Testimonial videos are terrific tools both online and off. After all, having real customers praising your work adds credibility and helps convince other customers that your product and service are great. Many companies post testimonial videos on company websites and video sharing sites like YouTube while others use them on promotional DVDs or play them during trade shows and other events. Regardless of how you use the video testimonials, you’ll need to first produce them. This involves asking a past customer to appear on camera and then planning, shooting, and editing the video.
Because you are using actual people and not hired actors, expect some resistance on the part of your customers. Some will be happy to provide you with a written testimonial but not necessarily comfortable in front of the camera. Others will be fine with appearing in person but a little hesitant about the process. Your job is to find satisfied customers who want to appear in the testimonial video and then put them at ease about the process.
In addition to being nervous about appearing on camera, customers are often nervous about what they’re going to say. In fact, you can put your customer at ease right away by letting her know that you’ll employ a professional script writer who will meet with her ahead of time. The writer will find out about the customer’s experience with your service and then write a brief video testimonial script using the customer’s lingo.
By collaborating with the customer, a script writer is able to create an authentic sound bite that fits into your allotted time slot. Audiences, especially online audiences, have short attention spans. This makes timing crucial. Each testimonial video or topic should be no longer than 30 seconds. Since you know ahead of time that the video will only be 30 seconds long, let your customer know that you’re not expecting a full blown documentary but rather a short clip about the length of a television commercial. This coupled with the fact that a script writer will be involved can work wonders at convincing your customer to speak out on your behalf.
Depending on the product or service, you may want to shoot the testimonial video in a studio or at the customer’s location. For example, if you installed a custom pool, shooting on location makes sense. On the other hand, if the customer has purchased a line of hair care products from you, shooting in a studio may be the smarter choice. Let your customer know where you intend on shooting the video testimonial and play up the benefits of whichever location that may be. For instance, shooting at home by the pool means that your customer doesn’t need to travel while a studio shoot means that the customer doesn’t need to worry about the background, lighting, or sound.
Regardless of location, having teleprompters on the set is well worth the investment as doing so ensures that the key talking points are not overlooked. Not only do teleprompters ensure that the script is delivered as it was designed, they can also put the customer at ease. With teleprompters, fears of forgetting the script or having to memorize lines quickly go away. Let your customer know that teleprompters will be available and how easy they are to use.
When it’s time to shoot the testimonial video, put your customer at ease by letting her know that you can shoot the scene as many times as it takes and that you can also edit out any flubs. Have a glass of water handy and treat her like a star. Make it fun and maintain a relaxed attitude. Finally, let your customer know how much you appreciate the video testimonial.