Social proof in healthcare marketing

Can testimonials be effective in your healthcare marketing?

By Geoffrey Cooling

I have spoken previously about social proof and in particular the use of testimonials. More and more research undertaken points to the impact of social proof on buying patterns. Particularly in the purchase of big ticket items. In fact there is some research that seems to put forward some interesting phenomenon.

People say that they may not necessarily fully trust the testimonial or opinion of a stranger. However it will still sway their opinion in a purchase decision. Now that is quite an interesting statement. It would appear that social proof is quite persuasive. Whilst many people think of the use of social media and web 2.0 when they hear the term social proof. The initial social proof that existed were testimonials. Testimonials are an indication of credibility, the credibility of a product, service or service provider.

They help to overcome customer anxiety or fear in the purchase process. That fear can be around many topics, in our profession it can be service based, instrument quality based, efficacy based. You can alleviate these anxieties by deploying testimonials that address those concerns. The question is what type of testimonial do you deploy, text based or video based?

I always opt for video based, I believe that video based testimonials have real power. In fact a couple of years ago I came across a particularly interesting article on a marketing experiment site pertaining to the use of testimonials on websites. I found it fascinating at the time and its clear message has always stayed with me. They conducted an experiment with a particular site that involved multivariate or A/B testing. They used text and video testimonials in the testing and the results were clear. Video testimonials had a significant difference in conversion rate. The conclusions were as follows;


Testimonials played a significant part in increasing the conversions in this radical redesign test. The size of the conversion lifts correspond to the different treatments (smaller gain from the text testimonials, larger gain from the video clip).

What factors made these testimonials more effective?

  • Their proximity to aspects of the process that created anxiety — the last two pages of the registration process and submission of personal information.
  • Their authenticity, particularly the video clip, helped prospects relate to real customers and see their own problems being solved.
  • Their tone helped lend a more personal feel to the registration process; this tone was also reflected in changes to the copy and calls-to-action.

Improving website conversion using testimonials

I would advise you to completely read the article detailing the experiment. It is particularly interesting reading even though it was based on a different industry segment. I think people are people, where there may be anxiety in a purchase decision, people will react in a similar manner. The deployment of video testimonials on your website may lead to higher lead conversion rate.

A higher conversion rate of viewers to leads will mean more qualified leads to your Practice. We all know that more qualified leads mean more sales. With all of this clearly in mind, is it not time that you considered using video testimonials in your healthcare marketing strategy? If you agree, how and where will you deploy it. I think that social proof of any type is that powerful that you should consider it across all of your marketing channels. So what do you think?




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About Geoffrey Cooling

Geoffrey Cooling is an Irish hearing care blogger and the author of The Little Book of Hearing Aids and Audiology Marketing in a Digital World. He has been involved in the Hearing Healthcare Profession since 2007 when he qualified as a hearing aid audiologist. He has worked in private practice and for a major hearing aid manufacturer. He has become recognised as an authority within the field of hearing care and hearing aids.


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