Three Standout Strategies for Capturing Client Testimonials on Video

It’s no secret that client testimonials are marketing gold – especially if they’re on video.  But what’s the best way to capture them?  Since client availability and convenience are often just as big a challenge as budget, it’s good to have some solid options.  .

  1. Remote Interview Platforms: Let’s start with the most budget-friendly option. Using a remote interview platform is almost like having a typical video chat with your client – without the internet hiccups.

    Pros:  It’s cost-effective and allows your client to be recorded anywhere, anytime, at their convenience.  Time Coded transcripts are usually included and some apps even offer a basic online editing tool.  The footage is recorded straight to your client’s smartphone or laptop and then uploaded to the cloud.

    Cons: The best results require your client to have access to a smartphone, webcam or laptop that’s fairly new and in good working order.  They may also need to be comfortable making adjustments to their device’s settings.  Meanwhile, you’re also at the mercy of your interviewee’s taste in hair, makeup and wardrobe, and where  they set up their device.   Be sure to provide guidance on wardrobe ahead of the interview and also set aside some extra time to help your client find the best available  lighting and background in an environment that’s not too echoey or noisy 

    Tips:  While it’s possible that one person can both conduct the interview and monitor the platform, it’s not ideal.  If possible, let your interviewer focus on interviewing and have others monitor the recording and uploads and also watch for unusual goings on in the background of the shot.   Worried your video might be a snoozefest of talking heads? Spice it up with related stock footage and text callouts to keep things visually engaging.

  2. The Hybrid Approach:  Take your video up a big notch with a relatively small hit to your wallet.  You’ll still use the remote platform for the client interview.  But once that’s completed,  send a local videographer to your client’s location armed with instructions to capture some killer b-roll footage.  This might include a variety of generic scenes of your interviewee at work or more specific demos or illustrations of topics discussed.

    Pros:  This “hybrid approach” gives your editor the best of both worlds – affordable interview footage and captivating b-roll to weave into your story.  Still a fraction of the cost of a traditional interview and b-roll shoot.

    Cons:  You’re still at the mercy of your interviewee’s chosen wardrobe and environment.  You’re also counting on the local videographer to follow your guidance on how you’d like the b-roll to be shot.

    Tips:  Be sure to carefully vet the local videographer.  Ask your own top providers if they’ve worked with anyone they’d recommend in your client’s location.  But even with a recommended videographer, check work samples, talk to references and always send examples of what you’re envisioning and include the paper edit of your interview so the videographer has a deeper understanding of how the b-roll will be used. 
  3. The Traditional Video Shoot:  If you have the budget and a willing client – this is absolutely the best way to go.  Send in a producer and crew to your client’s location for top-notch sound and lighting, plus ample time for probing questions.

    Pros:  With experts handling every aspect of lighting, sound, art direction and interviewing – it’s the best way to guarantee you’ll come away with an outstanding interview.   It’s also the best way to guarantee your client comes off looking and sounding their best, which is almost always important to them.

    Cons:  More expensive than other options.  May mean some inconvenience for your interviewee (any disruption that might come from having a camera crew in the office; less flexibility with last-minute changes in schedule). 

    Tips:  Make sure you speak with your client ahead of time about any accommodations that will be needed for having a crew on site and any requirements the crew should be aware of so as to avoid being a disruption.   

We’d be lying if we didn’t admit we’re partial to the quality we’re used to from a traditional interview and b-roll shoot.  But, honestly … we’re also quite proud of what we’ve been able to achieve with the other two approaches!  

If budget or other circumstances make Options 1 or 2 your best strategy, here’s a handy checklist to help you get the most from your interview:

  • Lighting Matters: Make sure your interviewee’s face is well-lit and not in the shadows. A great trick for beautiful lighting is to have your interviewee sit next to a big window.  Just make sure the window is to the side of your subject and not directly behind them.   
  • Clean Lens, Clear Vision: Have your interviewee use a soft cloth to wipe off their camera lens – especially if they’re using a laptop.  Fingerprints and smudges are the enemy of crystal-clear footage.
  • Find the Sweet Spot: Guide your interviewee on where to sit in relation to the camera for the perfect framing.Check the background for any distractions – brand logos or clutter should be removed..
  • Expect the Unexpected: Prep your interviewee on what to expect once the interview is rolling.  They’ll feel more comfortable if they know ahead of time that you may be repeating questions or asking for longer or shorter answers, etc.
  • To share or not to share:  The questions, that is.  We suggest sharing topics rather than questions.  Why?  You want your interviewee to sound honest and believable. With access to the questions, some interviewees will decide to write down their answers and then recite them word for word.  It’s painful.  It sounds scripted – the opposite of what you want in a testimonial.  

So, there you have it – three strategies for client testimonials on video that work with just about any budget or client time constraints.

Here are examples of all three strategies:

Remote Interview Platforms

The Hybrid Approach

The Traditional Video Shoot

Blue Marble is a Video Agency headquartered in Atlanta, with a 30-year track record of creating strategic, brand-moving videos that hit it out of the park for clients like SAP, the State of Georgia, Fiserv, Manhattan Associates, Sage, Pitney-Bowes, LEVELOR, Verizon, Georgia-Pacific and many more. From brand manifestos to new product rollouts to customer support videos and more, we use the unique power of the medium to create an emotional connection with your viewer. Clients come to us for our award-winning creative — and then come back for our easy-to-work-with attitude and bullet-proof video production process.

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