By Alan N. Glazier, OD, FAAO
A YouTube channel for your practice is easy to launch and will provide you with a new marketing platform introducing your practice to a new pool of prospective patients. Enable your patients to literally get the picture about what your practice has to offer.
Most doctors have at least heard of YouTube, but many still haven’t taken advantage of its marketing potential. Launching your own practice YouTube channel is so simple it is self-explanatory, and the benefits can be broad as YouTube is one of the top sites the public uses to conduct searches. Here is what you need to know about YouTube, including some examples of how my practice has utilized it.
YouTube enables you to post videos ranging from patient testimonials to educational eyecare videos. You could even post a tour of your office to introduce prospective patients to your practice.
Be Where Patients Are Looking
Everyone knows Google is the #1 search engine–and guess who’s #2? YouTube! And if that’s not enough reason to launch a practice YouTube page, think about the fact that Google owns YouTube, so posting videos adds value to your Google listing, helping you rank higher in searches for the products and services you offer when people in your geographic region search for them. Elevating yourself in search is a key part of the YouTube value proposition.
The second aspect of the value proposition is that a well produced video with a proper description can enhance your reputation. It can also be a way to market your services to patients before they come in or after they leave. One eyeglasses lens video we took of a happy personalized progressive lens patient now has over 3,000 views; I also refer people to video testimonials from happy OrthoK patients. If you search for certain services or products we offer, often our videos show up on page one in Google. People are drawn to videos I have for OrthoK, dry eye and new eyeglasses frames, among other topics.
Choose YouTube Content Carefully
Straightforward patient testimonials, videos of special events or speakers such as at trunk shows, or the doctor providing instruction on an eye health matter, all make for good YouTube content, meaning it speaks well of your practice thereby generating appointments.
Content that emphasizes social good is always a great way to start. Funny content draws people to your video, or content that is exciting or teaches something can also be a draw. Basically anything that brings value to your audience will be well received. We’ve posted an I&R instructional video that is quite popular and I have a fun series I call “Smashing Glasses” that has over 5,000 hits. The series features depictions of eyeglasses getting smashed creatively as a way to promote our eyeglasses warranty. We’ve posted videos of drawings we’ve held during patient appreciation day and videos of patients happy at dispensing. A video of a patient happy with your products or services can go a long way toward influencing other people to patronize your practice.
YouTube Owns Your Content
You may think of content posted to your channel’s YouTube page as belonging to your practice, but that is not the case.
Remember, all videos posted to YouTube belong to YouTube, not to you or your practice.
An Entirely Free Marketing Tool
The best part is it’s free to post videos to YouTube! Anyone can do it themselves, and model their page after another YouTube page they like to get started. If you have a cell phone with a video camera, you can make YouTube videos, or you can use a device as simple as a camcorder. Those simple technological devices, and subjects to film, is all you need. You might choose to promote your video on YouTube, so there could be some marketing expenses connected to that if you want professional help to get the word out, but I prefer to put the video up and share the link via my social media feeds, such as on my practice Facebook page, to get people to check it out.
YouTube Self-Explanatory–But Just In Case…
A basic YouTube upload is self explanatory, but writing the description can be an art because you want it to be as inviting as possible from a marketing standpoint and you want to include certain keywords that help the video rank higher in search. I discuss this in detail in my book Searchial Marketing. You also can hire a Google expert to help you choose the right keywords which helps the video get more views, or to help you use Google Adwords to advertise the video. You can use the Google Adwords Keyword Tool to determine the best keywords to feature prominently on your YouTube page for search engines to easily find the page.
In addition to patients and prospective patients finding you by typing in search terms such as “Rockville, MD, Eye Doctor,” YouTube also allows you to purchase ads to target specific demographic groups.
Action Plan: Get Ready to Launch a Practice YouTube Channel
Equip your staff with a simple camera such as a camcorder and encourage them to take videos of happy patients.
Include a link to your practice web site in the YouTube video description.
Look at examples of other OD YouTube videos to give you ideas of what you could do:
Be sure to spread your YouTube channel URL across your social media suites like your practice Facebook page.
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Alan N. Glazier, OD, FAAO, is the owner of Shady Grove Eye and Vision Care in Rockville, Md. He also is author of “Searchial Marketing: How Social Media Drives Search Optimization in Web 3.0.” To contact him: AGlazier@youreyesite.com. Connect with Dr. Glazier on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/alan.glazier.