Gear for Recording a Video Testimonial
The use of video adds a considerable amount of value to many marketing materials, but the boost that video gives to testimonials particularly stands out. Videos, in general, will help keep your visitors on your site longer - and when they can see your happy, existing clients raving about your service, how could they not be convinced to engage with you?
When it comes to recording your own testimonials, the more professionally a testimonial appears to have been produced, the more impactful it will be. Therefore, you owe it to yourself to produce them as professionally as possible. However, getting the testimonial is more important than fussing over the production value!
To help give you some ideas and inspiration, and because I get asked about gear frequently, I wanted to share some of the tools we use. If you do have questions, feel free to reach out to us.
In order to record a video testimonial, you’ll need the right equipment to do it. Your equipment will vary based on how (or where) you plan on recording your testimonial.
Chances are, you’ll either have brought in a client and therefore have the opportunity to set up your equipment in a controlled environment (or even a professional studio), or you’ll be mobile, and will, therefore, need to take a more guerilla approach to filming testimonials.
Since you usually won't be in a studio we'll list some of the run and gun equipment that we use for recording testimonials on the road or at remote locations. This is a high-level overview of the main equipment with some options, but all are tested and will serve you well.
- Rode NTG3 Shotgun Mic
- Rode Shotgun Mic
- Sennheiser Wireless Microphone System
- Tascam DR70D
- Zoom H4N Recorder
- Sony MDR-ZX100 Headphones
Camera Support Stabilization
Color and Calibration
Additional Optional Items
- Lens cleaning pen
- Green screen
- iPad teleprompter (requires two iPads) We normally don't use this for testimonials as we prefer natural responses.
Most of my gear is listed on my Photo Blog. For expanded options check it out!
Once you have your equipment, you need to have it properly set up to create a good-looking testimonial. This is where lighting becomes especially important. For the highest production value, we recommend a three-point setup, a key light illuminating half of your subject at full strength, with a fill light and a backlight each at half the strength of the key light illuminating the other half and the back of your subject.
When using a green screen, you will need to be sure that it is evenly lit, otherwise, it will not work properly in post-production. Using two lights to illuminate it, should suffice.
If you don’t have access to a green screen, filming with your office in the background can add a splash of character to the shot, and most of the time it's what I prefer. Make sure that there is minimal movement or bright colors in the background to avoid creating any distractions. If you’re lacking the lights to create the setup depicted here, a window or other light source will do in a pinch as long as you are careful not to silhouette the subject.
Making it Look and Sound Good
There are also a few considerations to make to ensure that your footage comes out looking as good as it can and that the testimonial itself is effective. First, encourage your subject to avoid dressing in patterned clothing, as this can produce a moiré pattern when filmed. Furthermore, have your subject spend a few minutes with a lint roller to make sure they look as sharp as possible. While they do so, take the opportunity to clean your camera’s lens as well.
You shouldn’t have your subject follow a script as they give their testimonial, as doing so makes the testimonial seem less sincere, but you can help guide them with questions. Asking them about the service they received and what obstacles it helped them to overcome will help prime them to tell a story, rather than just state facts. Have them be as specific as possible, as a generic testimonial sounds artificial and salesy when compared to a genuine account.
Finally, try including some additional footage. Adding relevant b-roll to your final cut with the testimonial as a voiceover can make it more dynamic and impactful to watch.
Also, don’t be afraid of any negative comments that may be included in your subject’s account. Comments like these help to make the testimonial more believable, unbiased, and authentic if included in moderation.
When all is said and done, video testimonials are a valuable addition to your video marketing strategy and can have a significant impact on your audience. For help with your video content, reach out to us at 888-546-4384 and check out https://msp.video!