Video is more important than ever in marketing your dental practice. And video testimonials from your patients have two extremely valuable aspects: their credibility and their versatility. They are credible because they are real, spoken endorsements of your practice experience. They are versatile because you can use them in so many places: your website, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, your Yelp and your Google+ page, and in email marketing to new and existing patients. That’s a lot of exposure.
Videos are also quite easy to do. But there are several mistakes that people make when doing patient testimonials. Wait, you say, they’re not easy–they take time, they cost money, and people don’t want to do them. Which leads me to…
Mistake #1. Over-producing your videos
Patient testimonials should be done with a smartphone. You don’t need extensive lighting or an expensive camera. Getting fancy actually diminishes the credibility of the video. Keep it simple and un-intrusive, and people will be much more willing to do them for you. (This is in contrast to office tour or the dentist videos, which I discuss in this post, which should have higher quality.)
Mistake #2. Doing multiple “takes”
Part of keeping it simple is to do it once. Don’t make it complicated or involved. Just ask the patient if they would be willing to do a simple video testimonial. If they are reluctant, just say, “If you don’t like it, we certainly won’t use it. But just say in your own words what it’s like to be a patient here.”
You’ll be amazed at what people will say when they speak from the heart. Every time I’ve seen this done, the person does their most genuine testimonial on the first try. After that, they tend to overthink it. Of course, if they want to do it over, let them.
Mistake #3. Making the video too long
Most people can say what they think in 30-45 seconds, which is perfect. If it gets longer than a minute, people stop watching.
Mistake #4. Editing the video
Along the lines of Mistake #3, trying to do longer takes and cutting them down drastically diminishes the credibility of the testimonial. People will assume you’re cutting out the bad parts. A natural flow in a single take is the best. You can put titles on the front and back, using something like iMovie, with the patient’s name and your practice name and contact information, but that’s it. No cuts.
Mistake #5. Bad sound
This is the only part of the “production value”, as we say in Hollywood, where you do want to improve the quality. Either use a very quiet room, with little to no background noise, or use a simple boom microphone that attaches to your smartphone.
Mistake #6. Shaky cam
Hold still. You’ll make people sick with unstable camera movements. Which can be solved if you use to hands, which you need to do if you are avoiding the next mistake.
Frame your video horizontally. That’s the aspect ratio used on YouTube, so conform to it. Holding your phone horizontally with two hands will also keep the image stable.
Mistake #8. Not tagging the video
When you post the video on YouTube, be sure to add the proper notations, or “tags”, so that Google knows what the video is about. The tags should include “dentistry”, “dental patient”, your practice name, and anything specific regarding treatment that the patient may mention (like braces or veneers).
Mistake #9. Not getting a patient release
Don’t use the video if the patient won’t sign a release. This is true of all photos and video that you do with patients. And the language should include “for use in all media, including social media, in perpetuity.” Use LegalZoom or an attorney to make sure you are conforming to the rules in your state.
Bonus idea: Show patient videos to teams in your morning huddle. What a great way to inspire the team and let them know how much your patients appreciate them.
You don’t need to shoot a lot of these videos. Doing one every two weeks gives you 25, which is plenty in a year. If you have a dynamic website, like we make with WebDirector, you can post them easily, along with posting them on social media. And you know what else this process does? It reminds patients to talk about your practice. Even better, the dentist and the team gets to hear how much patients appreciate them. It’s a nice thing to watch in a morning huddle to get fired up about your day.
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