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Creating great client testimonial videos

testimonial background

Reviews and reputation are incredibly important to all businesses, whether your brand is B2C or B2B your customers are very likely to be researching what other customers have to say about you. A recent survey found that 82% of consumers read reviews before making a purchase and 93% say that a review impacted their purchase decision. If a review holds so much weight in the purchase decision process, then imagine the effectiveness of a great video testimonial!

Great testimonial videos feature real customers telling the audience how great a brand is in an authentic and convincing way. They are designed to build trust between audiences of potential customers and the brand, and they push viewers further along the sales funnel which makes them a very effective marketing tool.

What is a customer testimonial?

“A written recommendation from a celebrity or satisfied customer affirming the performance, quality, and/or value of a product or service. Testimonials are one of the most potent tools of marketing.”

It’s all about trust

When a friend or somebody who’s opinion you respect (E.g. a celebrity) recommends a brand or service you’re more likely to trust and heed their advice, 83% of us trust recommendations from our family and friends. Customer testimonials work in a similar way, even if they are from somebody you’ve never met. Featuring customer testimonials within a marketing strategy is not a new advertising tactic, it’s a tested and trusted formula which is effectively used by many brands today.

Why are client testimonials in video format?
Adapting a written review into video format with a real person (aka customer) presenting the testimonial enables the viewer to connect with the message through voice, body language, emotion, and empathy. So, whilst the viewer is being persuaded to make a purchase they are also connecting with your brand on a multisensory scale and meaningful manner. 

Video marketing trends
Video is the medium to help you connect with audiences and show them who your brand really is. Today consumers want to see more videos from brands whilst 68% of people said they’d prefer to learn about a new product or service by watching a short video. 87% of businesses are now using video as a marketing tool and client testimonial videos are part of an effective video marketing strategy

Key benefits of a good testimonial video

A client video testimonial is a persuasive advertising tool. Typically, they feature a customer or client saying wonderful things about a brand or its product or service. This customer is so passionate about what the brand does that they are more than happy to tell the world about it and entice others to try the brand. The potential benefits of a video testimonial are to:

  • Endorse reputation and/or area of expertise
  • Build trust quickly 
  • Add credibility to marketing claims (E.g. removed stains easily, saved time and money)
  • Engage new audiences 
  • Differentiate from competition 
  • Increase enquiries and/or sales

How can a testimonial video be used?

Marketers feature video on product and landing pages to boost a website’s conversion rate, video on a landing page can increase conversions by 80%. A testimonial video can be used to drive sales or leads when a user arrives on your website, think of the best page(s) where a video could add value and support the sales or enquiry journey and start from there. This could be your homepage so it’s the first thing each user sees, or on a product page when the user is just a click away from filling their shopping basket. Thanks to website analytics you can test the effectiveness of video placement on your website and optimise towards the best results.

Testimonial videos are effective video adverts and can be used as part of your acquisition marketing campaigns. Utilise them in your video marketing strategy and place them where you know your target customers are consuming videos (E.g. YouTube), a great testimonial video will engage audiences, drive curiosity and get viewers to click through to your website and learn more. 

Who features in a great testimonial video?

Real people with a real story will generate real impressive results. In a great testimonial video, you have to keep it real!  Always think strategically when planning your testimonial video. It will become a key asset for your brand, it must accurately and attractively represent your brand and expertise so don’t just ask anyone to feature in your video. The client in great testimonial videos is always relatable to the target customer and their situation, this ensures that their testimonial and endorsement of the brand is authentic and, can potentially persuade and push the viewer to make a purchase decision.

Consider celebrity testimonial videos
Celebrities and key public figures can add much kudos to your brand, they help to raise awareness on a huge scale and create a very persuasive argument, especially if they share a vulnerability or problem similar to the target customer.

ProActiv is America’s number one acne skincare brand and they’ve had many testimonials from celebrity brand ambassadors, from Adam Levine to Katie Perry, since their launch in 1995. Their current ambassador is Kendall Jenner who suffers with acne but had it cruelly highlighted by the press back in 2018 at an awards event. In ProActiv’s testimonial video Kendall shares her personal story very honestly, she discusses how she used to feel about her acne, the magic of ProActiv and how great she feels now with her clear skin. 

In addition to celebrity testimonials, ProActiv have successfully grown their brand by sharing success stories and customer testimonials, it’s still their core style of marketing activity today.

Big brand testimonials add value for B2B

Choose somebody who can confidently and knowledgeably speak on camera, and if you have a B2B product or service we recommend that the video testimonial is given by a leader or key figure at the client’s company. Somebody within a senior role at a recognised brand will add huge value within your sales funnel and provide an excellent tool for your sales team. This major client testimonial video can be featured on your website and in presentations during the pitch process.

A great B2B testimonial video example

Hootsuite are a leading software platform which enables brands to effectively and easily manage all of their social media marketing activity, they work with many of the world’s biggest brands and have a section on their website dedicated to their client’s success stories. This is an excellent way to utilise client testimonial videos in your marketing strategy and we like this testimonial video example from Melia Hotels International.

In this cinematic style testimonial video the viewer is taken to the client’s location where a very senior figure explains his situation and business objectives. Whilst the client continues to narrate his testimonial the viewer is shown beautiful shots at a Melia hotel and the brand’s fantastic social media in action. Featuring a variety of shots keeps viewers engaged and showcasing the hotel brings the brand to life whilst adding further context to what the client is saying. The client’s story unfolds to explain the solution provided by Hootsuite, the scale of their partnership and of course the results which they are more than happy with. Another nice touch is the use of text overlays to highlight key facts and successes experienced by the client E.g. Instagram fan growth of 67% in 2018.

High production value signifies quality

It’s possible to film your own client testimonial video with a simple set and basic videography equipment. Try this approach if you have a very small budget and you have some great clients willing to do a testimonial local to you. It’s fairly straight forward to film an interview or talking heads but if you don’t have advanced videography and post-production skills there is a risk that your video is going to look flat and poor quality.

Alternatively, hire a video production company. This is the recommended approach if you have a high value product or service to sell, intend to advertise with your testimonial videos and your brand needs a high quality, cinematic style video.

What makes a great testimonial video

As discussed, the client is key to creating a successful and effective testimonial video. However, there are a few more elements to consider that will ensure your video is credible and engaging:

The story: It’s a no-brainer to only tell a compelling story in a testimonial video. Tell the story in three key parts: who the customer is, what problems or challenges did they face, how did your brand solve that problem.

Location: B2B businesses should consider filming testimonials in their client’s city and office as it adds context and shows how great your partnership is. B2C testimonials could also be at the customer’s home and filming could take place in the most relevant room E.g. kitchen.

Interview scene: Client’s typically talk directly to the camera or audience, speak to an interviewer behind the camera or you will hear sound bites of their story over a variety of scenes. Choose the most appropriate style for your brand or mix them up.

Aspirational images: Skip from footage of the interviewee, aspirational images and the product or service in use to manage expectations and add context.

Soundtrack: If you add music ensure that it matches the mood of the testimonial. E.g. is it uplifting or serious?

Digestible length: Try to keep your testimonial video under 2 minutes long, 90 seconds is usually the best and most effective length. Tip: Make a long and short edit of each testimonial video and test which works best.

Consent: Make sure legal teams have approved the use of the content and interviews, so you aren’t producing something that can’t be used.

Avoid group shots: Film people individually rather than as a group. Not only does this reduce the risk of some people looking disengaged it’s easier from an editing perspective too, should somebody need to be cut out.

Key questions to ask in a good testimonial video

Always allocate plenty of time to planning your testimonial video and give a lot of thought to your questions. It’s helpful to give your questions to your client beforehand so that they can prepare what they are going to say. It’s not advisable to script answers for clients as you want your testimonial to be 100% authentic! Ensure that you allow time for long explanations and tangents during filming and try not to rush your clients.

When devising your testimonial questions, remember that your customer is sharing an experience not listing the great features of your product or service. Here’s 8 client testimonial example questions to get you started:

  1. How did you discover the brand –what problem were you looking to solve?
  2. What made you choose this brand?
  3. What prevented you from using this brand before?
  4. What are the 3 main benefits you’ve received from this brand?
  5. If you were to recommend our product or service to your best friend, what would you say? 
  6. What was your life like before using this brand?
  7. What is your life like since using this brand?
  8. What surprised you the most about using this brand?

Let’s create a great testimonial video

Do your customer’s have a success story or testimonial about your brand that they’d be willing to share? If so, grab the opportunity and let’s make a fantastic testimonial video to share with the world. Fresh Cut are a leading video production company helping brands tell their stories on TV and online since 2006. With studios in Leeds, Manchester and London we are proud to work with brands and budgets of all sizes. Take a look inside our fantastic portfolio of creative video content and get in touch with our talented team to discuss your next video project.