One of the best ways to attract new patients to your medical practice? Grab that smartphone and create patient testimonial videos. It doesn’t take a big budget or expensive equipment. In fact, all you really need is your smartphone and these handy tips:
1. Create patient testimonial questions or talking points
You’ve identified an ideal patient to be in your testimonial video. What’s next? Jot down a few talking points and questions that will initiate a candid, conversational response. You don’t need a fancy script. In fact, having one would keep the conversation from sounding natural.
Be sure to include questions about the patient’s background, why the patient chose your practice, and the problem you helped solve. Avoid yes or no questions, which don’t provide enough of a jumping-off point for patients to talk about their experience.
2. Choose the right smartphone settings
A few simple settings can make all the difference in video quality. It’s helpful to turn off the auto exposure and autofocus features while recording. On an iPhone, for example, open your camera, slide the bottom bar to “video” and then touch and hold the screen until you see AE/AF LOCK -- then move your finger up or down to adjust brightness. Try to resist using the zoom function while recording since it could distort the quality of your video. It’s better to move closer or farther away from your subject if needed.
3. Position your patient in the best light
When choosing an appropriate space to interview your patient, make sure it’s well lit. Avoid backlighting which will cast a shadow on your subject. You may want to have the patient face a window, if available, to take advantage of flattering natural light.
4. Consider the rule of thirds
Professional videographers use a simple “rule of thirds” when filming. Imagine your phone screen divided into 9 squares like a tic-tac-toe board. Position your subject one-third or two-thirds of the way up or across in the frame instead of right in the center to maximize visual interest. In other words, if you place your patient off-center, you’ve essentially gotten it right!
5. Hold your phone horizontally
While all we tend to naturally hold our phones vertically, most films (including videos) are shot horizontally. This angle is what your viewer is expecting and will ultimately provide a better experience when watching on sites such as YouTube.
6. Consider using a tripod
A tripod will hold your phone steady while recording. You can pick up a basic one on Amazon for about $20. If you don’t have a tripod handy, you can prop your phone up on a flat surface. If you find you need to hold your phone while filming, using two hands to keep it steady and avoid “the Jello effect” that results from shaky hands.
7. Prep your phone beforehand
It takes just a few seconds to clean your screen and lens with a microfiber cloth to get the clearest video possible. You’ll also want to make sure your battery is fully charged or plugged into a power source during filming.
8. Switch to airplane mode
Your patient is in the middle of answering a question… and your phone rings. Talk about frustrating! The best way to avoid calls and alerts during filming is to switch your phone to airplane mode.
9. Consider an external microphone
If the audio in your video isn’t good, no one will hear all the great things your patient has to say about you. You can do a simple sound check by turning your phone’s microphone up to the highest level and taking a short test video. If quality isn’t up to par, you may want to consider an external microphone. You can get one with a lightning connector, lapel clip and 20 foot cord for about $30 on Amazon.
10. Keep it short and sweet
When it comes to online videos, shorter is almost always better. One to two minutes is ideal. If your content won’t fit into that timeframe, consider breaking it into smaller segments. People are much more willing to view three short 2-minute clips than one long 6-minute video.
11. Do more than one take
It takes a little practice to make a good video. Patients usually need a few warm-up takes to get comfortable. Consider experimenting with lighting, the distance from your subject and how you frame your subject in the camera until your video comes out great.
12. Leverage video content as written testimonials
If your patient says something awesome during the filming, why not ask if you can use it as a written testimonial? Then you have a quote to use in other ways like on your website or in your social media feed.
13. Print out a patient video testimonial release form
Don’t forget to cover your bases! Ask your patient to fill out a release form in order to use your video testimonial for marketing purposes.
14. Put your new video to work for you
Once your video is done, you’ll want to start using it to promote your practice! Upload it to your YouTube channel. (Don’t have a YouTube channel? Learn how to create a free account.) You’ll also want to promote your video on your social channels. Consider adding your new video to your website or your blog if you have one -- or even email your referral sources with a link to your new video.
You can use these same tips to create how-to or welcome videos for patients. The possibilities and endless. Armed with these tips and a phone, you’ll soon be a video-marketing pro!
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