Testimonial Video Production: Why Client Testimonials on Video are Effective

testimonial video production

Testimonial video production is a process that can yield tremendous results. By posting a customer testimonial video on your website, not only are you leveraging the power of word-of-mouth advertising, you’re also presenting social proof that you can deliver on your promise. When viewers watch client testimonials, they can see that a past customer of yours is happy with your service. When taken all together, your prospects will start to trust you and your offer. Let’s take a look at why testimonial video production is so important.

Leveraging Word-of-Mouth Advertising with a Customer Testimonial Video

We all know how powerful word-of-mouth advertising is. When a customer tells other people about how wonderful your product or service is, those other people warm up to the idea of potentially making a similar purchase. However, the traditional word-of-mouth advertising model is slow and largely out of your control. With video client testimonials on your website, you can speed up the process and take control over the entire testimonial video production.

For example, with a customer testimonial video, you no longer have to wait for customers to tell their friends. Instead, you’ll record client testimonials and place them prominently on your website where your prospects can easily view them. In addition, since you control the testimonial video production process, you can provide a script for each customer testimonial video or carefully edit the client testimonials for maximum impact.

Client Testimonials Deliver Social Proof

Each customer testimonial video on your website serves as social proof that you can deliver. While word-of-mouth advertising does the same thing, that social proof usually takes place outside of your realm. In addition, the people hearing word-of-mouth recommendations may not be suitable prospects. With testimonial video production, you now have a way to prove your capabilities to an audience that’s already interested in learning about them.

Your prospects are prospects because they’ve arrived at your website looking for information about your product or service. As they are exposed to your messages, they may be interested but also slightly doubtful. Your client testimonials can ease those doubts by proving that you did deliver on your promises. What’s more credible, an advertisement touting the benefits of your products and services or a customer testimonial video featuring a satisfied customer who has the same problems and needs as your prospects? Let your customers build trust on your behalf by starting the testimonial video production process.

What Makes a Customer Testimonial Video Effective?

As you begin the testimonial video production process, it’s important to understand what makes client testimonials so effective. By understanding this, you can choose remarks that build trust and reflect well on your product or service.

The most effective testimonial video productions include the following:

  • Relatable people – Select customers that your prospects can relate to. For example, if you’re marketing a product to executives, your customer testimonial video should feature a business professional. If you’re targeting young adults, your client testimonials should be from young adults.
  • Specific examples – An effective customer testimonial video is loaded with specific examples, not vague murmurs of greatness.
  • Benefits – As part of the testimonial video production process, provide a loose outline of some of the benefits your product or service delivers and make sure that your client testimonials mention those benefits.

Throughout the testimonial video production, keep benefits firmly in mind and focus the entire production around those benefits. Doing so ensures that each customer testimonial video is as effective and credible as possible.

How have you approached testimonial video production? Which client testimonials are the most effective? Share your thoughts in the comment section below:

Purple Lips and Fuzzy Neckties: What to Avoid When Appearing in Marketing Videos

You’ve been asked to appear in a marketing videoand love the thought of being a star for the day. Unlike a Hollywood set, it’s doubtful that you’ll have a team of makeup artists and costume designers dedicated to ensuring that you look your best on camera. In fact, you’ll likely be responsible for selecting the wardrobe and applying your own makeup. Make the right choices and you’ll look great; make the wrong ones and you may end up with purple lips or a shirt that confuses the camera lens.

Because of the way cameras handle reds, it’s smart to avoid red colors. For example, your red lipstick could appear purple on camera! Similarly, red colors can “bloom” on camera, making you appear as if you’re on fire. While modern camera equipment has become more capable of handling reds, it’s smart to avoid this color if possible. Other colors to avoid are black and white.

While you’d never dream of wearing a fuzzy necktie or scarf in real life, the camera can wreak havoc on patterned fabric. Your beautifully patterned necktie or scarf could take on a life of its own on camera, appearing “fuzzy” or causing a distracting flicker. Choose solid fabrics whenever possible. If you must go with a patterned fabric, avoid fine prints. This doesn’t mean you should opt for large patterns or geometric prints as these can be just as distracting visually.

When choosing jewelry, pay close attention to two important aspects: shine and noise. Shiny jewelry will reflect light and appear flashy on camera, causing a visual distraction. Noisy jewelry will clank as you move, again causing a distraction. Even worse, the sound equipment will amplify that noise.

As you go through your wardrobe in search of a suitable outfit in camera-friendly fabrics, try on at least three or four different outfits and evaluate them in terms of comfort and appearance. Does the outfit look nice when standing? How about when you’re seated? Have a friend take photos of you wearing each outfit in both sitting and standing poses. For example, if you’re wearing slacks, the photos may reveal that you need to wear longer socks.

While you’re at it, consider where you’ll clip on the microphone. Lapel microphones can be unobtrusively clipped on neckties, lapels, and on button-down shirts. The wires can also be routed underneath some shirts and blouses. However, high-necked blouses and dresses without a vest or jacket are more challenging.

Both men and women can benefit by wearing special makeup designed for high definition video cameras. Not only can this makeup help you look good on camera, it can reduce glare from the lights.

After you’ve assembled the perfect wardrobe for your marketing video, spend some time speaking in front of a camera. Not only do you want to become more comfortable in front of a camera, the recordings may show you areas to work on. Pay close attention to your hand gestures and any inadvertent mannerisms such as fiddling with your hair or touching your face.

Making the right wardrobe choices is essential before appearing in a marketing video. Choose wisely and you’ll look great on camera. Take a haphazard approach and you may be dismayed at your unflattering appearance.

Online Video Making: Is Makeup Really Necessary?

If you’re a woman who has been asked to appear in an online video, you may be looking forward to your time with the makeup artist. On the other hand, if you’re a man, the thought of applying makeup for the video could be unsettling. Regardless of how you may feel about makeup, a professional video production almost always involves some form of makeup.

Makeup’s Role in Video Production

Just as you play a role in the video production, so does makeup. While cosmetics are generally used to enhance appearances, video makeup is typically used to accommodate the unflattering effects of lighting and camera lenses.

You’ll be under hot, bright lights. Not only does the heat from the light have the potential to cause you to sweat, the light can cause excessive shining on your skin. Makeup artists use powder to minimize shining and the appearance of oily skin.

You’ve likely heard that video cameras add about ten pounds to a body. Though you won’t physically be heavier, you’ll appear heavier due to the way the video affects contours and depth. With today’s high definition cameras and televisions, weight isn’t the only concern – wrinkles and skin flaws are too. Video makeup can correct for the flaws introduced or magnified by the video camera.

Making the Right Video Makeup Choices

  • Foundation and Power – Regular foundations are fine for everyday use, but not necessarily for video production. In fact, your foundation may make you look pasty thanks to its light reflective properties or even its SPF ingredients. Use a foundation specially formulated for high definition video cameras and apply it evenly to your face and neck. A matching powder should be used as well. Both men and women should apply foundation and powder.
  • Lipstick and Lip Balm – Women should choose creamy, natural lipstick colors, avoiding red which often becomes discolored under the lights. Avoid frosty colors and heavy lip glosses. If you’d like a slight sheen, a thin application of Vaseline can catch the lights without being overly shiny. Men may want to use a clear lip balm on their lips to keep them moist and minimize lip noises.
  • Eyeliner, Shadow, and Mascara – Bright lights can make eyes look smaller. Eyeliner and mascara can better define the eyes. Use natural colors. Consider using an eyebrow pencil, in the same color as your eyebrow hair, to fill in your brows. Women should avoid frosty eye shadows and choose matte shadows in neutral colors.

Ideally your video production studio will have a staff makeup artist or will bring one in before the shoot. Find out if a makeup artist will be provided beforehand so that you can be prepared either way.

Online Video Making: Shooting on Location

Last week we talked about shooting online videos in a studio. While having a controlled environment and a set give you greater control over the shots, many videos must be shot on location. After all, if you’re making a training video for your assembly line workers, it’s not practical to create an assembly line in the studio; if your video is promoting a line of swimming pool products, you’ll want to include poolside shots. Shooting on location can add a level of realism to the video, but it does have its own set of challenges.

Scouting Locations for Your Online Video

The first task is to scout locations for your online video. Use your script as a guide and highlight each scene that needs to be shot on location. Next, create a list of all locations. For example, your Web video may have several scenes, each shot at a different location such as an interior office scene, a poolside scene, a beach scene, and a church scene. After you’ve highlighted and listed all locations, you’ll have a better idea of what you’re looking for. Think about possible locations that could serve double duty. For example, a hotel on the beach would likely also have a swimming pool. A church likely also has administrative offices.

Once you have your list, brainstorm nearby locations that might work. Include your partners as one of your partners may be willing to allow you to shoot the video at a personal residence or commercial building, minimizing the need for permits and rental fees.

Obtaining Permits for Video Production

Your video calls for a scene in an art museum, and you just so happen to live close to one that would be perfect. You’re even a member, so you can get in for free. You grab your video gear and ask your talent to meet you at the front of the museum – not so fast! You’ll need to get permission first. Most likely, you’ll also need a permit.

The permit process varies by different types of facilities, cities, and states. In general, expect to fill out an application, provide proof of liability insurance, explain in writing what your shooting plans are, and pay a fee. You may also have to notify nearby residents of your intentions. If you’re working with a video production company, the producer will likely take care of these details on your behalf. If you’re shooting the video on your own, you will be responsible for obtaining the necessary filming permits.

Shooting Video on Location

The locations have been scouted, permits pulled, and shooting day has arrived. Like a studio shoot, the video production crew will be busy setting up audio, lighting, and camera equipment. Though you’re shooting on location, the location will likely need to be staged somewhat. Among the challenges you’ll likely encounter while on location are:

  • Weather and wind issues
  • Curious onlookers
  • Access to power sources

Fortunately, experienced video production crews are equipped to handle most challenges. With careful planning, an on location video shoot can be the right call.

Online Video Making: The Set

After deciding to produce an online video and choosing a video production company, your next major decision involves whether to shoot the video on location or in the studio. When you opt for a studio production, several factors are involved including the set and lighting. Here’s a brief snapshot of what to expect.

Studio Sets

Studio sets can be as basic or elaborate as you need them to be. The most basic set is a simple backdrop, perhaps with a couple of chairs. If you need to create a specific setting such as an office, conference room, or hospital room, props and structural features will need to be added. Obviously, the more elaborate the set, the more costs you’ll likely see – especially if the studio has to custom build the set.

Studio Lighting

Video production studios typically come equipped with lighting equipment. A large grid hangs above the studio where the lights can be hung and adjusted. Lighting is an art and necessary for crisp video images. The lighting director consults with the stage director to create a lighting plan for your production. Much of this will happen behind the scenes before the shoot is scheduled, and you may never see the lighting team at work. Some lights, will light the set while others will light the talent, adding depth, contrast, and highlights.

The Video Production Crew

When you arrive at the studio, you’ll be greeted by a video production crew member who will tell you exactly wear to stand or sit as well as provide you with basic instructions for the shoot. Among the crew members you’ll likely encounter are camera operators, production assistants, the director, and the floor director. During the shoot, each crew member will be wearing a headset and receiving instructions from the director. The floor director will give you direction such as counting down the minutes and seconds until cameras start recording, indicating which camera you should be looking into, and cueing you as to the amount of time you have left.

What Else to Expect

Upon arrival, expect to be fitted with a wireless microphone and asked to do a sound check. The microphone will likely be turned on, so be aware of what you say even before shooting begins. If you must hold a confidential conversation, find out how to switch off the microphone beforehand.

The temperature in the studio will be cold initially as it’s important to keep television and video production equipment cool. However, once the lights come on, you’ll find that the room heats up. You may want to bring a sweater or jacket to wear off camera and then take it off just before shooting begins.

Shooting an online video in a studio allows for greater control over the environment. Much of the work will take place behind the scenes, allowing you to show up and perform.

Convincing Your Customers to Give Video Testimonials

No doubt, video testimonials are powerful, but how do you convince your customers to give them? After all,shooting a video is more intimidating and time consuming than writing a few sentences of praise. Below are a few ideas that can help.

  1. Understand the objections your customers may have. Spend time identifying common objections customers may have to giving a video testimonial. There are many ways to do this including surveys and polls, brainstorming, and informal focus groups.
  2. Come up with solutions to those objections. Once you’ve identified the most likely objections, come up with solutions. For example, a customer may not mind giving saying a few words on camera, but may worry about taking a day off work to travel to a studio. A solution to this is to shoot the video testimonial at the customer’s office or home. Another customer may be worried about stuttering or not knowing what to say once the camera is rolling. A solution could involve multiple takes and preparing a script in advance.
  3. Make video testimonials easy. Depending on your business and clientele, you may want to keep a small video camera with you at all times and offer to record the testimonial on the spot. For example, if you own a mobile dog grooming operation, you could record the video after the dog is groomed. Imagine how lovely it would be to have the customer holding a freshly clipped poodle as she raves about your service. Another easy option is to allow customers to upload their own video testimonials via your website. The downside to this is that you have less control over the production values of the finished video. If you conduct seminars, workshops, or classes, set up a video testimonial shooting booth in a quiet area and let participants know about it. At the end of the session, hold a video testimonial shoot.
  4. Ask at the right time. The best time to ask is when customers are grateful for your product or service. At this point, they want to help you because you have helped them. Ideally, you’ll ask before the novelty has worn off. Sure, they’re still happy, but they may not be as motivated to give a video testimonial.
  5. Offer an incentive. Most satisfied customers are happy to spread the word on their own. However, because video can intimidate some, a small incentive could nudge those who are nervous about the process. Be careful though because you’ll want to avoid any situation where you might have to label the testimonial as a “paid endorsement.” Think of small items that serve as gestures of appreciation such as a logo coffee mug or keychain. Regardless of whether or not you offer an incentive, make sure to thank your customer for helping you or considering your request.

By understanding common objections, offering solutions, making it easy, asking at the right time, and thanking the customer, you’ll be on the right track for convincing your customers to give video testimonials.

Web Video Scriptwriting Tips

You’ve been tasked with writing the script for your company’s Web video – now what? As you stare at the blank page in front of you, you may feel intimidated especially if you’ve never written a script before. At this point, don’t worry about the finished product; take small steps instead. As with any project that requires extensive writing,scriptwriting requires brainstorming, outlining, writing, and refining.

Brainstorming Ideas for the Web Video Script

Whether you’re creating a marketing video, product tutorial, or training video, nothing happens until you have an idea or theme. Plan a brainstorming session and generate as many ideas as possible. Let your creative energy guide you and don’t be afraid to get a little silly. Use a white board or a large piece of paper and write down all ideas. Your ideas will likely evolve as you go. Ultimately, one idea will emerge as the clear choice.

Outlining the Web Video Script

Once you’ve found the perfect idea for your Web video, it’s time to start formulating it. Like any story, your online video will need a beginning, middle, and end. Use an outline to plot your plan. You don’t need to go into great detail here; simply organize the key points you want to address and estimate each section’s approximate running time.

Web Video Scriptwriting

Using your outline as a guide, it’s now time to start writing the script. Use a simple two column format with the left column designated for video and the right column for audio. For example:

Video Audio
Wide shot of company headquarters Opening music
The CEO inspects assembly line NARRATOR: At XYZ Corporation, everyone from the factory worker to the CEO is involved in customer service.

This script format is useful throughout the production. Not only does it serve as a guide during shooting, it helps the editor during editing. You can also use storyboards as a visual aid. As you write, keep the Web video’s total running time in mind. For example, if your final Web video is to be no longer than three minutes, you’ll need to pace the script as you write.

Refining the Script

Few writing projects are complete after the first draft. Go through the script and edit it. While you’ll want to correct any spelling and grammar errors, you’ll also want to go through the script with an eye on organization. Does the order of your key points make sense? Do you need any transitions? Does the script have any redundant areas? Is the script too long or too short? Does the script have a strong call to action? Does it address everything it promised to cover in its introduction?

It may take a few rounds of revisions before your Web video script is ready. By taking the time to brainstorm and outline the project before writing the script, you should have a workable first draft requiring only minor revisions.

Behind the Scenes of Video Production: The Three Stages of Production

Like most business processes, video production is made up of several distinct stages. The three stages of video production are: pre-production, production, and post-production. Breaking video production down into these stages allows the production team to plan, produce, and polish the video. As with any project, skimping on one area can adversely affect the final product. Here’s a quick look at each of these important video production stages.


Consider pre-production the planning phase. This is the time where the producers and directors create their video production plan, draft a budget, obtain funding, commission a script, cast actors and actresses, scout and line up locations, acquire costumes and props, design, set up and light the set, and create the shooting schedule. Essentially, anything that needs to be coordinated before shooting begins occurs during pre-production. In fact, even some post-production tasks may be handled during pre-production such as hiring an editor or booking editing time in advance.

If you’re a business owner planning a Web video, your input will be needed throughout the pre-production phase. The director will likely consult with you extensively about your target audience, goals and objectives, message, and more.

Video Production

After extensive planning, the video production will ultimately move out of pre-production into production. Think of this phase of the project as the “execution” stage. This is the time where it all comes together: The actors deliver their lines in front of cameras. Having carefully planned every little detail, the production should go smoothly though a few minor setbacks (such as a microphone not working) aren’t unusual. Professional video production companies expect these mishaps and plan for them. For example, during production, a sound engineer will constantly monitor sound levels from each microphone and be prepared to promptly replace any malfunctioning audio equipment.

Production involves an entire crew complete with makeup artists, camera operators, sound engineers, lighting technicians, control room personnel, the floor director, the director, and various assistants. These professionals are dedicated to helping the talent perform to their best abilities and capturing those performances to the highest standards.


At the end of shooting, you’ll likely hear the director tell the crew, “That’s a wrap.” From there, the crew will begin breaking down the set and putting their equipment away. While the performance has been captured in video form, the work isn’t done yet. It’s time for post-production to begin. For the most part, post-production involves editing the raw footage into a polished video ready to be shown to the masses. Graphics, special effects, music, and voiceovers typically take place during post-production editing though some effects may be generated during production in the control room. After the video has been edited and approved, copies will be made and distributed and the video production process finalized.

The next time you consider making a business or marketing video, pay attention to each of these important stages of video production and commit to doing your part in making each stage go as smoothly as possible. You’ll be glad you did!

What Video Quality Says About Your Product, Service, and Brand

You’ve spent years carefully developing your product and your image. Your product is perfect, the marketing materials are brilliant, the website is gorgeous, but your marketing video looks like you handed your forklift driver a Flip camera and set him loose. While your forklift driver may be handy with a video camera and have a creative streak, communicating a quality image with your potential customers requires as much care as your product’s development.

Video production values speak volumes about your product, service, and brand. Shaky camera work, boring segments, inaudible audio, and other undesirable factors relay a not-so-subtle message to your viewers. It’s a message about quality and since the quality is poor, it’s a message that says that you don’t care about quality.

Is that the message you want to send to your customers?

Unfortunately, in the digital age of YouTube and viral online videos, production values have taken a back seat to the immediate gratification of a few laughs. This doesn’t mean that poor quality videos have become a viable replacement for marketing videos. Video production values matter as much now as they ever did. Consumers are willing to watch amateur videos if the payoff is good enough. However, today’s television viewers are used to Hollywood effects, high definition video, crisp soundtracks, and realistic, fast-paced dialogue. If you’re going to develop a marketing video lacking a well-framed, crystal clear image and audible, easy-to-understand dialogue, your marketing message will be drowned out by the message the video screams out about quality.

Video Production Values – What are they?

Just as your company newsletter conforms to a set of predefined guidelines, so too do marketing videos. With your newsletter, you expect an attractive layout, a nice use of white space, well written and error-free text, and interesting content. You wouldn’t tolerate blank columns or pages, blurry photos, smudged ink, or ripped pages. With a video production, you expect a properly framed shot, clear focus, clear audio, attractive talent, and interesting content. You wouldn’t tolerate blurry images, a lack of audio, shaky cameras, unlit subjects, or “dead air.”

There’s more involved to video production values than these examples. For example, the quality of the camera, lighting, stage direction, set, editing, and other factors all work together to create a video with strong production values.

A marketing video with strong production values actually downplays those values because they’re expected while one with weak production values draws attention to itself. If you find yourself struggling to see a product or image, straining to hear, or simply bored out of your mind while the onscreen talent babbles nonsense, you can bet that video needs work. If you find yourself questioning the quality or credibility of a product, service, brand, or company, the marketing video likely lacks one or more production values.

Excellent video quality is a must; it shows you value quality. A lack of it shows the opposite. What do you think? Share your thoughts below.

The Benefits of Using Actors and Actresses in Web Videos

Does the thought of appearing in your website’s online video give you stage fright? While you may have decided to launch a Web video, you may not have come to terms with the thought of appearing onscreen. Fortunately, you may not need to! Instead of appearing in your own online video, consider usingactors and actresses.

Online Actors and Actresses Give You Greater Control over Your Image

One of the most immediate benefits of hiring an actor or actress is that doing so gives you greater control over the image you project. For example, if you’re a middle aged man running a company that caters to teenage girls, hiring a young actress to appear in your Web video could make much more sense than appearing yourself. Similarly, if you’re a twenty-something entrepreneur selling geriatric products to an older demographic, hiring a more mature actor or actress could be the right move. When considering who should appear in your Web video, think about your audience and the type of spokesperson that would lend the most credibility to your brand.

Online Actors and Actresses are Comfortable in Front of Cameras

Because actors and actresses are professionals, they tend to be extremely comfortable in front of cameras. This comfort level leads to several benefits: a more polished production, fewer mistakes, and faster production and post-production processes. Not only will your finished Web video look better with professional actors and actresses involved, the actual shooting and editing could go much smoother as well. For example, a well prepared actress requires fewer “takes” to deliver the message. Fewer takes translates into more efficient use of studio time and less time in the editing room piecing the final video together.

Online Actors and Actresses Allow You to Take Your Ideas Virtually Anywhere

Actors and actresses play roles – it’s what they do. Because of this, you can fill your Web video with virtually anyone from doctors and lawyers to cheerleaders and fairy godmothers. No matter what you’re imagining for your Web video, hiring professional actors and actresses to play the roles can bring your ideas to life.

If you’re suffering from stage fright at the thought of appearing in your company’s Web video, take a deep breath and consider the possibilities. Appearing in your own online video may not be the best choice. Many actors and actresses specialize in Web video and can deliver several important benefits. Not only can you avoid the stress, you can project the image you want to project, produce a polished Web video with fewer takes, and bring your ideas to life!