How to make the best customer testimonial video

How to make the best testimonial videos – Click me to download the planner


Video testimonials Vs written testimonials

The Muller-Lyer illusion might not be the first thing you’d expect to be reading about when searching for how to make a testimonial video, but if you stick with us, you’ll see why customer testimonial videos are even more critical for your business than you might have first thought.

Take a look at this image below. Which line is longer?



Like me, you probably said the bottom line is longer. Like me, you’d be wrong because they are both the same length.

If we draw a line down this image to prove it to you, you’ll believe us.



This is why producing testimonial videos for your business is so incredibly important.

You can have as many Google reviews and written testimonials or case studies on your website, but let’s face it, anyone could have made them up. Seeing is not believing in this day and age, you have to show the the proof!

So here is our list 13 things you can do to make the best testimonial video possible.

1. Define your Customer testimonial video goals


Are you feeling overwhelmed at the thought of producing a testimonial video?

The good news is, they work best when they are kept simple. This is because staged scenes and planned answers will ruin all authenticity. We’ll go into that in more detail later in the blog.

The main thing to plan is your goal. What do you want a viewer to know about your company once they have finished watching?

Try and come up with five bullet points and no more. This will force you to focus on what’s important. We’re after the bigger picture here. The smaller details will end up boring your viewer.

Want to define your goals? Here’s a PDF we’ve made to help you keep it all in one place.

2. Don’t write a testimonial script. Seriously. Don’t.


Remember in point one when we mentioned planning as little as possible?

Writing a script of what you want your customer to say is a sure fire way of losing all authenticity. It will come across staged and kill your credibility.

It also puts pressure on your client, and as you’ll find out later on, you are going to want to make this as easy as possible for them to make sure they actually do it.

3. Find a story


Stories boost the levels of oxytocin in our brains. This is the hormone responsible for love, trust and empathy.

It is also scientifically proven that when we listen to a story, our brains react as if we are experiencing it ourselves.

“Communication is a shared activity resulting in a transfer of information across brains. The findings shown here indicate that during successful communication, speakers’ and listeners’ brains exhibit joint, temporally coupled, response patterns.”

That is why finding a story is going to give you a testimonial video that trumps all other client testimonial videos.

Want to know more about the importance of telling stories? Check out this article from Lani Peterson from Harvard business publishing


How do you find a story?


Think about the process you have been through with the client. Start with the problem they were having before they met you, the impact it had on their lives and how it made them feel.

Then move on to how you solved that problem, and the results it gave and once again, how it made them feel. We’re going for emotion here people!

Check out this customer testimonial video example from BNI Uk & Ireland. It clocked up over 30,000 views as a Facebook post alone.

4. Devise 5 killer testimonial video questions


You didn’t sign up to your accountant’s service because they are quick at inputting numbers, you signed up because they could help get your tax bill down or help cut back and increase profitability.

Coming up with the killer questions that unpack a story means you have to keep the bigger picture in mind at all times.

The questions don’t have to be loaded, asking “What surprised you most about using our service?” Will get an honest answer, and if you know your client well enough, it will probably tick off one of your goals from tip number 1.

Asking “Tell me about our service” Will force them to ramble and talk about a whole host of things your audience won’t want to know.

Your questions need to be open enough to let your participant think deep and give a precise answer without sounding planned.


Should you send your clients the questions before the shoot?

No, well yes, well no.

There are two sides to this argument.

Yes Pros:
1. They might like their mind put at ease as to what you might ask them
2. They can have the time to think about a great answer

Yes Cons:
1. They become too staged and appear phoney
2. They end up writing a script from nerves which they think will help them on the day. It will have the opposite effect.

No Pros:
1. They will be forced to think on the spot. Often this throws up comments that are unexpected and better than you could have expected because they say what they mean.
2. Your participant won’t have to spend as much time on your project, they’ll be super busy and will appreciate this.

No Cons:
1. They panic a lot about it pre-shoot

5. Prep your customer for being filmed


You’ll have decided now after reading number 4, just how much information you want to give your participant pre-shoot.

Often this will be controlled by how much information your client asks for.

We’d advise not letting your clients know the questions even if they ask but in your prep to let them know a general overview of what you’re trying to achieve.


Client filming Prep

Let them know the interview will be short and won’t disrupt the office. Ask them for a room on their premises you can use for the interviews, somewhere quiet where the lights can be turned off, and ideally the windows have blinds.

When you film testimonial videos, you don’t need much time from your clients. With all the production kit set up, you can pull the participants in for 10-20 minutes, and they can get back on with their day.

If capturing extra footage called B-roll (advised) to accompany your video, you’ll need to ask for permission to go around their premises.

The examples below took a whole day to film, but the clients time was minimal. It’s the visuals that take the time.


Appearance prep

Your clients might have a dress down Friday, ask them about what they usually wear and how they’d like to be represented on the day that you intend to film.

Ladies may want to wear a matt make up to help reduce any ‘glow’ from the lights.

6. It’s not about the client. It’s about the result


A customer testimonial video is not about the business being filmed, its all about the result and experience you gave them.

Making sure your client realises that this video is not a chance to promote themselves is essential.

When your viewer hits play, they only need to get an idea of who this business is and what it does and this idea can all be done visually.

Footage of the company branding, size of the office, etc, will set up what kind of client they are.

The moment your participant starts talking about their own business without relating it to you is when your viewer will get bored.

Whatever you do, please don’t sell this to them as a great chance to promote their business.

We have produced testimonial videos in the past that are so well received that the participants have shared them on their social channels.

You can make them look great without ever talking about it if you’re smart.

7. Get creative with B-roll


Your viewers are impatient, they want information fast, and they want it in a way that doesn’t leave them wishing they hadn’t hit play.

Shooting footage of the client’s environment, processes, people will ensure its visually engaging.

As mentioned in number 6, you can use this footage to fill in the gaps your viewer might have about the business.

This means your viewer will have to use their brain to keep up, and that’s the key to keeping them engaged.

8. Keep the shoot simple


To make the best testimonial videos, your clients have to be relaxed when the filming starts.

This will give it the authentic feel you need for success.

Go light on production kit.

Packing all your fancy kit into a small room for an interview is a sure fire way to unsettle someone.

Using huge bright lights, all the add-ons your camera can fit and a big production team might look fancy, but it’ll put a huge amount of pressure on your client.

There have been occasions where we’ve ditched all the lights and used daylight from a window to settle the worst nerves and it worked like a treat.

It’s not wise to rely on this though, its more of a backup.

9. Film multiple participants.


The great thing about testimonial videos is that they don’t require vast amounts of planning. Even if they did, there is one thing you can never plan for, and that is how your client will react to being filmed.

We’ve seen CEO’s crumble, and ex SAS soldiers shake when it comes down to it.

Interviewing a few people means you’ll get more content you can later repurpose, also, if you need to, it means you can entirely exclude a participant from the video if they struggled to relax without it impacting the content.

This might sound harsh but, they won’t want to see themselves looking scared online as much as your viewers won’t either.

10. Multi-purpose your testimonial video shoot


Are you the sort of person who pops to the supermarket every day for dinner or do you shop once a week?

There’s loads of content you can get from a client. An overall experience testimonial is just the tip of the ice burg. Get as much juicy content as you can while you’re there.

Think about your prospects purchase journey. They might have concerns because their last supplier provided a woeful ongoing service.

You can make an individual shorter testimonial that focuses just on this area or perhaps another on how you implemented your service and how easy it was to change suppliers.

This kind of content can be used on social media, sales pitches, email follow-ups, it’s super targeted and relevant.

11. Editing your customer testimonial video


No matter how awesome or ghastly your shoot went, a good editor can save any testimonial video or make it even better.

The first thing to do is to remove as many of the “ums”. “ahs” and stutters as possible. This will make the content more confident.

You can cover the cuts with the B-roll footage from the shoot.

The result of this, which sounds a little phoney is that your client will watch it back and be happy with how they come across but also you will keep your viewer from judging and they’ll stay engaged.

The second thing in the edit is to open the video with the most impactful comment your participant made, straight away.

No long-winded logo flash, no introduction, get straight in there and make your viewers’ ears prick up.

This is how your viewer will know they are in the right place and they should already be impressed.

The hardest part about editing a testimonial video is what to cut out. Follow your original goals sheet from number 1 in the blog and be brutal. Anything that does not help unpack this story can go.

It’s a lot easier to edit a 5-minute testimonial video than a 90-second one, but your viewers will thank you for the effort.

12. Multi-purpose your customer testimonial video


If you’re like us, you’ll be using multiple social networks, email marketing, SEO, notifications and a whole heap of channels.

Cutting your final video into many different forms will give your social media team a field day.

Short 10 second videos of the best comments, stories, stills with quotes and more will mean you’ve not only made the best testimonial video but the cheapest too.

13. How to get a client to agree to be in a testimonial video


After all of these points, you’ve reached the hardest and most frustrating part of making testimonial videos.

Getting your client to book in a date.

You never know how easy this will be, we’ve seen companies line up four different customers in the space of a week with a few e-mails before.

We’ve also seen months of chasing.

Our best advice is to ask them just after you’ve completed a job and they are over the moon.

Get a date or two from them straight away and then take it to your production company and ask them to fit around it.

The sooner you shoot, the sooner you’ll capture that honeymoon moment.

Otherwise, if you have any clients, you have great relationships with give them a call or e-mail and ask.

Don’t offer them anything though as it sounds like bribery.

If you’ve read this entire blog, you’ll be well armed to put their mind at rest, show them examples of how they will look and maybe even get them excited about the project.

Interested in having a customer testimonial video produced?


If you want to look further into producing a customer testimonial video then check out more examples here or why not get in touch with us for a chat.

In case you hadn’t guessed it by now, it’s what we do. You can find out more information here. 

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