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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Web Video: More Creative than a Commercial

So, why video? Because it’s easier than you think. Although ultimately the questions “why” and “what” need to be answered by your customers and potential customers. Unfortunately most video found on a small business website seems to be a commercial and, while I’m not against putting commercials on your website, I am suggesting we can be far more creative than that. On the more familiar side, realtors see value in creating tours of homes and a restaurant may show off their unique dining experience with photos and video.

Here’s an example that’s reaching out a little farther:

I’m looking for martial arts lessons and you are a martial arts teacher. As a consumer I have a number of resources for research at my finger tips and while your commercial may have given me a good first impression, I’m surfing the net to compare all the martial arts lessons available in my area. Does your business stand out? For the sake of comparison, let’s say I can get access to basic info on you and your competitors (including facilities, class schedules, style, etc.) from your websites and by making phone calls. Do you stand out? You see, I’m sitting in front of a computer you have my full undivided attention if you choose to use it. At this point, if you tell me your story, show me your facilities, or take me through your philosophies you may have found a way to stand out. It’s at this point that you have begun making a real connection with me. This connection could quickly move a potential customer to a quality customer and even make them a “fan” whose enthusiasm will now help you market your business.

Aside from improving your customer “pitch” the right videos can do remarkable things. A clever video could be quickly shared thousands of times putting your product in right in front of large numbers of potential customers. A heartfelt video could show that you’re more than “just a service” or “just another ________.” The possibilities are endless. Now, certainly there are many ways to make these types of connections with your customers, but some stories are best told with video.


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