What’s the Secret to Effective Patient Testimonials?

  • Harry Hayes

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The Best Patient Testimonials All Have One Powerful Trait In Common—They’re Relatable to Other Patients.

Why are patient testimonials so effective at growing a healthcare practice? Because it’s human nature. People trust the opinion of unbiased third parties much more than they trust marketers. Even healthcare marketers.

According to Inc. magazine, 84% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from friends.

So when it comes to patient acquisition, you can imagine the value of a sincere, personal review from a satisfied customer.

Video is one of the most effective forms of healthcare marketing.

Patient Testimonials

Of course, being from an unbiased source isn’t the only hallmark of a good testimonial. Another important element is RELATABILITY.

That’s the part of the story that can connect to a much broader marketing audience.

Here’s an example. I recently produced a series of patient testimonials for a neurosurgery practice in Athens, GA. This included four on-camera patient interviews, and interviews with the neurosurgeons as well.

The patient testimonials were unscripted. We let them tell their stories in their own words, and followed up with various questions.

And that’s where the relatable parts came from.

Relatability Is Key

The most basic patient testimonial story can be boiled down to “I was in pain and this doctor helped me.” The trick is finding ways to add emotion and details that other people will easily recognize.

In the Neurosurgery production, we asked each patient, “What can you do now that you couldn’t do before surgery?”

And the answers we got were pure gold, from being able to walk again, to playing with the grandkids, and letting their dog hug them and being able to hug them back.

Here are more of those videos:

The Power of Emotion

Too many healthcare marketers fall into the same trap. They assume that medical facts and science and statistics about outcomes will attract patients. But the reality is just the opposite.

People crave stories and human connections.

And there’s no better way to connect with patients than to share stories from other patients just like them. People experiencing the same symptoms. The same pain.

And of course, stories with a positive outcome are even better—they provide a much-needed sliver of hope.

Thanks to the staff at Team Georgia Neurosurgery & Spine for the testimonial project. And thanks to my marketing friend Mark Kooyman for the referral.


About the Author: 

Harry Hayes is the owner and executive producer at Content Puppy Productions, a corporate video production agency based in Charlotte. Before starting Content Puppy, he spent 20+ years as an advertising writer and creative director.

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