Rural Healthcare System Uses Testimonial Videos to Increase Appointments

The Challenge

Brookings Health System is a nonprofit, city-owned health system that offers the rural South Dakota area a full range of inpatient, outpatient, surgery, home health, and extended care services.

Brookings Health already had a digital marketing partnership with 9 Clouds when, in 2019, the system identified an opportunity to grow its orthopedic service line.

Brookings Health’s marketing team knew that, in healthcare marketing, patient testimonials are extremely powerful in earning trust and attracting new patients. In addition, Brookings Health’s own research showed that its community ranks family and friends as the most trusted sources of health information after a medical professional. 

Given this industry knowledge, we teamed up with Brookings Health to create a year-long, testimonial-focused digital marketing strategy to grow awareness of its orthopedic services in Brookings and the surrounding area.

The Solution

Throughout 2019, our digital marketing team helped Brookings Health create several testimonial videos from local orthopedic patients in the community.

We then leveraged these videos in as many ways as possible to promote orthopedic services to people in the Brookings area. Specifically, this strategy included:

Brookings Health could have executed a one-time campaign with these testimonial assets. It could have launched a longer campaign with stock imagery and generic information about its orthopedic services.

Instead, community members were able to see various familiar faces and hear personal stories over the course of a year — which nurtured both familiarity and confidence in Brookings Health’s orthopedic services.

The Results

BHS case study stats

The best testament to this strategy’s results comes directly from one patient who benefited from Brookings Health’s orthopedic services in 2019 after seeing a Facebook ad:

“I was on Facebook, and this picture came on of a new orthopedic doctor. And I thought, ‘Then I don’t have to go to Sioux Falls [for surgery].’ Why drive 58 miles when this is just eight miles from here? It wasn’t even in my mind to not do this.”

Brookings Health Patient

Even better, this patient says she recommends the health system’s robotic-assisted orthopedic surgery to others — including her own brother, who also chose to have the same surgery at Brookings Health following his sister’s experience.

One Facebook ad. Two new patients. And that’s just a glimpse of the results.

Overall, the campaign accomplished:

  • A 17.5% orthopedic service line increase from 2018 to 2019
  • A Facebook campaign average click-through rate (CTR) of 3.26% and cost per click (CPC) of just $0.22 (significantly outperforming the Facebook healthcare industry benchmarks of 0.03% CTR and $1.32 CPC, as set by WordStream)
  • A Google Ads average CTR of 0.93% and CPC of $0.91 (also outperforming WordStream’s video campaign benchmarks of 0.7% CTR and $1.49 CPC)
  • A traffic increase of 21.78% to the orthopedic services pages on the Brookings Health website from 2018 to 2019

As these numbers show, Brookings Health’s audience connected with the local patient testimonials. The featured patients fit the audience’s idea of friends and family, making the testimonials relatable and authentic through their genuine praise for Brookings Health.

Creative examples of the Brookings Health campaign from 9 Clouds
Examples of Brookings Health’s testimonial video ads on Facebook, Google, and YouTube.

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