Word of mouth is one of the most effective forms of marketing. Whether you’re looking for a new grocery store, babysitter, or pair of shoes, word of mouth is social proof. When another person says something or someone was a successful investment for them, it can be just what you need to pull the trigger.
The same goes for choosing a new healthcare provider.
Choosing where to receive care is a huge decision, one most patients do not take lightly. Reviews and recommendations — whether personal or online — are a major driver of patient acquisition.
As a healthcare marketer or leader, it’s easy to talk about the excellent care you provide. But rather than making prospective patients take your word for it, let them hear it from the source — other patients.
Patient testimonials are like marketing superfoods. They take everything you want to highlight about your healthcare organization and put it into one engaging, relatable piece of content.
Patient testimonials can be a strong pillar of your content strategy. But they must be done right in order to help reach your healthcare organization’s goals.
What’s The Big Deal With Patient Testimonials?
Whether you’re looking to increase your patient base, introduce new service lines, or highlight already existing ones that need some love, patient testimonials do two important things:
- Provide helpful information about your organization
- Promote trust
A patient testimonial is like an amplified online review. It has the personal touch of a Google, Yelp, or HealthGrades review — backed by the guidance and expertise of your healthcare marketing team. Real patients provide a genuine feel, and your marketing team lends engaging writing, keyword optimization, and stimulating design. Good patient reviews are a win-win, and they’re a sure-fire way to convince potential patients to take the next step.
Nearly 85% of patients trust an online review just as much as a personal recommendation.
How To Create Excellent And Engaging Patient Testimonials
Patient testimonials are undoubtedly an effective part of a solid content strategy. But here’s the bad news — not all patient testimonials are good ones.
It’s up to your marketing team to make patient testimonials thrive.
When creating content for patient testimonials:
- Choose longtime patients who loved their experience. If no patients come to mind, comb your social media platforms or online review sites to find patients who have great things to say. Or, ask your providers if any of their patients would be good candidates.
- Ask the right questions, and be specific. Instead of “Why did you love your experience?”, ask “What factors made your experience a positive one?” Instead of “How were your outcomes?”, ask “What have our services helped you achieve?” (Pro tip: Don’t forget to record your interview — and ask their permission to do so.)
- Keep the patient’s personality in the testimonial. As much as it might feel like your piece, this is still their story. Capture the essence of who the patient is, what they have achieved, and where they are now.
- Interview patients who look like your patient population. Promoting an inclusive space on your website means highlighting patient testimonials that represent the population your organization serves.
- Consider video testimonials. Videos capture a patient’s personality, emotions, and experience in a way that writing sometimes cannot.
Remember: Before posting any testimonials to your website, be sure to get the patient’s approval.
How To Promote Patient Testimonials So They Get Read
Patient testimonials do nothing if nobody reads them. It’s up to your team to cultivate a distribution plan that ensures this happens.
Consider promoting your patient testimonials in one or more marketing efforts, such as:
- In your blog section: Sprinkle a few testimonials throughout your website’s blog — and make sure your blog section is easy to find from the main navigation.
- A dedicated patient testimonial section: If you think you’ll be able to gather a large number of testimonials, create an entire section to promote them. This makes it easy to navigate to them, and it also increases the number of indexed pages on your site, which helps with SEO.
- On your social channels: Share your testimonials on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and any other social channels. Tag any physicians who were named in the testimonial, and have them share the content, too.
- In your e-newsletter: Include one or two patient testimonials, and watch your pageviews skyrocket.
- In print: Don’t underestimate the power of an old-school print article — especially in a local publication. They can reach a population that might not end up on your website.
Building Trust With Patient Testimonials
A trusted referral is an incredibly powerful marketing tool, especially in healthcare. Patients want to know they are in the hands of the best and the brightest medical professionals — and a patient testimonial can do just that.
By creating content that portrays your healthcare organization from the perspective of other patients, you can garner trust and highlight the amazing work your organization does day in and day out.