Inspiring Patient Audiences With Patient Videos 

We all have a commercial, tagline or song that pulls on the heart strings. For some it may be a video speaking out against animal cruelty, while for others it may be a moving Super Bowl commercial

Video marketing has long been a tool many organizations have tapped into. In fact, social video generates 1200% more shares than text and image content combined. Regularly posting videos can help companies receive 200% to 300% more monthly unique visitors on their website and a 100% longer average time-on-site spent per visitor. A website is 53 times more likely to reach the front page of Google if it includes video and social.

Videos come in all shapes and sizes, from explainer videos to commercials to vlogs. We’d like to address one type of video: patient testimonials. 

Healthcare organizations have an opportunity to elevate their brand, communicating with patient audiences on a more personal level, when they demonstrate that they understand them, their experiences and their lives. While videos that tackle a drug’s mechanism of action or how a medical device works can be very effective, when communicating to patients, sometimes the most effective approach is allowing patients to draw inspiration from another patient’s success story. Patient videos can empathetically translate key messages to audiences of various demographics and psychographics in a way that other videos cannot.

“To survive, businesses need to connect with audiences, pull at their heartstrings, and engage with them on a much deeper level than seen before,” Celinne Da Costa reported in Forbes in a piece about storytelling being the future of marketing. The article states that in a saturated market – such as healthcare – storytelling creates an unforgettable bond. When patients tell their stories, they are not simply relaying information. They are building a community and a connection. The testimonial of a patient can be more valuable than any statistic you may post. 

Cleveland Clinic is one example of an organization that does this well. Through truly inspiring and moving stories, the renowned medical center displays to prospective patients the lengths to which caregivers will go to advocate and care for them. With an entire section dedicated to patient testimonials, Cleveland Clinic features caregivers and patients of different races, ethnicities, ages, backgrounds and demographics as a whole. 

Katie Stubblefield, Cleveland Clinic’s third face transplant, is a very well known case. In 2017 at 21-years-old, Katie was the youngest patient in the United States to undergo a face transplant. Katie’s team included up to 60 staff members in meetings and 40 in her operating rooms. Her 31 hour procedure was performed in two operation rooms and was a huge success. Her patient testimonial on Cleveland Clinic’s YouTube channel received 2.9 million views and nearly 4,500 comments. As the second most watched video on its YouTube channel, Katie has inspired patients to seek out similar treatments at Cleveland Clinic.

A few best practices make a patient video a success:

  1. Focus on pain points and solutions. The technical details of the treatments can be found elsewhere. Use this opportunity to highlight relatable stories for prospective patients.
  2. Prepare but remain authentic. Make sure that the patient knows the questions and what to expect in advance. But avoid scripts, as the best stories come from your patients’ hearts. Allow them to openly describe their struggles, challenges and obstacles because ultimately, you want to create an emotional connection.
  3. A high-quality camera and equipment. Shaky iPhone videos can take away from the real focus…your patient. Make your patient the focus, not the screen or the microphone. 
  4. Short and sweet. Two to three minutes is plenty of time to detail the message and story. You want to end the video leaving your audience wanting more, keeping their attention spans in mind.
  5. Include graphics and text. Such touches bring the video over the finish line. They can keep your viewers engaged, while also allowing you to emphasize certain statistics and data.
  6. Professionalism is key. Having the right setting, lighting, composition, b-roll and visual elements is important to having a high-quality video.

Patient videos have proven effectiveness by their unforgettable nature and ability to bring people together. Allow your patients to talk for you and experience the magic.

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