[Case Study] How 1 Instagram Marketing Video Increased New Patients at a Bahrain Medical Clinic
“How do I use social media to gain new customers?”
This is question we get asked a lot especially from companies that operate in what are usually thought of as ‘boring’ fields.
So in this post I’d thought I’d share with you case study on how a Bahrain based medical clinic got 30,000 likes on Instagram and dramatically increased new patient sign-ups from across the Gulf with one 15 second Instagram marketing video and WhatsApp.
First a little bit context. The Al Ghareeb Medical center is a small private Ear, Nose and Throat and Sleep clinic in Bahrain that competes with much larger and well known hospitals for patients. The clinic puts almost all of it’s marketing budget into digital and invests in video content as the main way of attracting new customers.
Broadly speaking, their content strategy revolves around providing valuable medical advice in video form delivered by the leading doctor at the clinic which is distributed (paid and organic) though Instagram, Facebook and across their website.
In the rest of the post I’ll walk you though the steps that lead to the success of this campaign and the process though which the video went viral.
- High Production Value Social Media Video Creation
- Paid distribution on Instagram
- WhatsApp personal network distribution
- Re-posting to Instagram accounts
- Key Takeaways
High Production Value Instagram Video Production
As part of the clinic’s video strategy we produced a series of 40 social media videos shot with professional video and audio equipment that featured Dr. Al Ghareeb giving advice about ENT and Sleep conditions. The topics were predetermined and carefully selected to address the most common questions and problems patients at the clinic usually face.
Key elements of the videos included:
Extremely high-production value
A key part of standing out on social media is the visual quality of your content and something that is often worth investing money in.
Bahrain is a multi-lingual country. We knew from extensive testing of Arabic and English content in the clinic’s Facebook posts that Arabic content performed upwards of 30% better in terms of reach and engagement. We therefore produced all the videos in the language that we knew fans we’re most likely to respond to.
Valuable and Unique Information
We knew from looking at the clinic’s competitors that there is lack of high quality Arabic medical content being produced in Bahrain (and probably the wider Gulf). Most hospitals in Bahrain focus on promoting services, meaning their was a huge potential for a content strategy that focused on valuable and detailed medical advice delivered by an expert.
Strong human presence
From split testing Facebook page like ads it was clear that ads that featured images of the doctors employed at the clinic performed better than images with no people or with stock female faces. This insight lead us to focus on the idea of a strong, relatable human presence as good driver of engagement amongst our Arabic speaking target audience.
Taking it to the next level
Amongst the 40 videos we created there was one video that added one extra feature that turned out to be the most important factor in the success of the campaign: Humour.
In one of the snoring topic videos Dr. Ghareeb improvised the sound of snoring before following it up with a serious point about the issues of certain types of snoring. This video added an entertaining element to the valuable medical information.
Paid distribution on Instagram
At the point of posting the video, the clinic’s Instagram account had 2000 followers with each post receiving between 40-50 likes. To increase local reach, the marketing video was distributed though informal advertising focused Instagram accounts.
In Bahrain one example is @bh_view with 288,000 followers. The video was posted 3 times to @bh_view generating a total of 276 likes.
WhatsApp personal network distribution
The raw video file was also shared to the personal family and friends of people associated with the clinic. Soon after the clinic was getting feedback that the video was beginning to be re-shared though WhatsApp and the clinic was beginning to receive phone calls from people who had seen the video but we’re not in the handful of people that the video was originally sent to on WhatsApp. After a week there was confirmation that the video was being shared though WhatsApp in Egypt.
Without any way of effectively tracking the video though WhatsApp it’s hard to tell the extent that it was shared though the messaging service but clearly WhatsApp is a valuable distribution platform for viral content especially in Arabic language countries.
Re-posting to Instagram accounts
The extent of sharing though WhatsApp became apparent when the video began to be re-posted to the personal accounts of many Instagram users. Shortly after the launch of the video a search for the ‘#snoring’ hashtag in Arabic showed the video had been re-posted by 30 separate personal accounts and at one point accounted for half the posts in that hashtag. For a full list of the Instagram re-posts see here.
‘snoring’ hashtag on Instagram
Video goes mainstream in Kuwait.
The video was then picked up a re-posted to 5 huge Kuwaiti Instagram accounts which between them have more than 1.5 million followers. These 3 posts attracted
Since the launch of the video the clinic has seen an increase in new patients from the wider Gulf. Before the campaign the clinic treated almost exclusively residents Bahrain but is now receiving a steady uptake of new patients of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait with a confirmed 8 new patients booking appointments in the 1st week from outside Bahrain.
The clinic offers a sleep lab service for the testing of sleep apnea which on average treats 2-3 patients a week. Since launch of the campaign the clinic now has a seven day waiting list for this particular service.
It’s important to note that much of the sharing and re-posting isn’t trackable especially though WhatsApp and this post only takes into account re-posts from 1 hashtag.
The clinic’s Instagram account has experienced explosive growth almost doubling followers in 1 week to 4,351.
Engagement has also risen to average over 100 likes per post in 1 week
Social media can drive new customers with the right content and right distribution strategy.
1. Create content that is both valuable AND entertaining.
A social media study by Northwestern University found that comedy is the biggest genre of content people consume in the Middle East. This case study demonstrates the importance of humour in driving interest in your content online.
2. Talent is important
Dr. Ghareeb is a natural in front of the camera and a large part of the success of the video is his ability to get complex medical information across quickly and in an entertaining way.
3. Don’t focus on 1 video create as many as your budget can stretch too
Key to success is testing different content variations and seeing what takes off. We created 40 videos for the clinic and wouldn’t have hit on a winning formula unless there was scope to try different approaches.
4. WhatsApp is a powerful distribution platform
WhatsApp isn’t often thought of as an effective marketing channel but seen in the context of wider distribution though social networks it can play a crucial role in the virality of content. Unlike Instagram, instant messaging puts your content into the photo galleries of people’s phones making it easy to share on their own social profiles. This a powerful hack that gets around the difficultly of sharing on Instagram.
In my next post I’ll show you how we turned the video into a new patient sales funnel though Facebook video ads that are costing less than $0.01 per view and achieving a 10/10 relevancy score.