When we meet a new prospective client, there’s only so much we can say about our own brand in order to build trust. We can speak about production details, answer all concerns and questions, but there’s always one effective tool that’s irreplaceable: A glowing customer testimonial delivered via video.
A testimonial video allows a customer to provide positive feedback for your brand, its products or services. Make no mistake, the testimonial video is a powerhouse marketing tool.
It’s essential, something your prospective customers want to see, and it makes a positive difference in your buyer’s decision-making process. Watching a real, genuine person speak on camera offers valuable authenticity.
We’ve evolved to pick up on even the most subtle vocal or visual cues, so to see someone speaking with one’s own eyes is a powerful thing. You’ll want to find a customer who is not only willing to deliver the testimonial, but who communicates well and offers genuine insight to your shopping viewers.
6 Tips for Finding the Right Customer for Your Testimonial Video
1. Don’t Use Professional Actors
Hiring professional actors to pretend to be satisfied customers is pretty much the biggest mistake a brand could make, so pretty-please (insert praying hands emoji) don’t do it! Most of the time, viewers can innately tell when something is inauthentic and staged.
And even in they’re not consciously sure, there are absolutely levels to which viewers will subconsciously pick up on inauthentic testimonial. Using actors can have perhaps the most adverse effect on your mission and your brand image.
2. Use Raving Fans and Brand Loyalists
The best customers to utilize in your testimonial videos are those that have done business with you in the past, ideally on more than one occasion. You should be able to use your customer data (or personal knowledge) to identify those fans.
The testimonial will be quite powerful if you use customers who have loyalty to your business and use your products or services regularly. Their passion and enthusiasm for your brand will be un-fakeable and unshakeable!
3. Mirror Your Key Demographic
It’s fabulous to have a long-time customer (or several!) who are willing to deliver a glowing testimonial on camera. Bonus if they have fantastic screen presence and a natural way of speaking positively about your brand (see #4)
Another major asset is if they happen to reflect your main customer demographic. If your brand is targeted toward college-aged females, then a testimonial featuring a 68-year old male might not be the most effective fit for connecting with your target audience.
4. Embrace Natural Charisma
When selecting a client for a testimonial video, consider their natural ability to speak on camera comfortably. Will they feel shy and freeze up? Or, would they be a natural, and ready to riff on any question posed to them?
If you have someone who feels comfortable with being on camera, and speaks with ease, your production will go much smoother and will also yield much more valuable footage, which is key to creating a strong testimonial video.
5. Use Customers That Can Take Direction
Although you’re going to want your customers to express their honest opinion, it’s also extremely helpful to provide them with direction during filming, such as: slowing down their speech, elaborating further, or speaking with more enthusiasm (as they may be coming across as closed-off and nervous!)
How do you know if they can take direction prior to filming? Well, you won’t necessarily unless you do a little test shoot. You can always help them be more prepared by providing them with the questions they’ll be asked and allowing them to gather their thoughts ahead of time.
6. Tell a Complete Story
While it’s really awesome if you can find a client who thinks highly of your company, its products or services, and who is willing to share this on camera, another way to really drive the message home is to find a customer that has a complete story to tell.
Visual storytelling is a compelling way to connect with your target audience. The best way to engage your viewers is with a story that tells the problem a customer faced, how they found and utilized your company, and the successful results that made a difference in their lives.
Keep these tips in mind as you start to craft your list of prospective customers to be interviewed for a testimonial video. A professional video production company can help you test or prepare your ‘raving fans’, and will also know how to coach your customers on set, giving them great direction to get high-quality, engaging and effective content that will be reflected in your testimonial video.