My son was struggling with his maths homework the other night, so I dutifully went searching for a book to provide an explanation. I found the answer after wading through some weighty text and presented it to him, only to be told: “I don’t need it now Mum, I’ve just watched a YouTube video tutorial.”

Like many younger consumers, he prefers more visual content, and it’s no different in the world of customer advocacy, where videos are increasingly being used to pack more punch than static PDFs.

Consider these facts:

  • 95% of a message is retained when someone watches a video compared with 10% when reading text
  • 1,200% more shares are generated by social videos than text and images combined
  • 75% of execs told Forbes that they watch work-related videos at least once a week, and
  • 65% visit the marketer’s website after viewing.

So how do you maximise the potential of video testimonials? Although a compelling video is reliant on a good customer interview, don’t be tempted to script their responses as this will result in a very stilted delivery. Instead, help them out by giving them a detailed brief at least a week beforehand.

During the interview, if a particular topic or question becomes a stumbling block, move on and return to it towards the end of the shoot when the interviewee should be more relaxed. And if they stray off topic, ask some leading questions to help guide them to the response you were after.

Obviously, videos are expensive and time-consuming to produce, so it’s important to maximise how they’re used. Like written case studies, the main video can be repackaged to create multiple assets. For example, 30-second snippets can be created to show at events or post on social media.

To give you more flexibility when editing, try to encourage the interviewee to answer with short statements that work on a standalone basis so you can also pull out hero quotes for other assets, such as PowerPoint slides and posters.

To simplify the approval process, it’s a good idea to submit the main video for review and then cut this down once it’s been signed off. Just make sure the release form gives permission for the use of extracts and that any edits retain the original context.

Although creating a video might seem like more of a challenge than producing a written case study, it’s worth the effort in terms of reaching a bigger online audience. Just do the maths!