Video testimonials are one of the most powerful ways to communicate your customers’ stories to your audience.
Heck, we wouldn’t even call it Video “Testimonials,” because it is more than just a testimonial that says, “Hey this company did great!”
What we want is to harvest that great story from the very beginning to evoke an emotional response from your audience.
Thus, why we like to call it Video Case Stories. Not Video Testimonials– not Video Case Studies– VIDEO CASE STORIES.
If you’re a company that focuses on changing people’s lives through your products and services, KEEP READING–because this might help you.
HAVE YOU EVER WONDERED WHAT MAKES A GREAT STORY?
I guess if I ask you to name stories or films that made you cry, you might be able to name a few.
So what gives these stories the ability to access our emotional responses?
Before that, let me tell you a quick story.
Video Case Stories has probably conducted over a thousand interviews throughout its existence.
But we had this one instance when we were completely booked, and someone wanted to desperately work with us.
So they suggested we just give them our list of interview questions so they could film the videos and put them together themselves for this big conference that they had coming up.
After a few weeks, we decided to check in on them and they said:
“We couldn’t use any of the videos that we took”
IMAGINE having this huge event coming up but you couldn’t even put together a good video with the footage taken from it.
I mean, we gave them the very questions that we ask our clients, BUT WHY DIDN’T IT WORK?
HERE’S THE BIG SECRET.
It’s what we do before an interview that jumpstarts the journey to building a great story.
We always make sure that we have:
Finding out what our direction should be is our number one foundation.
We should know who we’re interviewing and the major touch points in their stories that we need to pull out.
Because it can be difficult to hop on the interview with a disorganized flow which could lead to us missing out on important questions.
On top of this, we also craft our questions around a STORY STRUCTURE.
There are a ton of story structures out there, but we at least base it off one:
The 3-Act Story Structure.
In essence, this story structure has CONNECTION – CONFLICT – CONCLUSION.
CONNECTION: Why should I like this person?
CONFLICT: What are their problems?
CONCLUSION: How are those problems solved and what transformation did it give them?
(Selecting a story structure is not as simple as this, however. And the exact steps that we take to determine a solid story structure will be revealed to you in the following blog posts, so stay tuned.)
“Every great movie has 5 to 7 MOMENTS.”
Ron Howard, a world-renowned director, and filmmaker said this during one of his filmmaking masterclasses.
That statement is about finding, crafting, and delivering those MAJOR moments to your audience.
These moments are what we want to have inside our Video Case Stories.
Because EVERY GREAT STORY HAS MOMENTS.
AND ALONG WITH THESE MOMENTS COME EMOTIONS.
The best way to get human beings to respond is to tap on their emotions.
Human beings are simply EMOTIONAL BEINGS.
Paul Zak, the author of NeuroEconomics said that empathy is a product of emotions. And empathy leads to POSITIVE DECISION MAKING.
In layman’s terms, it makes people TAKE ACTION.
And that’s what the videos are for, right?
That’s why we need to get those emotions out. So that in return, we get our audience to take action.
SO HOW DO WE HARVEST THESE EMOTIONS?
We have a list of 40 QUESTIONS that we take with us in the interview. (If you want to have your own copy of this, click here)
But here is the thing: WE NEVER ASK ALL THESE QUESTIONS.
Look, you should never treat the list of questions like some kind of script.
Playing by a script is the worst thing to do during an interview.
Your clients will NEVER get emotional over a script– they’re never gonna get emotional unless a conversation takes place.
With that said, it’s all about customizing the right questions for the right client and letting a conversation flow.
It’s never a one size fits all solution.
SO HOW DO I DELIVER THESE QUESTIONS?
You need to come from a place OF CARE.
When you take the time to put a little bit more thought and intent into your questions, be engaged and listen to what they have to say and the people involved in their stories– they’re going to feel like you care.
That is what lets their guards down to release that emotional response.
BUT I’m gonna let you in on another BIG Secret.
To truly and completely pull out emotions, we ask them TWO POWERFUL QUESTIONS.
WARNING: THESE TWO QUESTIONS WILL EVOKE POWERFUL EMOTIONS
(For these questions to work effectively, you would need to dig a little deeper. But be careful. Digging doesn’t mean pushing them to give you the answer. REMEMBER: YOU CARE ABOUT THEM AND THEIR STORY)
With that said, here are the TWO POWERFUL QUESTIONS that we use to pull out every straw of emotion:
The first one is actually more of a STATEMENT than a question:
“PLEASE DESCRIBE WHEN THAT HAPPENED.”
When you tell them this, you’re actually transporting them back to the time when they experienced that MOMENT.
You might even begin seeing their eyes moving around, RECALLING every bit of that moment as they slowly paint the picture for you.
See, human beings are innate storytellers.
Ever since the age of cavemen, we told stories to survive through inscriptions on walls and dancing around the fire.
IT’S IN US– it is what kept us alive as a species.
And telling your clients that statement is what triggers that STORYTELLER WITHIN THEM.
WE LOVE TO MAKE PEOPLE CRY– we have to.
So as your clients enter that state of REMEMBERING, they are extremely vulnerable and need that extra push to get that 100% emotional response.
Once you’re there, ask them this simple question:
“HOW DID THAT MAKE YOU FEEL?”
After asking, leave a little bit of silence to immerse themselves in how they felt at that moment.
Slowly, those emotions will come out as that question dawns on them.
I remember in one of the Video Case Stories that we’ve worked on with J.C. Walten. (Watch his story now)
In this story, a man who you wouldn’t think would end up being in jail, ended up in handcuffs, leaving his family behind.
When we asked him this question, he remembered how he felt when he thought that he couldn’t see his children grow up as he was about to spend 25 years in prison.
Tears ran down his face, and we felt his fear and sadness radiate as he told his story to us.
If anyone watches a story like that, it would be UNFORGETTABLE.
Because getting there, your customers might forget the story. BUT they will never forget the emotions they felt.
THAT IS HOW POWERFUL THESE QUESTIONS ARE– That is how powerful Video Case Stories are.
Will these questions work 100% of the time?
But 7 out of 10 times, you will be receiving a vulnerable response from your clients.
3 out of 10 times, you would need to stop the interview because of how emotional it gets.
REMEMBER: To successfully achieve results that evoke emotion, it is important to plan it out way before the interview.
These techniques are extremely powerful, so use it for good– to get emotion, to help people, and your business to create amazing video case stories, NOT TESTIMONIALS.
Interested in case stories for your own marketing? Not sure where to start? Discover more about how you can collect, craft, and deliver case stories now!