Did you know word of mouth is a driving force between 20 to 50% of all purchasing decisions? As people are bombarded with more and more marketing messages, they start to tune them out. But what they don’t tune out are messages from their peers.
That’s where video testimonials come in. Because they aren’t you talking about how great you are, consumers tend to trust them more. It also lends credibility - even if someone on your website doesn’t watch your videos, just seeing testimonials registers a positive impression.
So your goal should be to get at least 5 video testimonials on your website. If you have at least 5 on your site, you’ll likely distance yourself from every other green industry business in your territory.
Here are some tips on how to do that using inexpensive tools like your smartphone, a tripod, a light and YouTube.
Get a list of happy customers
Your first step is to find a list of customers to question for your testimonials. If you’re using a tool like HindSite Connect, our service business marketing solution, you can easily identify your happiest customers. The Pro tier of HindSite Connect includes post-service satisfaction surveys, enabling you to do a quick search to find customers who have rated you highly.
Prepare questions in advance
Next, it’s time to prepare some questions to ask your adoring customers. Be strategic about these questions. If your marketing messaging focuses on your customer service, ask questions related to customer service. If you own an irrigation business, and focus on water saving technology, ask customers how much money/water they’ve saved thanks to your irrigation system.
Other great questions to ask: If you know someone has used another provider in the past, ask them to compare you to that service provider (though it’s probably bad form to use the competitor's name). Ask why they chose you. Ask them for a word or phrase that describes your relationship with them. And ask why they would recommend you to a friend.
Think quality when filming
Now it’s time to find a good location to film. I recommend filming on the customer’s site in a well-lit place. Modern smartphones generally take great video - if you follow a few simple rules:
1) Use a tripod: Though YouTube can eliminate some shakiness, you don’t want to handhold the phone when you’re recording the interview. There are very inexpensive phone tripods you can buy (this Joby tripod is well reviewed), and it’s well worth the $35 to $50 for a tripod.
2) Get a light: If you want to have a more professional video, invest in a simple light. Again, for $100 you can get a highly rated light that can vastly improve the look of your video. For testimonials where you’re talking to a person, lights are a must.
3) Record in landscape: Always record in landscape mode. If you’ve ever recorded a home video on a phone in portrait mode, you know that, if you do, you’ll get black bars on the side on some devices, and they just don’t look professional.
4) Grab multiple angles: You’re going to want to edit your video. You’ll probably have a 15-20 minute conversation that you’ll need to boil down into a 1-2 minute testimonial. So ask a couple questions, stop, move the camera closer, ask some more questions, and move the camera elsewhere to finish the video. That way, when you edit questions and comments, you can switch to a different camera angle instead of having a harsh cut.
5) Context: Also, grab a couple tracking shots of your customer walking through their property, of their flower bed, of their beautiful yard, of their sprinkler system in operation, of your team performing work. If you need to make a hard cut, you can do so by cutting to the yard for a bit - with the interview audio in the background.
Edit and Post
One you’ve got all your video shots, it’s time to edit it together into a great testimonial. If you know how to use tools like Adobe Premiere or Sony Movie Studio, great. Most people don’t though, so you’ll want something simple. There are online solutions like WeVideo, which costs about $20/month for a business plan, or you could let someone else do all the editing work for you, like Candidio. You can either pay them $200 for every video they edit, or pay them anywhere from $50 to $250 a month for video editing services.
Once you’ve got your polished video, you can use a free hosting service like YouTube to store your video. The great thing about YouTube - other than the price - is that it’s as simple as copying and pasting some embed code to display the video on your website. If you’re interested in advanced features - like more advanced analytics - Wistia is a good paid video hosting solution.