A well planned and expertly produced video interview or testimonial video can be marketing gold.
Interview and testimonial videos increase trust, and are highly useful as marketing content as consumers regularly seek out this type of content.
“47% of people say testimonial videos are effective because they help visualise how a product or service actually works” (Wyzowl)
“88% of customers trust online testimonials as much as recommendations from family or friends.” (Dailyblogging)
“When a customer is visibly thankful or happy because of the product, potential customers will feel it too. ” (Uscreen)
Unfortunately not all interview videos and video testimonials are created equal. There are a variety of ways to improve the quality of your interview videos from both a content and a technical standpoint. This article was created to discuss these in detail:
5 ways to create better video interviews and video testimonials by improving your content:
- Tell a clear and coherent story
- Make it personal
- Use additional footage to keep the audience engaged
- Send the interviewee the questions in advance
5 ways to create better video interviews and video testimonials through technical improvements:
- Improve your video’s lighting
- Improve your background or blur it.
- Use a 2nd camera to allow seamless editing
- Improve your video’s audio
- Choose better music to accompany your video
Tell a clear and coherent story – Plan your interview video
An interview video or testimonial video should feel natural and appear to be unrehearsed even though the truth will be anything but. The subjects in most interview videos will be non-actors, this is what will make them relatable to your audience. It is also the reason that they should be thoroughly planned instead of expecting perfection in a single take. Detailed planning and execution can provide you with excellent interview video results time after time even with the use of non-actors as ‘talent’.
- Map out your questions prior to the filming date
- Use these questions to pre-empt the desired answers you would want to capture on film
- Write down how your subject should introduce themselves
- Based on your mapped out questions and your desired answers, think of what kind of additional footage could accompany this content.d
Make your interview video content personal
What makes interview videos and testimonial videos so relatable is the use of real people. Consumers of testimonial video content will further engage with it if the subject of the interview video uses real stories to communicate their unique story. Though the video might ultimately be about about a product review or a company, in this style of video the narrative will be told through the lens of an individual. A better interview video (no matter the subject matter) will encourage the interviewee to include their own personal take on the subject matter. This could mean that the interviewee might include:
- Their personal history with the subject matter.
- Why they personally care about the subject matter.
- How the subject matter has affected them as an individual.
Use additional footage to keep the audience engaged
One person talking to camera will only keep the audience engaged for so long no matter how interesting the subject matter.
Don’t forget to include a range of additional footage to support the dialogue that the interviewee is discussing on camera. This could include:
- Wide, medium and close-up shots of the subject matter
- Stock footage
- Previously acquired footage from othe video projects
- Footage taken from news articles
In the example video that we have provided below we can see that there is quite a large volume of additional footage running over the interviewee’s answers. This additional footage should re-enforce everything that the interviewee is saying. Additional footage that is overlaid over the top of an interview will give the interview video greater context and depth while engaging the viewer for longer. It is not unusual for an interview video or a testimonial video to be 60% overlay footage and 40% talking head footage.
Send the interviewee the questions in advance
Don’t take the risk of letting your interviewee being under prepared for their big moment in front of the camera. Send them as much information on what your looking to get from the interview and the types of questions (if not the exact questions you will be asking them on the day).
It is better that you know the answers to the questions you will be asking prior to the day of filming. This will also help your subject prepare for the interview and reduce their nerves on the day.
Practice! Practice! Practice! Interview videos and testimonial videos should only appear unrehearsed. The reality is that the more your interviewee is familiar with the subject matter, the location of filming what kind of answers are expected of them the more confident they will be on the day and the more coherent and concise their answers will be in front of the camera.
Encourage shorter and direct answers. This will help the interviewee stay on topic and deliver a tighter performance.
Improve your video’s lighting
Regardless of the quality of the camera, what makes and breaks a video is the lighting. Lighting will add depth and contour to your image. A video without good lighting will likely be dull and flat on most occasions.
On many occasions and locations the natural lighting conditions available can be perfect. Other times it will be nearly impossible to produce the image quality you desire without additional lighting.
Interview Video Lighting Tips:
- Utilise a key light and a backlight as needed
- Don’t allow the background to brighter than the subject (don’t film in front of an exterior window – weather and location dependant)
In the example video we’ve provided below we can see that the subject is in front of an exterior window. Though the outside environment isn’t too bright due to overcast conditions on the day, it was necessary to use a key light and a fill light to light the subject enough to either i) seamlessly match the background lighting conditions or ii) be slightly brighter than the background conditions.
Improve your background or blur it
Though it may not always be possible, improving the background or backdrop of your interview video will improve your final product no end.
This is probably more important in the event that the location you are filming at has less than ideal surroundings.
An option for those without a portable backdrop is to blur undesirable features of the background, even slightly (think adding a touch of bokeh to your image and not blurred cctv face). This will also have the viewer focus more on the subject and not be distracted by other items in the background.
Use a 2nd camera to allow seamless editing
Use a 2nd camera for a tight shot.
This will allow for seem-less cutting between edits in the post-production process and allow the interviewee to just continue to talk with abandon.
Improve your video’s audio
Great image quality won’t mean a thing if your audio has issues.
Interview Video Audio Tips:
- Reduce background noise – Try turning off air conditioners, fans and other continual noises that can be distracting to the audience. It’s always better to remove the noise before filming than trying to reduce it in post-production.
- Speak above the noise – If your location has a high background noise from wind, a fountain, traffic etc. Ask your subject to attempt to project their voice louder than that background noise.
- Stop the rustling of your lapel mic – A simple tip is to have the mic capsule free floating from the body so it doesn’t make contact with clothing and fabric.
In the example video below the subject being interviewed is talking in front of a hotel fountain. There’s not much to be done in this scenario except i) to ask the subject to talk above the volume of the fountain – to talk louder without yelling, ii) reduce the background noise as best as possible in post production and iii) use background music as best as you can to cover up as much noise as is possible.
In an ideal world the fountain would have been turned off during the interview. We have to do our best when such measures cannot be met!
Choose the right background music
The right background music can lift your interview video by supporting the mood of the dialogue being delivered by the interviewee.
Really good music will add so much to your interview or testimonial video adding to the idea that your content might be:
Improve your performance in front of the camera
Most people in your interview video or testimonial video production will not be trained actors. This means that they may have multiple quirks that they themselves are unaware of when performing in front of the camera. With quick detection and direction and without causing greater anxiety to your subject, you can greatly improve a performance by asking talent to:
Stop shuffling their feet or swaying from side-to-side
Not slouch when sitting in an interview chair
Slow it down – ask them to slow down and talk in a conversational manner
Not to use their hands too much
Relax – there’s plenty of time to get this right
For more tips look here – Video Interview Tips: How To Look and Sound Good In An Interview Video
If you’re considering an interview video or a testimonial video for your company, we can help. A great interview video production will engage viewers and showcase the best of what your business has to offer while also highlighting its story. We know what looks great on the camera and that means you can be confident that you will appear confident and natural in your interview video.
We want to make sure that every potential customer who watches it walks away feeling like they know more about your brand – because if they do, then there is a greater chance of them going from a potential customer to becoming one!
Contact us today with any questions or needs so we can get started on creating something amazing for you.