Let’s face it: We’re marketed to every single day. Between ads that interrupt our Insta stories, sponsored content from our favorite influencers and commercials in between Bob’s Burgers binges on Hulu, we’re constantly being told what to do and what to buy.
How does the constant barrage of marketing tactics make you feel? Does it actually help in your decision making process?
We know we’re marketers and it’s our job to testify for the positive impacts of marketing, but experience is telling us this: If you’re hoping to sell something, a marketing tactic isn’t going to do the job. If you’re hoping to educate, however, let your marketing serve as a brand touch and your prospective customers will learn who you are. Customers today are much too savvy to be sold by commercials. They are thorough researchers who rely heavily on their circle of influence to know what they should and shouldn’t spend their money on. That’s why testimonials are so important.
Testimonials and reviews are how customers know your business can be trusted. Rather than you telling them how great you are, their peers—people who are just like them—are telling them.
Ways to Capture Customer Testimonials
Google reviews are incredibly important. Not only are they beneficial in educating prospective customers about your organization, but they are incredibly helpful in improving your search visibility.
But there are other ways to capture customer testimonials as well, including:
- Facebook reviews
- Customer reviews on your website
- Testimonial videos
Why Testimonial Videos Matter
On the most part, the general consumer audience is made up of very visual learners. With so much content at our fingertips today, consumers are looking for quick, but educated, answers. That’s why video has become such a powerful tool. In fact, here are a few stats to back that up:
- 65 percent of the consumer audience is inclined to visual learning
- Website visitors are 64 percent more likely to convert after watching a video
- Online shoppers are 63 percent more likely to purchase a product if it has reviews and ratings
- 90 percent of online shoppers are influenced by online reviews
How to Create a Solid Testimonial Video
If you have a customer who has worked with you or purchased products from you for some time, they may be an ideal candidate for a testimonial video. It’s important that you assess your customer list and identify not only individuals who you think would be willing, but customers who are:
- Well spoken
- Genuinely satisfied with your organization or product
- Knowledgeable about your organization or have worked with you for a while
Once you have identified the right fit, you’ll want to reach out to them for a pre-interview. A pre-interview is a time to really get to know their story and their overall experience they’ve had with your organization. This is a vital step because it will not only get them comfortable with the types of questions you’ll be asking them on-camera, but it will give you a chance to hone your interview questions and tailor them to their specific experience. The pre-interview can be done in-person or over the phone.
Next, develop the final questions. It’s important that a testimonial video not appear scripted—after all, authenticity is what customer reviews are all about. However, you want to create a guideline for your customer to follow so you have a message that is succinct and speaks to all of the points of their customer experience. We recommend developing interview questions based off of your pre-interview conversation, as well as the overall message you’re hoping to achieve. At a high level, here are some questions you’ll want to have ready:
- Always start by asking them their name and their relationship with your organization. Whether you use this clip or not, it will serve as a great way to lead in to the customer’s story.
- How did you first hear about COMPANY XYZ, and what made you decide to work with them?
- What was your experience like when you went there for the first time? How did the staff make you feel?
- Are there any specific instances or stories that stand out in your mind about one of your visits/experiences with COMPANY XYZ?
- If someone called you and asked, “Why should I work with COMPANY XYZ?”, what would you tell them?
- What are some of the best things, to you, about COMPANY XYZ?
- Is there anything else you’d like to add?
With the questions developed, you can proceed with scheduling the interview. When you schedule the interview, use the conversation as an opportunity to prep your customer for being on video. If you’re using a backdrop, be sure to tell them the color of that backdrop and make clothing color suggestions that won’t clash. Suggest that they wear warm colors and avoid bold patterns that could be too visually distracting.
On the day of the video shoot, make sure you have everything prepped and ready to go ahead of time. This should include having a copy of your interview questions printed, a pen and paper to make notes as they talk, and make sure you’ve told the rest of the team that you’re filming to avoid any unwanted audio mishaps. It’s also important that you have your studio or room space set up well in advance, and have given yourself the opportunity to test your lighting and camera focus.
With your subject in the chair, start by having a simple conversation with them before the camera even begins rolling. This will get them comfortable talking with you with all of the lights shining on them, plus it gives your video team the opportunity to test audio levels to your customer’s specific voice.
While you’re talking with them, run through a “rules” checklist with them on what to do and not do during the video shoot:
- Show them where to look while they’re speaking (either at you or at the camera, depending on the style of video you’re going for)
- Ask that they restate your question with their answer
- Ask that they silence their phone and avoid putting it on vibrant
- If they’re wearing jewelry that jingles or makes a lot of noise, ask that they remove it
You may also use this opportunity to do a final visual check on the customer’s appearance. They’ll appreciate the heads up if they have a hair out of place or if their tie is crooked. They would rather you tell them before you begin filming versus the error being memorialized on video forever.
Then, begin filming. You’ll want to run through the questions at least twice. Oftentimes, the first take is a little stiff, as the customer is getting used to the idea of being on camera. During the second take, they’ll be a bit more relaxed and comfortable with the situation. Plus, the extra takes will give you shots to work with in the event they stumble over their words.
Not Sure Where to Start?
If you don’t have access to an in-house video team, or you don’t trust yourself with a camera (it’s okay), we’re here to help! We’ve crafted dozens of video testimonials for our customers that educate their audience and prove their value to them. Let us know how we can jump in.