Lightswitch Video | Worldwide Video Production

The Ultimate Business Guide to Customer Video Testimonials

Learn why your business needs customer testimonials, and how to create them for every channel
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If you're wondering whether or not your business needs customer testimonials, you're in the right place. We're going in depth on the reasoning and benefits behind showcasing the great things your customers and clients have to say about you, and explaining how you can use video testimonials on various platforms and channels to reach new customers. Use this table of contents to jump to the section you're looking for, or keep scrolling to read all of the important information on creating your own customer testimonials!

Table of Contents:


  1. Does my business need customer testimonials?
  2. Why does my business need customer testimonials?
  3. Is there data to show testimonials are effective?
  4. Which customers should I feature in my customer testimonials?
  5. What questions should I ask to get the most out of my customer testimonials?
  6. What channels and platforms should I share my customer testimonials on?
How to Shape Content for Different Channels
  1. Your Website
  2. YouTube Ads
  3. Social Channels
  4. Over-The-Top Media (OTT)
  5. Television Ads
Additional Tips
  1. How do I start collecting customer reviews and testimonials?
  2. Do I need permission to use customer testimonials?
  3. What are other ways to use customer testimonials?
  4. What if the customer reviews are negative?
Female videographer filming a group of women sitting around a table.

Does my business need customer testimonials?

Short answer: Yes, your business needs customer testimonials.

Your customer testimonials will slightly differ per platform, and the delivery and aesthetic will vary between different industries and individual businesses. But at its core, all customer testimonials contain the same information, and work towards the same goals

  • To build current and potential customers’ trust in you and your business

  • To clearly demonstrate how your product or service benefits your customers

  • To lead to new and recurring sales

Why does my business need customer testimonials?

Short Answer: It builds trust and shows how your product or service works.


Customer testimonials, or case studies, serve to build trust in your product or services. They are effective in the middle or later stages of your sales funnel when you need to establish credibility. Credibility is something that is built through years and years of branding - you should work on this too - but it is something that can be borrowed in the short term from things like customer testimonials and reviews. Video testimonials are a great way to showcase first-hand what you have to offer consumers in a creative and compelling way.

You can’t always control who reviews your business and what they say, but by showcasing your best customers you can exercise some influence over how your business is perceived.

Social proof

Customer testimonials help to provide social proof. Social proof is the principle that people think it’s appropriate for them to feel, believe, or behave in a certain way if others – especially those who are similar to themselves – are doing that thing as well (it’s what the cool kids are doing). By showing those similar to your targeted customers in the testimonials, you are conveying to them that people just like them enjoy using your products and/or services. If people learn that either individual people or a certain company within the industry they operate in are working with you, it makes them feel as though being your client is more feasible and realistic. (For more information on Robert Cialdini’s Law of Social Proof, check out Buffer’s article on the Psychology of Marketing.)

Demonstrates how your product or services provides value

Some products or services are complicated or their benefit is not immediately apparent.

Your customer testimonials can be a 1, 2, 3 punch if the customer tells the story of how your product or service positively impacted them.

If you select a customer that is similar to your target, they offer a compelling story, and that story makes clear how you benefited them - You've nailed the 3 essential points of a testimonial.

Be sure to make every piece of content – including your video testimonials – matches your brand image - More on that here.

Is there data to show testimonials are effective?

Short answer: Yes!

  • Viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video, compared to only 10% when reading it in text (Wordstream by LocalIQ)

  • 2 out of 3 people say they’d be more likely to make a purchase after watching a testimonial video demonstrating how a business, product or service had helped another person like them (Wyzowl)

  • 92% of consumers read online reviews and testimonials when considering a purchase. (Vendasta)

  • 90% of buyers who read positive customer success content claimed that it influenced their purchasing decisions. (Dimensional Research)

Still not convinced, and want more statistics? Take a look at these stats on video marketing compiled by LocalIQ. For more on what LocalIQ does with video, see this travel destination video.

Do I need customer testimonials on my website?

Short Answer: It’s a good idea.

Testimonials are helpful in the middle of the sales funnel. Once a potential customer is aware of and interested in your business they enter a phase of research. They’re looking to see if you can be trusted, if other reputable companies are working with you, and if your service solves the problems they have.

When they enter this phase the first thing they do is visit your website. A testimonial is the best way for you to show those already interested in you that you can do all three.

This page should be easy to find on your homepage, either linked or featured as heading in a menu – preferably, both. The page can feature a mix of both text and video testimonials. You can also link to this page on your social media channels, in your ads, etc. Don’t forget to include a separate link on this landing page for interested customers to directly contact you for more information!

Which customers should I feature in my customer testimonials?

Short Answer: Customers that are similar to other customers you are trying to reach.

First, you should make a list of the types of customers (business and industry categories, demographics, problems you solve for them etc.) that make up your current customer base. Then prioritize this list based on things like which customers drive the most revenue, which are most pleasant to work with, and which best match the direction you’d like to take your company.

By first determining who it is you are targeting you can then decide which testimonials to prioritize. In an ideal world you have unlimited time and budget and could create a specific testimonial video targeted to each demographic, customer profile, and video channel.

Since budgets are not infinite you should use your list to prioritize. Look at your current customers and see which stories would best match the story you want to tell future customers. Over time you can work your way through the list until you have customer stories for every customer profile.

What questions should I ask to get the most out of my customer testimonials?

Short Answer: Questions that get the story, not just praise.

It’s important to make sure that you’re getting great sound bites out of your customers for the testimonials to shine. You don’t just want the testimonial to say that you’re awesome – there should be more detail behind it than that to build real, lasting credibility. Ask questions that help your customer tell the before and after story, express authenticity, and of course, gush about your company. A good on-site producer can take a list of standard questions to get extraordinary responses by digging deeper in the moment.

We created a list of 20+ suggested questions to ask that we’ve used when filming customer testimonials for clients. You can use them as a starting point and tailor them to your specific business and needs.

Video camera set up recording a green screen.

What channels and platforms should I share my customer testimonials on?

Short Answer: All of ‘em, but some are more effective than others.

The number of outlets for you to share customer testimonials is growing every day. We’ve outlined some of the top options below with tips on which would best serve your goals and how to make your video most effective on that channel.

First and foremost, you need to put your testimonials on your website.

Creating Customer Testimonials for Your Website

How to picture your audience:

This is someone who is in the early stages of researching a type of service and making a shortlist of companies to reach out to. The customer doesn’t have to be fully sold yet, you just want to get them to add you to their shortlist. They are asking themselves more or less “are they legit,” and it’s up to you and your reputation to prove why you’re the best fit for the job. You have more freedom here, so give them as much information as you can to keep them coming back.

Hottake: You need text too! Many still (this video company owner included) prefer to read, and text allows viewers to access your information quickly to copy it over into any notes they take - make it as easy as possible for them to choose you!

Basic Tips

  • Adjust the video length based on the content and context
    • Estimate 90 seconds if it’s non-technical and they’ll see it early on or in the middle of their customer journey.

    • 5 minutes or more if it’s more technical and they’ll see it later in their customer journey.

  • Show examples and give additional information
    • This is your chance to direct the viewer to additional information on your website (since they’re already there).
      • Include a call to action to lead them to your portfolio.

      • Include the project(s) your testimonial(s) describe to show them the outcome that your customers walk away with in addition to a positive experience.

  • Think of this as a movie trailer for your business
    • You have more freedom here than on an outside platform, so make it count. What compelling stories will you tell with your customers? What can potential customers expect if they hire you? Walk them through the journey and give them something to look forward to.

Advanced Tip: Break videos up into steps of the process, or different use cases for the same customer. A viewer is more likely to watch 3 short videos than one long one since it feels like less of a time commitment.

Creating Customer Testimonials for YouTube Ads

How to picture your audience:

These folks are people who hopefully fit the specific target audience you are going after, but most likely have not yet heard of your company. Ads should be focused on discovery, and should be tailored to the YouTube content they are attached to. This audience may be seeing your ad before or after a video, so you want to keep them engaged from the start so they don’t click off, regardless of placement.

Basic Tips

  • Short and to the point
    • Ads can last up to 30 seconds, but make sure all the important information is in the first 7 seconds.

    • Viewers often try to skip ads, so if you get your message out early, and then they skip, it’s like you got a free ad.

  • Faces in the first images are effective
    • This creates a connection with the viewer and can make it easier for them to remember your brand. Take these case studies from the University of Southern California for example.

  • Convey your message in text and captions
    • Make sure your message is accessible and still gets across, even if your videos are viewed silently.

  • Specific and targeted
    • If you sell pet food, make individual ads for each product (e.g., dog food, vegan dog food, cat food, bird food, senior bird food etc.) and only show each ad to the people who need those things. The more specificity you can manage, the better.

Advanced Tip: Create 2-3 ads for each customer profile so that they learn something new about what your company offers each time they see your ad.

Creating Customer Testimonials for Your Social Channels

How to picture your audience:

These folks are like your YouTube audience, but even more distracted, if not mostly checked out. This is you at the end of the day scrolling through your favorite platforms (e.g., Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, and Twitter) on the couch. Before deciding which platform(s) to target with your ad(s), think of its demographics and if they align with the specific audience you want to reach. It’s not a one-size-fits-all when it comes to creating content for multiple social channels, and some will be more effective than others depending on your messaging, so you should create wisely with your audience in mind.

Hottake: Do you really need to be on all of these? Social channels are great for quick decision products, and to reinforce your brand, but if you’re a B2B seller offering a complex product, some platforms are more of a nice-to-have than a need-to-have.

Basic Tips

  • Visuals really matter here
    • Make sure something grabs your audience's attention right away. As much as your client may not like it, a close up on their face might be the most engaging option.

  • Make it in the aspect ratio format that matches the timeline
    • 1x1 for Instagram, and 9x16 for Facebook, TikTok and Instagram Stories/Reels

  • Make it short and clickable
    • Lead to your webpage or a landing page that has longer format videos. If they take the extra step to go outside the social channel, it means they have to X out of your site instead of just scrolling past, and you can present more in-depth information once they’re there.

Advanced Tip: This is where influencers can make the biggest difference - viewers may not stop scrolling because they see your VP of Customer Success on their screen, but they might for a well-known influencer who endorses your product.

Creating Customer Testimonials for Over-The-Top Media (OTT)

How to picture your audience:

Much like the audience for YouTube ads, folks watching over-the-top media (OTT) like Hulu, Disney+, and Peacock, have not actively chosen to seek out your content. But, that doesn’t mean they won’t engage! With a good hook and concise, targeted content, you’ll be able to keep their attention. These ads should be focused on discovery, align with your brand, and be attention-grabbing so they cut through the noise.

Basic Tips

  • Make it interactive
    • Offer two to three ad options with compelling hooks and thumbnails to let the viewer choose which one they want to see. This gives them control over what they watch, gets them involved from the start, and lets you customize your messaging to different customers within your target audience.

  • Keep it relevant
    • Tailor your content to tie in with the specific show your viewers are watching. If they think your ad is a continuation of that world, you’re more likely to keep their attention long enough to get your message across.
      • e.g., run testimonials for your medical practice during breaks for a medical show; advertise your company’s recruitment video during a sitcom where characters work in that field

  • Be concise
    • Most ads have a countdown timer so viewers know how long they have to wait. The shorter your ad, the more likely they are to stick around so they can get back to their show.

Advanced Tip: Consider including a QR Code in your ad alongside your call to action. Most viewers will have their phone nearby or already in hand – make it as easy as possible for them to connect with you!

Creating Customer Testimonials for Television Ads

How to picture your audience:

These folks may be more distracted than those for OTT or YouTube ads due to the length of commercial breaks for their show. They likely know they have enough time to get up and grab a snack or check their phone, so you need to catch their attention within the first few seconds of your ad.

Basic Tips

  • Repetition
    • Consider creating a shorter testimonial that runs twice in the same time span as one TV commercial spot, or one that has only text instead. This breaks the traditional pattern of watching an ad and immediately moving on to the next, and can shake up a viewer’s expectations (which gets their attention).

  • Use influencers or celebrity endorsements
    • Their credibility works here too, and you get the unique opportunity to reach the influencer’s audience, borrow their credibility, and make yourself a talking point among their fans.

  • Vary visuals and sounds
    • The light emitting from your TV in a dark room can affect the light in the room itself, and a drastic change in color can draw the audience’s attention to your message. Change the background with your call to action to complement this, but do not overdo it (your audience won’t appreciate strobe lights - do not turn their living room into a 15-second party).

Advanced Tip: Tell an ongoing story by thinking of your ad as a mini documentary with compelling customer stories and problems being solved. This can engage a broad audience and increase their brand recall so they remember you when they have a need for your service (e.g., Flo and Jamie from Progressive).

A camera crew and boom mic operator are recording a man speaking.

More Tips for Creating Customer Testimonials

How do I start collecting customer reviews and testimonials?

Now you know all of the different ways you can use your testimonials to help increase business – great! But you might also be asking yourself how you should go about finding who to reach out to for a customer testimonial, whether that be written or asking if they’d appear on screen in a video. First, you should make a list of some of your favorite customers, who you have a great working relationship with. These are the people who are most likely to give you a positive review or testimonial.

Do I need permission to use customer testimonials?

Yes, you should get permission from customers to use their reviews and testimonials on your website, channels, and ads. For most testimonials (especially video testimonials), you should be reaching out to the customer directly to ask for the testimonial, so you can ask permission during that process. You can read more on the legalities here.

What are other ways to use customer testimonials?

Customer testimonials aren’t only useful for advertisements or public channels. Another great way to take advantage of the information and credibility they portray is by adding testimonials to your sales deck. If someone is seeing your sales deck, they’re already interested in your products or business. Showcasing a customer testimonial from a company with similar needs to theirs will tell them that not only are you capable of meeting their needs, you have already proven successful in that same area with another company. This further proves that you would be a great fit to work with or for their business.

What if the customer reviews are negative?

As you reach out to more and more customers, you might receive some negative feedback too – and that’s perfectly fine. While you only want to showcase the positive aspects of your business in your testimonials and ads, it’s important to take negative feedback and see which areas of your business you can improve upon. No business is perfect, and there’s always room for improvement. Gathering this information will only make your business stronger in the long run.

Remember: Customer testimonials are all about building credibility and trust in your services, but they are just one piece of the puzzle to securing new customers and retaining returning ones. You, your team, and your products have to meet the standards and expectations set by your customer reviews and testimonials in all of your interactions with customers and clients to seal the deal. Now that you know the basics about customer testimonials – especially the importance of video testimonials– let us create one with you. Contact us and let’s talk!

Are you ready to get started on our own customer testimonials? Check out our post on 20+ Suggested Questions for Customer Testimonials to get started.

Still looking for more information on creating your own video testimonials? Let us help!

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