Preparing Successfully for a B2B Customer Success Video shoot

Paul Crabtree 29th November 2019 B2B Branding, Customer Advocacy

One of the most effective ways of delivering customer stories is through video. Customer opinions, experiences and results are delivered best and most authentically by them.

But it’s not just you that gets something out of it. Those who feature boost their personal and wider company brand. They get recognition and exposure through quality marketing content that can be pushed through multiple channels (events, award entries, websites, sales presentations and social), as well as acknowledgement that they are innovative and respected by your brand. If you work for a multi-national B2B brand, this reinforcement by association is very influential.

Decided you want a customer success story video?

If you’ve decided that you’d like to create a customer case study video, the first step is to appoint a video agency. In our experience, there are two types of agency. The first offers a point and shoot service, which means they turn up on the day of filming, do exactly what you ask and then edit the footage into the story you asked for.

The second type is a full-service video offering. This includes everything from the first meeting with the customer to help explain what will happen, to shaping the story with you in advance, organising all logistics and interviewing your customer on the day. This also includes making sure the interviewee is comfortable, understands the story and that their schedule is accommodated. After all of the shooting, including any B-roll, it’s edited to craft the story in a way that best conveys your message.

To provide more insight into the full-service approach, below is a check-list of things we consider at Velo before every shoot:

BEFORE THE DAY…

Identify all stakeholders

Does the customer need sign-off from their PR, marketing, legal teams or any other departments? Understanding this in advance means the story can be shaped with their requirements taken into consideration.

Book the recording space/s

Identify where the interviews could be shot. We always ensure there is a quiet room for interviews, with enough space for cameras and the interviewee to be comfortable. Ideally, in this room, we like to control the light and all background noise (such as aircon, for example). Having a room where we can alter the layout to make the background interesting is always a good idea. If the shoot is UK-based, especially in London, we like to do a reccy beforehand so we can better plan out shots and spaces.

Plan the B-roll

To bring the story to life, we always shoot some B-roll. These are scenes where the interviewee and colleagues are illustrating what is being discussed in the story. It could be a meeting, colleagues chatting outside the building or locations around the grounds. This footage tends to be silent, so we aim to find colourful and branded locations to stage some scenes. We ask clients to find volunteers in advance to appear in the shoot and ensure that any landlord/security teams don’t have restrictions on where we can film.

Communicate to the team

Although we always keep disruption to a minimum, we advise clients to let their teams know in advance that there is a film crew on site. It always creates an exciting atmosphere; knowing a video crew will be on the floor can create a positive buzz. This also means anyone who wants to avoid appearing in the background can make themselves known.

Agree your story

Through interviews and calls, our team draft an outline of the story we’re looking to capture and get this approved by you and your customer. We then prepare the questions we want to use to tell this story on camera, as well as providing steers on appropriate facts/figures to research in advance. This really elevates the quality of the footage.

ON THE DAY…

Run to schedule

We always prepare and provide a schedule of when we’re planning to shoot the different elements of the video. This means we can be sensitive to interviewees who are time-pressured. As a film crew, we’re always on time for key moments, but have learnt that flexibility and thinking on your feet on the day is important. It’s one of the main reasons we invest so much time in the storytelling. A large consideration here is the weather and being able to adjust timings to take advantage of breaks in the great British rain!

Take stock

We make sure the details are covered. Parking, eating and breaks are vital; a video shoot can be a tiring day. As such, thinking about where any vehicles can park (that is close to the shoot location) and having regular breaks to pause and check that the footage/story is unfolding as we want it to, is really important. Rushing without a plan means your ‘rushes’ will be unusable and you risk missing vital shots.

Having a chaperone

Having an appointed person in your team to help the crew, particularly as B-roll is shot, is very helpful. Security doors and carrying heavy equipment can lead to being locked out repeatedly!

Making interviewees comfortable

Being interviewed on camera can be daunting. That’s why we keep everyone out of the room who doesn’t have a role to play. The best footage comes from the interviewee using their own words, explaining a point passionately with facts/figures they have thought about in advance. We encourage people to sit naturally and wear what they’d normally wear at work (although complex patterns should be avoided because they don’t look great on camera). We coach the person on camera, encouraging them to answer in full sentences, and help them to distil things into soundbites where we need to. A good interviewer makes everything relaxed and enjoyable – you can see their impact in the final footage.

A well-planned video shoot means you can make sure the time you spend together as customer and supplier is enjoyable, deepens relationships and gives you a fantastic story. This story can then be used multiple ways on myriad channels – from a written case study, to short pithy quotes, a longer video story or short social edits to entice new customers. This not only helps shoots to be more cost-effective, but most importantly it ensures your story is portrayed in a genuine, powerful way, directly from your customer to your audience.

To learn more about Velo’s video capabilities and customer success story skills, please contact us.

Paul Crabtree

Paul Crabtree

Managing Director