Is there an opening scene from a movie or tv show that just sticks in your memory? Maybe it’s the Breaking Bad pilot, or when Jim dressed up like Dwight. You can’t judge a book by its cover, but you CAN judge a video by its first 30 seconds. Well, hopefully not this one.
Hey hello yes it’s Ryan from Laudable. Today we’re talking about how to make your testimonial video a little more BuzzFeed and a little less Warren Buffett.
In 2020, nobody did that better than Yext. Yext teamed up with U.K. cell provider Three to make the coolest video testimonial of the year. Instead of strating with an introduction, hand-holding, they jump right in with a jazzy music track and fast-moving visuals.
In the first 30 seconds, this feels a LOT more like an Apple commercial than a talking head testimonial. How do they do that? Let’s break it down.
First, utilize the cold open. Open with your best argument and save the details for later. Yext opens strong with quantifiable results: in the first month, they had over 400,000 searches and 253,000 clicks. That’s awesome, that tells me exactly what I wanted to know. I could turn off the video right now and STILL know that Yext delivers searches and clicks.
A good rule of thumb: Assume the viewer will only watch the first minute, and pack in the best parts of your video early. We’re shown like 3 different camera angles in the first 30 seconds. Look at the way they introduce their subject, Graham.
He looks like he’s on the cover of Rolling Stone. Look at the depth, the interesting background (which I think is just a closed down cell phone store). Multiple camera angles, playing with depth and color. I don’t know about you but as a viewer, I’m a lot more interested in what he has to say now that he kind of looks like an underground DJ.
This brings me to my biggest takeaway - Don’t be afraid to borrow from B2C. How would Samsung do a testimonial, or Dos Equis? Apple, Ariana Grande, you name it. They certainly don’t throw their star under harsh fluorescent lights.
Just because it’s a testimonial doesn’t mean you have to THINK like a testimonial. Make your subject a rockstar with cinematic lighting and interesting camera angles. Animate your best soundbites and ditch the corporate music track for something you’d hear in a bar.
Find a cool location, some colored lighting, and get to work! Who knows, maybe next year we’ll be discussing YOUR video.
Laudable is on the hunt for new customer testimonial videos to review. Want our feedback on a piece of content? Send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.