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Video Testimonials: A Basic Guide

Posted by: Staff Posted on

Nothing sells your business like a happy customer raving about it online. Just look at the likes of TripAdvisor, Trust Pilot, and Amazon. In the last decade, sites powered by testimonials have become the gold standard of consumer confidence.

After all, 72% of consumers said that a positive vi testimonial boosted their trust in a brand. Reviews matter – so bring yours to life with an awesome testimonial video.

Here’s how to make one in 6 simple steps.

Why Make A Video Testimonial?

Engaging and emotive, video testimonials add real personality to your reviews (literally). When delivered at the right time in the buyer cycle, they’re a powerful way to get a “maybe” browser over the line.

Testimonials can also drive revenue. In fact, using them regularly could boost your bottom line by as much as 62%. The truth is, most people actively look for a testimonial when researching a brand or product. On top of that, video is much more engaging than standard text content.

So why not give the people what they want? Put the two together. Give your customers a face with a video testimonial.

How To Create An Effective Video Testimonial

1. Find The Right Customer

For your testimonial to come across as genuine, you need to find the right person for the job.

Look at customers who’ve already said good things about you. Maybe they’ve left a review on your site already, or an awesome comment on social media. They could also be repeat buyers – hey, if they keep coming back for more, you must be doing something right.

Come up with a set of probing interview questions to get your message over

Once you’ve tracked down your star customer, contact them in the first instance by email, thank them for their previous feedback and explain your idea for the video testimonial. Be clear and honest – let them know why they’ve been selected and how the video will be used.

Finally, do not offer an incentive. This is a huge no. If they don’t want to help as a result of your service, find someone else.

2. Ask The Right Questions

Writing a predetermined script for your testimonial star is another big no-no. Not only will it lack integrity and honesty, but it’ll likely come across as generic, stale, and boring.

Instead, come up with a set of probing interview questions to get your message over. This way, you avoid any biased answers, keeping things fresh. For example, you could ask your subject some of the following:

  • Why did you buy this product?
  • How did your product or service help them?
  • What made it stand out from other brands on the market?
  • How has the product affected your life/business?
  • And if they’re a repeat buyer: why do you keep coming back for more?

Once you’ve decided on your questions, send them over to the client so they can prepare properly. The more comfortable and relaxed they feel, the better the testimonial will be.

3. Choose The Right Location

Location is a vital piece of your testimonial puzzle. Get it right, and you’ll add vital context and feeling to your testimonial. Choose the wrong location, however, and you could send the wrong message entirely.

Think about it. If you’re selling coffee machines to start-up cafes, do you really want to film your testimonial in a professional boardroom setting? On the flip side, if you produce cybersecurity software for large businesses, a busy coffee shop might not be the best location.

In terms of sound, this will depend on your location

Generally, private indoor settings are easier to control, whereas outdoor public spaces can be unpredictable, due to noise. That said, if you think shooting in a public space, like a park or city street, will add to your video, don’t let that put you off – just make sure you have a plan to account for these external factors.

Finally, decide a time and location and set up your interview.

4. Setting Up A Shoot

When setting up a shoot, the two most important things to consider are lighting and sound. Get these right, and your job becomes a whole lot easier.

For lighting, think about the best spot within your location (with the best natural lighting, that is). Once you have this, you can set up your additional lights (if you’re using them).

Ideally, you’ll have three lights: one set to the side of your subject (either right or left, pointing at them from an angle), and one lighting up the background, and one pointing directly at your subject (from the same angle as your camera).

In terms of sound, this will depend on your location. If you’re shooting inside, you might want to consider a shotgun or bi-directional mic (mics that record targeted sound). For outside, you may want to use two mics – a shotgun mic and a lapel mic. Here’s some expert advice on audio equipment to help you get the right gear.

For more tips and advice on the specifics of shooting an interview, check out this video guide.

5. Make Sure Your Subject Is Relaxed

This should be a fun experience. Your subject should be comfortable and relaxed throughout. If they aren’t, it’ll show in your final video.

Remember, this is not an interrogation. Keep the whole experience informal and chilled. Provide snacks, drinks, and a comfortable place to wait before filming. If you’re shooting at a location unfamiliar to them, make it as easy as possible for your subject to get there.

Cut out any unclear, repetitive comments

This isn’t rocket science, but it’s so important for the outcome of your video. Make the effort and it’ll pay off – big time.

6. Make Time To Edit

Once you’ve shot your footage, it’s time to hit the editing suite. Here, you can iron out any issues and cut your video into a short, sharp consumer testimonial.

The key here is getting the point across. Cut out any unclear, repetitive comments and stick to the answers your subject gave to the core questions you asked earlier.

In terms of content, aim for around 3 responses, and keep your video short and sweet. In this stage of the marketing cycle, your would-be buyer is looking for confirmation – a bite-sized testimonial should provide that.

If you’re new to editing, check out this guide, 5 video editing tips for beginners, and this one about choosing the right video editing software.


Testimonial videos – simple right? There’s lots more helpful advice like this over on our YouTube channel, so don’t forget to subscribe.