Video case studies are a powerful way to promote your B2B ecommerce site.
Now I want to give you a checklist for writing a successful ecommerce video case study script.
- Choose the right customer and identify a) the right person to approve participating in the video and b) the right person/people to participate in the video. This is an important step–they may or may not be the same person.
- Explain the process. Tell the customer that you want to make this as easy as possible on them and that participating in the video should take no more than 3 hours of their time, tops, not including the time required to secure approval from internal decision makers. Make sure they know that you and your videographer will be doing the heavy lifting. Their time commitment includes:
- 30-minute phone interview
- Time to review a written case study based on the phone interview
- 1-2 hours of on-site time to shoot the video
- Review/approve the final draft of the video
- Set up a phone interview. I allow for 30 minutes of time for the call and adhere strictly to the limit. The less time you require of your client, the more likely they are to agree to participate.
- Research the client ahead of time. Try to get at least a basic understanding of the client’s history, what their needs were, why they selected your company/product and how your product helped them.
- Draft 8-10 open-ended questions and write them down. Make sure that your questions get toward the nuggets of good information you uncovered in your research.
The Phone Interview
- Thank the customer for participating. It’s a small thing, but it goes a long way.
- Explain the process. Let them know that you will stick to your 30 minute interview schedule today, then draft a written case study for their approval. Once they approve the written draft you will use that to create a series of interview questions for the video that you will send to them before the videographer arrives. (This last step is critical as it makes people feel confident that you aren’t springing strange questions on them while the camera is rolling.)
- Ask the customer to tell you their story. While I did my research and have my drafted questions, I usually start all of my interviews by asking the customer to tell me their story. Let them know that if you are silent as they speak it’s because you are listening and furiously taking notes.
- Take LOTS of notes. You might think you remember the whole story, but take notes anyway. You often can get awesome verbatim quotes if you scribble down your customer’s words as they speak. These are invaluable later for the written case study, for use online and for crafting your video script.
- Ask questions, if needed. Be sure to ask for clarification if you need it and rely on your drafted questions if the client runs out of things to say on their own.
- End promptly at 30 minutes or before. Your client will appreciate your respect for their time.
Writing the Script
- Create a draft of the written case study. Based on the phone interview and your preliminary research, you should be able to write approximately 2 pages. Putting together the “story” first in written form will help you with crafting the video story later; PLUS, you now have a written case study to add to your content arsenal!
- Submit the written case study for customer approval. Getting buy-in at this stage makes subsequent approvals easier.
- Draft a NEW set of questions based on the case study. These are the questions you will ask during the interview. I often put “notes” answers below each question to help the customer remember what they said.
- Send the questions over AHEAD of time. Having the questions ahead of time helps people feel more confident about the process.
- Share the questions with your videographer AHEAD of time. This makes sure the he/she knows the gist of the interview and can assist on-site if needed.
At this point, you should be ready to shoot the video case study on-site. Be sure to reassure your client that you and your videographer will make them look like a Hollywood pro!