They say a picture is worth 1000 words. Well, consumer analysts reason a video is actually worth 1.8 million words per minute. Plus, when 90% of customers say online reviews influence their buying decisions - do the math, and it’s no surprise that customer video testimonials pull more weight than written ones.
We know what you’re thinking: scripting, casting and shooting a video sounds like a lot more work than a quickly-typed testimonial? But, you already understand what a big difference video makes, so it’s worth investing time in creating even a simple yet valuable testimonial video for your brand or product.
In this blog, we’ll deep dive into why customer testimonial videos are so useful, step through how to create them and share some great examples of genuine testimonials out there.
First up, what is a testimonial?
Pretty straightforward - a testimonial is a recommendation from a satisfied buyer. Sometimes these are in the form of ‘paid partnerships’ - like the kind of testimonials or endorsements you see on social media. But, more often than not, the key to a successful testimonial is word of mouth from everyday customers.
The most fool-proof way to make a good brand video is with real people. You’ve probably heard the line before “don’t take our word for it – hear from our happy customers…”.
So, why does testimonial advertising work?
Hearing how real customers feel about a product or brand helps build trust - and drive results. In this digital age, we’re bombarded with marketing messages left, right and centre. A reliable video testimonial can help your brand stand out from the noise by building trust in its usefulness, efficacy, quality, or perhaps its uniqueness.
Videos are king on social media these days - meaning your awesome testimonial videos can be shared across these platforms giving broader reach and a more targeted audience.
The best testimonial videos are designed in a way that highlights pain points that customers can relate to, aka “do you hate it when this happens to you?”.
This tactic helps to create demand through necessity. But here’s how you do it without the infomercial cheesiness (unless you’re aiming for irony, in which case, go ahead!)
What do you say in a testimonial?
Here’s where you want to steer your customer’s positive feedback to form a narrative for your brand - it’s not about making it biased, just about tying the story together. Your video needs a story: a start, middle and end.
It can be a super-easy format: the customer explains their needs — the customer tells how they found your product or service and why your brand stands out — the customer explains how their needs are met with your product or service—the end.
Video testimonial questions
You can help structure their feedback by asking some key questions.
Who are you, and what do you do?
How long have you been using our product or service?
What made our product or service stand out from other options?
What problems were you trying to solve with our product or service?
Why would you recommend us?
How to organise customer testimonials
By now we’re guessing you’re interested in sharing customer testimonials? Cool!
The first thing you’ll need to do is open that ‘happy customer folder’ with all the excellent feedback you’ve been filling away, of course! If you haven’t already been bookmarking glowing reviews with pride, with any luck, you’ll have some Google or Facebook reviews online already. And, be sure to search your other social media channels for positive notes too - for instance, did someone send a DM or comment on or tag you in a post?
Now you’ve tapped into your happy customer network; it’s time to ask them for a favour.
Here’s some key things to consider when asking your customers for a testimonial:
Don’t ask new customers too soon, you don’t want to scare them off! Instead, select repeat customers who have been engaging with your brand, product or service for a few months or longer.
Wait for it …
Don’t send out a mass email to your entire database asking for positive vibes; instead, wait for feedback to come to you and then selectively reach out to your already loyal and engaged customers.
Put it in an email
Even if you have your customer’s phone number - it’s better to ask over email to avoid putting them on the spot and give them time to consider your request.
Give them all the info
Start your email by thanking them for their feedback to date, then explain how valuable their opinion is and that you’re interested in hearing more from them. Then ask if they are interested in sharing an in-person customer testimonial? Be transparent that the video will be made public and will help engage other customers, just like themselves. Ultimately, keep it friendly and obligation-free.
Don’t offer an incentive
This might seem counterintuitive, you want to reward your loyal customer! However, you don’t want your customer feedback to be biased, so save the idea of thank you gift for after the video is completed.
How to make a testimonial video
Be sure to send those pre-crafted questions to your customer in advance - you don’t want to make your video seem messy with any on-the-spot questions if your interviewee doesn’t have an immediate response.
Set the scene
Plan ahead of time to set the stage, and, if filming outdoors - have a backup location arranged in the case of unsuitable weather. Do you want the setting to be an office, at the customer’s home, at the beach? Make it relevant to the customer and to your product or service.
Don’t forget to consider lighting and sound - do a location scout to test out the best time of day, if any lighting equipment is needed. Plus, ensure no competing sound is likely to interfere with your shoot - like a noisy coffee machine in the background of a coffee shop or passing cars.
Let it roll
Although you’ve prepped your customer and they know what to expect, there’s no harm in letting the camera roll during the before and after - there might be some great outtakes that make for the perfect tidbit, smile or moment of laughter.
See what candid moments you got on film, along with your key questions then tie it all together with a clean-cut edit, remembering less is more and short is sweet (just like consumer attention spans!).
Let your customer shine through - their face should be the focus of the shot and their voice carrying well. Let your customer be themselves, no need for a wardrobe stylist or make-up crew.
It’s the little things
Remember, this is a huge favour your customer is doing for your brand! Be sure to make them feel at ease and comfortable - don’t forget to arrange some water and snacks on set.
Customer testimonial video examples
Check out these compelling customer testimonial videos for inspiration!