How To Create Memorable Video Testimonials
Dr. Carmen Simon
One of the ways in which presenters add credibility and authenticity to their content is through video testimonials. Such testimonials show how customers are using and benefiting from specific products or ideas, with the intent to drive more business. A video-based testimonial can go one of two ways: it can inspire trust quickly or turn people off. What are some science-based techniques you can use to create memorable video testimonials to increase the persuasive flavor of your content versus turning people away?
Before filming the testimonial
Know the outcome of the testimonial and use it to guide the questions and keep the message focused. Audiences will forget 90% of what they hear in the testimonial, so determine the 10% message you would like viewers to take away and tailor your questions around this 10% message.
Pick good interviewees. Do they want to be on camera? Do they have the proper energy for the camera (which usually requires more energy than normal, everyday speech)? Are they excited to share specific information with an audience? Your audience will know instantly if the person they are watching is genuine or fake. The interviewee’s energy level is also an attention-sustaining factor.
While filming the testimonial
Start with an easy question related to what the interviewee is excited about. The purpose of this question is to help the person loosen up and be comfortable with you. This segment may not be part of the final testimonial, but it builds connection with the interviewee. The more comfortable you make the interviewee feel, the better answers you will receive. Exhibit warm and welcoming body language to put the interviewee at ease. Your audience will know quickly if the interviewee is relaxed or tense, confident or nervous.
Continue with a provocative question. Your content is likely to be related to or reflecting strong numbers (e.g., “61% of consumers feel better about a company that delivers custom content”). Ask for the interviewee’s reaction to these elements.
Establish a framework. The audience will retain the information better if the content of the testimonial is placed in a context or a framework. For example: “In this segment, we will address the three most influential social media success techniques to grow business on a technology company eCommerce site.”
Continue with the questions you have set ahead of time and be prepared to go into depth based on the answers (versus simply following the list of questions). Otherwise, the interview will end up sounding like a list of answers to a list of questions. Lists are quickly forgotten.
Include unpredictable questions. Sometimes testimonials become dull (therefore forgettable) because the questions are too predictable. Include at least a few unusual questions to allow the interview to have a spark. Unpredictability leads to sustained attention.
Return to the 10%. Ask questions related to the 10% message. Sprinkle them throughout the testimonial (if it is a longer segment) and return to this message at the end. Any new message will stay with your audience for up to 40 seconds, after which it is replaced by new information. This is why it is critical to reinforce the 10%.