Web Video: Customers as Spokespeople

“How do you take an existing customer evangelist / enthusiast and make them comfortable doing a video testimonial about your company and its services?” This question, posted on http://www.Linkedin.com, inspired this article.

There’s nothing like having your praises sung! Using testimony known as MOS, or Man on the Street, many businesses integrate real people into their commercials, infomercials and presentations. When done correctly, results can be extremely useful and cost effective.

For the inexperienced I do not recommend walking around your establishment with a camera or surprising your customers because the results usually yield video with poor lighting and more often than not, your customers will have nothing to say. At first don’t get too creative! Concentrate on getting good sounding audio with well lit video. Start with an interview type scenario in a well lit room; this may be inside a restaurant or outside a store during off hours. Make sure you have plenty of time and plenty of light.

Here’s what you do:

* You should be prepared with a number of bullet points that you are looking to get on camera. While you don’t want to fabricate answers you do want to put words in their mouth – literally. The key here is the producer… you want a producer who can get a subject to feel at ease in a conversation about their experience.
* Let your subject know they can say whatever they want as many times as they want, you’ll edit it later anyway.
This is the key: Tell them very specifically that during your conversation you will be suggesting lines or ideas to them and if they feel that they agree they are welcome to use your suggestion or make it their own.
* If you are trying this with little or no experience, over shoot this like crazy. Shoot wide and close and have your subject repeat the same lines over and over and over… the more they say the lines, the more comfortable they’ll be on camera. You are always better off having too much video! With a little practice, a good plan and enough time this will work for you.
* It’s a great idea to get everyone’s email address before shooting their video, so you can email them the final product in hopes they will spread your marketing message with their family and friends. Speaking of which, be sure to look around the web for places to upload your video where your potential customers may see it. Also, this doesn’t have to be a video project! There are creative ways to make this an audio project similar to a radio commercial! Finally, I highly suggest putting your videos on Youtube.com even if you can put video on your own website …I’ll write more about hosting video on Youtube and other ways you can utilize social marketing, and I may even include a post on “teasing” your content.

Good luck!


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