5 Steps to Making a Compelling Customer Testimonial Video

Digital Marketing
Richard Tiland
1/16/2020

An engaging customer testimonial video can be a successful marketing tool. To create an effective video, choose a relatable subject who speaks to your audience and home in on your product’s critical benefits.

Customer testimonial videos provide a powerful way to persuade potential customers. When done well, they can increase your conversion rate and give your brand a solid source of social proof.

Authentic testimonials show your audience that your brand can be trusted and that your products and services really do offer valuable benefits for buyers. It’s no surprise then that 89% of B2B marketers identify testimonials as the most effective marketing tactic.

To make compelling customer testimonials, be sure to follow these 5 key steps in your video production.

5 Steps to Creating an Effective Customer Testimonial Video

  1. Choose a credible and relatable subject
  2. Use original, authentic language
  3. Emphasize specific benefits
  4. Incorporate engaging visuals 
  5. Keep it short and simple

1. Choose a Credible and Relatable Subject

Your testimonial video won’t provide any value for your business if your subject doesn’t come across as credible and relatable. Use a real customer who’s honest and enthusiastic about using your products or services.

When choosing a customer for the video, think about your target market.

Do they resemble your ideal buyer? For example, if your number one buyer persona is a female entrepreneur between the ages of 20 and 35, the best way to connect with them through a testimonial is not by featuring a 45-year-old male.

While you obviously appreciate all of your customers, you have to focus on your target audience when creating this type of video.

It’s not so much about the way that they look, either. Your video subject should have things in common with your target audience. That should include reasons why they use your product and how they use it to their benefit.

Have your customer talk about things that are most likely to be the same type of draw for your main target. Choosing a relatable customer to film can also build an emotional connection to your audience.

2. Use Original, Authentic Language

A winning testimonial video won’t come across as dull, dry, pushy, or sales-y. It has to have a natural, authentic feel to it to attract more customers. Using too much jargon or sounding scripted will be a turn-off to most people, and they’ll simply tune out.

As you talk to your subject while filming, aim for originality.

Don’t have them repeat the same selling points that you use in your sales copy. Get their authentic insight and have them share their opinion using their own language.

Roku TV did a great job of this in their 2016 testimonial video. Rather than focusing on one subject, they filmed multiple customers and edited the clips together. Some people talked about the software’s specific functions, such as the search interface.

Roku TV customer testimonial video

This is a great way to convey your product or service’s main selling points. Others had their own way of phrasing things:

Roku TV customer testimonial video

Describing Roku TV as a “multimedia candy store” is likely not in the company’s sales pitch, but it adds a playful and genuine flare to the testimonial. Gems like that wouldn’t happen if the video were scripted.

Rather than using talking points or giving your subject any pre-written text to incorporate, use a brief guideline to help your subject understand the general direction of the testimonial.

It’s also important to make the customer feel at ease. Take the time to build up a good and solid relationship with the customer who will be giving the testimonial. Their enthusiasm for your product and for your business will come across as they talk about the benefits.

3. Emphasize Specific Benefits

On that note, having a happy customer tell viewers that they love your product or service simply isn’t enough to be convincing. Get them to share the details about the benefits that it’s provided for them.

For example, let’s say your customer states that your product has helped them organize their bookkeeping process. That’s not very detailed or compelling; it’s just a broad, basic benefit. You need to home in on the specific benefit.

Go into a bit more detail by having them share exactly how they’ve been able to better organize their records to simplify their bookkeeping.

As you plan for the testimonial video’s content, be sure to point out those details that truly highlight and emphasize the benefits that your product has provided for the customer.

4. Incorporate Engaging Visuals

Customer testimonial videos can be very simple, and the shots can be pretty basic. You don’t need a lot of flashy graphics or detailed post-production work to create a compelling video.

However, incorporating engaging visuals along with quality production value will help grab your audience’s attention and build a connection with them.

Use an Engaging Background

You can film your testimonial in an interview style setting, where your subject sits down and shares their story and thoughts. Choose a well-lit spot that relates to your product in some way.

For example, if you sell a service that helps your customers to run a business, film in their office or a similar setting. The background can help make the content more engaging and can be illustrative of your target market.

Use Illustrative Visuals

Another option is to splice in clips of the customer using your product or service. You can use an interview-style tight shot that’s focused on the customer as they’re speaking and intermittently show illustrative clips.

HubSpot published an excellent testimonial video featuring its client Endless Entertainment. It starts with an introduction to the customer with a simple animated title.

Endless Entertainment customer testimonial video

However, it would be awkward to have the viewer watch the subject talk for 3 minutes in front of a camera. So, the video splices in shots of the customer using HubSpot’s integration with Wistia to show off the product’s main benefits.

HubSpot integration with Wistia

After running through some of the key features and showing off HubSpot’s interface, the video also shows eye-catching clips of the subject’s work. This draws a direct connection between the product and how it benefits the customer’s daily work.

HubSpot customer testimonial video

Adding in just a few product shots should be enough for a quick testimonial, and it helps regulate the pacing of the video.

5. Keep It Short and Simple

Any successful marketing video has to be short and to the point to hold the viewer’s attention. With testimonials, you want your audience to hear from your happy customer, but you don’t want it to be so long and detailed that it ends up being boring.

Maintain a tight focus so that the message comes across in a clear, concise, and convincing way. Don’t use long, drawn out stories to illustrate why your customer used your product and found it to be the solution to their problem.

Going over what your customer will say in the testimonial before filming can help them to cut down lengthy statements and sum up their story in a tidy soundbite.

If your customer has a really compelling story, write it out in the form of a case study to share on your website in text format. Case studies can make for nice compliments to video testimonials and can be used on landing pages, too.

Video Testimonials Are Effective Marketing Tools

When done right, a compelling video testimonial can boost your conversion rate and help build your brand’s trustworthiness and authority.

A successful video starts with the right subject. Find a customer who is relatable to your target audience and let them speak freely about their experience with your product or service.

To avoid sounding scripted, give your subject a brief guideline to direct their focus on your product’s specific benefits. Then, use visual cues like clips of your customer using your product to direct the viewer to the main points.

By following these key steps and keeping your video to-the-point, your efforts will be worthwhile. Aim to increase sales through effective video testimonials.