How to Shoot Strong Customer Testimonials

April 16, 2024

With the onslaught of UGC (user-generated content), it is clear the power of the customer testimonial is alive and well. In fact, we at Waves call them the 2024 version of “word-of-mouth”, they’re that effective. So, how do you create one? How do you shoot a strong customer testimonial? We’re here to show you.

Why Video Testimonials?

With up to 65% of the population being visual learners, video is the prime source for informing your customer. It not only provides an easier and faster way to let your audience know about you and your product but also relays emotion, tone, and overall feeling (great for building connection).

Cue video being then the perfect avenue to showcase your customer testimonials. Written reviews are great and all, but with video reviews you bring the human element, keeping your brand relatable, trustworthy, and successful. After all, over 90% of brands have reported gaining new customers via sharing video on social media. What’s not to love?

How to “Cast” Your Customers

The next question you might ask is then, How to find your cast of willing candidates?

Well, the most obvious way to find customers agreeing to be filmed on camera is to ask. Do you have clients you have established a relationship with, who have a great personality and were easy to work with? Perfect! Approach them with the idea, mentioning how you’ll be happy to include links and mentions of their company (if applicable) to also gain exposure themselves. In short, a win-win for everyone.

Another way to procure participants would be to offer an incentive as a way of thanks. Or promote the opportunity for your fans to be filmed talking about the product they love, with all the “glamour” and glitz of being filmed on set. When you make things fun, people will want to sign up and get involved!

Key Factors to Include

So, you’ve got your cast, and are ready to start planning the actual shoot. Where to begin?

After you’ve got all the pre-production logistics covered, your focus should be on shoot day, making it as easy for your customer (and yourself) as possible. Some factors to include are:

  • Choose a space where your customer is comfortable. If in a studio, create an ambience reflective of your brand but also still welcoming to them. This could be something as simple as an extra cushion where they will sit, or asking them beforehand their preferences for lunch that day.
  • Encourage them to wear something shoot-appropriate that they also find comfortable. Being on-camera can be a nerve-wracking experience (especially for those not used to it), so ensuring your talent dresses in a way that feels natural will aid their performance. Want help in making them feel/look their best on set? Click here to find out.
  • Prep and send them questions they’ll be asked beforehand, so they know what to expect. Also, ask them if they’d rather answer questions to someone off-camera rather than looking at it directly. We’ve found these tips to be super helpful in easing any nerves. (For more on crafting a great interview, click here.)
  • Incorporate good lighting, and high quality sound. Different angles and depth should also be added to your shots, as these will increase their overall beauty.
  • Identify the customer’s problem first thing, following up with your solution. Be sure to present the problem and solution quickly and clearly to keep your viewer’s attention.
  • Include a CTA (call-to-action), to direct viewers on what to do next. People like clear and simple so keep it just that: clear and simple.
  • Keep it short. You really only need 60 seconds or so to put across the necessary points in your customer testimonial. So, get to your point, and reach your customers that much faster.
  • Include branding logos to aid exposure for your company.
  • While we recommend recording high-quality video for your customer testimonials (quality attracts quality), incorporating UGC is also a super great and cost-efficient way to gain them.

Where to Post Your Customer Testimonial

The answer is, well, everywhere. Testimonials are great for website landing pages, as well as can (and should) be featured on social media. After all, one of your most powerful sales pitches is the one coming from your customer. They promote relatability, trust, and humanize your brand all at the same time.

To give you an idea of what a customer testimonial should look like, we’ve included below one of our more recent shoots with our video partner SoCal Glass.

And there you go! With these tools you’ll be well on your way to creating a solid customer testimonial. Remember to plan well, and have fun on shoot day, as this will not only be more enjoyable but also bring out the best in your customer on camera.