies) each have active Roku channels. If you have an existing catalog of online video marketing messages, tutorials, or lectures suitable for a general audience you could create a public Roku channel. If your material is geared toward a niche such as C-level executives, you could potentially create a “private” Roku channel.

Internet video marketing has changed dramatically in a short time period, and Internet TV could be the next evolution. Today, people may watch your promotional video on any number of devices including smart phones, tablets, e-readers like Kindle’s new Fire, netbooks, laptops, desktop computers, and now, televisions. With screen sizes ranging from mere inches to over 100 inches, the video quality of all of your online video marketing needs to be top-notch. The days of using a low resolution camera and producing a short promotional video without understanding how your viewers will watch it are over.

What do you think about the future of online video marketing? Will the Internet and television finally combine? If so, how will that affect your Internet video marketing plan? Share your thoughts in the comments section below:

Website Video Spokesperson Checklist

Website Video Spokesperson Checklist

After much thought, you’ve come to the conclusion that adding a website video spokesperson to your website is the logical next step. After all, the virtual spokesperson serves as a friendly and welcoming host, provides useful information and tips, engages visitors, and gently guides them around your website toward a buying decision. But where should you begin? Which type of Web video spokesperson is right for you? We’ve created this checklist to help you make the best decision possible.

  • Choose the video production company first, not the individual virtual spokesperson – While you may be tempted to look for the perfect website video spokesperson on various websites, it’s smarter to choose the video production company first as not all companies have the marketing skills you need in order to incorporate an effective spokesperson strategy. In addition, once you find a production studio with the expertise you need, the producer can help you select the best virtual spokesperson for your website.
  • What to look for in a Web video spokesperson video production company: a blend of video production and online marketing skills. While many studios are fully capable of producing a website video spokesperson video to overlay on your website, not all are well versed in the online marketing profession. By finding a hybrid studio that excels in both areas, you’re more likely to have an effective finished Web video spokesperson production that engages, converts, and nurtures your website visitors.
  • Analyze your target audience. If you don’t know who you are targeting, it will be virtually impossible to select a website video spokesperson that appeals to them. Use surveys, market research, focus groups, and other resources to gain a deeper understanding of your target audience.
  • Create a list of actions you want visitors to your website to take. This ensures that when the time comes to craft a script for your virtual spokesperson to follow, you’ll know exactly what you want to accomplish and where you want to lead your audience.
  • Start casting your website video spokesperson only after completing the steps listed above. Not only will you have an experienced producer and marketer to help you with this task, you will have a solid idea about the age and gender of the actor you should hire as well as the role the virtual spokesperson will play.
  • Pay attention to each actor’s qualifications. When watching demo reels, you may feel that a given actor has the general look you want, but isn’t quite right. Perhaps the accent is too strong or the current costume too formal looking for your site. However, actors are extremely versatile. By paying attention to the skills each actor lists, you may find that your favorite “not quite right” website video spokesperson is fully capable of conforming to your specifications.
  • Be involved in the writing the script. Though your video production company will likely provide you with a scriptwriter, you should provide direction. Using the list of actions you developed earlier and what you know about your website video spokesperson’s abilities, collaborate with the scriptwriter to create a script that conveys your message and leads to results.
  • Build in room to improvise. Your website video spokesperson is a creative professional who understands the goals of this profession. Take advantage of these creative talents by allowing some room for improvisation. You may be surprised at the warmth and spontaneity that a little wiggle room produces – and your virtual spokesperson’s warmth will resonate with most website visitors.

Adding a Web video spokesperson to your website does take some effort on your part. Follow this virtual spokesperson checklist to: ensure that you have a capable video production and marketing company behind the scenes; a website video spokesperson that appeals to your target audience; and a script that carefully guides your website visitors to an informed buying decision.

What do you think about our website video spokesperson checklist? Did we miss any important key points? Share your ideas in the comments section below: