When a business is producing customer stories, selecting the right customers to feature in the campaign is crucial to its success. If the customer story campaign involves video micro-documentaries, the approach to casting customers needs to account for the additional requirements of video storytelling. Here are some steps a business can take to cast customers for video micro-documentaries:
1. Identify potential customers
The business should identify customers who not only had a positive experience with their product or service but also have a unique and compelling story to tell. This could be done through surveys, reviews, or customer service interactions.
ProTip: The companies who do this best have an “always on” process where stories are surfaced systematically and proactively, not only when needed for a campaign.
2. Reach out to potential customers
Once potential customers have been identified, the business should reach out to them and explain the purpose of the campaign. This could be done through email, phone, or social media.
- Explain the benefits: There are benefits to taking part in a campaign, i.e., increased visibility for their business or the opportunity to share their story with a wider audience.
- Address concerns: Some customers may have concerns about taking part in the campaign, such as privacy or confidentiality concerns. The business should address these concerns and reassure the customer that their privacy will be respected.
- Provide incentives: The business could offer incentives to customers who take part in the campaign, such as discounts or free products/services…or speaking about their experience (ie, fireside chat with your company leadership) at a prominent event.
- Make it easy: The business should make it as easy as possible for the customer to take part in the campaign. This could include providing them with a list of questions to answer or offering to interview them off-camera first and writing up the story for them.
- Follow up: After the customer has agreed to take part in the campaign, the business should follow up with them to ensure they have all the information they need to come prepared and feel comfortable – and to answer any questions they may have.
3. Review the customer story
Once potential customers have been identified, the business should review their story to determine if it would be a good fit for a video micro-documentary. A good video should be visually interesting, emotionally engaging, and have a clear narrative arc.
4. Conduct pre-interviews
The business should conduct pre-interviews with potential customers to get a sense of their personality, speaking style, and comfort level in front of the camera. This will help the business determine if the customer will be a good fit for a video micro-documentary and also help support the creative producer or director as they will need to determine the best visual approach – including the interview setup and the b-roll or graphics.
5. Choose the right customer
Based on the pre-interviews and the customer story, the business should choose the right customer to feature in the video micro-documentary. This should be someone who is comfortable on camera, has a compelling story to tell, and fits the overall narrative of the campaign.
6. Coordinate logistics
Once the customer has been selected, the business should coordinate Logistics such as scheduling the shoot, arranging for travel if necessary, and providing any necessary equipment. A call sheet should be created and shared with the crew, company, and cast.
7. Conduct the interview
On the day of the shoot, the business should conduct the interview with the customer, using a list of pre-planned questions to guide the conversation. If the interview is taking place at the customer’s place of business, it’s essential that the crew be respectful of boundaries and sensitive to the time your interview subjects have available, to avoid disrupting their business.
ProTip: Conducting a location scouting trip in advance can ensure that the shoot goes smoothly, and that adequate b-roll is captured.
8. Edit the footage
After the shoot, the business should edit the footage into a compelling micro-documentary that tells the customer's story in a visually interesting and emotionally engaging way. Brand guidelines are key – but so is creativity.
ProTip: There are many different storytelling approaches that a business can take with their customer stories – varying sentiment, structure, even graphics, and musical choices. This type of video marketing is one where creativity is rewarded with longer watch times and high view rates – for inspiration, see Customer Storytelling: Who Does It Best?
By following these steps, a business can successfully select and persuade customers to take part in their customer story campaign.
If you have questions about customer story campaigns or would like a free consultation, contact us here.