- Posted by Nigel Edelshain
- On June 8, 2015
With so much healthcare competition these days, everyone’s looking for an edge. If your hospital isn’t using online video to reach prospective patients, it might be just what you need to get a step ahead.Nearly halfway through 2015, video is well on its way to being one of the year’s biggest marketing trends. Industry headlines have been dominated live streaming applications like Meerkat and Periscope, but live video isn’t all people are talking about. Different standards for counting “views” on Facebook, Google-owned YouTube, and other sites like Twitter and Instagram have sparked debate about whether a few seconds (Facebook records a view after just three) is enough to convey a message.
No matter how the metrics are calculated, however, video is in the news because it gets results, especially on mobile. Nearly everyone has a smartphone these days, and with growing data plans, they don’t have to be home to consume and share videos anymore.
In healthcare, the rationale for video becomes even more compelling, as patients try to understand how complex treatments and procedures work and what they’ll discover at a particular facility. Here’s why video could be the key to accelerating your hospital’s growth.
1. Prospective patients watch videos
According to Google’s Digital Journey to Wellness study, 1 in 8 patients watched at least one online video as part of their research. If that number seems a bit low, it’s not because people weren’t interested, but because more than half—53 percent—of those who didn’t watch videos didn’t know they were available
Of those who did watch videos, researchers primarily sought testimonials and patient-generated videos. It’s not hard to understand why—as important as it is for people to bring questions and concerns to their doctor, patients videos explain complicated procedures in an easy-to-understand, relatable fashion and give viewers a glimpse into what their own experience will be like.
2. Prospective patients share videos
Sharing is another reason why video is so big these days—when people consume video content, they don’t keep it to themselves. Whether they’re posting them on social media, sending them in emails, or talking about them in person with their friends and family members, the number of people sharing video is growing fast, and personal recommendations add extra weight to your content.
3. Prospective patients who watch videos take action
Like any kind of content, the goal of video is to drive patient action. It’s not sharing as detailed above—people who watch videos are likely to contact a hospital and schedule an appointment. Videos on YouTube are proven to drive traffic to your website, where your carefully crafted and tested calls-to-action can convert them into actual patients.
4. Google likes video too
If you’re looking for ways to get found online, video is a great one. Pay attention to the results when you do your own searches and take note of how prominently relevant videos are displayed. Some say that this is because Google owns YouTube, but the fact is that the search algorithm knows how much searchers favor video.
Here’s another thing to keep in mind: Though not technically a search engine, YouTube processes more queries than any of the search engines competing with Google. This has led to YouTube being called the second largest search engine in the world. These days its name is virtually synonymous with video—if prospective patients in your video want to see what other patients have to say, it’s a good bet that YouTube will be their first destination.
5. Video is flexible
Of course, YouTube shouldn’t be the only place patients can go. In seconds, you can embed a video on your website to draw in visitors and increase engagement, or add it to a blog post, where you’re free to expand further upon its content. And video posts consistently show higher engagement on social media than other types of content.
If you’re looking for the right key to open the door to higher engagement, creating or expanding your own video program is a great place to start. It won’t magically make your hospital grow overnight, but given time and the right plan, it’s a platform that can drive dramatic results.