Online shoppers have become leary of written testimonials as they are prone to appear insincere or even fabricated. In their place, short one-minute video testimonials are becoming very popular with visitors. In fact, a concise video testimonial can be more effective than a page of written recommendations. Most website visitors realize that it is both difficult and costly to fake a video testimonial so they are perceived as a belieavable alternative to written recommendations.
Creating a testimonial video is easier than you think. Just follow these 10 steps:
1. (Loosely) Script the session
You’ve selected a patient or two who are willing to go on camera to show off their (your) dental work and talk about what a great dentist you are. Take a few minutes to help the patient prepare their testimony. Explain the format and give clear expectations, but be sure they are only stating what they believe. The happy patient should be able to clearly state their testimony, without “uhs” and “ums.” The video should appear heartfelt and sincere but well conceived and lasting no more than 1 minute.
2. Makeup! ( and Dress)
Encourage patients to dress in classic-style clothes that are neat but not formal. They should appear comfortable and relaxed and similar to how we might see them on any given day. As needed, women should wear makeup to reduce oily shine and lipstick to bring additional contrast to their teeth. Men should remove hats to avoid hard shadows over the eyes and facial hair should be clean-shaven or neatly trimmed. Many of your patients may wear eyeglasses. Removing eyeglasses may reduce glare in the camera and insure that the patient’s eyes are clearly visible. However, with proper lighting, glasses may be worn.
3. Set the stage (Quiet)
Find a suitable room where the testimony can be given. The space should be free from outside noises, phones ringing, doors closing, office chatter and rumbling ac/heater units. The “stage” should have a sufficient source of both natural light and florescent lighting. Videos shot in rooms with soft, neutral wall colors tend to be best. There should not be any distracting elements behind the subject like mirrors, televisions, activity (people moving) or original art pieces. The patient should be able to sit comfortably across from an “interviewer,” either at a table or a in comfortable, upright chair.
4. Set the lighting
The lighting on your stage should be should both sufficient and balanced. Insufficient lighting creates dark, grainy video. Likewise, imbalanced lighting might cause awkward color casts and shadows. While overhead florescent lighting may soften shadows, it sometimes adds unwanted color to subjects. By having a bright, natural lighting source, the color casting is reduced and normal skin colors are seen. Set the patient in proximity to a large window (preferrably mid-morning to mid-afternoon) and this should provide sufficient lighting. If the lighting is not balanced (casts shadows) use an overhead florescent lamp or place a floor lamp near to the subject and opposite the window but off camera. Use the view finder on the video camera to check lighting.
5. Set up the video camera
The interviewer should be within arms length of the subject. Set the video camera on a tripod and raise it so that the camera is just over the shoulder of the interviewer and facing the subject. Many video cameras are equipped with built-in directional microphones. As long as the noise in the room is minimized, the onboard microphones will work fine. However, plugin microphones are inexpensive and can add additional audio quality by focusing audio input and eliminating background noise. Having a “cameraman” to operate the camera is useful, though not necessary. A cameraman can wear standard headphones to determine the audio quality of the video. After checking your sound and lighting, interviews can be conducted by simply turning on the camera and letting it run.
6. Conduct the interview
Following the script, the interviewer can ask questions of the patient or just serve as a focal point as the subject relays their testimonial. Very few people feel comfortable addressing a camera, so having a person near to them but off-camera can make the subject feel comfortable and their testimony will appear natural and sincere. Allow as many “redos” as the patient wants. You never want them to be embarassed about what they say or the manner in which they say it. The goal of the interview is to produce roughly one minute segments.
7. Edit the video online or use Movie Maker or iMovie
There are several online video editing applications but using Movie Maker (on Windows) or iMovie (on Mac) is fast, easy and free. Following the directions for each program, simply set your “in” and “out” points (beginning and end points) and edit your video down to the one-minute testimonial by removing the unwanted frames. For added effect, add a “lower third” that tells the viewer any additional information not included in the video, like the first name of the client, procedure and location. Adding a fade-in effect to the front of the video and then a fade-to-black (with a screen the includes a website URL), adds a professional touch. This is easily accomplished with both Movie Maker and iMovie.
8. Export for the Web
After you’ve completed your edits and compositing, export your video for the web. Export a clear, CD-quality video so that you can give a copy to your patient. This same video will be perfect to upload online.
9. Upload to Youtube (or other video sharing site)
There are several video-sharing websites. However, few are more popular or easier to use than Google’s YouTube. It may be necessary to create a YouTube account but uploading the video takes just a few minutes. (Maybe even seconds.) When you upload the video to YouTube or Vimeo, your video will compressed and converted for fast web-viewing.
10. Embed Your video in your site
Add the YouTube or Vimeo embed code from your video to the Testimonials page on your site. And there you have it! With careful scheduling and planning, several testimonial videos can be produced in one day. See how effective a video testimonial can be.