How to harness the power of a testimonial video.
13 min read
As a business, testimonial videos can be one of your most powerful tools to convey your credibility. It’s one of the only times in the video marketing funnel that social proof can be optimised, rather than being used passively.
A testimonial video isn’t about you. Instead, it tells the story of your customer’s success with your business, product, or service. It clearly identifies the problem you can solve, demonstrates how you help to solve it, and the results you deliver.
And they’re particularly powerful because they allow your customers to put themselves in the interviewee’s shoes, and imagine what their life could be like if they chose you. They hear directly from someone with a story to tell, and add that important human element to your brand.
But creating strong testimonial videos isn’t just a matter of filming a talking head. No: they have to get your audience to feel something.
Here’s how to do it.
Choose the right person.
When you’re telling your customers’ stories, you’ve got to make sure that you’ve chosen the right person to tell their story.
Unfortunately, not just any customer will work in a video.
Sure, it might be true that you’ve got a tonne of positive feedback from people using your product or service. But if they don’t have an actual story to tell—rather than just a comment—then all you’re doing is putting vision to a Google review.
It’s best to find those customers who you have a good relationship with, who you know will be easy to work with. Make sure they have a story that grounds the testimonial: a real, relatable problem or situation where they identified that your business could help them, and clear results that mean something to your audience.
Choose talent who you know can deliver an engaging story (Diabetes Victoria: Posterboy Media)
You also need to choose customers or clients who you know can deliver an engaging story. People with personality—or at least with a personality that your audience can relate to—who are relaxed and natural in front of the camera. If they’re wooden or unnatural, then your testimonial is going to look like a late-night infomercial. If it’s delivered awkwardly or lacks confidence, then it might look like they don’t actually believe what they’re saying.
Frame their story in a way that's relevant.
Positive experiences are good. But unfortunately, they’re effectively meaningless if you can’t demonstrate the value that your business delivers. Saying that your product is really good, or that your team is great to work with, doesn’t help much if there’s no upshot.
To achieve this, you need to think of it in terms of ‘so what?’
Your interviewee has said something. So what? Why does that matter? What’s the value your business delivered?
You need to frame it the right way.
Who exactly are you trying to target? Having a clear idea about who this testimonial is aimed at will ensure that you’re able to focus on the right part of the story.
Create a clear narrative to follow (Diabetes Victoria, Posterboy Media)
It’s also important to create a narrative that your testimonial will follow. Not script their response, of course. But instead, ask the right questions.
While it’s best not to give your questions to the customer prior to the testimonial (it can end up feeling scripted), give them an idea of the general line of questioning instead. This way they still know what to think about, but their response is all natural.
Frame your shot the right way, too.
It’s important to shoot in the right location.
Don’t just film against a blank wall because it’s there (unless that’s the point, of course). Choose your location carefully.
When done right, the visual framing can provide a backdrop that the audience won’t necessarily notice, – but still helps to add flavour to the story.
The backdrop of your interview can add flavour to your story (Madewell Products, Posterboy Media)
Choose a location that adds depth, one that fits your product or service, and supports the story that you’re telling. Somewhere relevant to the customer, like their workplace, or where your product or service actually made an impact for them.
Choose your b-roll carefully.
The key to b-roll footage is making it relevant, so that it actually supports what’s being said in your video.
So make it about your customer, or their business. Film their day-to-day life, their workplace, as a way to add colour and context around how your business helped them.
Make your b-roll relevant (Madewell Products x Bowens, Posterboy Media)
But don’t just make it generic—this is the death knell of testimonials. Shots of your customer looking and pointing at a computer screen, or looking out a window drinking a coffee or similar, only work if that’s where you helped them.
Ask yourself: ‘Does this footage help to flesh out the story?’
If not, get rid of it.
And please, choose appropriate music.
Using the wrong music in your video testimonial is jarring. So make sure you get it right.
It has to match the tone of the story being told.
Whether it’s jaunty whistling, happy ukelele, or folksy sounds, don’t just default to generic upbeat dynamic music because that’s what you think people want to hear. Take the time to match your music with the story that your testimonial is telling.
Think about it. Adele is one of the biggest music artists in recent decades, and her songs aren’t exactly what you’d call upbeat, are they?
Choosing music that better fits the tone and audience for your testimonial will make a world of difference.
Keep it succinct and to the point.
Clarity and brevity are key for your testimonial video.
Don’t ramble. Don’t fill your testimonial with unnecessary details or stories, or dead air. Make it get straight to the point.
We’re dealing with short attention spans these days, so make sure you grab your audience quickly, and get the value of your business across shortly and succinctly.
Clarity and brevity are key (Monash College, Posterboy Media)
The final word on testimonial videos.
Testimonial videos are powerful marketing tools which you can leverage across your funnel. But to really get the most out of them, it’s important that you make them the right way.
With the right person, telling and engaging story, with the right music and b-roll footage supporting it, you can make something truly special.
At Posterboy Media, we can help you create testimonial videos that get the most out of your interviews, and tell engaging stories that your customers will relate to.
Get in touch with us to chat about how we can help you create testimonial videos that demonstrate the real value of your business.