For several consecutive years, all of us have heard the same prediction: “This is the year of the video!” We don’t know the exact moment of launch, but compelling video is now a powerful marketing tool for hospitals, medical groups and professional practitioners. And the performance stats and results are stronger each year.
Let’s credit explosive Internet technology with nearly ubiquitous and hyper-fast Wi-Fi, broadband and streaming media. And let’s also spotlight YouTube, the top video-sharing site—along with a bunch of other hosting and enabling platforms online.
What’s more, video’s universal appeal (and ability to grab eyeballs) fits comfortably with a dozen online places, purposes and need-to-know moments. Social content leads the list, along with websites, eNewsletters, how-to tutorials, interviews, testimonials and many others. And all of these have a place in a marketing plan to attract and retain new patients. More importantly, marketing professionals understand and use data-driven and highly targeted campaigns.
For the reasons listed above, and other social influences:
So, as a marketing tool, we know that video is pervasive, highly versatile and nearly universal in its appeal. But it also needs to be compelling, engaging and important to the viewer or it doesn’t register or it has a negative viewer value.
We all want our video splash to be a big one; and “going viral” is the grand prize. But “viral” is a tough gold ring to grab. It goes without saying to know your audience. So, that aside, here are some of the essential secrets to creating compelling video content:
The story comes first. Before anything else, determine how your compelling message will fit a storytelling curve. The human brain easily understands—and expects—this presentation pattern (exposition-rising action-climax-falling action-resolution). Video is a natural presentation tool.
Create exceptional value for the viewer. Your message becomes attention-getting and intimately compelling when the story reveals direct benefits or value for viewer. Connect with the audience wants and needs, and provide answers that they crave. In short, tell, don’t sell, because people buy happiness.
Short videos are best. How short? It depends on the purpose of the content. Unless the content is exceptional, viewer attention begins to slip after a few seconds. As a general rule of thumb, a common target is two to four minutes for most applications. And if your material demands a longer time, slice it into a series with several parts. The shorter content sustains interest—even as a series—and is easier for the viewer to digest.
Test for meaningful value. Although your video package is brief and compact, evaluate it for overall value. Early on, does it demand attention? Does it engage the viewer with a big idea and/or a persuasive hook? Have you made your story entertaining, relevant, value-laden and visually interesting? Have you used good production values and a professional appearance?
A “talking head” format can be commonplace and static. Here are a few bonus ideas that could add variety, interest and value to your story arc. These extras don't work in every situation, but they may lead to a fresh take on a video presentation:
The convenience and cost to create compelling video content is often within the reach of modest budgets. Most of the ordinary marketing video applications can be done quickly. But know the limits and be prepared to hire professional creative help when the size and importance of the project requires.