You know using your customer's time is valuable and you want to avoid common testimonial video mistakes.
You also know nothing builds trust in a prospective buyer quite like the word of a peer. Especially one who shares many of their pain points and experiences.
That's why customer testimonials are so much more effective at building confidence in a product or service.
But that's not to say that just hastily putting together a quick video and throwing it up on your homepage is going to do the trick.
There's a lot of work that goes into making an effective customer testimonial video. From preparation to filming to editing, there's a lot to consider.
Because of all those considerations, there are a number of mistakes that marketers often make. Piecing together valuable content can be difficult.
If you're thinking of creating customer testimonial videos for your business, you'll want to make sure to avoid these seven common mistakes. It'll help to ensure that your videos have the desired effect on your audience.
Testimonial Video Mistake #1: Scripting
One of the keys to creating a truly great testimonial video is to avoid scripting your customers.
It's one of the biggest testimonial video mistakes a company can make when creating these effective marketing tools.
It's easy to see why it might be alluring to script. Especially if your testifying customer is not used to being in front of a camera.
One might mistakenly believe that memorizing specific lines or using cue cards would be a good way to put their mind at ease.
Avoid that temptation at all costs.
The problem with scripting is that it saps the authenticity away from the testifying customer.
Set up for authentic sharing
Authenticity is the key to creating a successful testimonial.
The viewer wants to believe that the testifying customer is being genuine and offering an honest review. It needs to be completely void of corporate influence.
The moment that they sense any kind of artificial tampering, the entire video will lose credibility.
The main issue with scripting is that most of the customers who are filming these testimonials for you are not professional actors. That means that they won't be able to sell your words, or memorized lines, as well as they can sell their own.
Instead of filming a testimonial video like a commercial, it's better to just sit and have a conversation.
Let your customer talk and elaborate on their own. It's important that their genuine personality shine through on camera.
If they are more comfortable answering questions than delivering a monologue, talk to them and edit your questions out later.
That's not to say there should be no structure.
You can have bullet points outlining the topic so that the customer is aware, but keep the entirety of your video completely unscripted. Then you'll create an authentic testimonial that will earn the trust of prospective buyers.
Testimonial Video Mistake #2: Not Enough Specificity
A good testimonial isn't just about high level statements.
It's one thing to say that your company excelled as a result of a product or service, but it's another thing entirely to actually show the results.
There needs to be specific examples filtered throughout the video.
Along with anecdotes relayed by the testifying customer that explain in detail how your services helped them and why they would recommend it to people who are in a similar situation.
This is so insanely critical when trying to create a quality video.
Let's look at this testimonial video that includes specific statistics from Adfix:
Your prospective customers will connect with detailed information. Simply offering them snippets of 100% general stuff is not convincing in the least.
Back up your claims with details and show your prospects why you're the number one game in town.
Prospective buyers want the nitty gritty details and the specifics. They want to research, to learn, and see if their situation also applies.
If it's simply vague warm generalities, you rob them of being able to really see if your product can apply to them.
Testimonial video mistakes around lacking specifics are easy to correct and you'll be on your way to better quality content.
Testimonial Video Mistake #3: No Production Value
Video testimonials are a visual medium.
That means that you have to throw some pizazz into the production in order to keep the viewer engaged. Even if the verbiage is good and your information is great, people will tune out if they perceive the video to be boring.
Adding flashing lights all over the place or other flashiness for the sake of doing it is hardly appropriate.
Remember to keep your key demographics in mind and cater the experience directly to them.
One easy way to add some production value into your video testimonial is to film using multiple cameras at varying angles.
By switching between shots, you've created enough of a shake up to draw the eye of your viewer. If viewers start to "zone out", a cut to a whole new angle will help to bring them back.
B-roll footage and music
You should also film some scenes showing the customer using the product or service.
This is called B-roll footage and it is meant to act as supplemental footage that compliments the main shot. You can keep your testifying customer's speech going while cutting to footage that helps to accentuate their point.
Another great added production element could be visual aides.
Including graphics and data helps to demonstrate the effectiveness of your product and compliment what the customer is talking about.
If they are detailing the amount of money that they were able to save while using your service, cut to a graphic that shows exactly what they're talking about.
When it comes to something as important as numbers, people like to see visual depictions to really hammer home the scope.
It's also a great idea to have some music playing softly in the background.
This helps cut through the awkwardness of just listening to a person speak with silence around them. Music helps add a layer of production quality. The right score can positively impact the emotional connection that people have with their testimony.
Notice how the b-roll and music in this example from Robin helps tell the story:
While production value is important, don't go overboard.
Production value is all about striking a delicate balance between authenticity and professionalism. A ton of production value does not excuse you from producing quality content.
Being "overproduced" and feeling too staged is just as bad as having a low production value.
It's not just about having no production value, it's about finding that perfect intersection of polish and authenticity that will truly drive your message home.
A lack of production quality is one of the most common testimonial video mistakes. Just remember, the more impressive you make it look, the more impressive the company looks.
Testimonial Video Mistake #4: Ignoring Human Emotion
Emotion is essential for creating a great testimonial video.
That's why it's important to avoid a "just the facts" mentality. Some B2B businesses think that their customers want to avoid emotional stories, but that's simply untrue.
Business to business customers expect personality in the brands they use. That's why it's important to embrace the human emotions that go along with the pain points your prospective buyers are looking to resolve.
Pain points are obviously emotional. So let the viewer commiserate with the testifying customer and bond with them on that emotional level.
Have the customer talk about what brought them to the service and what they were experiencing beforehand.
Briefly show their stressful pain points before addressing the benefits of your service. And then how the benefits alleviated those feelings.
Not only does this allow viewers to connect with the customer more, but it builds a sense of trust between them thanks to shared experiences.
Show the viewer how the life of the testifying customer has improved since they started using your product or service. This is an excellent way to incorporate emotional experiences into your testimonial video.
The viewer will inevitably start to picture themselves in that position. That is the first step toward making a purchase decision.
Failure to create an emotional connection between prospective buyer and testifying customer is a huge mistake that could negatively impact the success of your video.
By injecting that emotional impact into the story, you make it real in the minds of your audience.
Testimonial Video Mistake #5: Only Posting in One Place
Another common testimonial video mistake B2B marketers make comes after the filming and production is completed.
You have to know where to post your videos. That means using them in more than one location.
Posting your testimonials solely on your website severely limits their exposure. You want to create a larger network to increase viewer access.
One of the best places to use them is in advertisements.
YouTube has a highly targeted ad system. It allows you to specifically market to your core audience based on a number of qualifying features.
You can target based on interests, age, gender, geographic location, and more.
Social media and sales emails
Another no brainer spot to share your videos is via your social media platforms.
These videos should become a regular part of your social media marketing strategy. You can even boost your testimonial video posts.
Regularly targeting qualified individuals who might be feeling the same pain points the testifying customer felt is a solid approach.
You should also include your testimonial videos in sales emails and cold outreach efforts. It's a great way to break the ice with new potential customers.
According to Hubspot, emails with the word "video" in the subject increase open rates by 19% and click-through rates by 65%.
It's a great way to subtly let them know the effectiveness of your service. Providing them with information they need to make an informed decision is a vital part of the sales process.
Existing customers should also see your testimonials.
Include them in email newsletters that you regularly send out to subscribing customers. You could even highlight a new one every month as a way of celebrating the success of your customers.
This is also great for reminding your existing client base why they do business with you. Plus it can be a way to enlist volunteers for future testimonial videos.
Testimonial Video Mistake #6: Videos That are Too Long or Slow Paced
Statistically speaking, most viewers tune out and drop off from customer testimonial videos after two minutes.
That means, no matter how good your content is, there's a good chance that a lot isn't being watched if your video goes on past the two minute mark.
If you look at some of the video testimonials for Google products and services, you will notice that none of them exceed one minute and 40 seconds.
That is intentional.
Google has a hard limit on one minute and 40 seconds for all testimonial videos. That's because they understand viewer behavior better than anyone.
There's definitely some leeway to be had, but you should take a cue from Google and keep it shorter.
Remember, pacing is also important.
You can't save all of your information for the very end. Yes, it's important to establish an emotional connection and get some backstory out there.
However, you'll need to include compelling benefits of your product or service within the first 30 seconds.
Follow these simple guidelines to avoid ineffective content and one of the common testimonial video mistakes.
Testimonial Video Mistake #7: Not Making Multiple Versions of Your Video.
One video can actually turn into several videos.
You may avoid all the other testimonial video mistakes when creating and posting your main video. However, you'll be leaving money on the table by sticking to a single version.
Experiment with creating multiple edits of your video. Each can be at different lengths depending on where you're going to be sharing them.
For example, a 30 second version of a specific testimonial might be ideal for a social media post. Or a 15 second edit can be used for a YouTube ad.
But the full-length video could be better suited to your customers or other landing page on your website.
You should also be making different cuts of each video for different topics. This is infinitely preferable to cramming 10 different subjects into one video.
Instead of making a single three-minute video where the customer touches on three different aspects of the service, create three themed videos. Each focusing on a specific topic along with the main 2:00 workhorse edit.
A well put together customer testimonial video can create a buzz around your product.
Avoid these seven common testimonial video mistakes and you'll create engaging and dynamic videos.
They will help your brand trust and help move your customers along their buyer's journey.