8 Ways to Make Customer Testimonial Videos Matter

These days, word-of-mouth marketing is more important than ever.  Social/local/mobile is the new way of life, and it’s a fact that consumers’ peer reviews carry far more weight than your claims.

If you haven’t started thinking about using customer testimonial videos, now would be a good time.  And if you have, congratulations…now follow this list to make sure they work.

The Prep

  •  Stay in Touch.  You’ve spent years creating positive relationships with customers – Time to cash in on them.  Identify your “brand cheerleaders” and ask them to participate in this fun project.  Many will jump at the chance.
  • Lead the Conversation.  Create and refine a list of questions well in advance of the shoot date.  These questions should be designed to highlight your strengths and unique selling propositions, in the form of organic, unforced answers from your testimonial subjects.

The Shoot

  • Show Respect.  Getting great footage from your testimonial subjects starts with their positivity and enthusiasm, and that starts the minute they walk in the door.  If they feel ignored or that their time is being wasted due to a lagging shoot, that will translate to the screen.  Create a tight schedule, stick to it, and above all else… respect their time.
  • Know Your Audience.  Knowing who will be watching your video and how it will be used should dictate its direction and content.  Be sure your questions and follow-ups elicit the desired responses from your testimonial subjects.
  • Keep It Short & Sweet.  The best sound bites are quick, strong, and to the point.  No one likes to hear other people ramble, and the same goes for your testimonial subjects.  Ensure that answers are terse through constant coaching of subjects and multiple takes.

The Final Product

  • Be Flexible.  The best way to approach testimonials is build the final product around the footage you shoot and not to try to fit the footage into a pre-determined context.  Shoot your footage, then review it and let the spontaneity and naturalism dictate how the video shapes up.  You can still create a general plan for what you want to do – just be prepared to adapt it based on the great footage you’ve ended up with.
  • Get Creative.  OK, so now you’ve got a high quality testimonial video.  Time to make it work.  Let’s say you were aiming for a :30 video for a TV schedule, so that’s what you produced.  Don’t just stop there.  Post it to your website, your blog, and your Facebook page.  Put it on Youtube.  Embed it in your next email blast.  Loop it in your store or waiting area.  Get as much exposure as possible!
  • Say Thank You.  This is an easy one… and also easy to forget.  Thank your subjects profusely in person, follow up with a phone call or an email.  Share the finished video with them!  Got a coupon, giveaway, or special offer to spare?  It wouldn’t be a bad idea to say thanks with one.  These people are already satisfied customers, so build on that.  The result could be future referrals, testimonials, or best of all, business.