By Mark Sparks
As a Seattle video production company, we get asked about video testimonials a lot. To understand why to use video testimonials in your marketing and sales efforts, think of this example: You are in the market for a car and the car sales person tells you the model you are looking at is the most reliable thing on the road. And it handles beautifully. The next day you are kibitzing with your likable neighbor, Marianne, across the fence and she tells you she bought that very same car and it sucks. Been in the shop non-stop since she bought it and it handles like a brick on wheels.
Who are you going to trust?
Exactly. It is only human nature to put your trust in the person who has ‘been there, done that’ and has nothing to win or loose in your ‘going there to do that.’
(Don’t get me wrong here. I generally like car sales people. Those that have been around for a while have a great understanding of people and their industry. So, I am using them in this example only to illustrate a point, OK?)
I don’t want to beat this to death, you probably already get the fact that the ultimate goal in using video testimonials is to get your current customers to tell your potential customers the story of your service or product. Believably.
That’s the key: Believability
Which brings us to a couple of key rules to create believable, sales-increasing testimonials:
1. Only use zealots
You know… those people who are big supporters of your efforts, your services or your products. We were shooting a testimonial and asked the fellow in front of the camera, “If you had all the employees of (our client’s name) in front of you right now, what would you tell them?” He lit up and said, “Oh, man, if all the people from (our client’s name) were here right now? I would give them a big bear hug!” Then he mimed how he would do it… with loud sound effects. “Grrrrr! That’s what I would do!” Hilarious, charming, sincere. And absolute gold.
2. Don’t script them
Don’t script the people on camera. Ask questions and let them respond with their own words. Well crafted questions will give you the exact response you are looking for. See #1. It is important for them to tell their story.
3. Don’t cheap-out
Don’t cheap-out producing video testimonials! Poorly shot, poorly edited video with cruddy sound just won’t fly with our highly sophisticated American audiences. Everyone is a critic when it comes to video. Don’t let them get distracted with their own critical ideas about the technical quality of the testimonial. You want them to focus on the message, not the fact that it sounds like it is coming from the bottom of a rain barrel.
4. Plan how to use them
Have a plan as to how you are going to use them. We have a few clients who went through the cost and effort to have us create really great testimonials for them, and then never used them to their maximum benefit. So, be sure to plan out their usage and then follow through with those plans. Commercials, in-lobby video loops, Kiosks, your company web site. And be sure to use them as part of your social media campaign.
Don’t miss all the great opportunities to get these wonderful, income-generating messages out there!
Got any questions? Don’t hesitate to call us. We would be delighted to advise you in regards to a testimonial that you have shot already, or get a free quote on what it would take to shoot a quality testimonial. No obligation.
The only important way to be credible is to practice what you preach! View our testimonial by clicking here