Not every visitor to your site believes that he or she is a performer. Even in the age of social networking, many of your visitors may feel camera shy, especially if you do not take steps to make them feel at home with your video tools. That's why, with my company, VideoGenie, we spend a lot of time consulting performance experts: singers, dancers, actors, improv artists, and comedians who face the challenges of performance and the creative process in their daily, professional lives.

These experts shared with us their creative strategies for opening up in front of an audience, and we want to share them with you.

7 Tips For Encouraging Customer Video Testimonials

Here are seven ways to encourage and inspire your customers to open up on video to create testimonials for your site.

1) Inspire Content:

Empower your contributors to feel proud of their videos by tying your campaigns to a cause beyond brand promotion. Choose causes that inspire your contributors to offer their own, individual perspective, and let them know that you appreciate what they have to say. Offer immediate feedback for a job well-done, and special recognition for the best videos.

2) Create Creative Community:

Some visitors to your site may feel less self-conscious about recording videos if they can see that their contribution is one, unique part of a greater whole. Create creative community by encouraging your users to watch and respond to other videos on the site, or record in groups.

Foster connections not just with your customers but between customers. You can stimulate video dialogue on your site by curating video campaigns to spark communal stories and conversations.

3) Offer Creative Guidelines And Starting Points:

Motivate contributors by showing featured videos as examples. Seeing other, featured videos offers a "starting place" creatively, and establishes video guidelines that can ease creative blocks. Make sure to provide easy access to featured videos wherever solicitation occurs, and solicit videos wherever videos are displayed.

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4) Build Safe Spaces To Build Confidence:

Build contributor confidence by introducing a "safe space" for sharing videos prior to uploading them for public viewing. For example, allow contributors to share videos with close friends and receive feedback before posting to the public. This allows contributors to get comfortable sharing on your site.

5) A Little Knowledge Upfront Goes A Long Way:

Be explicit about where videos will be displayed and how they will be used and shared. Sharing this knowledge with your potential contributors establishes trust and encourages contributions.

6) Curate Comments:

Safeguard your contributors by curating comments on their videos. Keep it positive, and encourage dialogue between users.

7) Catch Customers At The Right Moment:

When will your customer be feeling best about themselves and your brand? Maybe it's just after receiving a shipment from you, after a customer service call, or right after signing up on your site. Locate these moments of excitement and capture your customer's inspiration by asking for video contributions at those times.

7 Ways To Encourage Video Testimonials: Bringing Out Your Customer’s Creative Side video testimonial1

By giving your customers that extra level and comfort to open up on video, you can get more creative, authentic, and engaging submissions from them – it's a win-win situation.

About our Guest Expert: Justin Nassiri
7 Ways To Encourage Video Testimonials: Bringing Out Your Customer’s Creative Side Justin bigger1 e1283373965558 200x200 Justin Nassiri is the CEO and Founder of VideoGenie, an online platform for collecting, managing, and distributing customer-generated video content. Justin started VideoGenie after graduating from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and VideoGenie is funded by Eric Schmidt's Innovation Endeavors. Once upon a time, before starting VideoGenie, Justin enjoyed scuba diving, long distance running, and watching terrible movies (preferably with Mystery Science Theater 3000 silhouettes on them).

  • Joe M.

    Great post Justin, these are some great tips. I especially like point #7 about catching customers at the right moment. I think that in addition to catching them at the right moment, making it as easy as possible for them to submit a video testimonial at that critical moment is key. Does your company VideoGenie offers any automated video submission tools to help with this?

    I've heard of a company called VideoBloom that offers something like this. They call it a video testimonial widget and according to their page ( it allows people to record and submit testimonials directly to the widget.

    Has anyone had any experience with VideoBloom or the video testimonial widget?

    • Justin Nassiri

      Joe - thanks for your comment. We do offer a tool for this - in addition to our standard recording widget, we also offer an iPhone app (both standalone and integrated) to help you capture your customer at just the right moment.

      When you compare VideoGenie to other companies, we consider our "Twitter-like constraints" to be essential - you'll never need to edit any video with VideoGenie. Also, our targeted and optimized video playlists have been proven to increase conversion, brand perception, and brand reach (you can check out our TechCrunch article for more info on this).

      Hope this helps!

  • Adam Peterson

    Great article Justin! I wholeheartedly concur that video testimonials are valuable but that it takes a well thought out strategy and understanding of customer behavior to motivate your customers to make a video for you.

    I hope I'm not overstepping my bounds here, but I have a question about VideoGenie: are you a competitor to YouTube Direct or are you an implementer of it (helping organizations not only incorporate the technology, but successfully use it by implementing ideas like that which you wrote about above)?

    • Justin Nassiri

      Hey Adam - thanks, I'm really glad you liked it!

      You haven't overstepped your bounds at all - keep the comments and questions coming! We don't view ourselves as competitors to YouTube Direct at all, and feel that there are several important distinctions:
      - VideoGenie is all about social video: capturing your brand advocates on video and making it a relevant part of the social graph. Integration with YouTube is one small part of this, but our optimized and targeted video display unit, as well as integration with Facebook and Twitter, have thus far played a much bigger role than YouTube.
      - VideoGenie is intended for use by brands - thus many of our features, like ownership of videos (brands own all our videos), approval of videos, and our distribution methodology, all differ from YouTube direct.
      - As you stated, for our premium customers we bring our industry-wide knowledge to play to assist with personal service and support to make sure our clients get the most out of our platform.

      I hope this answers your question. Feel free to follow-up by email as well at justin (at)