Video Testimonials – It’s all about the questions you ask

Today we are looking at video testimonials, why they are useful, and how to ask the right questions. This article is part of our Guides for Video Production on developing clear communication in video and your brand.

Once you’ve attracted someone’s attention through brand awareness you’ll want to engage with them a little bit. Then they will almost ready to spend some money with you.

But spending money is a big commitment. Your customers will want to know that your product will live up to their expectations. At this point, you are in the conversion stage of their story with you, but they need a little more convincing. Video testimonials are a great way to remove any doubts they may have.

We have just recieved a copy of one of our testimonial videos. We are absolutely thrilled with them. What an absolute talent Rich has. From start to finish the process has been superb Chris Dawes – Scruffymonkey Web Design

Video testimonials vs written testimonials?

There is definitely a place for both written and video testimonials in your marketing. Written testimonials are probably easier to gather from your customers, but they can also be fully or partially fabricated. They, therefore, are not as trustworthy as video testimonials.

Video testimonials, on the other hand, are trusted a lot more than written ones. The viewer can judge the authenticity of the speaker and it’s harder to fabricate false claims.

However, if you ask people to give you a testimonial they will probably clam up. Or they will ramble on how you’ve transformed their life, which is good but could be better.

Remember, we want videos to have clarity in their message. The best way to keep things clear is to use a guided structure or template.

Video testimonial guide

As you might have guessed we like to use the structure of stories to convey your brand message. Testimonials videos are no different, they are short stories on how your business has transformed the lives of your customers.

Infact, some businesses such as Codecademy have taken it a step further and call their testimonials Codecademy Stories.

All stories follow a formula and have certain elements such as:

  • A hero – It’s always your customer(s)
  • A quest, challenge or goal that is undertaken by the hero – Made easier by your business
  • A villain or problem the hero has to overcome – It’s never your customer
  • A guide to help the hero along the way – That’s your business
  • Transformation of the hero – How completing their quest (with your help) has made their life better

And all of this is conveyed in a story structure with a start, middle, and a happy ending. Now we know the story we want to tell we can ask our customers questions and let them write the story for us.

Video Testimonials - It's all about the questions you ask -

Start of the video testimonial story

Oh, and feel free to substitute “our product” to something more fitting such as the name of your business or individual product names.

Q1: What was the problem you were having before you discovered our product

Let’s set the scene for our hero. Allow her to tell us what her life was like before you met. This part of the story should sound familiar to the viewer of the video (your potential customer) who will be in a similar situation.

Some of your customers may not see themselves as having a problem, particularly in leisure pursuits. so this question should be tweaked slightly to suit your business. E.g. “What was your life like before you discovered our product”. It’s a bit more of a woolly question so may prompt a more convoluted answer.

Q2: What did the frustration feel like, as you try to solve the problem?

This question continues to paint the opening scenes. It guides the testimonial giver to reveal some of their emotions around the problems they faced. Emotions that your potential customer is also likely to be feeling as they watch the testimonial video.

The Middle of the video testimonial story

The scene has been set and we know the what and the where of our story. We also know the problem that the hero faces and their motivation (the emotional element) of why they need to act. So they look for a guide to help them in the quest and find your business.

Q3: What was different about our product?

This is where some of the gems about your business come out. It’s the reasons why they chose you and also the reason why your potential customer should also choose you.

But it also will give you some marketing gems to use and maybe things you had not even considered important.

Q4: Tell us about the moment when you realised our product was actually working to solve your problem.

This is the part of the story we’ve all been waiting for. How did the hero feel after they defeated the bad guy in their life?

This question usually reveals smiles and joy as the storyteller relives the moment they realised their problems were (or soon would be) over.

The End – Happily ever after

The happy ending, the one thing we all crave.

Q5: Tell us what life looks like now that your problem is solved (or is being solved)?

This question should be adapted to suit your product. If it’s resolved a one time issue or offers continuous value or delivered over a period of time.

This answer tells the viewer what their life will be like if they use your business. This last question should be enough to turn potential customers into paying customers.

That’s all there is to it, 5 testimonial questions that will get your customers talking about how you’ve helped them.

Video testimonial questions in a nutshell:

  1. What was the problem you were having before you discovered our product?
  2. What did the frustration feel like, as you try to solve the problem?
  3. What was different about our product?
  4. Tell us about the moment when you realised, our product was actually working to solve your problem?
  5. Tell us what life looks like now that your problem is solved, or is being solved?

Should I pay someone to film my video testimonials or ask them to record themselves?

There’s no right or wrong answer here and a lot of it depends on your business, your budget, your clients and what you want to use the footage for.


If they film themselves and send you the clip it does add to the authenticity of the clip, but it comes at the cost of quality. Your customer’s nerves may show, they may hold the camera in portrait mode when you really want it in landscape mode. They may find a dark corner of the room and may do a lot of other things that a professional would not.

If you want to use it in a high production value piece (like a TV advert or social media campaign) the difference in quality could be jarring to the viewer and the footage difficult to edit into a clear and concise story.

All that adds to the charm and authenticity of self-shot testimonials so is no reason to not ask for them. After all, they are free.

Get a professional to film your testimonials

Using a professional has some obvious benefits around the equipment they use and they will film it for the intended use. But above that, we pride our selves on a few other things that will help make a killer testimonial video

  • We’re approachable and used to putting people at ease as it can be scary being in front of the camera.
  • We listen to your customers and tweak the questions based on what they are saying.
  • We ask supplementary questions to get the best out of them
  • We film for the intended use and we use 2 cameras. This is useful in editing if the client goes off script a little bit.

It’s also a great way to get your clients together and spend a bit of time with them away from the pressures of making a sale or delivering your product to them. We’ve filmed testimonial videos at social and business events that our clients have put on to thank their clients. This has the added benefit of strengthening their relationship and gives them a chance to check-in.

If you need help creating video testimonials or have any questions about using video effectively in your marketing, use the form below to schedule a call with us and we’ll happily talk to you about it.

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