Part 5 in a series: Vanguard experts explain medical marketing
By Selene Neuburg, client services manager
Don’t be shy. Try doctor videos to attract new patients.
The lizard-brain response that triggers the fight-or-flight response in humans is the same neurological driver that makes so many people hate watching themselves on video. But when it comes to attracting new patients to a medical practice, implementing a video marketing strategy is far from a Jurassic endeavor.
Explainer videos are hot, and doctors are natural explainers
First and foremost, when it comes to medical practice marketing, we know that Google receives more than 1 billion health questions every day. Consider that your audience.
On top of that, Google likes to prioritize video content in its search results. That’s because visuals foster a stronger and more emotional engagement with information. People spend more time on a website that has video, and that lets Google know that it is delivering relevant content to its users.
This leads to the number one reason why medical practices should incorporate doctor videos into their outreach: consumer demand is booming.
This boom in video is perfectly suited for doctors because the most commonly published types of videos are explainer videos (73%) and social media videos (67%) – things that can be easily filmed in the office with just a smartphone. A social media video can be an explainer video.
- Wyzowl reports that people watch an average of 16 hours of online video per week.
- 66% of consumers prefer watching a video to reading about a product.
- 84% say they’ve been convinced to buy a product or service by watching a video.
- Facebook users view 8 billion videos daily.
- A whopping 92% of mobile phone users say they share videos with others.
Video marketing: an inexpensive, engaging way to reach patients
If you’re worried about the expense of hiring a film crew or investing in expensive equipment, fear not. If you have a smartphone, you’re already set up to film your own videos.
While it’s true that videos created on a smartphone aren’t as polished as videos created in a film studio, you’re aiming for authenticity here. You want to connect with your patients in a real, authentic way. Besides, smartphone videos are more likely to be shown on national TV these days than crew-shot videos – and everyone is quite used to the smartphone look.
That means using video marketing to show the human side of healthcare, build trust in the patient experience, and demystify procedures and treatments. The rough-around-the-edges look of a clip filmed on a smartphone actually provides a realistic, unvarnished view of a doctor’s or practice’s personality, which evokes empathy and emotional connection from the viewer.
The science behind why video marketing works so well
Back to lizard brain. Not only does the human brain instinctively connect emotions to visuals, it processes visuals 60 thousand times faster than text. As infants, visuals are one of the first means of understanding the world around us and that nonverbal comprehension stays with us through life.
Studies have shown that messages conveyed using graphics and visuals are 43% more effective. Marketing studies have shown that people retain 95% of a message when it’s delivered through video. While readers tend to skim text, videos offer a distinct advantage for holding attention and enabling recall.
All to say that doctor videos build trust with patients without them even realizing it. Video is the medium that offers patients the most authentic version of a doctor or practice without being face-to-face, and that builds trust, the key to successful doctor-patient relationships.
What to do with your doctor videos
Video marketing is very cost effective. Post the videos to the practice website. Use them in social media. Include video links in emails when correspondence with patients. Video content marketing garners the most reach when used on digital channels that a medical practice most likely already owns.
For physicians, especially, there are several areas where video marketing works extremely well, often better than text on a page. The types of videos that resonate with people and retain their interest include:
- Answer common patient questions.
- Demonstrate easy “how-to’s” or noninvasive home health routines.
- Educate, inform or opine about a specialty or related news event.
- Introduce new procedures, equipment or office space.
- Walk through new protocols, like what this OB-GYN clinic filmed during the pandemic.
- Meet the doctors and staff.
- Offer a behind-the-scenes sneak peek.
- Inspire patients or boost morale.
- Provide a virtual tour of the office or treatment rooms.
- Shape patient experience expectations.
- Deliver a new patient orientation.
When considering topics, think more about what patients would like to see than what you would like to tell (you can still work in some of what you want to say). In our clients’ experience, some of the most successful doctor videos don’t even cover healthcare topics; rather, they incorporate aspects of daily life that reflect the viewer. Here’s an example of what one fertility specialist taped on his cellphone to boost patient morale during the pandemic.
Remember, social media and video go hand-in-hand. Wyzowl’s study notes that people are twice as likely to share video content with their friends than any other type of content, especially social media posts.
How to do medical video content marketing right
- Maintain an informal, chatty tone (preferred by 83% of consumers).
- Comply with all HIPAA considerations.
- Procure signed permission releases (even from providers and staff).
- Keep it short (under two minutes).
- Keep the topics as evergreen as possible.
- Use patient friendly language (not medical jargon).
- Make it relatable by showing emotion and empathy.
- Optimize the format for mobile phone viewing.
- Be sure to use search engine optimization (SEO) so it will be found online.
- Promote it and repurpose it across all digital channels.