Testimonial Videos: The Ultimate Guide

Vikas Tiwari
Vikas Tiwari
testimonial videos whatastory

Every brand and business understandably wants to send the most persuasive and credible messages to their existing and prospective customers about themselves. While you may be able to do so through sales reps or email campaigns, any smart marketer knows that authenticity doesn’t stem from that.

No. Authenticity comes from satisfied customers. It comes from those who have used your product or service and know through experience how credible you are. 

Now, when you put together honest opinions with the extremely impactful nature of videos, you have in your hand a very powerful tool: Testimonial Videos!

Regardless of whether people believe you or not, they will listen to other people’s opinions. More than 88% of online shoppers incorporate reviews into their purchasing decision! 

This kind of social proof is exactly what you need to create a solid sense of credibility and authenticity among the people you’re targeting. 

With all that said and done, creating a testimonial video is no easy feat, considering the amount of planning it requires to come up with content that delivers the impact you need. Fortunately, we’re going to address everything you need to know about the process in this blog, including:

  • Why testimonials are a must
  • What they must portray to work
  • How much it costs in terms of money and time
  • Some great testimonial examples

So without further ado, let’s jump right into it!


Table of Content


What Are Testimonial Videos?

Testimonials are when your existing customers share their honest opinions and experiences with your brand. While textual testimonials are great, testimonial videos go that extra mile simply because they incorporate videos, thereby ensuring that extra step needed to convince people to take action

Why Must You Use Testimonial Videos?

With that said, testimonial videos have proven to work so well for a lot of businesses for the following reasons.

1. They provide social proof, a powerful decision-making factor

People are always more likely to purchase something other people have already bought. So, it goes without saying that one of the most important factors to help decide on something is opinion.

Reviews, social media praises, ratings, etc., have proven to be extremely powerful influencers. Video testimonials present that very proof people want to see about your brand. It is proof that you deliver what you promise, something no amount of advertising or marketing can achieve. 

2. It creates trust and builds a real connection with your brand 

Building trust and credibility among your audience is always a priority when communicating with them. It’s easy to tell them you solve their problem, but it always pays more to be able to show them.

Human beings always trust fellow humans. Seeing how these include real-life people talking about real-life instances, testimonial videos create that deeper connection among your viewers. 

And if that isn’t enough to convince you, don’t believe me. Believe the stats!

  • 92% of consumers read online reviews and testimonials when considering a purchase. Imagine how much videos elevate this impact!
  • Star rating is the number one factor used by consumers to judge a business.
  • 72% of customers say positive reviews and testimonials make them trust a business more.
  • Video testimonials convert – Any business’s ultimate goal is to convert prospects into customers. Believe it or not, video testimonials are 58% more likely to convert!

Testimonials and videos are two very powerful tools on their own. When combined, they provide the ultimate combo of driving traffic, increasing social shares, building trust, and converting customers. 

So, it’s pretty clear that video testimonials work! With that said, you can’t simply have people drag on about your product or service. 

For a testimonial video to be as effective as possible, they are certain tips you need to keep in mind when creating one.

What must a testimonial video portray?

Let’s start with the most basic trait:

1. Your testimonial video has to be short, sweet, and most importantly authentic 

I know I’ve used that word too often already but that’s because of how important it is. Wanting to be authentic is one thing, but the goal here is to actually feel authentic.

With that said, a script will not work. Your testimonial video has to feel conversational, so the best way to go about it is to sit with the customer, be it physically or virtually, and (yes, you guessed it) have a conversation. 

Talk to them about what they liked about the product and how it helped them, and you are bound to get a genuine testimonial. 

2. Have a problem/solution narrative

It’s not just about how great your product is. it’s about how your customers have benefited from that.

That’s what has to be shown clearly in the video. Try to get the customer to talk about how your product has improved their lifestyle or a certain aspect of it. This will clearly let the viewers know that you and your product deliver.

3. Ideally, show real-life cases

A customer talking about the benefits of your product is great but to show it is even better. 

Instead of keeping it as just a one on one conversation, include real-life footage of the customer using it alongside. This not only adds more authenticity but also makes the video a little more interesting for the viewers to watch. 

4. Do not make it overly promotional

Do not try to send your product or service through a testimonial. This video is about your customers and how they have benefited through your service. 

You are trying to gain the trust of potential prospects. By trying to be promotional in a testimonial video, you will only be throwing them off. 

You will have other options and methods to do that, so save the promotions for those. 

See? It really doesn’t take much to make an impactful testimonial video. If your customers truly believe that your product has worked for them, you will have genuine and authentic content for your testimonial video.

With that done, we come to the next vital part of a testimonial.

How To Ask Customers For A Testimonial Video?

Asking anything from anyone is always nerve-wracking. But when you finally gather the courage to do so, this is how you need to approach your customer for a testimonial. 

1. Don’t ask too early

First and foremost know who to ask. You might have a massive customer base but the ones you should be focusing on are those that have stayed with you the longest. 

The longer they have worked with your business, the more loyal they’ll be. These are the customers that will have more to speak about your business and they will come with an authenticity that no new customer can give.

2. Select customers who have given positive feedback

Reach out to the customers who have given positive feedback about your business on multiple occasions. You can be sure that these customers will be willing to deliver top-notch testimonials, ones with details and genuine interest. 

3. Get in touch with them personally in detail

A simple dedicated email will do. A call is a faster and more direct method but that also means the customers have to give an immediate response which might not always work in your favor. 

Within the email, be sure to give a detailed description of what you are asking your customer to do. Let them know what a big contribution they have been to your business and that you’re interested in hearing more from them. 

Most importantly, let them know that the video will be released to the public and that their decision, no matter what, will be respected.

4. Offer to interview them

Sitting in front of a camera and talking is not everyone’s cup of tea. You can make this entire process a lot easier for the customer by offering to interview them.

The directed questions will give customers a clear idea of what to talk about while making them feel comfortable at the same time. This also provides a more conversational atmosphere which will make the video feel natural and produce that emotional connection you want in a testimonial.

5. Do NOT offer an incentive

Incentives are as good as bribery when it comes to a testimonial. 

When you offer an incentive you are essentially asking for biased feedback. That is everything a testimonial should not be. You need to respect them and their experiences of working with you, be it good or bad.

P.S.: I’ve used customers as a general category, but testimonials need not come from customers alone. They can help in other sectors such as recruitment as well, so a testimonial can come from an employee too!

Right! With all that taken into account, we come to the most important part of this blog

The Video Production Process for Your Testimonial Video

Now, when shooting a testimonial video, there is usually a three-step process that is followed. That is the:

  • The pre-production phase
  • The video shoot
  • The post-production phase

This looks simple enough. But what exactly happens here? Let’s take a look.

1. The Pre-Production Phase

This is when the video production agency decides to do three things. They decide the structure of a testimonial video, the people that have been contacted for the testimonial video are approached, and the content of the actual testimonial video is decided.

To make it easier for the customers to talk, as well as set a basic framework for the video, you usually need to have a set bunch of questions. Here are some questions that you could consider for your testimonial video.

  • What prompted you to consider this product?
  • What was the problem you wanted to solve?
  • Was there an obstacle that might have prevented you from buying this product? Were you reluctant? (This question can help you discover an issue you might not have considered.)
  • How has the product affected your business/personal life?
  • What features do you like most?
  • Can you name three other benefits?
  • Would you recommend the product? If so, why?
  • Is there anything else you want to add?

Most testimonial videos follow a very similar structure as shown below.

  • Customers start with the “Value Proposition” 
  • Then show the logo or title of the video
  • Customer Introduction
  • The story before your service/company – what were the challenges the customer faced
  • How they came to know your company 
  • Why he/she decided to use your service/product
  • What was the immediate result
  • What was the long-term impact they got from it
  • Would they recommend your product/service to a friend?

Of course, you don’t necessarily need to adhere to this format. If you think you can come up with a different format that can be just as engaging and effective, go for it! 

The above was just to show you the format that has worked for most businesses.

As for the actual pre-production process itself, here’s what you need to follow.

  • Decide on the companies/people/customers that you want to get a testimonial from.
  • Contact the customers and get their permission and availability.
  • Introduce the customers to your video production crew.
  • Decide on the place (ideally, choose a place the customers feel comfortable in, as well as an aesthetically pleasing setting), and explain the video shoot process to the customers.
  • Give the customers the questionnaire, and allow them to answer the questions before the shoot to familiarize themselves with what to say.
  • Set the date for the shoot, and prepare for that day.

The next phase after this is, you guessed it, the actual shoot itself.

2. The Video Shoot and Production

First and foremost, you need equipment. Now you don’t have to overthink this. Whatever your budget maybe, there are so many options you can choose from that it doesn’t really matter. You are bound to find something that works for you.

With that said you definitely need the following equipment.

a. Camera

Professional looking videos, you need a professional grade camera. Lucky for you, the options are endless and you could easily find a professional grade camera for less than $1000. 

what a story camera

b. Lenses 

The type of lens you use for your camera really depends on how you want your video to be shot. It could be wide-angle shots, it could be close-ups, that’s entirely up to you.

Regardless, it’s always a good option to carry different types of lenses with you for the shoot.

c. Mic 

A good mic is essential for flawless audio quality. Do not ever compromise on good audio.

You want the customer to be heard and to be understood, and it is absolutely vital to get rid of unwanted noise. 

Once again, there are a wide variety of mics that you can choose from, so you don’t have to be too worried about it.

d. Tripod 

Tripods are extremely important especially if you are taking stationary shots. You don’t need to go extravagant with this as any standard tripod will do.

e. Stabilizers 

Now, if your video is going to be entirely composed of stationary shots this is not necessary. 

However, if you are going to be taking moving shots, you need to be able to control the movement to avoid unnecessary motion that could distract the viewers.

You could use either a gimbal or Steadicam, it doesn’t matter. Bottom line is, you need equipment that guarantees steady movement when shooting.

f. Lighting 

Lighting is yet another extremely important element that you need to focus on when shooting.

Whether you require artificial lighting or not depends on the setting you’ve chosen for your testimonial video. If it’s an open space with adequate natural lighting, then you don’t really need to spend on equipment.

However, if it’s inside a building, a room, or even an open space without enough light, you need equipment to control it.  

Without getting into details about lighting, just remember one thing. Proper lighting is extremely – and I cannot stress this enough – is extremely important for a killer video.

Once the equipment and setting are set up and ready, you can call the customer to get ready to start the shoot. 

However, before you start the shoot make sure the customer is comfortable in front of the camera. It’s always best to have a couple of test runs before the actual shoot happens.

Here’s another important tip. Please do not make the entire video one person talking. Be sure to get B-roll that you could include in the video to make it more interesting and attractive for the viewers.

With all this done, the video production packs up and post-production begins.

The Post-Production Phase

This is where the editing happens. Typically this is the process that follows.

  • Impactful content is selected and edited, and the best camera angles are chosen.
  • Lighting issues are fixed.
  • Necessary graphics, background music, and soundtracks are added as required.
  • B-roll footage is used wherever necessary.
  • A draft of the video is rendered, and feedback is taken from the team to perfect it.
  • The final video is rendered and it has to be shown to the customer as well.

If you’ve chosen a video production agency to help you out with the video, they will normally help with the distribution and marketing of the video.

After reading all of this, you’re probably wondering the same thing we’re going to cover next.

How Much Does A Testimonial Video Cost?

Depending on what you’re willing to do for the final video, your testimonial video can cost anywhere between Rs. 25K to Rs. 2.5 lakhs

Here are the factors that affect the cost of making one. 

1. Location 

Scouting for the perfect outdoor location, renting, permissions, etc. all cost a lot more than doing it in a basement at your family summer house for instance.

2. Business type

SaaS products generally require more in-depth explanations that will make the videos longer, thereby costing more.

3. Number of people being interviewed

Simple. More people = increase in shoot days = increase in production cost.

4. Shoot days and deadlines

Same as above. The more days you invest in shooting, the more it will cost.

5. Casting (if any)

If you choose to have celebrity casting, the cost shoots up what with all the artist management and so on and so forth. 

6. Quality of editing and final video

Top-notch quality almost always equals higher production costs. To give you a better idea, here are a couple of examples. With a higher budget, you get the opportunity to get better equipment, possibly even drone shots, extra VFX, and better overall quality of the video itself. 

For instance, with a premium budget, you can end up with first class videos like the ones below.

A premium testimonial video
A medium quality testimonial video
A standard quality testimonial video

The difference between the above videos are visible. While the mid priced videos are done beautifully, the premium grade videos just have that extra oomph thanks to the resources that are available for use. 

Let this not discourage you however, because as you saw, you can make extremely powerful testimonials with a lower budget as well.

Now that we’ve covered all the important stuff about testimonial videos, let’s look at the final one.

How Much Time Does It Take To Make A Testimonial Video?

On a very general scale, a testimonial video would take around 2-3 weeks. 

You want at least 1 or 2 weeks for pre-production. You are never going to make a lot of testimonials, so you want to make sure that when you do, you put your time into planning it perfectly.

When it comes to the shoot, you’re not going to take more than two days. However, depending on the number of people being interviewed, that could go up to 3 as well, but not more.

And finally, you will ideally take about a week for post-production. You want the testimonial to be perfect, and one week is more than enough time to smash it.

But hey, if you absolutely have to invest more time into it, don’t feel bad! This testimonial video has to be excellent and complete, so take the time you need to make it that!

And that’s a wrap!

So there you have it! Testimonials are without a doubt, one of the greatest tools to gain trust and potential prospects for your business. They are honest, authentic and one of the most powerful forms of persuasion that you can use for your benefit.

So, if you’re wondering if you need one, the answer is very simple. Yes. You absolutely do! 

And like any other video in your video marketing arsenal, the testimonial video has to be done with good planning, utmost sincerity, and dedicated professionalism to ensure quality videos.

Speaking of quality videos, it’s always a good idea to reach out to a professional video production agency to guarantee a killer video. And the best part is you don’t have to search for one!

If you’re interested or need any help in creating your very own testimonial video, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Our doors are always open because videos are what we do!

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

You may also like

More

Resources

© 2019 WhataStory. All Rights Reserved.