Customer Testimonials: Five things to watch for. (and one of them can make all the difference in your video)

80 percent of Americans research online before ever hitting the “Buy” button. and reviews as well as customer testimonials are powerful methods to bring the prospect one step closer to buying from you.

I see lots of websites in Cincinnati who have a page of glowing reports of their products and services, features and benefits. Unfortunately, most of those testimonials are signed “S.P.” or “Mary C.” Are they real people? You’re not really sure. Given a company that uses these kinds of customer comments and one that uses video testimonials from customers, guess which one is going to have more engagement? I hope you said video.

Customer testimonials on video are usually the first kind of web content a business owner thinks about. If done well, it’s like your customers are an additional sales force for you. Here’s the difference between doing it yourself and having someone do it for you:

1. Sound and lighting must be perfect. You want the viewer to hear every nuance and not have to strain to listen to something a tiny microphone picks up from 6 feet away. Also, don’t ask your best customers to sit in front of a camera if they don’t look their best. Bad lighting ruins more videos than you think.

2. NEVER ask someone to read a prepared script. Even if the customer himself wrote it, this is not genuine.

3. Ask open ended questions. Find out what was going on before they found the business, what led them to the business, and why they keep returning. If they’re uncomfortable being on camera, get them to talk about their hobbies or kids first. It will warm them up and they will begin to free associate your business with their thoughts.

4. It’s okay for them to ramble as they’re giving their testimonial. Although, this is the spot where all the do-it-yourselfers get in trouble. What if the customer comes up with a gem in the middle of all the other stuff? The viewer watching the video might not stay around that long. In the newspaper industry – it’s called “Burying The Lead”. A skilled video editor can take that gem and form the rest of the testimonial around it. The difference being one is something that might get watched, and the other is one that will create an emotional connection. Which do you think creates more sales?

5. I know there’s a lot of discussion over which is right and which is wrong, but I do not believe a customer should give a testimonial looking directly into the camera. Let the camera be the onlooker while they tell the story to an off-camera interviewer. It’s much more comfortable for the customer, and a lot easier to watch for the viewer.

You wouldn’t allow just anyone with a paintbrush to paint your house. So make sure you have a professional direct and edit your video testimonials for maximum punch and effectiveness in your marketing tool kit. I’d like to be your resource for producing video testimonials that get results. Contact me for details.
— that’s a wrap.

5 Reasons Video Intimidates Businesses

I get it. After all of the statistics showing how well video performs online; after more and more case studies on businesses who use video to inform, educate, and market to their customers, you’re still on the fence. You’re not alone.
Video, from how to use it to how to deploy it, is still intimidating.

1. I don’t like myself on video. — It doesn’t have to be about you. Your customers or staff can bring compelling case studies and testimonials. There are dozens of scenarios where your “screen time” can be minimal or non-existent. I see this occasionally, but with patience, the client can open up and start to have fun.

2. I wouldn’t know what to say. I’m not good at memorizing a script. — a good producer will have multiple ideas for you, and multiple ways to present them. I shot a great video last year a few sentences at a time then pieced it together. I have some clients who need prompters. Prompter devices are simple to set up. Anyone who shoots business videos should have one. They make you look really good. If news anchors can use them, you can too.

3. I don’t want to end up with a video that’s too “Hollywood” . — Sure, in a lot of cases, simple is better. But you need the professionalism of good lighting, great sound, and a non-shaky camera. Those are the first priorities for anything that is going to represent you.

4. It’s too expensive. — costs for professional video vary widely. It’s very possible to produce some nice testimonials for less than a couple of hundred dollars. But they’re yours. They don’t vanish into thin air like commercials, or get thrown away like flyers. If you’re on a really short shoestring, do them yourself. Just remember the three principles in the previous paragraph.

5. I don’t know what to do next. — put them on YouTube, on Vimeo, on a blog, on Facebook, Twitter, anywhere and everywhere. Be sure there’s a call to action and it links back to your site.

Don’t allow your fears to get in the way of stepping up communication with customers and prospects. No matter what you sell or who you sell it to, adding video content is something you can’t delay.
— that’s a wrap.

Annotations – Pop Ups In Your Video Part two

Annotations on YouTube are a fantastic feature to add to your videos. You can use them for anything from highlighting sales to getting viewers to subscribe to your channel. This episode – This is part 2 of 2 parts – takes you thru the What, Where, and How of using YouTube annotations.
If you’re new here, I create videos as web content for small business in Cincinnati, Dayton, and Northern Kentucky. And I help both my clients, and non-clients understand video’s powerful impact. A lot of that is knowing what to do after the video is created. Where do you put it? How do you put it there? What else can you do to make sure folks see it? This video series was born from that. I’m going to give you the tips you need to make your videos work for you. Don’t have any videos yet? Call me. I’d love to talk with you.

Watch Time (4:38) Link to transcript

Annotations – Pop-Ups In Your Video

Annotations on YouTube are a fantastic feature to add to your videos. You can use them for anything from highlighting sales to getting viewers to subscribe to your channel. This episode – split into two parts – takes you thru the What, Where, and How of using YouTube annotations.
If you’re new here, I create videos as web content for small business in Cincinnati, Dayton, and Northern Kentucky. And I help both my clients, and non-clients understand video’s powerful impact. A lot of that is knowing what to do after the video is created. Where do you put it? How do you put it there? What else can you do to make sure folks see it? This video series was born from that. I’m going to give you the tips you need to make your videos work for you. Don’t have any videos yet? Call me. I’d love to talk with you.

Watch Time (4:38) Link to transcript

Host Videos On Your Own Website

Don’t get me wrong – I love YouTube – but you can (and should) host videos on your own site, too. Here’s the first part you need to know. More to come in future episodes.

If you’re new here, I create videos as web content for small business in Cincinnati, Dayton, and Northern Kentucky. And I help both my clients, and non-clients understand video’s powerful impact. A lot of that is knowing what to do after the video is created. Where do you put it? How do you put it there? What else can you do to make sure folks see it? This video series was born from that. I’m going to give you the tips you need to make your videos work for you. Don’t have any videos yet? Call me. I’d love to talk with you.

Here is Episode 6. I upload a new one about twice a month. I’m really interested in your comments, so leave one, or connect with me.

Watch Time (3:05) Link to transcript

Why Google + Is A Must Have For Videos

Like it or not, Google+ is one network you can’t ignore when it comes to getting your videos posted and seen by Our Friends The Search Engines. Here’s how to 1+ your way to success.
This is Episode 5. I upload a new one about every three weeks. I’m really interested in your comments, so leave one, or connect with me.

If you’re new here, I create videos as web content for small business in Cincinnati, Dayton, and Northern Kentucky. And I help both my clients, and non-clients understand video’s powerful impact. A lot of that is knowing what to do after the video is created. Where do you put it? How do you put it there? What else can you do to make sure folks see it? This video series was born from that. I’m going to give you the tips you need to make your videos work for you. Don’t have any videos yet? Call me. I’d love to talk with you.

Watch Time (2:47) Link to transcript

How To Add Captions And Transcripts To Your Videos

If you’re new here, I create videos as web content for small business in Cincinnati, Dayton, and Northern Kentucky. And I help both my clients, and non-clients understand video’s powerful impact. A lot of that is knowing what to do after the video is created. Where do you put it? How do you put it there? What else can you do to make sure folks see it? This video series was born from that. I’m going to give you the tips you need to make your videos work for you. Don’t have any videos yet? Call me. I’d love to talk with you.

Here is Episode 4. I upload a new one about twice a month. I’m really interested in your comments, so leave one, or connect with me.

Watch Time (3:39) Link to transcript

Help With Video In Your Email

If you’re new here, I create videos as web content for small business in Cincinnati, Dayton, and Northern Kentucky. And I help both my clients, and non-clients understand video’s powerful impact. A lot of that is knowing what to do after the video is created. Where do you put it? How do you put it there? What else can you do to make sure folks see it? This video series was born from that. I’m going to give you the tips you need to make your videos work for you. Don’t have any videos yet? Call me. I’d love to talk with you.

Here is Episode 3. I upload a new one about twice a month. I’m really interested in your comments, so leave one, or connect with me.

Watch time (4:18) Link to transcript

What Do I Do With This Darn Video??

If you’re new here, I create videos as web content for small business in Cincinnati, Dayton, and Northern Kentucky. And I help both my clients, and non-clients understand video’s powerful impact. A lot of that is knowing what to do after the video is created. Where do you put it? How do you put it there? What else can you do to make sure folks see it? This video series was born from that. I’m going to give you the tips you need to make your videos work for you. Don’t have any videos yet? Call me. I’d love to talk with you.

I will upload a new episode about twice each month. To begin, here are the first two episodes. I’m really interested in your comments, so leave one, or connect with me.

Enjoy and have fun!

Watch time (4:56) Link to transcript


As a bonus, here is Episode 2. If you’d like to be notified when new episodes are added, be sure to click the “Subscribe” link at the end. (I’ll show you how that’s done in a future episode)

Watch time (4:16) Link to transcript

The 1 Thing You Should Do For Your Business This Year

Charm City Cakes. Antique Archeology, The Gold And Silver Pawn Shop, Duck Commander. Recognize any of these?  They are all small businesses who got big by being on TV. And while those businesses are profiting from their own reality exposure, look at Amy’s Baking Company in Scottsdale Arizona, who developed a booming business for having the most embarrassing and customer un-friendly episode in history.

What if your business could have its own TV show? You could. Actually, you should.

The good news is: you don’t need the drama those shows thrive on in order to be compelling and watchable. If you know, or can find out, what your customer base needs, you have your subject matter. Use your personality to make it interesting. Do product demos, talk to your staff, heck, talk to your customers!

It doesn’t have to be completely serious. If you’re a business that has fun, show that. Have your customers interview each other. Do on the street demonstrations…what will you come up with?

Is it easy? No.

Will it keep you in the minds of your prospects? Absolutely!

I’m so excited about the upcoming roll out of my new video series and all of the episodes I have planned.

Let me know if I can help in planning YOUR new TV show too.

–that’s a wrap.