5 Ways to Improve Video Testimonials in 2022

Video testimonials are a great way to quickly establish brand awareness and product or service confidence in potential clients. Arguably better than a text-based review is a person visibly and audibly defending their position on your products or services. In this post, we’ll cover five tips to help you produce new testimonials or polish your older videos, with the best return on your investment in mind, from start to finish.

#5 Research

Before launching into a video testimonial project, take a moment to resolve some critical details. What product or service are you highlighting in this video? What do you wish to gain by having someone speak on behalf of your product or service? How does this content integrate into the larger picture of your brand? Do you clearly understand your brands’ aesthetic, message, mission, purpose, and values? Where will this video end up? Will it go on a landing page? Social media channel? Your current or potential clients’ inbox? What customer persona or audience are you targeting? What stage in the sales process or marketing funnel will your audience watch this video? Are there any video testimonials you’ve seen that spark inspiration that you can use as an example?

These are a few questions you can ask yourself to get started. Notice we aren’t asking logistical questions just yet, such as whom you can interview or what your interview topics will be. It’s best to get a clear picture of what your company needs to serve its goals before entering logistics.

#4 Develop a strategy and a script

After you’ve developed background information on your topic, a strategy, followed by a script, is next at hand. How do you create a plan for a video testimonial? 

Take a moment to think about what is most important here – that a potential customer is able to see the value of your brand, product, or service and how it applies to them. Write down the top values you wish to portray and use this as a starting point for questions you may want to be answered on screen. 

For your script, you don’t have to write a narrative. All it will take is a series of questions, that when asked, will provide the editor with enough material to make your case for a sale. Not familiar with scripting or writing interview questions? Hire a pro!

#3 Use professional services

This tip might seem like a cheap sales pitch coming from a video production services company. Hear us out – DIY has its place, as demonstrated in many scenarios such as the B2B case for user- and influencer-generated social stories. But it would be best if you had a strategically-balanced mix of professionally produced content and user-generated video. Providing potential clients with a window into other clients’ viewpoints of your products and services should be as sharp, clear, clean, and professional as your budget allows. 

Credibility

First, it is easier for professionally produced video content to garner instant credibility. While you can argue that user-generated content also lends credibility, there is a difference between the two. Professionally produced video content makes it easier to break through the noise by offering a polished, on-brand look. Most user-generated content that is considered credible requires thousands of views as well. You can achieve this by either involving a pricey influencer or scripting a risque viral plot. This content could take even more time in pre-production brainstorming, and planning such a feat for a business brand. That isn’t to say low-brow content doesn’t have its place among your content. It is in striking the right balance that will achieve your best results.

Brand Cohesiveness

Second, professional services opt to use branded content within your video, such as branded animations or following your video production brand guidelines. Producing a branded piece will ensure that customers instantly associate this content with your brand.

#2 Be Present and Improvise

It’s ok to go off-script. During the interview process, you may find yourself coaching the interviewee to stick to your well-formed script. Meanwhile, also sweating about running out of time and going over budget on your big production. As well-meaning as this can seem to the project’s health, it is only distracting you from remaining in the moment. Being present in the moment is where all of the best work often comes from. 

Being in the moment means you might hear a comment or find a thread to follow in the interviewees’ answers, leading to some fascinating discussion. Think about your interview in terms of solely as a conversation. Remember a time when you might have been sitting across from someone at a restaurant, hearing an incredibly engaging story, or having a deep discussion. This moment can feel like that and turn a good interview into a great one. 

During the interview, try to imagine there are no cameras, no lights, and no one else but you and the interviewee. Remember that great conversation you were absorbed in at a table in a restaurant? You probably stopped paying attention to the servers rushing around, the clanking of dishes, the sharp conversational sounds and occasional laughter of people at other tables, the color of the carpet, or the lighting fixtures. You were focused. You’ll want and need that focus now. You need them to get to the heart of why they believe in your company, your product, or your service on camera.

And remember, some of the best content produced was off-script, ad-libbed, and improvised. For example, the infamous scene – Raiders of the Lost Ark, Sword Vs. Gun – was wholly unscripted and came about due to Harrison Ford’s bout with dysentery on set. He even discusses this in a Reddit AMA.

#1 Build a System

Does your company have a system for capturing reviews after a sale? Whether your company sells products, services, or even subscriptions, determine the most optimal time in the sales cycle to approach a client about “leaving a review” on camera. 

Research all of your client base to reveal when this target timing might occur. Prepare your annual marketing budget to produce content to be filmed at these ideal times. Get estimated production timeframes from your chosen media production company, and build this into your content calendar. This will enable you to have fresh content throughout the year. More recent reviews will also tend to lend more credibility to the viewer. 

You can alternatively opt to send in a professional who will be able to act as a buffer between you and your client. This can help remove the awkwardness of confrontation to get earnest feedback from your client – good or bad. Obviously, you won’t want to post your bad reviews, but seeing and hearing a client complaint on camera and sharing with your internal staff is a great way to bring issues to light, some of which you may never know you had.

5 videos every business should have

Over the years, we’ve compiled a list of our top performing content that we make for our clients. Here they are, in order of popularity.

Tips for first-time video buyers

Whether you’re a business owner, artist, executive, or buyer, spending your resources on a video for the first time can be a daunting process. There are many creative components and opinions to consider. On the technical side, it’s just like any other project, so even the most basic project management skills can apply here.

Determine your goals

Before you begin to think about the video itself, consider why you’re shopping for a video at all. Videos are increasing in popularity each year. They come highly recommended and are incredibly useful. In order to maximize your effectiveness, you need to put your goals first. A video isn’t a magic wand, so it can’t solve every problem. However, it can solve a great many of them and can be designed to help you if you are clear about goals.

Do you want to raise brand awareness? Increase leads? Onboard new clients? Educate staff or contractors? Reduce incidents and accidents at your facility? A good video can accomplish all of these needs.

Determine your constraints and resources

Time. How long do you have to present or distribute a final video? Weeks? Months? Determine this constraint first. If you are outsourcing, some services will charge a rush fee or may not be available at all. Oftentimes, creative professional services can be booked weeks to months in advance. A professionally produced commercial with animation, professional narration, and custom music could take 4-8 weeks.

If there is no definitive answer, decide on a realistic or optimal time frame and set that as your deadline. You can use this to your advantage later if you need to move the deadline to adjust for a different project constraint.

Economics. Do you have a budget already set? Great. Consider presenting this information to your production service of choice so they can organize their own constraints and resources accordingly and present options. Having a budget upfront will also help you determine if a company partner or vendor is the best fit, sometimes right away. It may also tell you if you have reserved too much or too little. If you have more budget than you realized you would need, consider hearing out the production partner or vendor on how they would use it. This may lead to a major camera upgrade or additional videos. If you have less budget than you realized you needed, it’s ok to take a step back and consider other paths to your goal until you’re ready to buy. In the long run with business or commercial services, it’s better to do it right.

Logistics. Are all people, locations, equipment, clothing, and props going to be in the right place at the right time?

Decide how to produce

You can spend the budget on a variety of options. Let’s narrow it down to the three core categories:

  • Professional, turn-key video service
  • Insourcing: Hiring an employee or volunteering a current one
  • DIY

Professional Turn-Key Video Service

If you chose a great company who is the right fit, you’ll end up with a low-hassle project that leads to profits for many years. For tips on how to choose a great video production company, check out this article. It may come as a surprise, but outsourcing your video or photo production needs is sometimes the least expensive option. Read on to learn why.

Insourcing: Hiring an employee or volunteering a current one

One of the top reasons a company starts their own media production department is to produce a high volume of media at a lower cost. If you are a first-time buyer, it is strongly recommended you start with one video and forego considering adding a media production department.

If you are still wanting to pursue this option, you can check out our article on insourcing here. We’ll cover all of the pitfalls you might hit while pursuing this.

Warning – if you aren’t a seasoned media production professional – prepare for difficulty in judging and coaching this person’s work. And especially in determining their work load.

DIY

Is learning how to make videos going to be the best use of my time?

Will it save you money? Maybe. Maybe not. Beware, too much DIY can lead to you becoming your own video production department. The first question you should ask yourself is “Is this going to be the best use of my time?” If you are doing this to save money, consider the following –

You start with an inexpensive DSLR video camera, but after filming a short segment of someone speaking on camera, realize it doesn’t sound very good and it’s hard to understand what the person is saying. You realize you’ll need to purchase additional audio equipment and all of the accessories. Now you need better lighting. Next you’ll need a better computer to process all of this data you created. Finally, you’ll need more experience and knowledge in the video production process. This will lead you to understand why your equipment isn’t giving you the results you expected. And it’s probably because you need more expensive equipment to get the look and sound you loved so much in that one video you saw online.

If learning how to make videos is going to be the best use of your time, you should check out our favorite resources:

If you have additional questions before purchasing a video, don’t be shy! Reach out, we’re here to help –