The power of a good testimonial video is undeniable. When someone else toots your horn with passion and conviction, it’s hard to beat. But how do you make a good testimonial video? The most important step has nothing to do with the production of the video. It has to do with who you put into the video. Picking the right person with the right story is critical! Here are 4 questions to help evaluate potential testimonial candidates:
How much positive change has occurred?
The key to a good testimonial story is a dramatic positive change from the beginning of the story to the end. Think about any good movie you’ve seen, there is almost always major change/growth in the main character. Your video should be no different. I’m going to use a personal example to further explain. When I was a kid, I was plagued with really flat feet. When I stepped out of a pool, you could see my entire slab of a foot. There was no arch to be had. My feet would frequently ache when standing for long periods and I would also experience lower back pain. I tried to remedy the problem with various orthotics and foot insoles but they never quite did the trick. I also noticed the more drastic the insert, the less connected I felt to the ground. It began to diminish my sense of balance. A few years ago a friend of mine turned me on to these minimalist shoes called Vivo Barefoot. The theory was the opposite of arch support. The idea was to mimic the sensation of walking with barefeet and that over time you could re-engage your foot muscles and naturally build an arch. And you know what? It worked! I have an arch now and can’t describe how comfortable the shoes feel to me. No more back pain and I feel like my sense of balance is back. In my mind, this is a great testimonial story because it shows a huge shift from beginning to end. The people in your videos should have similar success stories.
Does the person and their story appeal to a wide audience?
For people to be moved by someone’s story, they need to be able to relate to the person and their story. They have to be able to see themselves in that person’s shoes. And for the business or organization, that person should be representative of a decent portion of their customer base. You don’t want to pick a story or person that represents a small fraction of your audience. Think biggest bang for your buck. I think many people could relate to my story about aching feet and back pain, so in that sense it’s pretty universal. However, I’m not sure how Vivo Barefoot would assess the story. Are they trying to appeal to people with flat feet and back pain? If so, then my testimonial is a homerun. If their major focus is athletes who are trying to improve performance, then maybe it isn’t representative of enough potential customers for it to make sense.
Is the person a natural evangelist?
The type of evangelist I’m talking about here has nothing to do with a church. An evangelist is someone who freely shares and talks about positive experiences they’ve had with a product or organization. We all know these people, and I’m definitely one of them. I can’t tell you how many people I have told my Vivo Barefoot story to. I do it literally every chance I get. I’m sure there are people who are now hearing it for the second time, but I don’t care... I’m that into the shoes! Make sure the people in your video like to share their experiences.
Are they available?
This may seem obvious, but I can’t tell you how many times projects have been held up because the person who is supposed to be in the testimonial is either non-responsive or too busy to nail down to a specific date and time. Do yourself a favor, even if the person is amazing, if they aren’t available, move on to the next person on your list.