Customer testimonials have always been sought after by marketers. Not only do they serve as great marketing resources to post online, but they’re also powerful sales tools for reps to share when communicating with prospects.
Video is an especially effective way to tell those stories, but putting together quality video testimonials can take some practice. As with any type of testimonial, securing participation from the customer or client can often be the biggest hurdle. After all, a testimonial is really a favor, and no matter how much your customers like you’re product or service, you’re still asking them to take time out of their day to share that message.
That’s why, when creating video testimonials, you should try to make the process as easy on the customer as possible. Since they’ll be telling the story themselves, with their own voice, it’s important to make them feel comfortable with what they’re going to say.
So that leads us to the question – should you write scripts for video testimonials? The answer is… it depends. Different types of video presentations call for different techniques, and while sticking to a pre-written script can be helpful in some cases, it’s not always the way to go.
Let’s look at some examples.
Narrated video testimonials – just script it!
These are the video presentations where the customer doesn’t actually appear on camera. Instead, they simply narrate their story over pre-created visuals, such as PowerPoint slides or custom animations. This is an ideal option for working with customers that aren’t comfortable being on camera or reside far away, making it difficult to meet in person for a live shoot.
This is also a great use case for Brainshark presentations, as the customer can simply record their narration over the phone or send along a pre-recorded MP3 (we often use this tactic when creating our own customer testimonials, like the presentation below).
Since this type of content will require visuals created ahead of time, crafting a well-written script is probably the way to go. This way, visuals can be created in accordance with the words on the page, and customers can simply read the script when recording their voice.
You should make sure the script is approved by the customer (and sometimes their legal team, depending on the company) before you record. A simple way to do this is to conduct a short interview with the customer, then craft a script based on their responses for them to review (once again, it’s all about making the process as easy as possible for them!).
On-camera testimonials – stick to talking points
When a customer is actually set to appear on camera, a pre-written script may not be the best way to go. Remember, these aren’t trained actors you’re working with, and having them memorize a page of dialogue or read off of cue cards is a lot to ask.
Instead, it might be a better idea to agree on a simple questions with the customer (“What were your challenges before using X product?” “What is your favorite thing about X product?”), and review their responses with them. That way, on the big day, they’ll already be comfortable answering the questions you ask them, and be able to do so naturally on camera.
As Chris Lavigne explains in a recent post for on the Wistia Blog, “When people are worried about marketing speak and hitting everything perfectly, it's unnatural and robotic. It's about capturing a natural, believable, authentic response.”
You can then edit their response over B-roll, separate them with title cards, or intercut them with others you’ve interviewed (when applicable), as in the testimonial below from Concur.
Testimonials with seasoned speakers – just wing it!
This won’t happen all the time, but every now and then you’ll be lucky enough to get a testimonial from an experienced, energetic storyteller that can get the message across better than you ever could. In these cases, you may not necessarily want to bog them down with too much prep; just let them get on camera and do their thing!
Most of the time, however, at least some prep will be required to ensure a successful video. Going with a pre-written script or talking points is up to you – but choose wisely. In the end, it’s about finding the best (and easiest) way to make you and the customer look good!
For more tips on creating and using video testimonials, check out the blog posts below:
- 5 Steps for Creating a Testimonial with Online Video
- Beyond Testimonials: Fresh Ideas for Customer Content
- Hidden Gems: 4 Ways to Repurpose Your Customer Testimonials