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How to Make Inspiring Video Testimonials to Win New Customers

Read Time: 3 minutes

Any marketer knows that toward the end of that marketing funnel, they’ll need to drive home business using real and inspiring customer testimonials. Testimonials, and especially video testimonials, allow prospective buyers to hear others — just like them — tell their challenge to champion stories. I bet it probably goes a little something like this…

Once upon a time, this customer was down in the dumps with a challenge they couldn’t seem to wiggle themselves out of. But then they started down an incredible journey. There they discovered (through content) this company. This company soon became, first and foremost, a mentor to them. After developing trust, they came to realize this company’s product or service is actually the solution to their needs. They adopted this change and their business has been flourishing ever since. The End!    

Sounds sweet, right?

But if all testimonials exactly follow this script, there’s a good chance they’ll all start sounding redundant and boring after a while. What’s a testimonial creator to do?!

To help you produce authentic and inspiring testimonials, we’re here to guide you in making video testimonials that will have your audience asking you to pass the Kleenex box while simultaneously hitting that “Sign up” or “Buy now” CTA.

To do this, our Chief Evangelist, Renee Teeley, knew she just had to chat with former TV producer, Andrew Davis (no relation to me, but totally wish there was), to talk all about how you can use video to produce inspiring customer testimonials. Hint: It’s all about minding (and creating) the gap. Buckle up!

Creating Curiosity Gaps

When testimonials become predictable and mundane, the key to telling compelling success stories is to invite users to chase the answers as to what will come next. This curiosity gap is also known as the unifying theory of 2+2. This theory has been made famous by Pixar’s screenwriter, Andrew Stanton. Stanton believes that to tell truly good stories, viewers want to work for their cinematic food, they just don’t want to know they’re working for it. By offering up information in the format of 2+2 instead of 4, audience members work through the gaps in information. By putting the pieces together themselves, your audience members become co-creators of the story as you tell it.

So how can we realize this technique in customer success testimonials? One simple way is not to start off with the name of the company whose services you’re promoting. Instead, pull out a quote that best exemplifies what the audience is desperate to have themselves.

For example, let’s say your target audience is recruiters. They’re biggest pain is screening so many resumes and interviewing people, many of whom aren’t relevant. An opening line that says, “Now we screen, sort, and interview amazing candidates at lightning speed and in a way we never thought possible. It’s completed changed the way we work.” Now that’s just gold.

Show, Don’t Tell!

How does video help stoke the curiosity gap? Unlike other testimonials (e.g. a written quote on a website or a podcast interview), video allows you to demonstrate exactly how your solution work. Show, don’t tell! Be it screencasts of the product in action, B-roll of those testimonial givers relishing in your service, or good old infographic of data depicting how you made all the difference, that gap between what the audience sees and what those images represent is where the this-could-be-me magic happens.

Preparing an Awesome Testimonial — The Interview Before the Interview

That’s right, do a pre-interview! Interviews can be scary for both the person behind the camera (to ask the “right” questions) and the person in the limelight (to say the “right” answer). Put everyone at ease with a pre-camera interview on the phone. Go over the story of their noteworthy success and be sure to take good notes!

Do they get super passionate at points that will trigger serious emotions in your audience (more on that in a minute)? What questions can you craft for the video recording that will draw out the most inspiring lines during showtime? Be a good listener during the casual pre-interview and you’ll be more comfortable knowing exactly what you can anticipate them saying. Plus, they’ll be more comfortable having done a test run themselves.

Threatening Success with Emotions

Threatening success doesn’t sound very nice, so let me explain. (See the curiosity gap I just made?)

When working to create a customer testimonial that is truly inspiring for your prospects, creating emotional triggers will be key. To do this, don’t be scared to push your interviewee a little on potential hurdles they expected during their journey. You want your viewers on the edge of their seats: Did those boogieman barriers they anticipated really come to the surface? How did that pan out?

These high-tide emotions are so incredibly captivating (think: reality TV). Use them to compel prospects to stick around and learn about the story’s ultimate resolution and undeniable payoff in choosing you as a partner in success.

Video Testimonials that Inspire YOU

Got any of your own ideas on how to make video testimonials that inspire? What video success story sold you on a product or service? Let us know in the comments below or on YouTube. As always, don’t forget to subscribe to Powtoon’s YouTube channel for more episodes of the #MakeItAwesome Show and more awesome content from the Powtoon team!

Stay Awesome!

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Shoshi Davis

Shoshi joined Powtoon as a Marketing Assistant. To read more of her stuff, you can find her content on Upwork and Business 2 Community talking all things inbound marketing for SaaS. After only 2 weeks at Powtoon, Shoshi was dubbed by the marketing team as having the superpower of "Unbridled Enthusiasm." So that was pretty cool.
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