Industry

Video Killed the Blogging Star: How Healthcare Can Use Video to Boost Engagement

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 “Video killed the radio star

Video killed the radio star

Pictures came and broke your heart

We can’t rewind we’ve gone too far”

            Buggles – Video Killed the Radio Star 1979

 

 

Once upon a time, blogging was the star of the Internet; it was simple like radio broadcasting. Online video content was expensive to produce, a headache to upload and integrate into a website, and took forever to load on the end user’s computer. A blog could offer episode after episode with no fuss…

Those days are long past. While blogging still has an important place in any marketer’s arsenal, video is becoming the better traffic generator and client engagement booster. Widespread broadband usage and YouTube have made it much easier to serve video content to your visitors, and video equipment has become much more cost effective.

So are you taking full advantage of this powerful healthcare marketing tool?

By the Numbers

According to a recent study on Google Think, “The Digital Journey to Wellness: Hospital Selection,”  YouTube traffic to hospital websites has increased 119% year to year (as of 2012). One in eight patients watched at least one healthcare-related video, either on a hospital or insurance information site, or on YouTube.

google think video healthThese video watchers are looking for testimonials, information about hospitals, and help understanding complicated treatments for their conditions. Of those who viewed a hospital’s online video, 30% scheduled an appointment.

The reason for these numbers? Video is easy to digest. People who don’t have the time or inclination to read a wall of text find it much more convenient to watch a two- or three-minute video.

 

Personality and Trust

People prefer doing business with people and companies they know and trust — and this is doubly true for those looking for a healthcare provider. Without the right branding, a hospital or insurer can look like a huge, faceless corporation, preventing potential patients from feeling entirely comfortable.

This is another way that video beats blogging. Sure, a blog can build trust with your patients over time, but video content adds an instant face and personality to your marketing message.

Whether it’s a weekly feature with a physician explaining a condition or procedure; a tour of your hospital’s state of the art facilities; or answers to patient questions, video content creates powerful engagement.

You can build even more trust among viewers by sticking to the same video talent each time. This person (or handful of people) becomes the face of your video campaign, and may attract a following for your channel. But be careful when choosing who goes in front of the camera. You want someone who will present the personality you want to associate with your hospital or company, and who will stick with it long-term in order to build that trust. 

SEO Booster

Google loves a blog, but it loves video even more — when it’s done right.

Videos can help bring you more website traffic, but the key is in knowing a few Search Engine Optimization (SEO) basics. Because a search engine robot can’t watch your video and determine whether it’s relevant to your site’s content, you need to give it some help.

Create a video sitemap as a companion to your website’s navigation, and create keyword rich (not keyword-stuffed) titles for your videos. Your video descriptions should also include keywords to help search engines determine their content.

Why go to all this trouble? Because Google’s indexing methods tend to favor video. This raises your chance of your video showing up on the first page of results — and that can mean a significant bump in traffic.

With so many benefits and fairly low overhead (if you don’t go overboard on equipment), video should be an integral part of any healthcare marketer’s strategy.

Elizabeth Gooding

Elizabeth Gooding is the editor of the Insight Forums blog and president of Gooding Communications Group www.GoodComm.net

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