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Testimonial Video Production: How to Make a Testimonial Video that Works!

Often times, people are looking to obtain a rewarding testimonial from a client but have no idea how to make a testimonial video that will be credible, authentic, engaging and will portray their services well. 

So, here we are with a detailed guide on testimonial video production which includes testimonial examples and our own experience to lead you a the process!

The importance of Testimonial Video Production

The Muller-Lyer illusion might not be something 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 thought initially.

Let’s start with a little experiment.

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

 

Like me, you probably thought, “the top line”.  Like me, you’d be wrong because both have the same length.

Let us draw a line down this image to prove it to you. You’ll be more inclined to believe us, then.

 

We did this little experiment to tell you why testimonial video production is so incredibly important for your business. 

You can have as many Google reviews, written testimonials or case studies on your website but let’s face it; anyone could have made them up.

There isn’t a better way to utilize a satisfied customer than asking him to testify for you on camera. 

Video testimonials give an identity to your otherwise blandly written testimonials. When people see a customer; with a name, a family and a background, talking about your services, it gives the proof of your credibility and deems you worthy in their sight like written appreciation never can, because seeing is not believing anymore, my friends. 

In this age, you have to show the proof!

How to Make a Testimonial Video: 13 Testimonial Video Production Tips

Now that you know why testimonial videos are so important, let’s move on to 13 amazingly helpful tips that will let you know how to make a testimonial video that outshines every other!

1. Define Your Customer Testimonial Video Production Goals

Is the thought of a testimonial video production overwhelming you?

You don’t need to worry because we have some good news!

Testimonial videos work best when they are kept simple and to-the-point! Staged scenes and planned answers ruin all authenticity. But we’ll get to that in detail later in the blog.

Right now, you need to understand that all you should be planning for before producing your video testimonial is your goal.

Here are the steps you should follow to define a beneficial video testimonial goal:

  • First of all, think about what you want your viewers to know about your company once they’ve finished watching the video.
  • Done with that? Now, try and come up with five bullet points and no more. In this way, you will only focus on what’s important. We’re after the bigger picture, not boring the poor viewer.
  • Use charts and planners to keep everything organized. Here’s a helpful PDF we’ve made to help you keep it all in one place.

2. Stay Away from a Testimonial Video Script

When we say don’t write a testimonial script, we mean it.

Remember, we mentioned planning as little as possible in point one? We were actually hinting how a scripted testimonial video production is a big NO.

Writing a script of what you want your customer to say is a sure way of losing all that authentic rawness of an un-planned testimonial video. If everything comes across as stiff and staged, you’ll kill your credibility.

It also puts pressure on your clients. They’d be already uncomfortable in front of the camera and to make them squirm more, you hand them a video script!

Soon you’ll find out you want to make this as easy for them as possible to make sure they go through with the testimonial.

3. Find a Story for Your Testimonial Video

We are not giving you empty advice on finding a story; we have facts to prove its benefits too.

Why a “storytelling video testimonial” is more powerful?

One of the best examples of testimonials is a storytelling video testimonial because stories boost the levels of oxytocin in our brains. This hormone is 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 customer testimonial videos.

If you want to know more about the importance of telling stories, we’ve got a separate video for you here. 

How do you find a story for your testimonial?

You don’t need to look at other testimonial examples to find a good story in order to make your storytelling testimonial a hit. All you need to do is follow the steps below:

  • Think about the process you have been through with the client.
  • Begin with the problem they were having before they met you, the impact it had on their lives and how it made them feel.
  • Now move on to how you solved that problem, the results it gave and once again, how it made them feel. Really go for the emotion here.

If you follow these steps, your storytelling video testimonial is going to come out great!

4. Devise 5 Killer Testimonial Video Questions

The answer to the question “how to make a testimonial video that works” relates a great deal to making a killer questionnaire. 

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 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 you an honest answer, and if you know your client well enough, it will probably tick off one of your goals from tip number 1 too.

Asking, “Tell me about our service”, will force them to ramble on about a whole host of things your audience will not find interesting. Remember, we are looking to attract customers, not boring them to death.

The best testimonial questions!

If you’re looking to ask testimonial video questions that are interesting and informative for your viewers, make them open enough to let your customer think deep and give a precise answer without sounding phoney.

 

Should you send your clients the questions before the shoot?

No matter how good it appears to you, you shouldn’t be sending the testimonial questions before the shoot. There are two sides to this argument, but the answer’s still no. Here’s a pros and cons list for both to help you decide:

 

Pros of sending testimonial video questions before the shoot:

1. Your clients 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.

 

Cons of sending testimonial video questions before the shoot:

1. They might become too stiff and appear phoney.

2. They might end up writing a script from nerves, thinking it will help them on the shoot day when it’s going to have the opposite effect.

 

Pros of not sending testimonial video questions before the shoot:

1. This tactic will force your clients to think on the spot. Often this throws up raw comments that are better than you could have expected because they say what they mean. (Your customers are not actors, let them be themselves!)

2. Your participants will be super busy and will appreciate not having to spend as much time on your project

 

Cons of not sending testimonial video questions before the shoot:

  1. 1.They might panic a lot in the pre-shoot window and might back out, but you can alleviate this by telling them there are no wrong answers, and that there will only be easy questions based on their experience.

Testimonial video production is not an easy task but with killer questions to back you up, you can create compelling testimonial video questions. All you need to do is that you keep the questions to yourself.

5. Prep Your Customers for the Camera

After reading number 4, you’ll be thinking that we’re contradicting ourselves. But prepping your participants doesn’t mean holding out the questionnaire for them to see. You can easily hide the questions from them and still prepare them for filming.

Client filming prep for testimonial video production:

To make a good testimonial video, you need your client prepared but not too prepared that he seems to be reading his lines. For that, you can consider the following advice:

  • Decide how much information you want to give your client pre-shoot. (This will be controlled by how much details your clients demand. It’s better to keep the questions to yourself even if they ask and give a general overview of what you’re trying to achieve with the video instead.)
  • Let them know that the interview will be short, and won’t disrupt the office. (When you film testimonial videos, you don’t need much time from your clients. With all the production kit set up, you can pull them in for 10-20 minutes, and then they can get back on with their day.)
  • Ask them for a quiet room on their premises where the lights can be turned off and ideally, the windows have blinds.
  • If you’re capturing extra footage called B-roll (Do it!) to accompany your video, you’ll need to ask for permission to go around their premises beforehand.

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

Appearance prep for testimonial video production:

Appearance prep is the easiest for testimonial videos. Just keep these two things in mind:

  • Your clients might have a dress down Friday so ask them about what they usually wear and go with their everyday look. (You can also ask them how they’d like to appear on the filming day.)
  • Advise ladies to wear matt makeup to help reduce any ‘glow’ from the lights.

6. Focus on the Results instead of Client Promotion

A customer testimonial video is not about the business that is getting filmed; it’s all about the result and experience you gave them. So, it’s essential you make your client understand that this video is not a chance to promote themselves.

When your viewers hit “play”, they only need to get an idea of who your clients are and what they do, and all of that you can achieve visually. You just need footage of the company branding, size of the office and the likes to set up your client’s identity.

The moment your participant starts talking about their own business without relating it to you, your viewers begin to get bored. So, whatever you do, please don’t sell this to them as a great idea to promote their business.

We have previously produced testimonial videos  that were so well-received that the clients shared them on their social channels. If you’re smart enough, you can make them look great without ever talking about it!

7. Get Creative with B-roll

To make a successful testimonial video, you need to keep your viewers engaged. 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 the footage of the client’s environment, processes, and people will ensure that your video is visually engaging. And as we already mentioned in number 6, you can use this footage to fill in the gaps. 

B-roll will make your viewers use their brain to keep up, and that’s the key to keeping them engaged.

8. Keep testimonial video shoots simple

Testimonial video production is not an easy task because it relies heavily on your clients. To make the best testimonial videos, your clients have to be relaxed when the filming starts, which will give the authentic feel you need for success.

Moreover, go light on the production kit. Packing all your fancy gear into a small room for an interview is the perfect way to unsettle someone. If you’re going for that, good; if you’re not, listen to us.

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 ton of pressure on your client.

A back up to settle the nerves:

You can ditch all lights and use the daylight from a window to settle the worst nerves. We’ve done that, and it works like a treat! Though, it’s not wise to rely on the idea.

9. Film Multiple Participants

The great thing about testimonial video production is that it doesn’t require a vast amount of planning to make it successful. 

Even if it did, there is one thing you can never plan for, and it’s how your client will react to being filmed.

We’ve seen CEOs 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 the need arises, you can entirely exclude a participant from the video who struggled to relax, without impacting the content. 

This idea might sound harsh, but they won’t want to see themselves looking scared online just as much as your viewers won’t like to watch a person squirm while they talk.

10. Multi-Purpose your Testimonial Video Shoot

Are you the sort of person who pops in 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 video is just the tip of the iceberg. 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 on this area, or perhaps another on how you implemented your service and how easy it was to change suppliers.

By multi-purposing your testimonial video shoot, you can get the kind of content you can use on:

  • Social Media
  • Sales Pitch
  • E-mail Follow-ups

Such content is super-targeted and relevant too.

11. Edit your Customer Testimonial Video to Perfection!

No matter how awesome or ghastly your shoot went, a good editor can save any testimonial video or make it even better. So, here are a few ways you can successfully edit your testimonial video to make it more impactful!

Make the testimonial video sound confident.

An example of the best testimonial video is one that is confident. So, the first thing you should do is remove as many of the “ums” and “ahs” and other stutters as possible. This way, you can get rid of uncertainty from your content.

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

The result of this (which sounds a little phoney, but it isn’t) is that your client will watch it back and be happy with how they come across on camera, but also you will keep your viewers from judging, and they’ll stay engaged.

Edit to open your testimonial video with a hook.

In order to make a testimonial video people will watch, you need to straightaway open it with the most impactful comment your participant made.

No long-winded logo flash or introduction needed. Just get straight in there and make your viewer’s ears prick up. This way, your viewer will know they are in the right place, and they should already be impressed.

Cut out everything that goes against your plan.

The hardest part about editing a video testimonial is to decide what to cut out. Follow your original goals sheet from number 1 in the blog and be brutal! Anything that doesn’t help unpack your story, eliminate it.

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, e-mail 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.

If you’re wondering how to make a testimonial video cheap, the answer is simple. Multi-purpose it! Short 10 second videos of the best comments, stories, stills with quotes and more will mean you’ve not only made the best video but the cheapest one too.

13. Ask for a Testimonial Right after the Job

After all these points, you’ve reached the hardest and most frustrating part of testimonial video production: getting your client to book in a date.

You never know how easy or hard it’s going to turn out. We’ve seen companies line up four different customers in the space of a week with a few emails before; we’ve also seen months of chasing.

Our best advice to get a customer to agree 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, take it to your production company and ask them to fit their schedule around it.

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

Otherwise, if you have a great relationship with some clients, give them a call or an e-mail to ask for a testimonial. But don’t offer them anything, it sounds like bribery.

If you’ve read this entire blog, you’ll be well-armed to put your client’s mind at rest. Show them a few testimonial examples you have and get them excited about this project.

Concluding Customer Testimonial Video Production Tips

If you’ve reached this point, congratulations! It means you’ve gone through our detailed guide on “how to make a testimonial video” and you’re much wiser now. It also means you might be interested in having a customer testimonial video produced.

If you want to look further into producing a customer testimonial video, then check out more testimonial examples and related stuff 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 about us here.