How to Choose the Right Person for a Video Testimonial

BY Holly Yoos
May 12, 2022

You have a customer success story you’re ready to share with the world with a video testimonial, a written case study, and social media graphics.

But first, you have to decide whom to interview.

Sometimes the answer is straightforward. But when a project is complex, involving multiple teams and people, whom should you ask to participate? Should you go with the CEO? The head of the most relevant department? The head of the team? Someone involved in the hands-on implementation?

Here are some of the most important factors you’ll need to consider:

  1. Proximity to the project
  2. Backstory knowledge
  3. Authority
  4. Relatability
  5. Comfort with the camera
  6. Coachability
  7. Availability
  8. Enthusiasm
  9. Other factors

1. Proximity to the project

You want to choose someone close to the project who can speak to the challenges, solutions, and results.

So while having a testimonial from the CEO is great, they may not have much to say if they really weren’t involved. You’re probably better off getting a video testimonial from someone who can speak to why they chose you, what you did, what it was like to work with you, and the amazing results you worked together to achieve.

2. Backstory knowledge

Along the same lines, you also want to choose someone who can give the backstory of why your customer needed your product or service in the first place. What was the situation like before you arrived on the scene? What other solutions had they tried?

3. Authority

As hinted at above, interviewing a C-Suite executive isn’t always the best choice, especially if they don’t know the details of the project.

However, if your C-Suite executive can speak to the particulars of the project, then all the better, because their status and authority adds weight to their words.

And if the CEO, CTO, CMO, etc. has name recognition within (or even beyond) their industry, then that’s even better yet.

4. Relatability

Another consideration is whether your potential interviewee is someone your target audience can identify with.

Ideally, you want your target audience to see themselves in your interviewee—to identify with the challenges they faced, the difficult decisions they had to make, and the benefits for them (and their company) of the successful project.

You want your target audience to see themselves in the interviewee.

So, while a C-Suite executive may give your video testimonial added authority, those folks may not be your best choice, especially if your target audience isn’t at that level within the organization.

For example, if you’re selling a high tech product, the decision to buy may rest with the IT department. And the IT department wants to hear how your customer’s IT team made their decision to hire you and how you managed the implementation. They’ll be less interested in the CEO’s perspective.

Thus, in this kind of situation, you’re better off interviewing someone in your customer’s IT department rather than someone higher up.

Connecting with your target audience isn’t just about speaking to the right level within an organization. You may also need to consider other factors of relatability, such as gender, ethnicity, and geographic location, depending on the nature of your product or service.

5. Comfort with the camera

Not everyone likes the camera. While we always help our interviewees feel as comfortable as possible, the task is easier if they’re not starting from a place of extreme anxiety.

How can you assess who might be a good fit? Look for people who already have some front-of-camera or public speaking experience.

Also consider how they perform in front of the camera during routine video calls. Do they turn beet red when they have to speak? Do they clam up when asked questions? Or do they look comfortable and respond to questions easily?

Does the potential interviewee turn beet red when speaking on video calls?

Our team uses short pre-interview sessions to assess camera readiness before conducting the actual interview. We provide interviewees with a few easy questions and have them record their responses. We then review the tapes.

This extra step gives us a leg up in knowing how we’ll need to coach the interviewee on the day of the actual shoot, (e.g. talk slower, keep answers short, etc.) It’s just one of the ways our video production team creates the best possible video testimonials for our clients.

6. Coachability

As alluded to above, even those comfortable in front of the camera may require a bit of coaching to achieve the best possible footage. Whether it’s speaking a bit slower or adjusting the lighting, some tweaks will need to be made to ensure everyone looks and sounds their best.

Naturally, you’ll want to choose someone who’s open to that kind of feedback.

7. Availability

You also need someone who’s willing to make the time to do it. Providing a video testimonial isn’t a huge time commitment, but it does require some. Interviewees need to prepare themselves, prepare their space, respond to a few pre-interview questions, sit for the actual interview, and then review the end product.

We believe in being upfront about the time commitment so that everyone knows what to expect and can plan for it accordingly.

Fail to do that, and you may spend months scheduling a shoot or waiting on feedback.

8. Enthusiasm

Obviously, you don’t want to twist someone’s arm to provide a video testimonial. If they only agree reluctantly, you won’t get a great end result. So choose someone who’s excited to participate.

9. Other factors

This isn’t a comprehensive list. Depending on your industry and type of business, product, service, etc., you may have other important factors you’ll need to take into account.

You can choose two people if needed

You may find that some interview candidates score better on some factors than others—making it challenging to choose just one interviewee.

Fortunately, you don’t have to! We can interview two people when necessary (additional charges apply) to get a “boots on the ground” perspective AND a “30,000 foot view” perspective.

However, we will insist on interviewing each person separately. Experience has taught us that we need that one-to-one interview format to pull out the best information and quotes from each interviewee.

Download the Case Study Buddy interviewee scorecard

Sometimes there’s nothing like putting things down on paper to make a decisive choice.

With that in mind, we’ve created a simple spreadsheet scorecard you can use to help decide which interviewee(s) to approach for a video testimonial.

You can download the Case Study Buddy interviewee scorecard here.

Of course, a simple scorecard won’t magically make the decision for you. But it IS a helpful tool to get you thinking, weighing your options, considering your priorities, and gathering input from other team members.

Need help creating powerful video testimonials you can use at every stage of the sales funnel?

Contact us to start the conversation

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