By Raheim Bundle
Director of Paid Digital Strategies
Google may be the number one search engine in the world, but it also owns the second-largest search engine on the web: YouTube. Despite its ever-growing presence and 30 million daily users, few hospitals and practices include YouTube as part of their healthcare advertising strategies. There are two ways to take advantage of YouTube to reach more patients in your area:
- Building a YouTube channel to bring awareness to your brand.
- Advertising through related videos and channels.
We recently met up with our contact at Google Headquarters in the Silicon Valley to talk about why YouTube should be a part of your healthcare advertising plan. Check it out!
The Benefits of a YouTube Channel for Doctors
Of course, any content you put out on a social platform like YouTube must be HIPAA compliant and should be relevant to users’ interests. So what are prospective patients looking for when they stumble across a healthcare-related YouTube channel?
Many are simply curious about what the doctor looks like or want to take a peek inside the facilities. You can use YouTube to increase brand visibility and help people to see that you and your staff are affable and available.
People from all over the world may land on your YouTube channel when researching a surgery or procedure to see what’s involved or to see before-and-after photos. This type of content requires patient consent, but it helps boost your reputation as an authority in your field.
There are several key ways you benefit from developing a channel with your hospital or practice’s brand in mind.
- Google owns YouTube, so relevant, informative YouTube results get high priority in the search engines for many key terms.
- YouTube reaches more 18-49 year-olds than cable, so you’re able to reach out to prospective patients on a platform they actively engage with.
- Your YouTube channel becomes a convenient place to steer patients when they have questions about your office or services.
YouTube Advertising for Medical Practices
Building a YouTube channel that’s regularly updated can help to get your name out there, but this isn’t for everyone. Besides, you cannot rely on organic YouTube traffic alone to advertise a hospital or practice. YouTube users may not be actively searching for your location: very few people would ever use YouTube as a primary search engine to find local medical practices, after all.
However, prospective patients in your area may be looking at stories of people who share their symptoms online. They might be looking up their symptoms, or searching for treatment options that other YouTubers have discussed in detail already.
Anyone who has watched a YouTube video knows to expect a short advertisement before they can move on with the selected video. There are two main forms this advertisement may take on:
- TrueView video ad – The viewer is given the option to skip over a longer ad after about 5 seconds. You only pay for the advertisement if the viewer watches 30 seconds of your video (or less for shorter advertisements).
- Bumper ad – This advertisement is only 6 seconds or less, with a short, memorable message viewers cannot skip over. You pay for each view the advertisement receives.
Either ad is useful in getting your message, logo, and branding in the mind of a prospective patient in your area. With TrueView ads, you can still get your brand out there–anything they watch over 5 seconds of your video is just gravy on top.
YouTube advertising, like Pay-Per-Click advertising, allows you to focus on the locations you choose to target. You can also handpick channels or types of content you would like to pair your advertisement with, or advertise based on user behavior.
YouTube Advertising Ideas that Go Beyond Healthcare Strategy
YouTube advertising allows practices and hospitals to reach out beyond only those people actively searching for your services or expertise. One recent YouTube advertising campaign we’re really proud of happened during this year’s Winter Olympics. We chose to advertise only on Olympics-related content to reach people who may be sports enthusiasts or Weekend Warriors–anyone who might require help with a sports injury.
Advertising on YouTube is not always simple. The important thing is that your channel and your YouTube advertisements are strategically planned.
This means handpicking the content that is best for your business. It means giving people the option to watch something–or to view an image, or read your messaging instead. Video is gaining huge traction in advertising today, and you can reach a much wider audience when you take advantage of it–and do it right. But it’s only part of your overall healthcare advertising strategy. Moving forward, YouTube should be a channel in any successful healthcare advertising strategy, as long as you take the time to use it the right way.