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.

Testimonial Video: Tips for Putting Your Customers at Ease

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.