Elements of a Good Video Testimonial

Mark Arnold
Elements of a Good Video Testimonial

We’ve said it for years, but it’s truer now than ever: people aren’t reading anymore, they’re watching.

What does that mean for the beautifully worded, well-thought-out testimonial you got from a member about how wonderful your credit union is? Sadly, no one but your CEO is reading it.

Video is a different story. One study found that two out of three people said they’d be more likely to make a purchase after watching a testimonial video from someone like them who had benefited from the product or service.

Bottom line, if you can get a testimonial on video, do it. 

Thankfully, capturing quality video testimonials and using them in your marketing is easier than you think. In fact, it’s as easy as three, two, one…action!


Three Keys to a Successful Video Testimonial


1. Answer the question with the question


The worst thing that could happen in a video testimonial is getting stuck with a fabulous answer that makes zero sense without the question before it. For example:


Q: Tell us how ABC Credit Union helped your family with your new auto loan?

A: They were fantastic. Everyone we worked with made the process simple and smooth. We were able to get what we wanted with zero stress thanks to the help your team gave us.


Without the question, you’re left with just this:


They were fantastic. Everyone we worked with made the process simple and smooth. We were able to get what we wanted with zero stress thanks to the help your team gave us.


Who is they? What process? What did they want?  

Before you start the testimonial interview, coach your interviewee to answer the question with the words of the question. Then, the above example becomes much better:


ABC Credit Union was fantastic with helping my family get an auto loan for a new vehicle. Everyone we worked with made the process of applying for a loan and getting approved simple and smooth. We were able to get the car we wanted with zero stress thanks to the help your team gave us.


See how this testimonial is more powerful than the first? That’s what you’re going for.


2. Prioritize audio over visual


When we think of video, we understandably think of visuals first. After all, you are asking people to watch the testimonial.

But here’s the reality: without quality audio, your well-filmed testimonial is just a series of nice moving pictures.

Poor lighting can either be fixed in editing or swapped out for different background footage. With poor audio, however, the impact of your testimonial is completely lost.

Quality audio equals quality testimonial.

Here are a few ways you can prioritize quality audio: 

  • Do a sound check ahead of time, whether recording in person or on a video call
  • Move to a quiet location (background noise will feel significantly louder when you watch the footage back than it will when you’re filming)
  • Invest in a good microphone


3. Be as specific as possible


Anyone can say a community bank helped their small business get a loan. That’s great.

But not everyone can say that Sheila worked with them tirelessly, putting in hours after closing on repeated occasions to make sure all the necessary documents were in place and on time. Or that she visited the business’ grand opening 11 months later and brought a gift for the owner’s new baby with her.  

Those are the kind of experiences people want - the ones they’ll be willing to leave their current financial institution to get. So, coach your interviewee to be specific – including specific employees’ names – to get better stories.  


Two Myths You Shouldn’t Believe About Video Testimonials


1. Video testimonials have to be professionally produced


False. You can shoot a video testimonial right from your phone. Follow the three tips above, and you’re 30 seconds away from a testimonial that could make your financial institution money. 

(Can you professionally film video testimonials? Absolutely. We do it for credit unions and community banks all the time, and those folks see great results. But professional video isn’t in everyone’s budget, so it’s important to point out that you can produce these yourself.)


2. Video testimonials have to happen in person


Also false. Most people are used to Zoom, FaceTime or Microsoft Teams now. Most of these platforms allow you to record a call. Simply conduct the interview on a Zoom call, hit record at the beginning of the interview and use the parts that tell the best story.

As an added bonus, remote interviews like this make people more likely to give you a testimonial because they don’t have to leave their daily routine to come in for an interview.


The One Most Important Element of a Video Testimonial: Story


Every video testimonial, whether 10 seconds or 10 minutes, should tell a story. And every story has three parts. Here are how those three parts play out in your video testimonials. 

  1. Beginning – what was life like before your financial institution stepped in?
  2. Middle – what did your financial institution do?
  3. End – what is life like now?

Ask one to two questions in each of the above parts of your story, and you’re looking at a video testimonial that has people pulling into your parking lot before you’re even open.

Ready to add video testimonials to your marketing toolbox? We recommend doing a marketing assessment before you get started. That will show you your greatest opportunities for growth so that you know where to focus when you do get started.  

Mark Arnold
Founder and CEO