By Steve Vargo, OD, MBA
Viewers find candid video testimonials helpful and credible. Let prospective patients hear about your practice from enthusiastic patients.
CHOOSE TESTIMONIALS CAREFULLY. Invite patients with whom you have a long-standing relationship to offer video testimonials.
DO IT RIGHT. If you lack equipment or expertise, hire a local video production company.
PROMOTE TESTIMONIALS. Post your videos on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+ and Pinterest. E-blasta noteand link to the videos to your patient base.
Patients are increasingly seeking healthcare information online. Patient testimonials are a powerful way to get your happy patients to rave about you and your office to prospective patients. In general, people tend to be skeptical of traditional marketing. Video testimonials validate your other marketing messages and provide a sense of confidence in your practice.
CHOOSE PATIENTS CAREFULLY FOR TESTIMONIALS
You don’t want to make your patients feel awkward or uncomfortable with this request. When you’re looking for patients to recruit, start with patients you have developed a long-standing relationship with. We probably all have at least 10-15 patients we would almost consider friends, who trust us and would be happy to help us out. An invitation to do a patient testimonial video might be as easy as: “Hey Bob, would you mind doing this for me?”
A second group that makes great video testimonial candidates are patients who are enthusiastic about your practice. Let’s say the dry eye treatment you prescribed gave relief to a patient who’s been struggling with red, burning eyes for years, or the patient who can now work for hours on a computer without getting a headache. These are your “raving fans.” People love to share information that they feel will help others. Take advantage of this opportunity. Explain to the patient that you would like to be able to help more people with this condition, and ask them if they would share their experience with others through a video testimonial.
Reward them for their time. Some practices offer a small gift (i.e. free cleaning kit or gift card) for participating, but you want to be careful that you don’t violate any optometric state board guidelines or give the appearance that you’re buying their endorsement.
Have Patient Sign HIPAA Consent Form
You definitely want to have the patient or parent (if the patient is under 18) sign a consent form allowing you to create and distribute the video. Before taping, it’s probably also wise to verbally indicate your intent to distribute the video on various digital media channels, such as your web site and social media sites. Make sure that they are comfortable with that.
TAKE TIME TO DO IT RIGHT
While it may be tempting to just pull out an iPhone and hit “record,” a poorly produced or amateur looking video will not reflect well on your practice. While video testimonials are a great platform for patients to rave about your products and services, they are also a great vehicle for portraying a cutting-edge, high-tech image. You don’t need to be a professional videographer or spend thousands of dollars on equipment, but a video with poor video or audio quality or lighting may send the wrong message.
HIRE A PROFESSIONAL VS. DIY?
You can do it yourself if you possess basic equipment and knowledge to create a well produced video. If you lack the equipment or expertise, you could hire a local videographer. Video production companies like EyeCareVideo can produce testimonial videos as part of their package. Some patient communication systems like SolutionReach offer this feature in their software. You can record directly from your computer camera or webcam and upload the video to their software, where it can be shared on your web site, YouTube and social media sites.
Professional videos can run from $2,500-$5,000, but that typically involves a practice profile video with testimonial videos as part of the package. If you simply want some testimonials recorded/edited, you could probably just hire a local videographer for possibly as little as $200-$300. There is no extra charge with SolutionReach to record testimonials.
Do it Yourself
Doing it yourself typically will not be costly or time-consuming. A decent camera (starting around $300), microphone (starting around $20) and tripod (around $20) are minimal requirements. Make sure you film in an area with good lighting. The filming should not take more than 10 minutes (the actual testimony will only be about one to two minutes, but you have to allow time for preparation or retakes). If you do your own editing, such as adding text or other images over the video, you might spend 15-20 minutes on this.
Make it Easy for the Patient
The video should not be long, so you should focus on one or two key points based on the patient’s experience. Often this will be on a specific condition, such as dry eyes or computer vision syndrome. Have the patient focus on the problem they were having when they came to your office, and how you solved their problem.
To make it easier for the patient, some doctors will ask the patient questions during the taping. Tell the patient what questions you are going to ask before you start filming. If you do this, you may want to edit out the parts where the doctor is talking, as this may appear less sincere, as if you’re guiding the patient’s responses.
Showcase Highlights of Office
In addition to word-of-mouth marketing, video testimonials are also an opportunity to showcase your practice. If you have a state of the art pre-testing area or high-end optical, consider using that as background. You can also add what’s called B-roll over the video. B-roll is extra footage or stills captured to add dimension to the video. For example, during the testimonial you could cut away to footage of your optical or high-tech exam area while the patient is talking. This will require some basic editing knowledge. If you hire someone to produce these videos, they should be able to do this easily.
Post your videos on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+ and Pinterest. E-blasts to your patient base with a link to the videos also are an option. You could include a link to the actual video or to a page on your web site where you host all your videos. For example, you could say in e-mail and social media posts: “Click HERE to see what our patients are saying about us.”
Patient Testimonial Videos: Best Practices
Keep the videos short and on-point (1-2 minutes). Even if the patient has a lot to say, people don’t want to hear a lengthy, rambling video about their experience.
Create a list of common patient problems and concerns, and use video testimonials to demonstrate how you’ve solved those problems for your patients.
Make the process as easy and un-intimidating as possible for the patient.
Share! Add the videos to your web site, upload to YouTube, post to social media and link to your e-mails.
Related ROB Articles
Steve Vargo, OD, MBA, is president of New Media OD in St. John, Ind., a company that specializes in online marketing for doctors. He is also a consultant for the EyeXam mobile application. In addition, Dr. Vargo is an associate with Eagle Eye Optique, a private practice in Crown Point, Ind. To contact him: NewMediaOD@gmail.com