Last-minute resistance can be one of the most challenging obstacles to overcome when closing a sale. Even prospects on the verge of converting want that extra assurance of satisfaction: to know that their money or time will be well spent.
But no matter what assurance you give them, they will never be as convincing as assurances from their peers. And there lies the power of a customer testimonial video.
The thing is, making great testimonials is not easy! So, we’ve compiled some of the best testimonial video examples online and dissected the lessons you can learn from them.
Sometimes called a “business testimonial video” or “testimonial ads,” they are videos that showcase your clients’ (and sometimes employees’) positive experiences with your product, company, or brand.
They excel at nurturing brand trust by letting your target audience know how you and your products have helped others like them. And in a world where 85% of consumers look for reviews online before making a purchase, that’s no small feat!
You can approach a testimonial video’s production process in many different ways, each with its unique flavor and advantages. However, a few aspects are usually present in all videos of this kind: An interviewee tied to your brand or product, a showcase of how that interaction has had a positive impact in their life, and visual elements that make that showcase interesting and engaging.
As you’ll see in these customer testimonial examples, that is a broad list that can take wildly different forms when executed just right. But once it’s all said and done, you end up with a piece that puts the spotlight on people that your audience can relate to, telling stories they can identify with.
A well-crafted testimonial video can be the difference between a potential customer doing business with you or simply walking away for an alternative that felt more convincing. So, let’s break down a few excellent testimonial advertising examples with an eye on the strategies you can apply to your own.
For most people, when they think about a customer testimonial video, they think about a piece like this one we made with our clients at the Phelps Agency – and there are good reasons why!
The traditional “testimonial setup”, where interviewees sit in a comfortable, non-cluttered space and elaborate on questions about a product or brand, is a tried-and-true, effective format with a lot going for it.
But never make the mistake of settling for a simplistic, static “Q&A” back and forth!
A company testimonial has to be visually engaging to counterbalance the core interview footage’s usually “stationary” nature. To that end, we used cityscape and environmental inserts, as well as interesting camera positioning during interviews to keep the video from ever feeling too static or dull.
Notice how each interviewee gets their own individual environment and camera angle, and how we intertwined their responses with contextual footage inserts – their offices, text questions, fragments of the piece we made for them – to create a video that not only shares with us, the viewers, their opinions and experiences, but it also effectively takes us on a visually entertaining ride.
If you developed an effective questionnaire – something we’ll explore more in another testimonial video example – you’ll often get your interviewees to surprise you with beautiful, insightful, or outright inspiring answers that perfectly fit your core message. Never let these go to waste!
Notice how Amazon gets to drive the viewer’s attention to, and reinforce the ideas around some key sentiments and stats it directly quotes from their interviewees’ testimonies.
By using on-screen text pop-ups, they get to seamlessly reinforce notions like “We would never be able to this on our own” or “Scalability. Efficiency. Accuracy.” which say everything they want to say about the product they are trying to promote.
As with any other video marketing piece, “tone” will go a long way in terms of hooking your viewer and gluing them to the screen until the end. In terms of a customer testimonial video, tone can be tricky, as most pieces are built around a simple interview.
That said, you shouldn’t assume that’s all you’ve got to work with!
Yes, choosing the right people to sit in front of the camera and convey their excitement, passion, and their company’s overall ‘vibe’ is something you’ll see in the best customer testimonial videos. However, if you pay attention, you’ll also notice that every other element, from sound design to inserts, and even the video’s pacing, will be tweaked to reinforce those sentiments.
This video from HubSpot is an excellent example of those principles! See how they capitalize on the nature of their client’s business to translate that same energy and appeal through the inserts, footage, and even the background music to the message they want people to associate with their brand.
And while we are on the subject of tone and establishing a connection with the viewer, it’s worth noting that emotion can and often should play a significant role in your testimonial ads.
Few people associate words like “wholesome” and “Inspiring” with a product like Google AdWords, and yet, that’s precisely the connection the smart cookies at Google played off with their “success stories” testimonial advertising campaign.
Focusing not so much on their product but rather on its impact on a mom-and-pop business that we can all root for, they cement an emotional connection in their viewers’ minds that they couldn’t otherwise access. Different companies have different emotional angles they can bank upon, and you should explore your possibilities during the initial stages of planning for your vid.
Traditionally, a business testimonial video will focus on a single client or organization per piece and have them expand at length on how a company or product has helped them. And that works wonders, as we’ve seen so far.
However, there has been a trend over the past few years, particularly on b2b related pieces, where this format gets shaken up a bit. Instead of focusing on a single client, some testimonial ads make a collage of different people, conveying their satisfaction succinctly.
As you can see in this fantastic testimonial video example, featuring more than five different company heads, it is becoming a popular approach because the result can be really effective and persuasive. However, we’d caution you to consider that a testimonial like this will effectively carry with it a much more demanding production effort and potentially require much more resources.
Have you ever heard the phrase “Brevity is the soul of wit.“? Well, nowhere does it prove to be more accurate than in marketing, which presents an interesting challenge for a customer testimonial video.
Once you finish your interviews and are sitting on the editing floor, deciding what to keep and what to trim out, it can be extremely tempting to try and cram as much as possible into a single video. After all, you have all this footage of a client gushing about your brand and products! Certainly, you’d want everyone to listen to them as well?
Well, not necessarily! It’s easy for marketing videos to overstay their welcome if you aren’t paying attention, and most of the time, less is more. So, why did we include this Code Academy testimonial in a list of the Best Customer Testimonial Videos to learn from? Simple: it showcases how you can make an effective testimonial in less than a minute!
There is a lot to be said in favor of formula. After all, things get to be the norm because they work so consistently well. However, sometimes that leads companies to play it a bit too safe and end up with a business testimonial video that feels generic and dull. That’s a big no-no.
Your testimonial videos can and should have a lot of personality. Feel unmistakable yours. And what better company to showcase how to inject character and distinctiveness into a testimonial video than Apple? A company built on personality as much as the quality of its product.
Yes, their testimonial has all the hallmarks of style – a client interview, inserts, and an unobtrusive showcase of their brand and product – but everything else: informal camera angles and direction, the contrast between a monochrome interview and colorful inserts, and an outstanding sound design, add up to make their testimonial so unique that it hardly feels like one!
When most people turn to a testimonial video, they are usually looking for third-party confirmation or opinions surrounding a single question: Would this product or company work for me? The basic premise being that if others have already benefitted from something, so could they.
This simple reasoning is what makes testimonial advertising examples like the one above so convincing. What this testimonial from Monday.com arguably lacks in terms of style, it most certainly compensates for in terms of substance – showcasing a barrage of people directly speaking to the results they’ve gotten out of their platform.
Now, this approach wouldn’t be viable for every business out there. But if your product or service revolves around providing a solution that has benefitted a large number of people in a variety of scenarios, a results-focused piece might be just what you need.
Not to be confused with the tone of your video, a powerful theme to build your testimonial ads around – especially if you are planning a series – can carry you most of the way through to your goal.
Take the example from the company Uber here and their “I choose Flexibility” series of videos.
By building upon the theme of how the flexibility of the company’s business model brings financial gain and the time to pursue passions makes for terrific, highly relatable videos. Videos that nonetheless showcase how their company improves and enhances each of their lives.
Figuring out a solid theme for your testimonial is not always an easy task. But do it right, and you’ll have a video that will easily connect with your viewers.
Here’s why this piece by Samsung made it to our best customer testimonial videos list: instead of putting the spotlight on their brand or product, they took a different approach, got out of the way, and merely served as a platform for someone else to tell their story.
It’s a testimonial that rides the line of being called as such because the ties to the product being promoted are so nuanced and subtle that they might escape cursory inspection. However, pay close attention, and you’ll see that all the quintessential elements that make up all the other great testimonial examples in this list are applied here as well to a T. And with an outstanding, memorable result!
Now, not all brands have a product, recognition, resources, and scope to pull something like this out. But under the right circumstances – as you’ve seen – this approach can be used to great success.
On the other end of the spectrum, your product can (and often should!) be the outright star of your piece, as in this testimonial video example from Tesla.
In many regards, this testimonial perfectly doubles up as a very elegant, very subdued commercial, and you know why? Because the testimonial video script, in itself, is used by the director as a platform to portray the product.
An abundance of close-up shots and unusual angles, crisp and clean sound design that enhances the sensory feel of the vehicle… Yes, the client’s testimony is there, but an equally important emphasis – if not more so – is placed on the car itself. And the result is quite alluring.
As much as for their product, Starbucks is famous for its store spaces and their unique ambiance – brimming with the company’s overall corporate image. And this testimonial video showcases the power and flexibility strong branding brings to the table when it comes to a customer testimonial video.
This testimonial relies heavily on narration, as the interviewees recount the story of how they came to be together. And even though we have a series of cute animations here and there, the bulk of the visuals revolve around the couple happily sharing some time on… you guessed it, a Starbuck store.
Best part? If you have strong pre-existing branding, you don’t even have to hammer the viewer in the head with it. Also of note here is: the smart use of sound design on the piece, with ambiance sounds of a Starbuck store that forms a sort of white noise that easily transports the viewer to the location and makes it feel more natural.
Given the product and star power in question, you might think we’d talk about the power of sound design in this testimonial video example. However, that’s low-hanging fruit in a piece like this, and there is probably a much more remarkable lesson you can learn from it: the power of drafting great questions for your testimonial’s interview.
Ignore the kinetic visuals and fantastic music displays for a moment and pay attention to Charlie Parra’s answers, and you’ll pick up on the secret behind the powerful narrative of the video lies in the questions he’s being asked.
The folks at Gibson understood that an unforgettable testimonial is all about the effect a product had on someone’s life – even more so than the inherent qualities of the product itself! Some of the questions are repeated by Mr. Parra in his responses, and you can clearly see a pattern of deep, open-ended questions crafted to get the most out of the interviewee.
The thing we loved about this customer testimonial video is how it’s frontloaded with the story and narrative of this man’s mission, passion, and efforts toward helping an endangered species – Whale Sharks. A core sentiment that most people will find easy to support.
Notice how that same narrative effortlessly evolves by the midpoint of the video to the interviewee talking about the brand and “product” actually being showcased: The Rolex Awards. It is a perfect example of how you can weave a narrative out of a testimony and build a robust piece around it.
Now, even after the connection is made, the story doesn’t stop there. The video keeps constructing opportunities to build upon how the brand was involved in the interviewee’s efforts and helped him achieve his goals, just like it helped others achieve there—completing the flawless transition from a simple story to an effective narrative testimonial video.
And to close our list of the best customer testimonial videos to learn from in 2021, we wanted to bring home the point that, as effective as testimonial ads are to convert potential customers, they can be a powerful recruitment tool as well.
Here, Google presents us with a perfect example of testimonials – in this case, fueled by the experiences of their current employees – also helping you appeal to potential talent that’d want to work for you, as well as an effective branding and company image piece!
If you’ve read this far, you are probably already set on making a customer testimonial video and want it to be awesome. That’s great! So, let’s go over some general tips that can go a long way in helping you do just that.
Most people have an easy time picking up when someone is not authentic, and authenticity is at the core of testimonial advertising effectiveness. Your time and efforts are best spent developing effective, open-ended questions that help the viewers recall their experiences, and follow-ups that have them digging deeper in areas you’d want them to elaborate on some more.
Choose the right customers, people whose lives you’ve helped improve and give them a place to express themselves freely. You won’t be disappointed with the results!
Since developing a rich questionnaire is key if you want to help your interviewees explore the topics you want to cover, a lot of people make the mistake of assuming that is all there is to it. Which is, of course, completely wrong.
Always listen and engage with the stories and sentiments your interviewee is sharing, and use them as springboards to go deeper into avenues that will help your piece. Not only will this result in a lot more candid footage you can use later on, but it will often surprise you with statements about your brand you couldn’t have said better yourself!
The best customer testimonial videos have as varied sets of questionnaires as possible. After all, the more you get your interviewee talking passionately (and enjoying doing so!), the better chances you’ll have to record some truly useful footage for later on. Remember, most of the time, you won’t get a second chance.
That said, it’s important that you always include a variety of questions revolving around your customer (and intended audience’s) pain point. That way, you increase your chances of exploring the core ideas you’ll need to cover on your business testimonial video.
As you can probably tell by the testimonial examples on the list, an interview alone could never hold a candle next to a well-made customer testimonial video. The main reason why is context.
A fitting narrative, meaningful environmental visuals, a clear throughline in the questionnaire are things that will set your video apart and carry your viewers all the way to the end of the piece.
A rich background can lend a lot of personality to your video and even double up as a context-establishing element. They certainly do in most of the testimonial advertising examples we just analyzed.
But backgrounds are easily overdone, and too much clutter, activity, or visual noise will quickly become distracting and hurt your video more than it helps. So, take your time and scout for or prepare a suitable location to shoot. A location that not only makes sense from a technical standpoint (more on that later), but also serves as a visual building block of your piece as well.
Once you feel like you have the right background/environment to shoot your interview, take some time in planning what you’ll need to get it ready for recording the day of.
Some environments lend themselves for recording, while others can be a bit of a nightmare to get ready. If you aren’t paying attention, you might end up wasting a lot of time transporting and setting up all the equipment you need, and that might end up affecting the time you have to conduct the actual interview. And you don’t want to rush the interview!
Consider the tasks you’ll have to carry out to get a room from its current state to a record-ready studio, and talk it over with your production team so that everyone’s clear on their task when it’s time to set up.
Good lighting is crucial to get good footage. That much is a given. But getting the right amount of lighting can be tricky! Too little, and you end up with poorly lit takes you can’t use. Too much, and not only can you get equally unusable takes, but you might even end up negatively impacting how well your interviewee feels in the spotlight.
There are plenty of online resources online that can teach you a lot about setting up good lighting, but the guiding principle should be that no matter how good of a picture you are getting – if you feel like the police are interrogating you, you’ve gone too far!
As much as lighting – maybe even more so – your audio equipment or lack thereof can make or break your testimonial video’s interview footage. And that’s a problem that will be difficult, not to say impossible, to solve during post-production.
So, save yourself a lot of headaches and avoid using any sort of recording gear attached to your video-capturing devices (so, don’t use the cellphone’s mic if you are recording with an iPhone), and make sure to bring some dedicated recording gear the day of shooting.
Once you have your core interviews taken care of (thus the bulk of what will be your customer testimonial video), you’ll have a pretty solid notion of what you got to work with.
It’s advisable that you take some time to structure the overall progression of your video – storyboards are fantastic tools for this – as it can help you figure out the minutia of your piece, as well as give you a better grasp of all the inserts and other elements you’ll want to include.
Video editing is a science and an art of its own, and there is plenty – technical and otherwise – that has been said online about the subject. While we can’t teach you even a tenth of it on a tip, we will say that unless you have an in-house video production team or are a seasoned editor yourself, it’s best to let the pros handle it. The same footage edited by two entirely different people can have a dramatically different feel and effect on the viewer.
That said, it’s often advisable you learn a bit about editing. If nothing else, you can provide more in-depth feedback and instructions on what you want to accomplish with your product testimonials.
To wrap things up, we wanted to cover a few Frequently Asked Questions surrounding testimonial advertising in a rapid-fire fashion. Here we go:
In marketing, a testimonial refers to any piece of content that features satisfied customers’ experiences and opinions on a product or brand. Not to be confused with a case study or success story, testimonials tend to be creative and are meant to reassure potential customers about the quality, validity, and reliability of a brand and its products.
Written testimonials have been used in marketing for a long time now, but over the past decade, video testimonials have grown to be some of the most compelling ways to convince potential customers on the brink of converting to a sell.
Put simply, because they have proven to be an extremely reliable way to present the benefits of your products and brand to potential new customers. So much so that, alongside explainer videos (78%), testimonials (48%) are some of the most commonly created types of videos for advertising (Source).
Most often, testimonial videos are used when you need to facilitate potential customer conversions, which makes them an ideal piece of content for the latter stages of a sales funnel. That said, with a bit of adjustment, testimonial ads can be effective during the Awareness and Consideration stages of the buyer’s journey and even help with talent acquisition as part of a company’s recruitment campaigns.
The style of video lends itself to a great deal of flexibility and approaches you can take to make them unique and compelling. But the key things to keep in mind to make good testimonial videos are:
Customers’ opinions hold a lot of power. At the end of the day, even if entirely accurate, your claims about your products can only go so far – everyone would say amazing things about their own products!
But if you create a customer testimonial video that has other people excitedly sharing how much your product helped them, and the results they got from them, you have a powerful advertising piece in your hands.
Just make sure to create genuine, engaging testimonials that always respect the spirit of what your interviewees said. Just like the testimonial ads examples we just shared with you today 😊
Now, what are you waiting for? Time to get out there and start working on that awesome testimonial video that’ll wow your potential customers and bring them into the fold!