With more and more shoppers relying on user reviews to influence their decision-making, video testimonials are a feather in the cap of any brand. They provide legitimacy and credibility to your product or service’s claims and give shoppers a good idea of what to expect from the point of view of someone who has made the purchase before.
Because a customer testimonial is the honest opinion (or experience) of a happy user, it is usually not met with the same skepticism as other forms of advertising such as bold brand headlines or buzzword-stuffed radio promotions. They help to build trust with a new audience and give shoppers a detailed idea of what they can genuinely expect.
Video Testimonials: Why They’re Important and What They Look Like
The Difference Between Written Testimonials and Video Testimonials
What Equipment or Editing Programs are Needed?
Bringing It Together: Nailing the Perfect Testimonial Video
Getting the Most Out of Your Video Testimonials
Customer Testimonial Video Examples
A good testimonial can be the difference between making the sale and missing it, and with the consumption of video content only increasing, customer testimonial videos are a beneficial tactic of any brand strategy.
Video testimonials are important because, well, they work. They are the customer-that-has talking to the customer-that-wants, telling them everything good about the product or service they’re considering buying.
Consumers trust other consumers, and being able to see, hear, and connect with their authentic experience of a product is an extremely powerful tool for any brand.
In terms of execution, customer testimonial videos range from front-facing camera conversation user reviews to more polished and scripted customer stories. They’re usually about a minute long, though there’s no set rule on run time as testimonials don’t need to conform to any parameters. Typically a testimonial video will mention how the product or service fixed a customer’s problem, or went far above and beyond expectations.
Both formats have value to businesses. Written testimonials are ideal for getting across one or two sentence statements, such as you might see on company website homepages (quite often this approach involves a number of short testimonials on rotation).
Our very own Senior Video Content Producer Kyle and Video Production Manager Josh explain why they prefer video testimonials over written ones any time.
Video offers a level of authenticity and transparency that can't be matched by a written review. Look no further than #tiktokmademebuyit and the trend of product reviews and unboxing videos on YouTube. Customers want the full story right from the source.
Josh reiterates you want to keep it real:
Video testimonials are much more authentic and raw compared to written testimonials. There's nothing like actually watching and listening to the person giving the testimonial, rather than reading a heavily edited written testimonial that never shows the person giving the testimonial.
Video offers even more advantages. They’re much more eye-catching than text-only content, and because of the inclusion of visuals, videos make it easier to convey a complicated or abstract concept. They’re also significantly more impactful when it comes to creating an emotional connection, as you can control the pacing, tone and delivery of the content, whereas written testimonials are at the mercy of the reader getting this right.
While a testimonial is, at its core, a documented review, there are a number of different aspects you can choose to highlight. Testimonials can take the form of case studies or general feedback, or focus on a specific attribute or characteristic of the product or service. This is often done in a question-and-answer or storytelling style, and can include the reviews of one or multiple customers.
Deciding on the topic and the manner in which you choose to showcase that topic can be the difference between an engaging, informative testimonial and one that yields an underwhelming response. Remember that while testimonials are authentic, accurate content pieces, they exist to promote your brand to other potential customers!
Once you have selected a topic for the testimonial, you need to decide on how best to execute the video itself. You can either manage this independently or team up with a trusted brand such as Superside and use our expertise in video development and rollout.
Balancing your communication with your creative is key, and as with all video content, there are a couple of best practices you can follow. You’re giving viewers something you want them to enjoy watching, and this requires adequate lighting, sound quality and production value (these things also ensure the best shot at the message resonating with your audience). This comes as part and parcel of a video production service, but can also be achieved in-house with a bit of know-how.
This can depend on the technical difficulty required by the edit, but testimonial videos are generally not the most complicated marketing videos to construct. Lapel microphones are relatively inexpensive and provided your shoot location has good natural lighting, you won’t need to worry about any artificial light sources.
However, unless you have a capable in-house videographer and editor, outsourcing the shoot components to a production house is often the easier route. Not only does this allow you to fully focus on the content of the testimonial, but it also gives you peace of mind that the end result will hit the mark. Despite every modern phone housing a camera capable of incredible video quality, actual quality videos still require a trained eye and polished edit.
If your company’s workforce is fully remote -like us at Superside- you can luckily still film your video testimonial remotely. Josh recommends using Riverside for recording testimonials rather than something like Zoom or Google Meet.
Riverside records each participant individually in high quality audio and video so you can use the video of just your subject in the highest quality possible.
Knowing what goes into testimonial videos and why they’re important is well and good, but knowing how to put one together is better. To reiterate, there are a number of different ways to create a testimonial video, but this is a general template to follow:
Pick your topic: A good testimonial video conveys a clear message: I like this product or service, and I think you’ll like it too. You should have a good idea of your brand’s most loyal customers, and therefore have a good idea of which people might be best-suited to use in the testimonial.
You can ask your customers questions to give them something to work with, such as “What did this product do to make your life easier?” or “What did you use before using this product?”. This will enable you to put together a compelling and authentic script that highlights exactly what real customers like about your product.
Script and Storyboard: Once you have tangible customer feedback to work with, you can begin to script your testimonial to illustrate how your product or service benefits the customer. It’s important to ensure the message lands with impact and authenticity - both are equally important and necessary to the success of your testimonial video.
Storyboards may only be needed in specific instances, but it’s always a good idea to structure your script.
Testimonials should be structured following the same principles as ad copy. Hook your audience early with something that aligns with their situation like a common pain point or goal. Then, flow the narrative from there. While it's a testimonial for your business, the customer should be the star of the show.
When shooting in real life, don’t forget to do some location scouting before you plan on shooting. This allows you to check for any sound or lighting issues before they become an actual problem. A good editor can fix a lot of things but background sounds aren’t often one of them!
Shoot Your Video Testimonial: Assemble your cast and video crew for the big day. If you’ve opted for a video production company such as Superside, most of the heavy lifting, literal and figurative, is done for you.
Depending on your intended uses for the testimonial, it can be a good idea to shoot in both 16:9 and 1:1 formats, as this allows you to use your video across all platforms. Any voiceovers that might be needed are recorded on shoot day too, so plan some extra time for that.
Edit: While video editing almost always happens behind the scenes (and can take anywhere between half a day to up to a week after the shoot itself), it pays to keep close to the project during this process. After the script, the edit has the biggest impact on the overall tone and punchiness of the testimonial.
It can be easy to get caught in the nitty-gritty details of the editing process instead of keeping the objective in sight. A few good questions to keep in mind are:
Post and Promote Your Video Testimonial: Show your customers what makes your brand so great! How you choose to post and promote your customer testimonial video depends on your industry and intentions behind the video itself, but there’s really no wrong place for a testimonial video to live. So long as the context is clear (that is to say, someone who doesn’t know your brand is not left with questions) you can post your video anywhere from TikTok to owned space.
Though there is some effort required in the video testimonial process, it is well worth it. You now have a key piece of evergreen marketing content that, by its nature, has much more credibility than other traditional B2C collateral. But unless you use your customer testimonial videos to convert users or gain leads, you’re missing the most of the opportunity. No matter what it says or how it says it, a testimonial video should always show potential customers what they stand to gain by choosing your brand.
Make sure to track your testimonial videos for click-throughs, watch-throughs, and other key metrics and analytics, as you would any other marketing video content. If you post your videos on social channels, make sure to write your supporting copy to SEO best practices and include a custom-designed thumbnail to increase visual appeal.
When possible, incorporate any customer testimonials into your overarching brand strategy. If you’re launching a new product range or opening in a new area, keep testimonials in line with this (without losing any authenticity from the side of the customer, of course). Alternatively, if you’re looking to promote one key aspect or USP of your product, you can tweak your customer testimonial approach accordingly.
This is an example of a simple yet effective customer testimonial video from identity theft protection company, LifeLock. They use a real-world case to demonstrate first-hand how their service is both effective and valuable to a wide audience.
Google, in their customer testimonial video for Google Ads, unsurprisingly spared no expense. The production value is high and includes a blend of both on-location footage and basic animation. But, as with the example above, the key message remains the same: show customers what your brand can do to make their lives easier or better, and allow them to imagine the portrayed scenario happening for them.
With a wide range of execution options available to you, customer testimonial videos will go a long way to garnering trust and support from your other customers, both new and existing. And with Superside’s video production expertise, getting started on one or more video testimonials is as easy as contacting us.
Sofie is an SEO and content specialist. From being a journalist at your daily news television broadcast, to producing films and writing travel blogs; she has ended up at the more technical side of content and has a nose for sniffing out the creative pieces that will make your competitors look like digital noobs.
When not busy operationalising Content, she is happily cooking up a storm, hiking through the mountains or searching for the best flight tickets to her next travel destination.