Question Mark: Patient testimonials or real patient stories?

Mark Shipley answers your healthcare marketing queries

Q: Patient testimonials or real patient stories?

A: The short answer — real patient stories, always.

Today’s question is patient testimonials or real patient stories? The short answer to the question is real patient stories, always. The reason for that is testimonials tend to come off as self-serving and not terribly credible because the patient is talking about the hospital. They’re not talking their personal experience.

So what makes a great patient story? Pretty much the same things that make a great television show or a great movie. You need a plot, there needs to be a beginning, a middle and an end, you need to have drama, preferably some climax. It’s also really great if you have the patients say something that you wouldn’t typically expect in a video that’s being produced by a hospital. For instance, I had a woman who was forty years old and had a cardiac problem and had to have open heart surgery. She told me on camera that she looked in the doctor’s face and said, “Please don’t let me die, my babies need me.”

So remember, if you’re going to invest in a video for your website and you’re thinking about doing testimonials, try to avoid doing straight testimonials because they don’t have a lot credibility. Shoot for a real patient story that has drama in it, and has a plot, and is very engaging and you’ll find that your videos get a lot more viewership.

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