By Peter Do
Marketing-savvy doctors, medical practices and hospitals actively embrace video tools in their social media mix. It’s one of the fastest growing marketing tools, and Facebook video is one of the most useful showcases.
The Social Media world first experienced video messages on Facebook (FB) ten years ago. The platform—allowing user uploads of recorded videos—has been attention-getting and popular from the start. And it wasn’t long before 360-degree and live stream (Facebook Live) videos were part of the mix.
What’s more, FB videos are clearly a mainstream marketing tool, and have increased by 94 percent annually in the US—and better than 1.1 billion active users per month—as of mid-2016. “Videos,” Facebook says, “are one of the most immersive ways to share and discover on Facebook.”
Major national brands, influential local business advertisers, as well as hospitals and healthcare providers have been connecting with consumers as part of the growth in popularity and message effectiveness. Most marketing executives agree that good quality video produces good conversions. And it’s easy to understand why. Even on the small screen, video:
- Grabs and holds attention
- Viewers spend more time with the content
- Drives more traffic, and enhances SEO
- Is more memorable and sharable
- Explains products and encourages purchase
Creating Engaging Facebook Videos…
Social media tools may or may not be appropriate to your marketing plan. But where and when you plan to use Facebook video, consider these tips and techniques. BTW, most of these gems are also useful for creating any video message.
The overarching idea of a video tool is to understand and serve the needs and interests of your audience. If you don’t have a clear and detailed picture of the intended viewer, all the other tips and best practice efforts will be ineffective. So, with that in mind, here are the essential ingredients of effective Facebook videos:
DON’T TRADE QUALITY FOR EASE:
A deceptive distraction is that FB has made their platform exceptionally easy to use. Posting video content is a fast, two-click process, and if you aren’t careful, your video will portray you and your organization as a low-quality service. People have become sophisticated viewers and they notice when the presentation looks amatueristic. It’s better to enlist professional help—even for a few visual seconds—than to alienate your audience with poor quality.
THE FIRST SECONDS COUNT THE MOST:
The best of videos are short and to the point…typically about two minutes max. But your audience is fickle and easily distracted. If you don’t capture and hold attention immediately—the first 30 seconds or less—chances are they have moved on to something else. Be prepared to keep interest high from the start with creativity and something for them.
Unexpected or unsolicited video messages can be ignored with the flick of a scrolling-thumb. Give the viewer a brief line or two of explanation or context that hooks them into seeing the first few seconds…and hopefully, you’ve got them. Even a brief teaser, headline or comment can begin to shape expectations and keep people watching for the benefit or payoff.
USE THE THREE E’s:
If your video isn’t interesting, you have no audience. (And, yes, commercial messages can be interesting when they deliver a benefit for the viewer.) Use this short checklist, and consider how the content will Educate, Entertain and Engage. Without one or more of these elements you may have lost your viewer.
Good construction begins with the end in mind. What is it that you want the visitor/viewer to do? Unfortunately, the all-important Call-to-Action step for business can be forgotten. Fortunately, however, Facebook provides a C-T-A button that, for example, connects a FB visitor to your website. The visitor’s action step is one of the most important components, including “Contact Us,” “Shop Now,” “Sign Up,” “Book Now,” and others.
Facebook Video Bonus…
Quality video elements, in Facebook and in other formats, provide an effective boost to audience retention and engagement. As a bonus idea, give your visual presentations a good mix to keep things interesting and attention-getting. In addition to basic videos, deliver variety to your viewer with live/streaming presentations and use the Facebook 360 option to widen their perspective. And finally, plan for the fact that videos will be seen both with and without audio
Video content has power with audiences when it’s done properly. And healthcare marketing professionals should keep up with video as it increases in popularity and in wide use. Be prepared as future technical developments enrich the visitor’s video experience.