How to create compelling customer testimonial videos

Like nearly 95% of all shoppers, I seldom make a purchase without consulting online reviews and asking peers about their experience with the product. But, with all things being equal, a recommendation from a peer will tip the scale. In fact, 97% of B2B customers cited user testimonials and peer recommendations as the most reliable type of content.

That is why I recommend clients add testimonials to their marketing plan — especially video testimonials. While it may seem daunting to think about creating a video testimonial, you would be surprised to know that your customers probably rate a video on the same scale you do. Is someone telling a story that I can relate to? Does it seem authentic? Does it address a pain point? Can I get pertinent information about the product I need?

Don’t worry about glitzy, Hollywood-level video production. Data shows that a short, simple, authentic video receives more engagement and builds more trust than a highly scripted corporate video.


Why you should use video testimonials

Videos trigger an emotional connection

Viewing a customer showing appreciation or enthusiasm connects the viewer to your product in a way that’s hard to accomplish with text.

Testimonials builds trust  

When you see someone in your industry who understands your pain points talk about how a product exceeds their expectations, it creates a bond between the viewer and the customer that’s relatable and perceived as trustworthy.

Video testimonials increase SEO

According to Forrester Research, pages with videos are 53% more likely to be listed on the front page of a search engine’s results than pages without video. This is because Google includes “time on page” in its ranking algorithm.


8 elements of a compelling video testimonial

Rather than only list the features that make a strong video testimonial, let’s look at a real-life example of one Randall-Reilly created for  Hitachi Construction Machinery Loaders America Inc.

Hitachi wanted to spotlight its new wheel loader, the Hitachi ZW180-6, and generate clicks. Brandon Harp, president of B2 Contracting, and his Hitachi dealer, sales rep Adam Mikell of Cowin Equipment, agreed to give a sneak peek of their first-hand experience owning and operating the new Hitachi ZW180-6.

B2 Contracting is located in the Atlanta, Georgia, area and is involved in projects ranging from downtown high rises to hotels located at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. The video was set on a work site with the new equipment in the background. 

  • The strategy: to show a relaxed, nonscripted look at the experience of owning and operating the new wheel loader.
  • The pain point: how to increase business with reduced equipment downtime, increased performance and ease of operation.
  • The result: a 3-minute, 50-second, engaging, relatable video shot on location.
  • The stats: Over a three-month period there were 175,146 impressions and 4,869 clicks, and 2,568 users viewed nearly one minute of the video.

Here’s a breakdown of what made this successful.

1. The right location. The video was set up on a work site with B-roll showing the equipment working in a real world setting.

Tip: The equipment was clean but not pristine and the operator was 100% OSHA compliant. Outdoor settings are always more impactful than sitting behind a desk or greenscreen. Plan to scout the location ahead of time.

2. No script. Scripted videos will sound stilted and unnatural. Instead, create a general conversational feel by guiding the customer through a variety of topics.

Tip: Create an outline of what you want to accomplish, pain points you want to address and one or two features of the product you want to spotlight.

3. An emotional connection. By focusing on a successful and relatable customer, the viewer experiences the video as a peer-to-peer recommendation, with higher credibility.

Tip: Choose enthusiastic, brand loyal customers.

4. Short and sweet. The shorter the better but should not exceed 4 minutes.

Tip: The editing process will distill the key points from any length shoot.

5. Graphics and text for more interest.

Tip: Text can include the customer’s name, title and company name. Graphics can include equipment features, maps, logos and sales graphs.

6. Good lighting and sound.

Tip: Location shooting will always present sound and light challenges, many that can be mitigated in the editing process. If circumstances force you to pick between the two, go for clear sound.

7. General pain points: describing issues that are more general than highly specific to that customer’s operation can make the content more relatable.

Tip: The pain point should address a marketing feature you want to highlight.

8. A transcript option.

Tip: Transcripts increase SEO scores and provide another reference for the viewer.


Conclusion

A video testimonial allows your clients to hear about your product’s features directly from the mouth of a peer in a relatable, credible way that creates trust and expands brand loyalty.

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