YouTube Overview: 12 Helpful Tips About Using Video Sharing
in Healthcare Marketing
Editor's Note: This is a further installment
in our continuing series of articles about social media and
healthcare marketing. YouTube, and other video content sharing
platforms, represent a low cost, easy to use and highly effective
communications tools to engage and inspire your medical and
healthcare marketing audience.
The enormous popularity of YouTube makes it
a candidate for nearly every healthcare marketing plan. Poke
around the YouTube website and you'll quickly discover it's
not just about talking dogs and silly people videos. There's
user-originated video content from doctors, hospitals, medical
practices, pharmaceuticals, manufacturers, health systems
and other healthcare organizations.
Online video is a powerful, but often underutilized, medical
marketing tool to attract new patients, retain business, boost
search engine ranking, enhance your professional reputation
or brand and foster relationships. (For more on this watch
our free series, Healthcare
Video Marketing Secrets online here.)
Videos are useful for welcome messages, testimonials, hospital
information, physician profiles, patient information, commercials,
explaining benefits of a procedure or service and many other
purposes. YouTube is a quick, easy and inexpensive way to
share video content. And, for additional exposure, when you
have several videos you can bring them together on your own
YouTube's Self-Description Decoded
From their website: "About
YouTube: Founded in February 2005, YouTube allows
billions of people to discover, watch and share originally-created
videos. YouTube provides a forum for people to connect, inform,
and inspire others across the globe and acts as a distribution
platform for original content creators and advertisers large
- "Founded in 2005" – YouTube
is a growing youngster that is still evolving with the regular
introduction of new features, benefits and technical capabilities
(supporting High Definition video, for example). Stay tuned.
- "billions of people" – It's
the world's largest video-sharing community, boasting over
700 billion playbacks in 2010 that appeal to wide demographic
base of 18-54 year olds.
- "forum for people to connect, inform, and
inspire" – It's a presentational social media
- "distribution platform" – They
facilitate online video hosting, a highly reliable and cost-savings
plus for the user.
- "advertisers large and small"
– Mostly it's free to the user, but they do sell advertising.
Healthcare Examples from YouTube
Video content (and video sharing) may not be helpful or appropriate
in every healthcare marketing situation, but it's a communications
tool that brings value to a wide range of circumstances. Here
are a few slices from the YouTube spectrum:
Caregivers & Volunteers: Southwest
Health Info/Health System: Kaiser
Ohio Children's Hospital Channel
Medical Center: Cleveland
Medical Device: Capsule Tech Channel
Orthodontic Practice: Ortho
Patient Support: Seattle
Cancer Care Alliance
Physicians & Surgeons, CME: The
Podiatry Professional: Brooklyn
Teaching Hospital: University
of Maryland Medical Center
If you're not yet using YouTube as part of your online medical
marketing-or you want to expand in that direction-consider
the following insights and tips about engaging your target
audience with video sharing.
- SIZE DOES MATTER. There are dozens of
other video-sharing sites similar to YouTube and you may
want to use more than one of them. But since YouTube is
the 800-pound gorilla, begin with the best-known names first
to generate the widest audience exposure and search engine
- IT'S YOUR SECOND WEBSITE. Using the YouTube
platform, and creating your own YouTube Channel, provides
an additional location for your audience to find you. And
two sites are more visible to search engines and can help
boost business and your page ranking.
- YOUTUBE IS ALSO A SEARCH ENGINE. It's
the second largest search engine-following Google, it's
parent company-and in the sea of search engine visibility,
that's a definite plus to being found online.
- AN ENGAGING SOCIAL MEDIUM. Audiovisual
content, more so than conversational or text media (such
as Twitter), is engaging, even entertaining...and a different
means to communicate and develop relationships.
- PLAYS WELL WITH OTHERS. YouTube is a
powerful adjunct to your main website, blog and other social
media, such as Facebook and Twitter. Fortunately, YouTube
is not an island and can work together with other social
media channels. Over 4 million people are connected and
auto-sharing to at least one social network.
- PROMOTE AND CROSS-PROMOTE FOR GREATER IMPACT.
You don't want to be overlooked in a crowd of millions of
videos. Your website should link to your YouTube Channel,
your Twitter stream should point to YouTube, your YouTube
videos can be used on Facebook, and so on. Have a promotional
strategy that includes promoting and cross promoting all
of your public faces. Integrating all of your online efforts
has synergistic power for greater effectiveness.
- YOU DON'T NEED TO BE A TECHNICAL EXPERT.
YouTube provides an online explanation of essentials
and instructions for getting
started. But Search Engine Optimization (SEO), on the
other hand, is a specialized service, and we can help you
with that or point you in the right direction to being.
- KEEP IT BRIEF, COMPELLING AND FRESH.
Viewers want interesting information presented quickly,
so stay on-point, engage the viewer with compelling material.
(Slice a long video into shorter segments if needed.) Interesting
material will inspire feedback and sharing. If it's boring,
don't use it. Add new material and remove or subordinate
old video regularly. In fact, if the overall channel theme
or purpose is dated, consider replacing it with a timely
topic or new channel.
- ENCOURAGE SUBSCRIBERS. When someone "subscribes"
to your channel, YouTube is able to notify him or her when
new video materials are uploaded. It reminds the visitor
of their connection with the topic and encourages return
visits and further sharing.
- NOT EVERYTHING "GOES VIRAL."
Occasionally a YouTube video really takes off amassing thousands
of views. When a video grows exponentially (much like a
virus), it's usually a marketing bonus (or an enormous headache).
But explosive, "going viral" is not the norm.
Set your expectations on consistently presenting quality
content that is memorable and valuable to your primary audience,
inspires a conversation and engages the visitor.
- LISTEN TO CHANNEL CHATTER. Provocative
and timely material can inspire feedback from YouTube channel
visitors, and it's important to listen to what's being said
about the topic and/or about the provider. That's helpful
dialog and direction for what you might want to add or change.
- EXPLORE BEYOND YOUTUBE. One tabulation
lists about 60 or so "user-originated content"
sites for online social sharing. Each of these has a slightly
different approach to basically the same "sharing"
concept. In addition to uploading video material, you'll
find sites where the content includes slide presentations,
sound and music files and "video blogging." (Wikipedia
says it's sometimes shortened to "vlogging.")
Many are free, but some have a fee. Various sharing sites
differentiate by subject, focus or by language...so shop
around for the best fit beyond YouTube.
YouTube and other video sharing platforms are valuable tools
for medical marketing. In contrast to TV commercials, viewers
who find you are proactively searching for the subject and
it's an opportunity to reach a receptive and interested audience.
Watch for more in this series about social media for healthcare
marketing. Everyone's situation is unique, but everyone's
social media marketing should be profitable. Take a look at
Success YouTube Channel, and to continue this conversation,
with us here.
"Want to be famous? Share your marketing
and we just might write a case study about you."