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Three Steps To A Compelling Testimonial Video

/ Lauren Colman

If your explainer or product demo videos aren’t getting the results you want, if you’re searching for new ways to overcome customer objection, or if you’re simply looking to boost sales, you definitely want to consider making a testimonial video for your service or product.

Testimonial videos help potential customers see the benefit of what you’re selling by putting a real, live human being in between the product and themselves. This adds invaluable social proof and builds trust and credibility for your brand.

These three steps will help you create a compelling testimonial video that will put your existing customers to work selling your products for you.

Find The Right Elements

An excellent testimonial video looks natural and unstaged. Unfortunately for the time-crunched (or the lazy) entrepreneur, it isn’t. You’ll need to put in the work before you start recording.   The most important element of your testimonial video is the subject. This is the person who is going to help potential customers relate to your business or product, so they need to be the right person. Find someone who is:

  • Charismatic and interesting
  • Well-spoken and sincere
  • The kind of person your target audience can easily relate to.

If you’re struggling to find the right customer to act as an evangelist for your brand, consider adding an opportunity to give a testimonial during your existing sales process, such as a followup email asking how their experience has been. Monitor your social media mentions for delighted customers, and reach out to those who talk about specific benefits of your product.

Find a quiet area with natural light to shoot your testimonial video. Your background should be:

  • Neutral and not distracting
  • Not emblazoned with your brand—this will take away from your video’s authenticity
  • At least four feet away from the subject of your video.

The audio is important: don’t rely on your camera’s microphone to record your testimonial. It won’t sound good. You can buy a decent lapel microphone for less than $50. What’s the point of a testimonial video if your viewer can’t hear your subject singing your praises?

Find Your Message

Like all good videos, your testimonial video should follow a story. It doesn’t have to be a long tale (in fact, it really shouldn’t be!) but it does need the basic elements of a story:

  • The setting: Who your subject is, and what they do.
  • The conflict: A (relatable!) problem that they faced in their personal or professional life. If they tried other solutions before yours, have them briefly describe why those solutions didn’t work.
  • The resolution: How your product or service helped them solve that problem. Have your subject be as specific as possible—even if their experience won’t be typical for all of your prospective customers, it’s still a valuable story to share.
  • The conclusion: a longer-view description of how they continue to avoid their problem (or enjoy extra benefits) from using your product or service.

Draft some questions or even a general script and rehearse it several times. The more you practice, the more natural it will feel and the more authentic it will look.

Asking your subject questions off-screen is fine, but be sure to have them phrase their answer as a complete sentence so you can edit out your own voice.

Bring It All Together

If your testimonial video is well-rehearsed, it shouldn’t need too much editing apart from title cards and a CTA at the end inviting viewers to learn more about your product or company.

The ideal length for a testimonial video is around one minute, and should never be longer than two. Get right to the point: the introduction of your subject and their problem shouldn’t take more than 10-15 seconds, freeing up valuable video real estate to talk specifically about you and the solutions you offer.

Finally, add a CTA. This is a marketing piece, just like any other video you might create! Invite the viewer to learn more about your company or product with video annotations or captions.

Done correctly, a testimonial video can be one of your greatest assets in establishing trust and demonstrating your value to prospective customers. Take some time to get it right, and you’ll be rewarded with an effective, compelling video.