Do your marketing videos need to be made professionally?
Testimonial videos can be a powerful tool for small businesses. In fact, you can be pretty sure your competitors are using them. Testimonial videos can move customers toward buying your products or services.
There's no denying that most people feel better about moving forward with a purchase if they see positive testimonials or reviews. Eighty-eight percent of consumers say reviews influence their online purchasing decisions.
If you purchase products or services online for your home, it's very likely that you tend to base your purchases on reviews. Think about Amazon, eBay, or Angie's List. Most of us read the on-page reviews before purchasing anything when we use these types of sites.
There's no comparison between written testimonials and video testimonials
Video testimonials can have so much more power than written testimonials when it comes to converting customers. It can do that because:
- Videos catch our attention and engage more of our senses. Viewers are four times more likely to click on and watch an online video ad than standard banners.
- Interesting visuals help us process information faster.
- The sincerity of the person giving the testimonial can be gauged by things such as body language, facial expressions and voice tone.
- Video has a much higher retention rate than the written word (video 95%, written word 10%).
So, video testimonials pack more of a punch than written testimonials. Check out this article if you'd like more information about why video testimonials are needed for your business.
Now to the big question of money.
Is it important to have professionally made video testimonials? Is it worth the investment?
Some small business owners use amateur videos for testimonial purposes, and some have these videos professionally shot and edited. There are so many amateur testimonial videos out there. Is it worth the money to have them professionally produced?
In my opinion, sometimes yes, and sometimes no. It depends on your target market.
When it's necessary
If you're a business-to-business company reaching out to a professional market, it might be best to use professionally produced testimonials. This type of market is used to seeing professional-quality marketing materials. If you're using amateur videos, it's very possible it will be a turn-off. It might be seen as a reflection on the quality of the company.
When it's not necessary
If you're a small business selling directly to consumers, it's not always necessary. In fact, it may seem more real and more sincere if you have your customers make these videos themselves. Besides, this type of market has become used to seeing customer-made testimonials. You'll find them all over social media.
What should you do when shooting amateur testimonials?
Let's say you're going to go ahead and use amateur testimonial videos. You can shoot them yourself, perhaps in your store or office. Or you can ask your customers/clients to shoot them on their own.
Either way, it's essential that they have reasonably good images and sound. Have you ever tried to watch a testimonial video that had poor sound or was shaky or dim? I have several times, and I stopped watching. Even if you're doing these yourself or having your customers make them, you'll want them to be well produced.
As long as these testimonial videos are decent, they're likely to be accepted and watched by your target audience. However, if they are visually difficult to watch or have poor audio, they'll be passed right over.
Here are some guidelines for shooting amateur testimonial videos. If you're reaching out to your customers to ask them to create testimonial videos for you, give them these shooting guidelines. They're relatively simple to follow. For additional ideas, check out this article called Tips For Shooting Your Own Business Videos With Your Phone.
Here are the tips:
Shoot horizontally. If you're shooting with a phone camera, always shoot horizontally. This is more like what a professional camera looks like. A horizontal video is also better for web placement.
Have the camera level. You'll want the camera to be level with the face of the person giving the testimonial. It's much more professional and comfortable for the viewer than looking up or down at someone speaking.
Stabilize the image. It's best if the phone or camera is placed on a stable surface. Shakiness that comes with a handheld video will detract from the testimonial. If you have a tripod, that's great. If not, find a table or piece of furniture to place your camera on. If you don't have anything that's level with the person on camera, build up a surface with some books or other items that will give stability.
The distance of the camera. Keep the camera within 3 to 5 feet of the person on camera. This will help the phone focus, and it will enable better sound.
- Share questions in advance. Help your customers form their messages by giving them some questions to think about. If you're shooting this on your site, give them the questions in advance. Then when you begin shooting, you may want to start them off by asking them the same questions. Many people are not comfortable being on camera. This method can help put them at ease and can help them form their thoughts.
If your customers are shooting their videos at their own location, give them the questions along with the other guidelines we're suggesting.
The questions you write should be designed to help your customers talk about your company, products and services in an effective way. They'll vary depending on your specifics, but here are some examples of what you might ask:
- Which factors encouraged you to choose our product/service?
- Please think about the service we provided. Explain how you believe our service and process contributed to you achieving your goals?
- Please describe the quality of our work.
- What exactly did you like about our product?
- In what ways did our product/service help you?
Again, you'll have to think about your specific product/service. You know your company and what you did right. You'll want to offer questions that can help them to share appropriately. These questions should help them construct their message in a quick, honest and impactful manner.
Add editing for your testimonial videos
There's one more thing you can do to improve the quality of your testimonial videos. It's fairly inexpensive to have your testimonial videos edited by a professional editor. They can do a number of things to your video that can improve the quality, including:
- Remove stumbles, pauses or anything else that might be a distraction
- Choose your best takes
- Color correction
- Sound correction
- Light correction
- Add graphics, titles, etc.
- Add photos and video clips that you provide
- Add stock photos and video clips that the editor can provide
- Add music
- Add a voiceover
Summing it up
With a little preparation, it's not that hard to get some great testimonials for your website or for use on social media. It can truly be worth the effort. And if you have a more professional audience, it can be worth the investment to have them shot professionally. Either way, if you take these simple steps, you can improve the quality of your testimonial videos.
The more professional in appearance they are, the better they'll reflect on your company.