When it comes to building trust with prospective customers, a strong series of customer video testimonials could be the key factor that opens up a deal (or reactivates one that was stuck) and ultimately influences a purchasing decision.
These helpful messages from peers allow prospects to formulate opinions on your service based on what other satisfied users have said, rather than just your own marketing claims. When interested prospects hear real, honest opinions from buyers like themselves, it builds social-proof in your offering and goes a long way toward instilling a sense of trust in your product.
Considering that internet video traffic makes up 69% of all global consumer internet traffic, customer testimonial videos are an effective way to get eyes on your product and engage interested buyers. Furthermore, according to a study by Curata, customer testimonials have been proven to be the most effective type of video content.
On an episode of the Rethink Podcast, Jill Rowley spoke about the benefits of customer testimonials by saying, "Your best salespeople aren't on your payroll. They're your customers who are willing to advocate for your brand, your company, your solution, your people." Think about it. If you're a prospective customer, who's opinion matters to you? The vendor? Or your peers in the industry.
With that in mind, here's a step-by-step guide to creating customer video testimonials that will establish social proof, build trust, and help you and your team win more customers.
Set the Stage
First off, it's important to put your testifying customer at ease by properly setting the scene. You don't want them to feel overwhelmed or ill-prepared, so before the day of the shoot make sure that you set expectations for them.
Either on the day of the shoot or, preferably, beforehand, walk the customer through the filming process so that they know exactly what to expect. When they arrive for the shoot, make them feel comfortable and introduce them to key production staff.
Also, make sure that you come up with some time to manage any concerns and nerves that the customer may have. This will set them at ease and make for a more natural video.
Nothing should be artificial. The moment the viewer sees something and deems it "fake" the entire validity of your video's message flies out the window. Which brings us to the next point.
Listening to a customer read a prepared statement or script is painful for everyone. Nothing screams "set-up" like a wide-eyed customer woodenly reciting rehearsed dialogue. This immediately turns prospects off because they can tell they are watching a manufactured experience.
While videos are, of course, manufactured by the company, it's important to the success of the video (and the larger campaign) that your testimonials be genuine. If prospects doubt that the testifying customers really feels this way about your product, you've lost your opportunity to engage them.
For that reason (and many others), never have your testifying customer memorize a script. It's important to give them an overall guideline about what you're going to be talking about, but you don't have to micromanage every word that they say. Bullet points work very well in this regard, as do simple interview questions. Highlight certain features or points that you want to discuss and then conduct a casual conversation.
Chris Lavigne spoke on this topic at length in a recent post on the Wistia Blog, saying, "When people are worried about marketing speak and hitting everything perfectly, it's unnatural and robotic. It's about capturing a natural, believable, authentic response."
Remember, you can always film more footage than you need and chop it up in post-production as needed to create a clean story. Let the unique personality of your customer shine through.
John Matera of Redtail Solution spoke about this topic, saying, "Have a conversation: It's more about getting emotional responses than weird one-liners or soundbites. Sometimes that'll get you way off track, but sometimes the tangents are gold."
Ultimately, the key to success in customer testimonial videos is to show real people talking about your product in a relatable way, and be able to serve those videos to other prospects that share many of the same pain points.
Get to the Point
Some context is essentially, but don't waste valuable time with overly elaborate introductions. You need some backstory on the testifying company and their the product, but you don't need to focus on them for the first half of the video. While context does frame the story, ultimately your prospects are more interested in the results your customer was able to achieve - not what they do in their business.
The faster you can hook people the better. For that reason, you might want to start with a 10-15 second "hook" first and foremost... and only then get into the intro from the testifying party.
An example of an "intro hook" in practice in a customer testimonial video.
Above all, don't bore the viewer. Boring doesn't equate to sales. Also, feel free to make the video fun and snappy. Experiment with some bloopers if it feels natural for your brand voice. Customer testimonial videos have to be informative, but no one said they can't also be entertaining.
Highlight Key Benefits
One thing you don't want to do is simply have the the customer list off the features of your product. As the saying goes, "facts and figures fade - stories stick." Make sure you get the customer providing examples of benefits in engaging stories and anecdotes. And remember, this isn't a commercial so you don't want the customer to actually sell the product to the viewer. There's a fine line between engaging and relatable customer testimonial videos and something that becomes too pitchy. Typically, this is something you want to think about more when it comes to the editing.
According to a HubSpot study, 55% of people play close attention when consuming video content, which is more than any other type of content. This is another reason why customer testimonial videos are so valuable. They engage prospects and build trust better than just about any other medium.
Lastly, keep your eyes out for opportunities to include specific ROI numbers and other relevant metrics. If your customer has seen a 300% jump in lead captures by using your software, that's an important statistic to get in there. Give the viewer information they can identify with, that genuinely helps them evaluate your product. They should be nodding along as they watch and be able to visualize their (future) success with your product in your testifying customer's experiences.
Keep Your Testimonial Videos Powerful and Concise
It's possible to say a lot in a small amount of time with video. And make no mistake about it, customer testimonial videos should not be long. For most videos, 2:00 minutes is about the sweet spot. If you only have one person testifying on camera, you may be able to get away with it being even shorter.
Remember, you can create value in your video by filling the time you do have with good quality content that tells a story and communicates the effect you've had on the life of this customer.
Generally, try to stick to a maximum time of 2:30. Ideally, the sweet spot is somewhere between 90 seconds and 2:00 minutes. It's perfectly fine to go past that minute, but you should realize there is a significant drop-off in audience viewership after the 2:00 minute mark. Therefore, in a 3:00 minute video testimonial, the majority of your audience will even watch the final third. That's a big problem if you don't front-load some of your best content, and you save all the best takes for that last minute.
In fact, when it comes to attention span, nearly two-thirds of customers actually prefer videos to be under 60 seconds. As the video goes on, you run the serious risk of losing their attention. According to a study undertaken by Ad Age, 30% of viewers tune out after 30 seconds, 45% stop watching after one minute, and 60% give up after two minutes. Now, it may be hard to tell a whole customer story in under 60 seconds, but consider making multiple edits, such as one "main edit" that is 2:00 minutes, and one shorter edit in the 30-45 second range for use specifically on social media or other situations that call for a shorter video testimonial and faster pacing.
The spoken message is just one part of your customer testimonial, and visuals play an essential role as well, when it comes to engaging prospects and making sure your video resonates. You don't have to stay on the same angle of the customer for the entire video. Utilize multiple camera angles for emotional effect, cutting to the close up at more impactful statements to really emphasize the emotion of the customer.
Furthermore, don't be afraid to have some visual aides pop up on the side or bottom of the screen. Some examples of this could be graphs, charts, logos, or shots of the customer using the product. Film some B-Roll footage of the customer's office, show them working, and showcase the actual issues that they are facing. If they've seen heavy financial gain from using your product, show their sales increase with an animated visual graph that conveys this and ads some variety and unique visuals to keep audiences engaged.
When it comes to social media, it's also essential to remember how audiences consume on these platforms. According to Digiday, 85% of Facebook videos are watched with the sound turned off. While you should be using captions as well, striking visuals might be the push needed to get a prospect scrolling their feed to engage with your content on Facebook or LinkedIn.
Share Videos in More than One Place
One common mistake many companies make with their customer testimonial videos is filming one or two videos, posting them on Those videos sit on your website for years while technology advances and these recorded testimonies become obsolete.
You should have an entire page of your website filled with customer testimonial videos. It should be an entire playlist on your YouTube page. You should have enough videos where you can feature a new one in your marketing newsletter every month. Share them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and any other social media pages that you have.
According to Wistia, "people spent an average of 2.6 times more time on pages with video than pages without."" Meaning that spreading those videos around your online presence will have a great effect on customer engagement for those pages.
Videos should also be included in your sales emails. Not only does this make for a more impressive showing, but it also could help increase your open rate. Studies show that using the word "video"" in your sales email subject line can increase open rates by 19% and click-through rates by 65%.
Creating a series of videos gives you an opportunity to showcase a wide variety of customers and it makes for a far more impressive showing to potential buyers. If they can see that you have 10-20 customers ready to go on camera and sing your company's praises, it instills further confidence in them, even if they don't watch every single video.
Customer testimonial videos have immense versatility and can add value to your marketing mix just about anywhere. A customer testimonial video can be hugely effective on a website or landing page. Another area in which they are incredibly helpful is in sales and marketing related emails. Cold email outreach, prospect communication, automation sequences, and more can be made much more effective by adding customer testimonials to help woo prospects in the door.
In addition, strong customer testimonials should also be a regular part of a business's social media presence, as it is easily shareable content that could be helpful in driving sales.
Use these tips to create high quality, helpful customer testimonial videos that build trust with prospects and validate your marketing claims. Ultimately, buyers highly value the opinion of actual customers who are their peers, and authentic and professional testimonial videos are one of the best ways to provide the social proof they need to feel confident in their decision-making and ultimately sign up for your product.