Customer reviews and testimonials are an essential part of growing your business or brand. Back in the days before the internet, friends, family, and colleagues might share their experiences with a product or a service over a cup of coffee or in the breakroom at work. As more and more of our transactions and purchases moved online, reviews and comments from others who have used the product or service have taken on an even larger role.
Think about it, every online purchase, subscription, or scheduled service appointment requires the consumer to put their trust in someone that they have never met or in a product that they often cannot touch or examine before purchasing. Reviews and testimonials fill the word-of-mouth personal recommendation void.
While most shoppers will peruse the comments and written reviews for a product or service, video testimonials are the gold standard for converting browsers into buyers. A well-crafted, engaging video testimonial can have a far greater impact than hundreds of 5-star reviews or positive comments.
We are visual creatures, and we are hardwired to respond to visual and audio stimuli. Marketers know this, and that is why there are so many video advertisements vying for our attention on every social media site. Video is powerful.
Now, here is the caveat. Video is one of the most popular marketing mediums. That means that your videos are competing with hundreds, if not thousands, of other video content. Asking your customers to sit in front of a camera talking about your product or service is probably not going to generate the response you are looking for.
So how do you go about creating effective video testimonials that grab a hold of viewers’ attention and inspire them to take the next step in the buyer’s journey?
Let’s explore what it takes to craft compelling testimonial videos that convert passive viewers into paying customers.
Create The Narrative
One of the biggest mistakes people make when creating customer review videos is not providing their customers with structure or direction. This mistake is often made with the best of intentions. After all, you want your customers to provide authentic, honest reviews of your brand, so you don’t want to tell them what to say, right?
It is true you want your customer to share their experience in their own words, but sitting in front of a camera talking about a product or service does not come naturally to…well, anyone. Your customer is likely to feel and look uncomfortable, and the result is often a long, rambling testimony, with a number of awkward pauses and repetition of a few key points.
The key to getting the best from your brand advocates is to prepare and share a guiding narrative ahead of the testimony filming date. Your narrative should take the form of a series of interview-style questions designed to elicit the best parts of your customer’s story. Think of these questions as prompts, and encourage your customer to tell their story in response to the prompt questions.
Create A Conversational Feel
The most engaging testimonials are those where we feel like the reviewer is speaking directly to us. Remember, video testimonials are essentially taking the place of those face-to-face recommendations from friends and family. The more that your audience feels like they are a part of the conversation, or sees themselves or their situation in the story being told, the more powerful the impact.
There are a few tips you can use to create this engaging conversational style that draws the viewer into the discussion.
Interview Your Subject
The best way to keep your video testimony on track and get the best information out of your customer is to structure the testimony shoot as a Q&A-style interview using the questions you created earlier. The secret to using this technique effectively is crafting questions that elicit story-telling responses.
This may take a bit of practice for both you and your subject, but the end results will be well worth it. The interview style allows you to guide the narrative and draw out the specific information you are looking for, while allowing your customer to provide their story, in their own words, in response. Your subject should be encouraged to tell a story in response to each prompt. You will be editing out your questions later leaving only your client’s responses to tell the story (more on this later).
Position Yourself Next To The Camera
Let’s face it. Talking into a camera lens is just awkward for both the person doing the talking and the viewer. You can give your testimonial video a much more natural feel by positioning yourself directly next to the camera while you conduct your interview with your customer.
This will make the person providing the testimony feel and look far more comfortable as they will often become engaged in the natural flow of the back-and-forth conversation with you and become less aware of the camera filming them. Additionally, by positioning yourself next to the camera, your subject’s gaze will be focused in the direction of the camera, but they will not be staring directly into the lens. This small perspective shift creates the feel of a natural conversation between the person giving the testimony and the viewer.
Switch Up The Camera Angle
Here is a pro tip to help keep your audience engaged in the conversation. Try shifting the camera angle or position slightly throughout the interview. You can do this by either moving the camera closer to or further from the subject between questions or shifting the camera position slightly. You can also shift your position from one side of the camera to the other so that your subject naturally shifts their position and perspective to match.
All of these subtle techniques can be used to create video magic in the editing stage. Here’s a great example of a testimonial video that feels like a conversation even with pandemic restrictions.
Professional Videography Tips
Now that we know how to get the testimony you need, let’s talk a bit about setting the scene and getting the extra footage you need to give your video more visual impact.
Set The Stage
This goes without saying, but we are going to say it anyway. Pay attention to your background. Your customer should be the focus of your testimony video. Make sure that the background is clean and professional and does not contain any clutter, signage, activity, or other distractions that might take the viewer’s attention away from the story being told.
Film B-Roll Footage
If possible, consider shooting a bit of extra footage, commonly known as B-roll footage, of your customer’s life or workspace. This footage could show the product or service in action, or it may simply be used to show how awesome your customer’s life is after using your product or service. It can also be used to add an air of authority to your customer’s testimony by showcasing their work area or talent.
Here’s an excellent representation of a video that uses B-roll footage and scene setting to create a comfortable, friendly vibe.
That brings us to the final step. You have all of the footage you need now it is time to make the magic happen through clever video editing.
It is during the video editing stage that you will go through all of the footage that you have filmed and select the most engaging or powerful sections to knit together into a cohesive, flowing testimonial video.
Video editing techniques can be used to remove awkward pauses, stutters, and false starts in the testimony. You can also cut out repetitive statements and cull down the conversation to eliminate any portions where the conversation went off-subject or lost the narrative. This is the point where you will remove all of the footage of yourself asking the interview questions as well.
Of course, this takes a good deal of skill and practice to master. Your goal is to remove all distracting or irrelevant conversation and footage, leaving only the very best parts of the testimony. You then need to knit these powerful sections together in a way that makes it seem to be one free-flowing, continuous statement.
This means you will need to carefully splice together different video clips and camera angles, so there are no jarring transitions between stitched-together segments. This is where the B-roll footage you filmed can come in handy, as you can skillfully blend relevant scenes into your testimony video to ease transitions and add visual interest. This is a great time to add background music to add that extra punch of emotion as well.
Here’s an example of a professionally edited testimonial video that does a good job of presenting a sleek, streamlined feel.
A Professional Touch
If all this sounds a bit daunting, don’t worry. Nobody expects you to be a professional video editor. It takes a great deal of experience, talent, and time to turn raw footage into a professional video presentation.
Fortunately, there are a number of options available to help you give your testimonial videos that professional touch. The most expensive option, hiring a professional in-house video editing team, is generally not in the budget for most small businesses, start-ups, and entrepreneurs. That does not mean that you will need to spend hours trying to figure out how to edit your video yourself.
Freelance video editors offer one affordable option. If you choose to go this route, you will need to take care that you are doing your research because the quality and reliability of freelance creative services can vary significantly from individual to individual. You will also want to ensure that you are able to work with the same freelancer for all of your video-editing projects so that you maintain a similar style and sense of continuity between videos.
If you plan to create more than a few testimonial videos, or you anticipate the need for other types of creative services like copywriting, illustrations, logo design, or website design, you may want to consider a monthly flat-rate subscription from an all-in-one creative service provider like Flocksy.
Expert Video Testimonials Without The Effort
Flocksy offers a full range of creative services under one roof for one low monthly price. The expert video editing team can take your raw footage and turn it into a professional video testimonial complete with an introduction, professional transitions, and inspiring background music. They can even add graphic overlays showcasing your brand or highlighting key features of your product or service.
Best of all, Flocksy’s video editors have the industry experience and depth of knowledge to select the very best elements from your raw footage and B-roll to create a powerful, effective video testimonial that has viewers searching for your brand to learn more.
Simply log into your Flocksy account, head over to your dashboard, and choose the Testimonial Video from the many video editing and other creative service categories. Fill out the intuitive project brief to let your professional video editor know the purpose of your video, your brand style, and the message you would like to convey. You can also tell your video pro how you would like the video to feel and what type of emotion you would like to evoke. Upload your raw footage, and let your own professional video editing expert take it from there.
Your video expert will carefully analyze your raw footage and select the best clips, combinations, transitions, and effects to create an impactful and professional video review. It doesn’t get easier than that!