By Stewart Gandolf
Chief Executive Officer
The Internet is video-rich. By some estimates, half of all the traffic online is in video format. And, healthcare marketing is increasingly embracing video as a means to effectively and efficiently tell its story.
At nearly every point along the medical delivery continuum, hospitals, service lines and doctors’ offices can take advantage of the proliferation of broadband, the wide availability of Wi-Fi, Internet-connected tablets smartphones, and the relative ease of use of quality digital photography.
But the great strength and popularity of various video forms is not due to technology alone. The power player in this equation is the human brain. About 90 percent of what goes into our mind is visual, with up to half of our mental power devoted to processing visual messages.
As a result, visual elements (still, graphics, and video) are processed 60-thousand times faster than text. People “get it” more quickly, they retain information more readily, and they respond better when visuals are in play.
As never before, video needs to be part of your marketing plan. The following ideas represent a “creative starter kit” to help inspire new ways that video can magnify your marketing effort big time.
Our list is open ended, and we welcome your notes and suggestions about additional uses of video to present fresh or refreshed content. Ask yourself, where and how can video messages have impact:
- Clinical trials recruitment and retention
- Commercial message for television/broadcast
- Commercial message for various online postings
- Doc Talk series to answer common questions
- Educational video games and entertainment for younger patients
- Giving/contributions to foundation/non-profit or special service purpose
- Home care, “how-to” (monitoring blood pressure; physical exercise instruction)
- Illustrate procedure or service with animation
- In-office video to cross-promote services or benfits
- In-office video to educate/inform patients
- Informative social media videos; health tips and information
- Internal audience (staff, employee) training, safety training
- Introduce new facilities, equipment, products and/or services
- Lectures and clinical information for doctors and medical staff
- Live event, community activity coverage
- Meet key staff members
- Meet the doctors, medical staff
- New employee orientation; introduction to organizational culture
- Outreach applications; use with email, newsletters, video sharing sites
- Patient recovery, inspiration, morale boosters
- Physical Therapy demonstration videos
- Physician staff, employee recruitment
- Physician, surgeon, staff familiarization with facilities, equipment, service offerings
- Pre- and post-op care instructions
- Present patient testimonials
- Promote a special event (advance publicity and/or post-event summary)
- Provide a virtual tour of the facility, department or office
- Remove the mystery about a surgery, procedure or service
- Report to the community; annual report
- SEO-based (Search Engine Optimization) videos
- Shaping patient experience expectations
- Video News Releases
- Video storytelling format for online content
- Visitor guide, “How to get here” (Mayo Clinic illustrates inbound from the airport)
- Webcasts and video shows
- Welcome to the practice; office overview/orientation
Cost considerations for video production and equipment have fallen. But the greatest economy is in the versatility of video uses and placement. Simply, create video content once and you get extended mileage by using it in many ways and via multiple placements.
Some important tips about using video…
- Observe all HIPAA considerations
- Obtain signed releases for permission to use video material
- Define a purpose or goal for video segments
- Be mindful of multi-lingual needs and options
- Think “short and sweet” for length (typically under 4 minutes)
- Know when to bring in professional help
Regarding that last tip, audiences are sophisticated in their viewing expectations. State of the art digital equipment has simplified video photography, but sometimes a “do-it-yourself” approach can produce a less-than-professional product. For public broadcast commercials, high visibility postings and other key video applications, it pays to have your video produced by healthcare marketing experts.
Video content is both popular with audiences and, when used online, with search engine visibility. Your marketing leverage comes from creating and maintaining several interrelated and connected online locations to amplify your message and audience reach.
Including video elements in your healthcare marketing plan extends your branding message, attracts and retains new patients, makes positive contributions to the patient experience, strengthens outcomes and enhances your professional image.
For more on this topic, watch our six-part (video) series titled Healthcare Video Marketing Secrets.