Why You Need B-Roll Footage for Your Customer Video Testimonial

BY Holly Yoos
April 28, 2022

B-roll in customer testimonial videos can make or break the entire experience.

Given its name, you might think “B-roll” footage isn’t important.

But good B-roll footage can take a wandering interview and transform it into a tight, cohesive, customer video testimonial that grabs the attention of your target audience.

That’s why when you work with our team to create a customer video testimonial, one of the first things we’ll talk to you about is B-roll footage.

But first, let’s clarify what B-roll footage is—and where you might find it.

What is B-roll footage?

In short, B-roll footage is secondary video footage that’s used to splice together primary (a.k.a. A-roll) footage.

Common types of B-roll footage are location shots, shots of inanimate objects, images, and undirected footage of people.

Why is B-roll footage important?

B-roll footage doesn’t just break the monotony of watching a talking head on screen.

It also allows us to cut a 45-minute interview down to 90 seconds and make it look cohesive.

B-roll allows us to cut a 45-minute interview down to 90 seconds and make it look cohesive.

In short, better B-roll creates better video testimonials—because it makes the entire video more engaging.

What does B-roll look like in practice?

Here’s an example of a customer video testimonial we recently completed that contains B-roll footage:

Did you spot the b-roll footage in the video above?

It’s the footage of Quinn Tempest brainstorming at a whiteboard with Sophie Bujold of Cliqueworthy—and the footage of Quinn working with a group of clients in a classroom.

This was footage that Quinn Tempest already had—some of which she’d posted to her Instagram account—and we were able to reuse it here.

Here’s another example:

This one used animation as B-roll footage to cover one of the cuts. It also used a bit of stock footage to add visual interest and underscore the messaging.

What can you use as B-roll footage?

You might think that for something like a remote video testimonial, b-roll is impossible to get since nobody is on-site to shoot it — but as you can see there are plenty of options for b-roll out there, no matter what approach you’re using!

In fact, there’s a good chance you already have assets that we can repurpose for B-roll.

We’ve already mentioned a few, but here’s a short list of some of the assets we could mine for B-roll:

  • Your YouTube channel
  • Your social media accounts (especially Instagram video content)
  • Any existing advertising (images and video)
  • Your website
  • Presentations you’ve made (or footage of you making a presentation)
  • Graphics you’ve had created (animations, motion graphics, etc.)

Basically, anything that’s visually interesting is a good candidate for B-roll.

While video is typically preferable to still images, we can use subtle panning effects or string several images together for a collage-type effect to make still images more visually interesting and suitable for video.

What if you really don’t have any b-roll to work with?

Don’t despair! That happens sometimes. Fortunately, we still have options, such as:

1. Shoot new footage

We can work with you to create new B-roll footage. This could be something as simple as using your phone to shoot footage of your signage or people working in your office.

Even just 30-seconds of someone typing on a computer is useful, versatile footage that we can use—but our video producer will be able to come up with a pretty simple shot list for you and your team to go and get.

With these shots, and any others you create, you’ll need to use a tripod (which we can provide to you). It’s paramount that you shoot in landscape, hold the shot for longer than you think necessary (i.e. about 30 seconds) and keep the camera steady throughout.

2. Use stock footage

At the same time, our video production team can create some B-roll for you by combining images from your website with stock video footage.

Stock video footage works better for some customers than others. It’s easier to find convincing footage of concrete action—such as a couple looking at cars in a dealer showroom—than a more nebulous concept. And of course, the downside is that the same stock footage is very likely to be showing up in other videos across the web—maybe even your competitors.

But even if we use stock footage, we always try to combine it with “real” B-roll to blend the stock footage and make it look more natural.

3. Get creative with motion graphics

If your service offering is a tech tool/software, then another option is to set us up with a dummy account. We can then go into the account and capture footage of the tool via screen recording.

The same could go for other deliverables you’ve provided if they lend themselves to these sorts of shots.

Motion graphics can also be used for things like…

  • Animated quotes
  • Animated metrics
  • Highlights and pop-outs to make talking-head more compelling to look at

There’s plenty of room to get creative.

4. Have us shoot the B-roll for you

If we’re doing an in-person video testimonial shoot, then the problem of having no B-roll isn’t a problem at all. We can shoot the B-roll ourselves when we’re onsite. (Of course, we’ll still ask you to share existing assets to create the best B-roll possible.)

Testimonial b-roll may not sound important—but it is!

In your excitement to capture the best customer video testimonial possible, it’s easy to overlook the important role of B-roll.

But good B-roll is needed to create a professional, concise, and convincing customer video testimonial that will have your target audience wanting the same experience as your happy customer.

Want to tap into the power of customer testimonial videos and set yourself apart from the competition?

Contact us to start the conversation.

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