Wed, 19th Apr 2017 / 12:27
So you’ve worked long and hard on launching your business, developing and iterating your product or service, and bringing it to market. It’s a great offering, and your clients love it. What more is there to do?
Plenty, as it turns out – because a great offering isn’t much if nobody knows about it. Compliments are nice, but money is nicer. Testimonial video production can be an excellent way for your company to weaponise the excellent feedback that it’s received so far: while a glowing written report obviously helps, there’s something about seeing the words come out of a happy customer’s happy mouth that just drives your prospects crazy. Plus, reading a testimonial takes effort and requires you to do more to command your target’s attention.
But if you’re going to go down this route, it’s best to do it correctly. Testimonial video production shouldn’t be a quick and dirty process: you should take it seriously. Too many have customers reading stilted lines from an unwieldy script; in the name of expediency and precision. Others provide no context for the product, with footage consisting largely of customers speaking directly into the camera and spouting a few banal niceties – interspersed with a few short clips demonstrating the product. This pedicure testimonial video production is a classic example
: it’s two minutes of bad actors and disgusting feet.
So how do you make a testimonial video that really works?
Plan, plan, plan
The success of your testimonial video is at least partially determined before you get started. Many agencies assume can just rock up with a video camera and a random employee, finish by midday, and adjourn to the pub shortly thereafter, but their clients are seldom as happy as they could be.
So talk to your clients in advance of filming. Ask them what they are and aren’t willing to say about your company, send them relevant questions, and prepare them for being on set – not everyone’s a natural screen presence, so make sure only people who are comfortable and willing appear on camera.
The process of successful testimonial video production can be summarised thus: “Don’t be f*cking lazy.” Look to this terrible example
for whatever the opposite of inspiration is: there are tacky, public-television level zooms, the cinematography is marked by inexplicable framing decisions, and JESUS CHRIST, A GODDAMN A4 SHEET OF PAPER WITH ALL OF THE COMPANY’S SERVICES AND PRICES IS THE BIG CLOSING SHOT.
It’s important to make sure your production is slick, sleek, and rigidly focused on the benefits of your product or service. If you’re just producing an itemised list of features, you’re not giving your would-be customer any reason to care. The aim should be to have a conversation with your happy client: for them to tell a story in which they’re the hero, but your product or service was an invaluable asset on their quest.
And don’t just film your product and the customer talking. Use other visuals, b-roll footage, and maybe even a little animation – and switch between subjects every so often to avoid boring the customer.
You should also keep it short and sweet: customers only have so much time: two or three good, brief testimonials is better than five or six long ones.
Develop your release strategy
Finally, don’t just assume you can upload it to your website or YouTube and be done. That’s no way to drum up interest or business.
Market your case study strategically. If a sceptical prospect is on the verge of agreeing, send it to them as an example of how your company helps its clients. Send it to the customers who ‘starred’ in your video and ask if they’ll share it: people are generally very happy to broadcast their appearances in filmed content.
A successful testimonial video production requires care, attention, and effort. At TopLine, we’ve got all three and then some. Sales-i, for example, like us so much that they not only gave us a testimonial, they asked us to film their customer’s testimonial about them
. Xero’s YuppieChef case study
also effectively highlights their benefits – and our skill at highlighting their benefits.