Imagine you are driving in your car and the radio suddenly goes silent. How long does it take before you change the station? 10 seconds? 30 seconds?
The concept of time can be hard to quantify. In the initial planning stages of some of our healthcare projects, many clients will say they think a video should be 3 or 4 minutes long. It usually takes a little explanation to see why shorter is better.
One minute is our target length for most of the videos we produce, especially physician profile videos and patient testimonial videos.
Years of experience in television news taught us that you can pack a lot of information into one minute of video. There is a reason that most of the stories you see on the evening news are 60-90 seconds long. Many studies of audience viewing habits have found that time frame is the sweet spot for keeping viewers engaged.
It comes down to the goal of the video. What action do you want the person watching to take? If it is to connect to a physician or relate to a patient, then try one minute.
Here’s an example of a recent testimonial we produced with a patient who had joint replacement surgery.
Real stories from real customers. Simply put, that is the standard definition of a testimonial. In healthcare, getting real stories from real patients on video can be a powerful marketing tool. A great way to share your hospital’s message is with stories featuring positive outcomes from patients of your physicians.
We have produced many patient testimonial videos in the last few years. Through trial and error, we’ve found 3 keys to making effective patient testimonial videos:
1. Pre-interview. Talking to the patient before the on camera interview is very important. Not only does the producer get to hear the patient’s unique story in advance, but this is an opportunity to help make the patient more comfortable with the process. Patients are not professional actors. Calming their fears before the cameras are rolling makes for a better interview.
2. B-roll. Background footage of the patient doing everyday activities provides a strong visual to support the story. It helps to answer a question physicians often get from patients before a medical procedure: “Will I be able to go back to doing the things I love to do?”
3. Think short. We try to keep patient testimonials to roughly 1 minute in length. Why 1 minute? In today’s social media world, keeping the attention of your audience for very long is a challenge. A 1 minute video is also easy to share and watch on your own social media channels.
Here is an example of a patient testimonial we produced on a new cardiac procedure. We interviewed the patient at her church, where there weren’t any good b-roll options. We incorporated animation of the procedure as b-roll.
Next week we’ll be in Chicago for the Healthcare Marketing and Physician Strategies Summit. This conference is a great opportunity for us to share the benefits of using video in healthcare marketing. We’ll be featuring success stories from our client hospitals with physician profile videos, service line videos and patient testimonials. We look forward to meeting healthcare marketers from all across the country. We’re in booth 63 in the exhibit hall.