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Ever wonder why infomercials insist on having existing clients rave about their experience with a product or service? Seems very formulaic, doesn’t it? Well the simple answer is because it works. Studies have shown that video testimonials are twice as effective as reviews, case studies, and webinar videos. They are over three times as effective as vlogs and even videos, according to reports from Vidyard.

The reason testimonial videos are so effective comes from the social proof aspect that gives buyers a glimpse of the satisfaction they will experience with the product before buying. Reports from Adweek show 81% of all consumers doing research about a product or brand on the Internet before buying. Because of this fact, it has become imperative for companies to flaunt their successes with existing clients. Video testimonials make the experience for the consumer extremely real and personal; like the person giving the testimonial is talking directly to them.

Making a testimonial video isn’t as easy as just putting a camera in front of a satisfied client and pushing the record button. The most effective testimonials are concise, focused, and solution centric. A raving fan that talks on about all the different ways your company helped them may barrage the viewer with too much to think about. They also fail to keep pertinent the reason the consumer should buy your product. Instead, help your ambassador to identify one problem they had and how your product helped solve that problem. It is okay to have one fan talk separately about different situations in which your company made them happy. You can keep that footage and use it in a compilation video of several fans talking about a reoccurring theme with your product. Here are some other tips in creating a great testimonial video:

Quiet on the set. Finding a quiet space with little to no background noise is the best scene for your testimonial video. Video production firms usually have a sound room that is isolated from ambient noise. If you are shooting the video yourself, finding a quiet office is much better than trying to shoot at the park.

Light it right. Lighting can make or break your testimonial. If you are relying on overhead lighting, your subject can come across eerie and uninviting. If you don’t have professional lights, try to shoot next to a window, but be careful not to have the subject between the camera and the window.

Testing 1–2–3. Make sure the room you are in has decent acoustics. This can be hard to find in an office building, so look for break rooms with couches and/curtains on the wall. A room with more furniture will most likely sound better than an empty room. If you are using the microphone in the camera you are shooting with, be sure to stay close to your subject. It is better to be able to hear the testimonial clearly than to get that majestic shot.

An ounce of preparation. Working with your advocate to go over what they are going to say goes a long way. This is also a great time to help them phrase their responses if you have restrictions on what they can and cannot say on camera. Also coach them to phrase their responses with the question included. Finally, give them the questions you are going to ask ahead of time to allow them to rehearse their response beforehand.

Keep it real. When putting together the interview of your fan, you want to capture them candidly to keep the presentation real, which can be tricky because not everyone is comfortable in front of a camera. This is where video production professionals can use their skills in helping your advocate get their message across naturally and engaging. If your producing it yourself and run into someone who clams up in front of the camera, try to engage in conversation unrelated to the prepared questions to help them relax in front of the camera.

Wrap it up! Editing your video is a crucial part of making a testimonial video. You want to cut out the fluff and keep the cuts concise. The overall length of each testimonial should be between 60 and 120 seconds. You should watch your final cut many times over to see if it keeps your attention each time you watch it. You can even try showing it to friends before finalizing.

Optimize for success. The final step before taking your video public is to make sure you are optimizing your video for each media platform so that you are going to display on. Some digital platforms perform better with different codecs and resolution settings that other. Satisfying these technical parameters will yield smooth playback for users with the best picture quality.

Once you have your video testimonials in place, make sure to keep promoting them and boasting about how much your customers love your company. Keep collecting new stories and rotate them throughout the year. Having a library of them on your website along with your written testimonials is a great way to keep new visitors engaged with your site and will help build the virtual relationship you are striving for. If you have any more questions about producing a testimonial video, please feel free to contact me directly at buzz@bbcak.com.

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