This year promises to be healthcare marketing's Year of the Video. Once an emerging trend, online video has already reached mainstream status. And as we look ahead, medical practices, dental offices, hospitals and other healthcare providers will be deploying new and creative uses of video. (We've included some exceptional examples below as new ideas you can use.)
The overall numbers, industry experts tell us, are that video accounts for 50 to 60 percent of Internet traffic currently. And predictions have it that video will account for 90 percent of net traffic within three years.
The use of video for physician and hospital marketing is a fraction of this total, but more and more providers, facilities and health systems are upgrading their online presence with video as a centerpiece. (And many others are much in need of a facelift.)
Some of the most common uses of video-those that emerged first-are being copied (in concept) and are becoming common. All good stuff...some of these include:
- A personal welcome video by a doctor engages prospective patients, and immediately "humanizes" an otherwise "clinical" perception.
- Solutions to patient problems are "demystified" with informative, and visual, education.
- Video testimonials are a version of word-of-mouth advertising; both believable and effective.
- Virtual tours are a highly popular means for prospective patients to visually cross the threshold and meet the people and understand what's ahead.
Creative Video Applications You May Not Have Seen (and Can Use Yourself)
Hospitals seem to be leading the way in creative uses of video, but each of the following examples can be adapted for use in hospital and medical practice marketing by individual and group practitioners and other healthcare providers. From Sitka, Alaska to Atlantis, Florida-and points in between-here are several video applications you may not have seen, and could use:
- Videos that are also Home Page navigation: We're beginning to see a unique crossover in website design that uses video clips in the place of standard site navigation buttons. For example, a button that reads "Consult a Nurse" is simply text, but a main page video that presents a nurse is attention-getting. The JFK Medical Center in Atlantis, FL uses this visually impressive and easy-to-navigate technique to greet and direct website visitors from their Home Page. Their video library is also prominently available. Childrens' Hospital of Orange County, CA has something similar with a group of five changing subject areas-some of which are videos-to engage visitors and navigate from their website main page.
- Video explains and recruits participants for clinical trials. The University of Kansas Cancer Center, in Kansas City, KS, provides Home Page information about clinical trials and how patients who might be eligible to participate have the potential to help themselves and help others as well.
- Video Storytelling is compelling and powerful. We've written about the impact of face-to-face storytelling, and this may be the next best thing. Cincinnati Children's Hospital understands the impact of storytelling and captures the feelings and words of patients, families and employees. Their Tell Me a Story project —which has prominent website placement-"records people talking, in their own words, about how Cincinnati Children's has somehow touched their lives. Each month, we record stories of patients and employees whose experiences here have shaped who they are." A wonderful expression of their theme of What Makes Us Different.
- Video is for internal communication audiences too. Sitka (AK) Community Hospital recognized their Imaging Services Manager in a Who Inspires You video. The contest winner communicates a salute to a dedicated employee and a message of inspiration to the community, patients and co-workers.
- Video for physician recruitment...travelogue style. If you've never been to Saranac Lake in New York State, you might not appreciate the beauty and natural appeal of the region. As part of their physician recruiting efforts, Adirondack Medical Center created a series of short and engaging travelogue style videos to describe why this area is a great place to live and work in a rewarding practice.
- Patient recovery video series inspires hope. The I am Craig videos, a series about patient recovery, is not only award winning (12 Telly Awards), it carries an important message to patients and prospective patients at Craig Hospital, Denver, CO. Craig Hospital is exclusively dedicated to spinal cord injury (SCI) and traumatic brain injury (TBI) rehabilitation, and research.
Additional articles about medical marketing videos are posted on our blog, including Healthcare Marketing Video Demystifies Provider's Story in 120 Seconds, and Why You Need a Branded YouTube Channel and How-To Tips That Attract Viewers. And for more Healthcare Video Marketing Secrets, watch our (free) six-part instructional series.
In this Year of the Video, chances are you'll see many new uses for video in medical marketing, so let us know if you have or if you spot truly breakthrough ideas.