July 1, 2014
We have video product reviews best practices to give you a hand with your campaign. It’s easier than ever to grab a smartphone and start shooting video, but there are a few details about how to pull it all together to make a video product review viewers will appreciate and want to watch. More than aesthetics, a great video will be informative and honest about the product, which will keep viewers tuning in and trusting the feedback of reviewers.
Tips for shooting
Ditch the script
The point of video product reviews is that they’re coming from consumers, not hired actors who read from a prepared script. Posture, tone, and word choice are things that viewers will pick up on. They’re looking to hear honest reviews from people just like them.
Another drawback of using a script is the dependency factor. Staring down at a script means there’s not going to be a whole lot of eye contact. Along with body language, eye contact is a huge factor with establishing trust in a video review. A lack of eye contact can trigger the idea that whoever’s speaking isn’t totally trustworthy, which isn’t the way anyone wants to come across to their viewers.
The best thing to do is be so well acquainted with the product that a script isn’t necessary. A thorough review means having an understanding of the basic ins and outs and being able to discuss them with viewers.
Make necessary background and lighting adjustments
Background and lighting are two components that can subtly influence trust in the product and review. Think of anytime you’ve watched a poorly shot video. It probably had poor lighting, making it difficult to see the product or the face of the person speaking, and instead of a background, they used a dirty surface to display the product.
How effective does that sound? If you want your product to stand out and look good, the lighting and background need to be set up carefully.
Between natural or artificial lighting, it’s always best to go with natural. You want to avoid any direct sunlight, though, because it’ll look harsh on camera. For best results, film in a room with plenty of windows, and bring in a few other light sources to help you out.
When selecting a background, go for something clean and simple. White is used most often because it allows the color and shape of the product to show up clearly against it. You can go for any color, really, as long as your product shows up well against it. The big thing is to just be sure the background isn’t busy, which will take away from the product and distract the viewer.
Getting the right shots
In order for viewers to get the full effect of what a product can do, you’re going to need to use a few different shots. Wider shots are going to provide them with an overall impression of what the product looks like from different angles. But you’ll also want to use some close ups, especially when you’re pointing out a specific function or feature.
The best way to prepare so you don’t get flustered about which shots to use when, is to plan it out before you film. It doesn’t have to be anything intricate or overly detailed, just a rough idea of when you want to use close ups vs. wide shots to drive home which details you’re showing off.
What the best product review videos accomplish
The best video product reviews are, above all else, completely honest. Viewers want to get the full experience, usually as part of their research before investing, and that means having a total understanding of the product – warts and all.
The worst video product reviews are the ones lacking any balance. Reviews that focus only on positive aspects, while purposefully leaving out any drawbacks aren’t doing viewers any favors. Even the best products in the world can have potential drawbacks, depending on who’s using it. The key is to discuss the good and bad, with an understanding of what your audience is going to be on the lookout for. Without that understanding, you’ll have a hard time crafting a review that’s actually relevant to their needs.
Feedback from reviews can be a great learning tool
A lot of brands fear negative comments or reviews. They want to distance themselves from having to bounce back from getting told something about their product could be improved.
The brands that welcome feedback of any kind are the ones who can take a bad review and use it to motivate them to make changes so they can make a strong comeback. Instead of being afraid of what you’ll hear, keep in mind that you need to actively seek out what your users have to say in order to keep moving forward as a brand and remain competitive.