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Testimonial Videos And Why They Work

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In this guest article for, Ian Palmer of The Marketing Café, explores the power of putting your clients or customers on camera in a video testimonial.

Working with a Video Production Company
If you want to get the most out of creating a video testimonial then it really does pay to engage the services of a seasoned video production company with a proven track record in producing testimonials. The quality and polish of the final product will more than justify the investment required, as securing a solid ROI will ultimately come down to how well your testimonial can appeal to your potential customers.

A good video production agency will have the tools and the experience to make sure your testimonial gets noticed. This will include things like soundtrack, editing and the type of cutaway footage to include in between interview segments (if you hadn't considered supporting footage then that's just another example of why it makes sense to get a video production company in). A video agency worth their salt will also have the marketing acumen to help you effectively seed and distribute your testimonial to your potential customers.

Perhaps most importantly, a professional production company has the experience to really get the most out of your customers or clients when putting them in front of a camera. By removing your own company from the equation, your customer is far more likely to come across honest and believable than if they were talking to you directly.

The Power of Testimonial Video
We've all become used to the constant bombardment of advertising and marketing material online nowadays. Whether we realise it or not, this has made many of us impervious to once tried and tested marketing pitches. To a large extent, we have become cynical and extremely choosey about the kind of content from brands or businesses we consume, unless we can see an immediate benefit from it.

What makes testimonials different is that they aren't ostensibly marketing in the traditional sense of the word. They act as a review or endorsement of your brand, your product or your services from a third party. It's this independence that makes them one of the most powerful ways to build trust in your company and its products or services.

Of course, many of you reading this will have testimonials from your customers and clients in the form of Google reviews or other written testimonials published on your website. But consider the power video has over the written format. Anyone could have written a review of your website, but seeing someone on camera convincingly and genuinely talking up your company is an incredibly persuasive tool. The ability for video to capture authenticity is unparalleled, which puts video testimonial head and shoulders against a purely text based approach.

How to Create a Great Testimonial Film
So what exactly is the secret behind a truly powerful client testimonial video? Well, if I were to distil the many tips and techniques that are employed by video marketers into one word, it would have to be honesty.

The key to tapping into the power of video with a testimonial film is creating that sense in the viewer that the subject is being honest. Now, as long as they're not slating your company on camera (and let's be honest, you've probably chosen the wrong client if they are), then that's got a lot of potential to persuade others to suspect you are indeed very good at what you do.

Let's look at five tips and techniques to bear in mind when filming a client testimonial.

• Pick the right customers: As we've mentioned, it pays to pick a customer that is actually happy with the service or product you've provided. On top of that though, it is also good practice to find an interviewee who is comfortable and compelling in front of a camera.

• Don't use a script: It's always tempting to want to put words in the mouths of your client or customer, but this is a sure fire way to lose any sense of authenticity and honesty. Instead, treat the exercise like an interview by trying to elicit natural but enthused responses. This means giving your interviewee as little prior info as possible beforehand.

Use supporting footage: Watching someone sit there and talk for two and a half minutes can get boring, no matter how good they come across on camera, which is why it pays to have cutaways using visually engaging supporting footage. This could be your client's place of work, or examples of your customers using your product.

• Make it short and sweet: Attention spans are short in the digital age and a long testimonial film, that goes into too much detail or gets overly technical, will quickly lose people's attention. Make it short and snappy and get to the point.

Have a marketing plan in place: However good your client testimonial film is, sticking it up on your website and hoping for the best, isn't going to get you the return on your investment you deserve. Have a proper distribution plan in place and promote your testimonials across paid, owned and earned media.

Testimonials may not be a way of generating brand exposure, as they tend to operate most effectively at the end of the marketing funnel, when consumers are actively looking to pick up the phone or make a purchase. But what they do – which is to convince and convert – they do exceptionally well.

You might be happy collecting Google reviews and whilst that's in no way a bad thing, having happy customers espousing the virtues of your company in front of a camera is marketing dynamite. In any industry, especially those where competition is tight, a video testimonial really could be your secret weapon.

About the Author: Ian Palmer is the founder and director of South Ayrshire based video production company, The Marketing Café. You can connect with Ian on Facebook, Twitter or browse some of their amazing productions on their YouTube channel.

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