Many people who hire a video testimonial service don’t actually need a full-service contractor. They just need high-quality videos, don’t have in-house resources to create them, and assume that means they have to have to hire a professional.
That’s not always the case. In fact, we’ve created videos using everything from a DIY approach with an iPhone and editing software, to paying an in-house team over $20k for one shoot.
We’ve also hired dozens of video contractors, and in our experience, hiring a pro is the best option if you need extremely polished, studio-quality results; something like you’d see on a full-time YouTuber’s channel or the website of a Fortune 500 company.
However, if you’re just trying to:
- Create videos without sucking up all your internal team’s time and effort
- Gather authentic and believable social proof
- Give your brand credibility and authority
- Create a marketing asset that can be used to move customers through every phase of the buying cycle
- Do all of the above without paying an arm and a leg
You’re likely better off using high-quality video testimonial software.
With the right tool, you can create a video with 80% of the polish of hiring a pro, and 20% of the effort.
You won’t need to coordinate in-person shoots, it will be easier to collect videos from your customers, and you’ll still have an asset that you can use in all your marketing initiatives — from embedding on your website to social media promotion or sales enablement.
We’re a bit biased because we created one such tool: Vocal Video.
However, we specifically built this tool to address the struggles we experienced when creating dozens of videos using contractors and services, so we’d argue it’s worth a try if you’d like to save time and money when creating marketing videos.
In this article, we’ll walk you through the three phases of working with a video contractor, including:
- Finding customers and asking them to participate in your video shoots.
- Coordinating the shoots with your customer and the video team.
- Creating the video, including the shoot and editing process.
At each step, we’ll show you how Vocal Video works as an alternative to hiring a professional. After reading, you’ll have a better understanding of what to expect during the video creation process, and how Vocal Video can help you reach your marketing goals.
Note: If you’d rather skip to trying Vocal Video for yourself, sign up for a free 14-day trial. We help you automate every step of the video creation process, without spending hours learning new tools or hiring a full team.
Step 1: Finding Customers to Work with
Anyone who’s worked on a marketing video knows that pinning down customers or clients for testimonials is about as easy as herding cats. And it’s not hard to figure out why. Being on camera can be intimidating if you’re not used to it, and it can be hard to set aside several hours for a full video shoot.
So how do you consistently get quality responses when customers are hesitant to make the commitment to participate?
In our experience, making the process easy and incentivizing it is the best way to ensure you get the responses you need.
If you’re working with a video testimonial service, this means offering a discount or reward for participating and working around your participant’s schedule.
Sometimes it also means sending your video team to their location. When our founding team was working together at a previous company, we even paid $20k in travel and expenses to send a videographer to Australia to interview a high-value executive.
Collecting Video Testimonials with Vocal Video
With Vocal Video, we solve these problems by:
- Allowing respondents to record testimonials asynchronously and on their own time.
- Making it easy for marketers to offer custom incentives right from the Vocal Video platform.
Here’s How It Works
The respondent just gets a link sent to them via email, which takes them to a prompt like this one:
Followed by a series of questions that can be answered via video or audio:
We call this interface the Vocal Video “collector,” and it’s designed to be easy to use on any device and for all customers — even if they’re not tech-savvy.
Customers don’t have to download any software or sign into the platform. They just click and record.
You can offer custom incentives in the form of giveaways, contests, or a donation. These help customers stay engaged, and in our experience, boost response rates measurably.
Respondents can also take part in the Vocal Video company-wide $100 monthly drawing, managed and funded by Vocal Video, and given away to 5 participants each month.
(You have the option to turn on or off the option to include your participants in Vocal Videos monthly giveaway.)
Perhaps the best “practical-for-marketers” feature of our collection process is that it’s automated.
Once you create a collector and have its shareable link, you can “set and forget” the collection process.
Rather than needing to coordinate multiple customer meetings and video crew participation, a simple link can be sent to your satisfied customers or client base. Then you can just watch the responses roll in.
And if this sounds too good to be true, we have respondents who have such a good experience completing the video survey that they then sign up for our free trial to start using Vocal Video for their own marketing efforts.
Step 2: Figuring Out What You Want Customers or Clients to Say
The second part of creating a great video testimonial is trying to come up with questions that will prompt a valuable response from your interviewee.
A contractor or service provider will likely give you some help and direction in this area, but the responsibility is ultimately up to you. Your company will have to shape the video narrative to fit with your big-picture marketing message.
This is even harder when using a service because you don’t do it as often. Guiding a testimonial conversation well takes skill, so unless you have a lot of practice, you’re rolling the dice with the end result.
Of course, if you spend enough time with a client on camera, you’ll get enough clips that a good editor will probably be able to create something valuable.
But that takes time (billable hours for your employee or contractor) both during the interview and the editing process.
Guiding Conversations with Vocal Video
In Vocal Video, we guide video conversations in three ways:
- Offering 33 pre-built conversation templates with questions that have been proven to provide results.
- Letting interviewees answer the questions on their own time, so there’s less pressure and they feel comfortable enough to answer well.
- Making it easy and affordable to automate testimonial collection, so you can do it more often.
The last point might be the most valuable because it gives you more chances to gather quality answers. In our experience, when you can create 20 testimonials in a year instead of one or two, you have a much better chance at collecting the best answers and highest quality footage.
We also offer 33 editable interview question templates, based on our experiences collecting customer testimonials for over a decade.
They’re organized based on what kind of testimonial you want to create, making finding the right one simple and easy.
This makes setting up your collector a turnkey experience. You can tweak our suggestions if you want, or just choose a template and go.
Step 3: Shooting and Editing Each Video
If you hire a video testimonial service, they’ll shoot the video and edit it, but you’ll still have to:
- Reserve and set up an area for the shoot (or pay to send your team to the customer).
- Wait for video editing, which often takes 6 weeks+.
- Review each version of the video and provide feedback.
All of this takes time and effort on top of the expense of the service.
Shooting and Editing with Vocal Video
As mentioned earlier, Vocal Video makes it easy for your customer to record their own video footage.
They just click the link you send via email, read the prompt, and press record.
Afterward, Vocal Video automagically applies features such as title cards, question cards, music, branding, logos, subtitles, the participant’s basic information, and a CTA before you even open the editing tool.
Then, you can easily trim the video, edit the subtitles, graphics, or any other part of the video — all without hours of tutorials or a difficult onboarding.
(We have detailed video tutorials, that are all ~5 minutes each. You can become a pro at using Vocal Video in ~15 minutes.)
The final result might not be as polished as something from a professional service, but in our experience, there’s something to be said for the authenticity of a final product that isn’t over-produced.
Remember: The whole point of social proof is that your potential customers will see, hear, and believe your clients or customers, so let those people speak for you and your brand as naturally as possible.
Try Vocal Video Before Committing to Hiring a Professional Video Team
If you want a small number of polished, long-form, highly-produced feature videos, then a professional video production team could be the way to go.
But if what you really need is authentic social proof with the ease of home-recorded testimonials; the speed of remote collection; beautiful graphics and soundtracks; easy editing, without waiting weeks and spending thousands, Vocal Video is your best bet.
We love the product we created, and we use it a lot ourselves in our own marketing. We collect all of our customer testimonials with Vocal Video, and get a lot of great content for our blog by collecting video interviews from marketing experts and entrepreneurs.
In fact, if you leave us good customer feedback after using it, there’s a good chance we’ll send you a Vocal Video collector!
If you’re looking for a way to collect, edit, publish, and share branded video testimonials, without hiring a production team or having to learn video editing software, we think there’s a great chance you’ll have some of that positive customer feedback to leave us in the future!
Note: Ready to start easily collecting, editing, and publishing customer testimonial videos? Give Vocal Video a try for free for 14 days, no credit card required, by signing up here.