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    Use video to market your medical practice

    Whether you’re playing catch up with encroaching competition or taking a more offensive approach to leave potential competitors in the dust, incorporating video content in your mix of healthcare marketing is a must. Video can be a powerful, economical and perennial marketing tool with endless possibilities that can be used on multiple platforms.

    The healthcare industry is embracing video as a means to effectively and efficiently engage, convince, and convert potential and existing patients. We already know consumers look for healthcare solutions and information on the Internet, but statistics point to extraordinarily rapid growth in online video viewing that might surprise you. 

    By some estimates, half of all online traffic is in video format. On mobile devices alone, YouTube reaches more 18- to 49-year-olds than any broadcast or cable TV network and in 2015, 18- to 49-year-olds spent 4% less time watching TV, while time on YouTube went up a whopping 74%.[1] Why is video surging to the top so quickly? The reason lies in the benefits to both consumers and the marketers who hope to reach them.

    The combined impact of motion, images, and sound connect audiences with a message rapidly and with deeper emotion than other methods.  Humans process visual elements 60,000 times faster than text.[2] In fact, Forrester Research calculated that one minute of video is worth 1.8 million words.[3]  Even if that number is disputed, we know video can quickly and effective accomplish what both consumers and marketers want. For consumers who are gathering information, video content allows them to quickly become informed enough to make decisions (i.e. ‘I’m a candidate for this procedure’ or ‘ this is a practice I’d like to visit’) and for marketers video provides a quick, affordable means of sharing a desired message to an unlimited amount of people (i.e. ‘our doctor is the best choice for this procedure’ or ‘our practice provides everything that’s most important to you’).

    Video can help your dermatology practice reach existing and potential patients for a host of objectives. But most videos should be focused on elevating your practice brand to strengthen market position and increase market share. Here are a few ideas to get you thinking about where to begin when putting a video strategy together:

    • Introductions. Introduce your practice to new patients who are checking you out online. They might have been referred by a physician, a friend, or found you on a rating site. A video on your home page can give them a brief tour of your facility, express your practice strengths, and introduce providers.

    • Promote Procedures. Create videos to promote services and boost patient confidence in procedures you want to market by answering common questions, emphasizing benefits, and expressing your expertise. When appropriate, patient testimonials and ‘before and after’ photos can be incorporated. Always be clear on what their next step is, i.e. “Request an appointment for your free consultation by…”

    • Event Promotion. Promote special events at your practice or elsewhere. Pre-event publicity and post-event summary are excellent social media content!

    • Patient Education. Educational videos can be about anything from basic skincare to post-procedure care mini-videos.  These videos become resources that promote your practice as one that invests in educating patients for the best possible results and providing maximum comfort.

    • Doc Talk Series. Create a series of videos answering common questions and addressing common issues. For example, in a video on acne, you could debunk myths and give common sense skincare advice, explain why it’s important you consult with each individual patient to create personalized care, and briefly introduce services your practice provides for patients with acne.

    The opportunity provided by an ever-growing audience for video is tempered by an ever-increasing amount of online content to compete with. You can’t just expect your video to perform well because it exists. Since YouTube is the king of video sharing platforms right now – boasting over a billion unique visitors each month - the tips below for winning at video content marketing particularly apply to using YouTube:

    • Create your own branded YouTube channel. Google provides step by step instructions to launch your practice channel with custom layout, colors and branding. Promote the channel by cross-posting content to your website and social media platforms.

    • Don’t neglect Keywords. Add keywords in the title, description and tags of each video. This is how search engines discover and index visual content.

    • Text matters! Add text in appropriate places. Use the video description or display your website on the actual video using the annotations feature in YouTube. Include key words and a link to your website or blog to promote traffic and take viewers to the next step in their journey of choosing your practice!

    • Organize Your Video Library. Your YouTube channel will become a library of video content and you want it to be easy and logical for patients to find content they are interested in. If your material is hard to find, they may seek content elsewhere. Try grouping by topic or theme instead of defaulting to chronological order.

    Video production and promotion tips that apply to ANY marketing video production:

    • Keep it Short and Sweet.  Prioritize your objectives. No matter how great your video is, if viewers exit early, they will miss the all-important call-to-action at the end. Remember you want to whet their appetite while providing just enough valuable information to make them want to come in for more! Keeping videos between 1-5 minutes is generally recommended.

    • HIPAA Still Applies. Observe all HIPAA considerations and obtain signed releases (included different possibilities of use) from anyone who appears in, or whose stories appear in, your videos.

    • Use Storytelling When Appropriate. By evoking human emotion, messages become more impactful and memorable. If you have a patient testimonial that inspires, there are appropriate ways to use it while honoring your patient so long as they are willing.  You might even have a story of your own. Physician’s life stories, personal and practice involvement in altruistic causes, and professional career journeys can become stories that endear them to their communities and attract new patients.

    • Keep focus. Have one objective or subject per video; this keeps your message stronger and video shorter – exactly what you want!

    • Leverage, leverage, leverage. A good video is a fabulous tool to be repurposed on your website, YouTube channel, social media platforms, blog, email marketing/e-newsletter, and to augment calls or emails to media persons when pitching potential stories. By some estimates, embedding video into email boosts click through rates by 300%.

    • Inexpensive, Not Cheap. Video production and social media placement costs are extremely affordable, but you don’t want your video - or your practice -  to look cheap or amateur. Poor sound quality, poor lighting or bad camera angles could leave a negative impression. If you have the budget, hire professional talent, especially for content like storytelling or facility tour videos. If not, stick to the basics and be cognizant of the downfalls.

    • Be Natural. In our advertising-saturated world, it’s refreshing and more convincing when professionals shoot from the hip a bit and show their true passion for what they do and the patients they care for. Stiffly reading a script can create an unnatural, unapproachable vibe.


    Are you ready to incorporate video into your dermatology practice marketing plan? Only if you’re ready to elevate your practice image, amplify your message, improve the patient experience, attract new patients and strengthen patient loyalty while getting a lot of bang for your marketing buck! So, what are you waiting for?   

     

    Additional Resources:

    Google’s step by step instruction on how to launch your YouTube channel: https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/1646861?hl=en

    Research ‘search popularity’ of specific keywords in the Adword Display Planner:  https://adwords.google.com/da/DisplayPlanner/Home


    [1] "The Latest Video Trends: Where Your Audience Is Watching." Think with Google. Google, n.d. Web. 21 June 2016.

    [2] "12 Reasons to Integrate Visual Content Into Your Marketing Campaigns [Infographic]." 12 Reasons to Integrate Visual Content Into Your Marketing Campaigns [Infographic]. HubSpot, n.d. Web. 21 June 2016.

    [3] "A Video Is Worth 1.8 Million Words... Interesting Stats - IdeaRocket." IdeaRocket. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 June 2016.   

    Cheryl Bisera
    Cheryl Bisera is a marketing consultant, author and speaker with extensive experience in marketing and business promotion. She is ...

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