Testimonial Video Production: To Script or Not to Script

Testimonial ScriptwritingTestimonial video production starts long before the cameras start rolling. First, you need a willing client to appear in the customer testimonial video. Next, you need to plan the entire shoot from location to what the client will actually say during filming. At this point, you have two choices: letting the customer speak freely or scripting the words. Let’s take a look at these two options for client testimonials.

In either situation, you need happy customers willing to share their positive experiences on video. The problem with allowing customers to speak freely during testimonial video production is that customers aren’t always clear about what satisfied them. Where one customer might say, “They were great” and then draw a blank, another customer could ramble on for ten minutes detailing every aspect of the transaction. These two extremes illustrate why scripting client testimonials makes more sense.

While it’s tempting to simply let your happy customers speak their minds, the best client testimonials are scripted. Some business professionals balk at the thought of scripting a customer testimonial video. They may feel as though the scripted customer testimonial video is somehow dishonest. Scripting client testimonials doesn’t mean putting words into clients’ mouths. It’s a process that involves interviewing the customer, extracting the most satisfying parts of the user experience, and crafting a customer testimonial video script to match. When done properly, the words are authentic because they accurately reflect what the customer has previously said.

Testimonial Video Production – The Scripting Process

Scripting client testimonials is necessary because you have a short amount of time for customers on camera to make their point, and many customers aren’t exactly sure what their points are. In order to help customers communicate what they liked about a product or service, a skilled scriptwriter joins the testimonial video production team and carries out the following steps:

  • Interview the customer – When it comes to scripting a customer testimonial video, scriptwriters must first interview the customer to uncover vital information about the customer’s experience. By asking the right questions, listening to the responses, and digging deeper, a skilled scriptwriter can quickly uncover hidden gems that the customer might not have freely discussed without prompting.
  • Extract the most satisfying parts of the customer’s experience – After interviewing the customer, the scriptwriter reviews the interview transcript and extracts those magical moments.
  • Write a concise customer testimonial video script – From there, the scriptwriter crafts a concise script that is as close to the customer’s own words as possible, highlighting those magical moments and making a point quickly.

Once the customer testimonial video script is written, it is given to the customer to review to ensure that it accurately reflects the customer’s experience and speaking style. Changes can be incorporated as needed. Finally, as testimonial video production continues, the client rehearses the lines for a natural delivery. Teleprompters or cue cards may be used to prompt the client.

In addition to writing and practicing the script, further testimonial video production work can be done to polish the customer testimonial video to perfection. For example, it’s not unusual for clients to stumble over words when giving client testimonials on video. Encourage your customers to keep speaking and not get flustered. After all, you can reshoot the testimonial as well as edit it afterward.

Scripting client testimonials requires a strong scriptwriter with excellent interviewing skills. With a concise, to-the-point script in place, your customers can express themselves better than ever without compromising their experience or integrity.

What do you think about scripting client testimonials? Share your thoughts in the comments section below:

Website Video Production Checklist

Video ProductionWebsite video production requires video production, marketing, and technical expertise, and there’s a lot to do. After all, you have to write a script, hire actors, scout locations, shoot the video, edit it, upload it, and optimize it – just to name a few of the many tasks involved. Use this Web video production checklist to ensure that you don’t overlook anything.

  • Hire the right video production company. Video production companies specialize in a variety of areas including: television, corporate video, infomercials, documentaries, news gathering, music videos, and website video production. Since you’re making a video destined for the Web, it’s smart to choose a video production company that has the expertise required to shoot, edit, and publish Web videos. If your video has a marketing message, it’s also not a bad idea to find a Web video production team with Internet marketing expertise.
  • Break the Web video production down into phases. Traditional video has three phases (pre-production, production, and post-production); website video production has the same three plus a few more Web-centric requirements such as SEO, website integration, video-sharing site distribution, social media, and marketing. From scripting, shooting, and editing to keyword research, video player overlays, and analytics, website video production can seem overwhelming with a never-ending list of tasks. By breaking your Web video production to-do list into phases, it becomes much more manageable.
  • Create a plan. Use project management software or some other tool to create a solid action plan for your Web video production. Since you’ve already broken it into phases, you are off to a great start. Identify each task that must be accomplished in each phase and estimate when the task must start, how much time it requires, and when it must be completed. For example, one of the most important pre-production tasks is writing the script. How long will it take? When must the final script be complete? When should you start writing to ensure that deadline is met?
  • Build a team. You’ve hired the right video production company, broken the project down into phases and have a general idea about the tasks involved. While your video production company will handle a great deal of the tasks, you may need to provide additional support and resources. Build a small team from your office to help as needed. For example, who will write the script or supply the video production company’s script writer with necessary details about your company? Who will coordinate access for filming your facility? Use your project management plan to match tasks with team members and make sure that each task has a responsible team member overseeing it.
  • Be flexible. No matter how well you plan and how great your support team is, you may run into glitches and delays. For example, your existing Web hosting plan may not be suitable for storing the files related to the Web video production. You may need to upgrade or store your files on a different server than expected. Whether it’s a technical glitch or a delay due to unforeseen circumstances, flexibility will make it easier to recover.

This website video production checklist isn’t overly complicated. If you follow these key steps, you’ll be well on your way toward producing a compelling online video, on-time and within your budget. Remember to choose the right video production company, break the project down into phases, plan your Web video production, build a support team and assign tasks, and prepare for the unexpected.

Did we miss any important points in our website video production checklist? Let us know by sharing your tips in the comments section below:

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.

Website Video Production: 3 Success Factors

website video production has a set of success factors unique to the nature of the Internet. While just about any video production company would agree that videos in general should have strong production values and be produced according to established standards, the way people view videos on the Web influences how online videos should be produced. A successful Web video production takes the following three success factors into account: length, focus, and call to action.

Website Video Production Success Factor #1: Length

While many people watch full length movies online, few have the attention span for a marketing-oriented Web video production of that length. Just as online website visitors tend to scan text, online viewers expect short videos that get to the point quickly. If your website video production involves a marketing message, keep it short. A sixty to ninety second video should be sufficient to get your message across. Anything longer and your viewers may stop watching and hesitate to share the video with others.

Tutorials and training sessions can be longer; however, it’s smart to break these longer videos into smaller modules. Doing so makes for smaller file sizes and minimizes issues with bandwidth and video streaming. As you plan these longer videos, ask your video production company to break up the video into shorter segments. Your viewers can watch each segment all at once or over several days.

Website Video Production Success Factor # 2: Focus

Just as your articles and blog posts should have a narrow focus, the same is true of Web video production. This isn’t the time for an in-depth exploration of your company’s history, values, and goals; it’s the time to drive home a single message. Work with your video production company to identify that message and write a tight script around it. The entire Web video production should remain tightly focused on that single message.

For example, if your website video production is focused on how your products relieve stress, focus on the stress relief aspects of your products and avoid the temptation to add other benefits such as return on investment or durability (unless those benefits contribute to stress relief). A video production company can help you develop the concept and write the script to appeal to a Web audience.

Website Video Production Success Factor # 3: Call to Action

In addition to length and focus, a successful Web video production tells viewers what action to take next. This is known as the “call to action.” For example, a Web video production focused on detailing the benefits of a given product or service will have a call to action along the lines of “order now” or “download a free trial version.”

You should know the call to action long before website video production begins. As you write the script, ask yourself what action you want viewers to take after watching your video. Again, your video production company can help you here, especially if you choose a video production company with a strong marketing background such as Visible Conversions. During the planning stage, you can come up with as many different calls to action as you want, but you’ll only want to include one in your final Web video production. Carefully consider what action you want your viewers to take (order now, sign up for a newsletter, participate in a trial, and so on) and then focus the website video production on leading up to that action, making that action a natural choice.

A successful website video production incorporates all three success factors. It is short and tightly focused with a strong call to action at the end. Choose a website video production company that embraces these three important factors and your next Web video production is sure to be a hit with viewers.

What do you think is the most important factor involved in website video production? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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.