How to Get Feedback on Your Marketing Video

You should follow the lead of professional studios when crafting your marketing video. On the big premiere day of many Hollywood movies, hundreds or even thousands of people have already seen it. Movie studios use test audiences to determine whether a movie works or they have to change material by editing.

You should do the same: Don’t wait for premiere day (if you have one) to solicit feedback. Ask people you trust to give you honest feedback well in advance — possibly, in the early stages of the editing process.

To inspire meaningful feedback, follow these steps:

  1. Try to find test viewers who are as similar as possible to your future audience.

    Your best friend or your mother probably enjoys your video anyway, but she likely isn’t part of your target market.

  2. Reproduce the circumstances of the final audience when you show your video to your test audience.

    If the video is designed to be published online, show it on a computer screen in a YouTube-size player, not on your 55-inch, big-screen television set. A video looks and feels completely different on a big screen than on a tiny computer player.

  3. Don’t explain.

    You may be eager to point out all the crucial elements of your video, but you probably shouldn’t do that for your target audience, either. Telling the test audience too many details influences their judgment, which negates the purpose of the feedback round.

  4. Show your video, and don’t comment.

    If the video isn’t finished yet, don’t mention it to your audience. See whether they notice. Just pretend that you aren’t present.

  5. Ask test viewers for their feedback, and just listen to them.

    Resisting the temptation to provide explanations is difficult if you hear criticism or if people don’t understand something, but don’t comment now.

  6. Ask a few neutral questions, and don’t lead the “witness.”

    Ask questions along the lines of, “What would you think about our company after watching this video?” or “Where would you go to buy our product after watching it?” The answers to these questions can help you determine whether you’ve properly conveyed your message to the test audience.

  7. Take extensive notes.

    Even better, record the feedback on video (after asking test viewers for permission).

  8. After the session, review your notes.

    Then you can decide what you want to change about your video.

Use your best judgment to figure out specifically what you want to change about your video based on the feedback you receive. An opinion is just an opinion, and your test audience may have a particular perspective that other people don’t necessarily share. Making changes is time consuming and may cost money, so balance the desire for perfection with your budgetary and time constraints.

Ideally, you can watch the reactions of your test audience in the same room, but if that isn’t possible, solicit their feedback online. Upload your video to YouTube, specify Unlisted permissions, and send the link to test viewers for comment. Ask them to provide written notes or, better, to tell you about their thoughts in a brief Skype call.

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