Originally published June 2017. Updated September 2019.
Patient testimonial videos are a great way to build trust and credibility with your past, current, and future patients. Testimonial videos allow potential patients to hear and see a story from another patient who might have been faced with the same diagnosis or treatment recommendation. And let's face it... it's just easier to watch a video than sit and read a patient story.
Before you start, have a good idea of how long you want the finished video to run. We recommend no more than 90 seconds. Anything more than that and people's minds start to wander. Crazy, but true.
If you're going to spend the time and money on this type of video, which we definitely encourage, consider these five tips before starting:
- Choose patients with relatable experiences.
- Good interviewing tactics
- You don’t have to stick to the script
- Be sure to thank your participants
1. Choose patients whose experience is relatable
The first thing to consider is who will be participating and sharing their story on-camera. Their experience with the doctor or staff should obviously have been a positive one, and valuable to the practice. The doctor will normally have a few people in mind that would provide great references. It helps if their case is relatable to other potential patients and not a rare situation.
Also, consider how the candidate verbally communicates and if it will be easy for a viewer from any background to understand what they are saying. You will most likely be more successful in choosing someone who speaks clearly and has a good idea of the overall purpose of the testimonial to share their personal experience with the practice and to encourage others to choose that doctor for their care.
2. Prepare your interviewees for what to expect
This list will be helpful for both you and the participant when preparing for the video testimonial:Collect all necessary contact information
This should include their phone number, email address, and even their mailing address in case you plan to send a thank-you after the project is complete. Provide the patient (and anyone who will appear on-camera such as family members or translators) with a video testimonial release form and require a signature of consent. This should include a statement that clearly indicates that the use of the person’s name and any images associated (for example, before and after photos, or just their video presence) is the property of the marketing agency and can be used for marketing purposes.Provide a list of questions beforehand
Send the participants, and the camera crew, a detailed list of the questions they should expect to be asked. Providing the questions beforehand allows your interviewees to review your questions and prepare their short answers.Suggest do’s and don’ts for what to wear on camera
Give them a list of appropriate colors and patterns that are and are not appropriate for being on film (i.e. no distracting patterns, gaudy jewelry, or colors that might blend into the video background)Re-confirm the date and time of the interview
Reach out to your patients one to two days in advance of their scheduled interview date to reconfirm their interview time, date and location. This helps everyone ensure that there are no unforeseen scheduling interferences.
3. Remember good interviewing tactics
Since this will most likely be a one-time session with the patient and film crew, you want to be sure specific goals are achieved during this time.
At the very beginning of the interview, ask the person to state, then spell, their first and last name in front of the camera. You don’t want to misspell a name when giving credit to the individual during post-production, and having to go back and verify contact details might hold up the production process.
Encourage your participants to answer your questions in the form of a statement that repeats the initial question, and in a complete sentence.
Question: “How did you hear about Dr. Jones?”
Response: “I first heard about Dr. Jones when…”
4. You don’t need a script
Remember that the patients are participating in this interview to share their experience, and to help others in a similar situation. There's no specific script -- just questions with answers. If you find that they are open to elaborating outside of the set of questions you had planned on, encourage them to do so. In post-production you want a good variety of footage to work with. You’d rather have too much footage to work with rather than too little.
5. Thank your participants for their time and cooperation
Your patients have committed their time and have traveled out of their way in order to help others learn about their experience with your medical practice. Consider having some light refreshments on hand like fruit and water. Avoid things that tend to get stuck in teeth like small poppyseeds or chocolate pastries. A note of gratitude or a small gift can go a long way in saying you appreciated their time. After all, without their commitment, none of your patient testimonials would be possible.
You want the process to be smooth, from start to finish, for everyone involved during your testimonial video production. Taking the time to plan ahead and keep everyone as informed as possible on what to expect can help achieve this.
If you are looking for ways to create videos that look great, check out our blog on 3 Ways to Create Videos that Look Great and Cost Almost Nothing. Or If you’re looking for an agency with experience in executing patient testimonials, contact us for a consultation where we can discuss your practice's specific needs to get your positive reviews out there for others to see!
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