Testimonial Examples and Best Practices

Collection and filming tips for testimonials

Student testimonials showcase student voices, connect prospective and current students, and bring stories to life on your campus from faculty and staff.
According to a 2021 RNL report, "The marketing adage “show, don’t tell” has never been truer than in social media during a pandemic. Give prospective students the sense they’re seeing the authentic college experience by asking existing students to share their favorite parts of campus and the fun, quirky parts of the student experience."
Collect testimonials to:
  • Highlight frequently-visited places on your campus
  • Talk through real experiences
  • Demonstrate what life could be like on campus for your visitors (especially the ones taking a virtual tour!)
  • Showcase diverse voices on your campus
Keep scrolling to learn how to collect testimonials, recording best practices, and client shining star examples.

1. Collect testimonials with provided content card

Use the templated testimonial content card to collect videos. To share the card, use the provided community link which can be shared anywhere: emails, social media groups, flyers, social media stories, etc. 

Collection tips:

  • All videos should be sent to you, and will then need to be published to YouTube as unlisted or public
  • Align testimonial collection with a social media campaign. If you have a centralized social media account run by marketing, student services, or student life to reach current students, this is best
  • Send the link to key student groups on campus:
    • Student tour guides - they are familiar with most stops on your tour
    • Student Ambassadors - Student life and academics
    • Student Government - Community spaces
    • Resident Assistants/Residence Hall Associations - Residence life spaces
    • Student workers - Academic buildings
  • Incentivize testimonial submissions by offering a gift per submission or qualification for a prize
    • Example: Arizona State University-Mountain Home enters students who submit a testimonial into a drawing to win an ASUMH hammock
  • Incorporate testimonial submissions as a project for current students or faculty planning


2. Recording tips

  • ⏳ Record for no longer than 90 seconds
  • 🚫 No inappropriate language
  • 🎬 Relate video to popular themes, but also unique topics to the institution
    • Students like to hear about dining plans and housing across all campuses, but students also love to hear about traditions! What makes your tradition stand out?
  • 🤩 Use an engaging and casual tone (these are videos for their peers!). Include friends in the video too!
  • 🔠 Avoid acronyms
  • 👋 Recorder should introduce themselves. Information like name, hometown, major and graduation year are all helpful

From RNL's 2021 Expectations Trend Report:

"Keep video content focused and concise. Avoid long speeches from administrators. Prospective students want to know what their experience will be like by seeing what college is like from the perspective of current students. Use current students in the creation and filming of video and keep them under three minutes long."

3. Testimonial Examples

Watch testimonial examples and learn what we love about each video. 

Advising at Washington University in St. Louis

  • Down to earth tone
  • Easy to relate to!
  • Selfie video format
  • Topic is a common stressor for many first-time and transfer students
  • Interactive recording from Snapchat
    • Emojis and stickers placed for increased engagement
  • Inclusivity of student organizations and clubs
  • Short and sweet
  • Selfie video format 

Jewish Life at Princeton University

  • Introduce themselves, year and majors
  • Topic relates to specific content heading to bring it to life
  • Representation of the community
  • Real view inside of a residence hall
  • Covers multiple parts of campus life
  • Relaxed interview
  • Overview of residence hall
  • Most students will have questions about financial aid - it's great to have a first-hand account!

Admissions Welcome at Vanderbilt University

  • Full introduction of name, major and graduation year 
  • Warm and welcoming tone to kick off tour and includes University slogan
  • Discusses a wide variety of campus opportunities including studying abroad, clubs and resources

Flower Sundays at Wellesley University

  • Inclusion of pronouns in introduction 
  • Topic evokes tradition and unique event for University that promotes community
  • Casual, clear and concise 

A Day in the Life Montage from California College of the Arts  

  • Created with TikTok to add in transitions and effects 
  • Relatable, authentic and genuine 
  • First-hand glimpse into classes as an Interior Design student
  • Meal plan and food recommendations

Faculty Insight at California College of the Arts 

  • Inspiration provided by the faculty member 
  • Great graphics

Residence Halls at Maryville University

  • Quick tour of each residence hall included on tour
  • Informal, but professional and informative detailing amenities such as common room, gym, and free laundry 
  • Student highlight to show off their residence hall room and perks
  • End of video includes social media handles

International Student Welcome from Maryville University

  • Authentic greeting to specific student population 
  • Resources made available to connect with the Director and social media channels

Lecture Hall Views at Davis and Elkins College

  • Insight into class sizes and classroom views
  • Especially relatable to prospective students looking to major in Criminology and Psychology

Have a 360 video you'd like to incorporate? Upload the video to YouTube, mark as unlisted or public and use the video link in the platform. 

The University of South Carolina highlights their housing using an interactive 360 tour