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There are dental videos, and there are effective dental videos.
There are some obvious differences between the two. The quality of the production itself is a deciding factor; poorly lit and poorly shot video with bad sound is a non-starter.
But beyond the technical aspects, the real question is, “What kinds of people are you showing?” This question applies to both patient testimonials and your “explainer” educational videos.
Here are the 4 qualities that the people in your dental videos must have:
1. They’re regular “Janes” or “Joes.”
In other words, they’re everyday people, the kind that other everyday people can relate to. That has less to do with how they’re dressed (although that matters, too) than how they look and speak, and that includes you, the dentist.
People on camera have to appear and sound relaxed and cheerful. No matter how they look, seeming uneasy will make the viewer question whether they’re being truthful.
In your educational videos, you obviously don’t want to sound cheerful about the problem you’re discussing. Save that for the solution.
Extreme styles of dress can put some viewers off. So can tattoos and piercings, although these might find approval within a younger market segment. Still, it’s best to make a testimonial acceptable to as many people as possible.
This holds true for educational videos. If you’re in the lab, omit the protective gear unless you absolutely have to wear it. If you’re in treatment room, try not to talk from behind a mask.
2. They Talk to, Not Over, the Audience.
Few people speak in complete sentences; there are exceptions, of course, but most of the time it comes off on camera as having been rehearsed.
Word choices are important for video. Five-syllable words can sound pompous and confuse the audience. And few patients actually know the technical names for the procedures they’ve been through.
Testimonials, basically, are word-of-mouth advertising. So, a good rule of thumb is that your patients should talk to the camera as if they’re talking with a close friend.
You’re the exception to this rule; people expect you to use some technical terms and to have a smooth delivery in your educational videos. Still, using everyday language where possible works best. And an occasional small stumble won’t hurt anything.
3. They’re Not “Over the Top.”
Enthusiasm is great, but people today are justifiably suspicious of “hype.” We can blame Ron Popeil, Billy Mays, and all the other infomercial pitchmen out there.
Beware the overly emotional, ‘Dr. X saved my life!” testimonial (unless, of course, you actually did). If so, there has to be an explanation of why the condition was potentially life-threatening.
For educational videos, no matter how enthusiastic you might be about advances in techniques or equipment, dial it back a little. Focus on the advantages and benefits for patients; the words “revolutionary” and “breakthrough” should be used sparingly.
Told well, the facts should speak for themselves. Be careful not to overload them with emotion.
4. They’re Credible.
Credibility is the blending of points 1 through 3. Videos that feature relaxed, relatable people; who speak to the audience instead of over them; and who show enthusiasm but not hype, are credible.
In other words, they’re trustworthy, and viewers will believe what they say and how they say it.
Take away any one of those requirements, and your video will be less effective. Take away two “must-have” qualities, and the video may be a disaster.