Our friends at RadioMD recently invited us to be guests on their health marketing podcast series called Marketing Mouths. We talked about how to use video in healthcare marketing, telling physician stories and keeping the attention of your audience. And we had a little fun during their infamous “Wheel of Questions” at the end.
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.
Some of our most successful healthcare video projects were promoted on social media before a single frame of video was ever edited. Just knowing a video is coming can be a powerful tool. Sharing with your followers that you are shooting a video on a unique service or a particular physician can be an effective way to build excitement.
And it’s more than reaching potential patients. Including a behind the scenes photo from your video shoot on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram lets the hospital staff know about your marketing efforts. It allows them to serve as brand ambassadors by sharing the news.
For some sensitive subjects, it might be best to wait for the final edit and video approval. But those cases are rare. Take advantage of social media and get the word out about your video as you shoot it.
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.
One of the best things about producing healthcare video is the opportunity to tell stories that matter. Sometimes you stumble upon stories, sometimes they open the door and shake your hand. That’s what happened when we met George Hausauer.
George was a 91 year old man with a failing heart. His diagnosis was severe aortic stenosis, basically a choke up of the aortic valve. George needed surgery, but because of his age and health, traditional open heart surgery was not an option.
His cardiologist suggested George see cardiac surgeon Dr. John Luber at St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma, part of CHI Franciscan Health. Dr. Luber is on a highly specialized team performing TAVR, which stands for Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement. TAVR is a unique heart procedure where an interventional cardiologist and a cardiac surgeon work together to repair a damaged aortic valve without opening a patient’s chest. Dr. Luber determined George was a great candidate for TAVR and his procedure was very successful.
Our goal was to tell a story about TAVR. But it wasn’t hearing from the specialists or seeing the surgery that made this story effective. It was George. This is his story. I dare you not to like him.