In such a competitive business world, one way to stand out is through customer reviews. We know people research online before making purchasing decisions, so having customer reviews on your website can be a helpful tool for people wanting to get more information on your work. One way to do this is through video testimonials. If you are going record a video, you don’t have to pay a videographer to do the job. With just a smart phone, you can shoot a quality video to post on your website—but keep these tips in mind to make even a low-budget attempt look professional.
- Reduce background noise. Often, the audio in a room without carpet will have a slight echo and will make it sound as if your subjects are in a bathroom. A lapel microphone (designed for smart phones) connected to your phone will get a secondary audio track to choose from, and the phone’s noise cancelling will likely filter out unwanted sounds. If you use a native phone microphone, make sure you are close to your subject. An inexpensive foam mattress pad (egg-crate shape, which ican be purchased for less than $20) propped up behind the camera microphone or against the nearest flat wall (off camera, of course) will buffer the echo considerably. A portable easel can be used to support the foam pad.
- Prepare the background. Shoot the video in front of curtains or another simple backdrop. Also, light your subject with sufficient and even light. Use windows to your advantage—they are a great source of light and will compensate a bit for lower-quality video. Take a still photo of the subject and the background and study it for unwanted elements. Like audio, video will pick up everything, including the things that our brains typically filter out. Never use the digital zoom as it will degrade the quality of the video.
- Set up the interview. When an off-camera person prompts the subject with questions, the person on camera should answer by restating the question in their own words, so it appears natural, and the off-camera person should not be included in the final video. Make sure the customer looks directly into the camera, smiles, and speaks clearly to avoid the dreaded “Um”s and “Uh”s. Also, don’t forget to have them state their name and town they live in.
- Frame it right. Ideal framing is from belly button to head with a tiny bit of room over the head. Make sure the device is in landscape position (sideways) and level. Lock the focus and exposure by tapping and holding the phone on the subject’s eyes; this way, it won’t fluctuate during recording.
- Transfer the file. Connect to a computer and take the file directly off the device. Emailing the video will send a lower-quality version to minimize data usage.
With just a little bit of preparation, you could have a video testimonial that can help build your business. This is a great sales technique to show to prospective clients without feeling like a hard sell—and it can help your business gain credibility and trust.
Make sure you consult your attorney about the rules that regulate testimonials and endorsements before you start this project.