The Perfect Testimonial Video Formula
- Wes McDowell
- October 13, 2018
We’re living in an online world and every business needs testimonials. That’s just the bare minimum, but smart businesses, take it one step further and get really compelling testimonial videos. Now, these videos can do a lot of the heavy lifting for your marketing and your sales because praise coming directly from you as a business is never going to be as powerful as if it’s coming from other people.
Just like your customers who you’ve already helped. So really a compelling customer testimonial video can move more people down through your sales funnel in a shorter amount of time, moving them much closer to a closed deal. So what goes into making one of these compelling customer testimonial videos and how can you actually produce one yourself without spending a fortune? Well, you know, from a high level perspective, it really has to accomplish two things at as to show how a previous or current customer a was changed for the better buy your product or service. And the second objective is it has to be watchable. Now we’re going to talk about both points in detail, starting with telling that complete story. And the best way to do that is to make sure that your customer is the hero of that story. The hero is not you or your business. It has to be your customer. So essentially they’re the hero and your business is the guide that gets them to where they want to be. So essentially your customer is the Marty and you are the duck.
So let’s go over the basic story arc that you want your customer testimonial video to follow. So first you want to introduce the main character, which is of course your customer. Next, what do they want or what did they want going into it back then like in any good story, there’s an obstacle that they have to overcome. So what does that obstacle? How do they overcome it? Which is where your business comes into play. So how did your business finally help them get what they wanted, and then in the end, how were they transformed as a result? Now, if this sounds complicated, don’t worry. I’m going to give you a very simple 92nd framework that you can use to make this work. So in the first 30 seconds, just introduce your customer and what they want it. Then the next 30 seconds, they’ll just talk about their main obstacle.
Maybe it’s other things they tried that didn’t work or they just weren’t what they were looking for. Then the final 30 seconds, they’re just going to talk about how your business came in and saved the day and how that impacted them for the better. Now, how do you actually get your customer to tell this kind of story? Well, the biggest trap I see businesses fall into when they’re making a video like this is they just lead their customer kind of talk free form at length, which can really result in a meandering kind of video, and a really soft testimonial. Instead you want to ask very specific questions which are going to allow this story to be told once you edit it together and edit out the parts where you’re actually asking the questions. Now I’m actually going to leave all of the questions in the description below.
I’m not going to get into all of them here, but uh, you can find them all right below this video. Now it’s really important that you actually get these questions to your customer in advance so they aren’t caught off guard when you ask any of them. And then I would even say when you get to the shoot, before you get started, just ask, make sure that they made all the questions made sense to them or if they need any guidance before we get started. And just coach your customer up to know to rephrase the question into the answer. So if you were to ask them what’s your name, you don’t want them just to say, John, you want them to say, my name is John, because in the end video you don’t want any of your questions to be asked. You just want it to appear as if the customer is speaking on their own.
So then once the interview’s over, you’re just going to isolate the best parts that tell the most compelling story using that 30, 30, 30 second framework. Okay, so that’s how you get the story. But how do we make this video watchable? You know, most people unfortunately have an attention span of somewhere around eight seconds, so it’s really important to hold their attention for the entire 90 seconds of your video testimonial, which means you want to make it as visually appealing and interesting and varied as you possibly can. Now, of course, there’s a lot of really pro level things that I could recommend that would just be expensive and likely confusing and make you just want to give up on the whole thing. So I’m not going to do that. My aim here today is to show you a few really great ways to get as close as possible to that pro level.
Look without spending much, if anything at all. So let’s start with the camera. You know, you could easily spend a lot of money on a new camera, but it’s not necessary. You probably have a smartphone right into your pocket and almost all of them have a great camera built into it, so by all means, just use your smartphone and if you wanted to get a little fancier with that, there are apps you can buy it. It’ll give you a smartphone footage, a little bit more of a cinematic film, like look, there’s one called filmic pro that costs 1499 in the APP store. It’s totally not required, but if you want to go for it, the much more important thing I want you to focus on is actually audio. Most people are much more likely to put up with bad video than audio, so if you’re going to spend money anywhere, here’s where I recommend it.
Know the sound that comes out of your iphone by itself isn’t horrible, but it can be much improved with a simple lavalier mic like the one I’m wearing right now, and I will leave a link to that in the description below on Amazon just to compare, here’s how it sounds with the mic, and then here’s how it sounds with the audio or picked up just by my camera. Maybe not necessarily a deal breaker, but you can definitely tell a difference in it sounds much better with the microphone. Next, try to choose a setting that has a decent looking background and really good lighting so me, just make sure it looks professional in the background. You clear out all the clutter if there is any, and try to get your subject to be facing a window because that’s generally the cheapest way of getting really good quality light.
Natural light always looks really good on camera. Next, you’ll probably want to stabilize the image. Um, and you can get a simple little a tripod like this on Amazon that’ll hold a smartphone and you can set it on a table top. Next, you want to vary the angles up, you know, so between questions, try moving the camera to a different spot or at least to get closer or further away. You might notice periodically in my videos that all zoom in here and there and the reason I do that as just to keep attention by changing it up every now and then. Now my next point has to do with the subject themselves, your customer. Be Sure you only ask people who you think are actually going to be engaging on camera. If someone comes across as super boring, it’s really going to get people to tune out, so you want to make sure you get people who are kind of more high energy and before we get started, even people that do have good energy, you’ll find do get a little bit nervous once the camera comes out so you might have to spend a few minutes with the camera out.
Just kind of talking to them, joking with them, having a fun conversation and that will likely get their guard down a little bit once it’s time to actually start rolling. Then once the interview is over and you’re definitely gonna want to get a good amount of b roll footage, which is basically just cutaway shots of objects in their office or in their house, um, have them working and finally have them, you know, enjoying your product or service. Then you’re just going to want to kind of cut some of that footage into the final video over them talking because it is hard just looking at a talking head for an extended period of time. This keeps the action moving and varied and interesting. Then lastly, I definitely recommend including some royalty free music to play underneath the video. You know, if you’ve ever watched a movie, I’m sure you have, you know that music definitely can enhance a mood even if it’s on a subconscious level.
So be sure you choose music that really goes with the mood of the testimonials. So if it’s kind of a heartfelt testimonial for a doctor, you might want something that’s more uplifting and emotional versus if you’re a doggy daycare, you might want something that’s just kind of more fun and upbeat and no matter what kind of vibe you’re going forward, you can find a lot of pretty good royalty free music right here on Youtube and I will leave a link to that in the description below as well. Now in the end, you’ve got a few options. You can cut this all together yourself. If you feel confident enough to do that, you can use a pretty consumer level program like I’m movie that will most likely do the job for you, but if you’d rather outsource this and it’s something you don’t want to handle, you can go to a site like upwork and find somebody who is pretty skilled at this and you give them all the footage and you kind of let them know which parts of the video you want to use.
You’ll be able to get a finished video for under $100 in most cases. Okay. I know that was a lot to cover, but now I want to hear from you and I want to know specifically what was the biggest takeaway that you got from this video. I really want to know, so leave that or any questions you have in the comments below. I will read through all of them and I’ll answer any questions that I can.
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