By Steve Vargo, OD, MBA
Web site videos can effectively show patients how they benefit from the services you provide. Here are two ways to making good videos: DIY or hiring (an affordable) pro.
EDUCATE.Makevideos that educate patients on eyecare and your services.
KEEP IT FRESH.Refresh your site frequently with new videos that drive visits.
FOCUS ON PATIENTS. Show patients how they benefit; don’t toot your own horn.
Videos outlining eye conditions or services your practice provides are powerful patient education and marketing tools. You can do it yourself, or you can enlist a professional service to help you. As an independent practitioner, as well as a co-owner of New Media OD, a company that specializes in online video marketing for doctors, I have learned how to effectively make use of such videos. You’ll find a series of videos below, which include at the end of the videos, links to other related videos that I have created.
In our practice, we create multiple short videos on a variety ofeyecare topics–and postthem frequently on our web site. We find that this keeps our brand name and our staff faces in front of patients. Bycontinuously creating fresh content that’s focused on our patients and their needs, we get the repeat exposure that ultimately builds trust and establishes authority.
Today, creatingand posting videos is easy and inexpensive. A smartphone and a free YouTube account is a good start. Are you camera shy? From some of the examples below, you don’t even have to be in the video! Perhaps you have a staff member familiar with video editing, or you could simply outsource that aspect of it. The point is, we’re rapidly moving in a direction where people are increasingly accessing information through online video sites like YouTube. Video is more likely to be viewed and shared on Facebook. People stay on your web site longer when there’s video. A small investment could potentially yield high dividends. Here are three key steps:
Invest in a camera: Smartphone cameras have improved, but I recently stepped up my game to a Canon EOS RebelT3. I think we only spent around $500. If you’re serious about video marketing, I would suggest investing in an HD camera. That said, I found an impressive app calledFiLMiC Pro that can be used if you want to make videos with your smartphone. It definitely enhanced the video. FiLMiC Pro is the 2x Video Camera App of the Year that beat the $5,000 Sony FS100 and tied the $13,000 Canon C300 in blind audience testing at the Zacuto: Revenge of the Great Camera Shoot Out. This is what I used for the video of me you’ll see below. I’ll use the Canon moving forward.
Prepare to Edit Videos: For editing videos, the two most popular programs are Sony Vegas (Windows) and Screenflow (Mac). I used Sony Vegas. It’s pretty easy to use once you get comfortable with it, but probably something not many ODs care to tackle. If you or a staff member lack editing skills, it’s probably best to hire someone to add intros, lower thirds, images, etc.
Prepare to Post Videos: For posting, it’s not difficult to upload to YouTube, then post the link to Facebook, Twitter or other social media. Embedding to your practice web site, however, may require the help of your web host. You can get the embed code right off of YouTube. I use a WordPress site and its easy to insert. But again, most ODs may just want to have somebody else do this.
Here are a few videos I’ve created for my own practice; and also a few I’ve created for clients.
We recently started doing a monthly video series (above) directed at answering our patients’ commonly asked questions.Why do my eyes itch?What’s astigmatism?Is LASIK safe? These are topics of interest to many patients. People are more likely to click on something that’s relevant to their needs and interests. Also, according to the book Contagious by Jonah Berger, people are more likely through social media to share information they believe will help others. In the world of social media, sharing is king!
VIDEO TIP: PLANT A SEED FOR PATIENT TO ACT
In this video I provide information that many patients will find relevant and valuable, but I emphasize that you need to see a doctor to assess your particular dry eye symptoms and develop an individualized treatment plan. I’m not diagnosing and treating; I’m simply informing and educating patients on how our practice can solve their problem–planting the seed for them to take action.
VIDEO TIP: GRAB ATTENTION EARLY
This video, above, was created for National Diabetes Month (November). According to the book Made to Stick byChip Heath and Dan Heath, one of the best ways to grab people’s attention is to create a “knowledge gap.” I like to start off videos with a question, and then reveal the answer throughout the video. Statistically, people have a short attention span for online video. If you don’t grab their attention in the beginning, they may not be around at the end. The end is typically where you’ll include a call-to-action. What action do you want people to take away once they watch your video? To visit your web site? To call for an appointment? At the end of your video, invite the viewer to take the desired action.
Years ago, it would have been financially prohibitive for many independentpractices to have a “commercial” created for their practice. This is no longer the case. This video, above, was created by my company for Ridgefield Family Eye Care to highlight the practice’s corneal refractive therapy specialty. A professionally produced commercial can be a great addition to your web site or waiting area. This is a great way to raise awareness for your services and get people to seek more info.
This is a video, above, we did for Wink Optical to promote sunglass sales. Probably one of the best ways to boost revenue per patient is through second-pair sales. Instead of just showing viewers the wide selection of designer sunglasses available, the focus of the video was on eye health and fashion. Notice the promo code at the end that can be referenced for sales or promotions (i.e. “Mention the promo code at the end of the video for 25 percent off Rx sunglasses through the end of September”). This encourages people to not only view the video, but share with friends on their social media sites.
You may have noticed that most of these videos are focused primarily on the patient, not the practice. I see a lot of businesses that create videos strictly talking about their products and services. Although there are occasions where that is a good idea, I think focusing on the patient’s needs is a more effective method of video marketing. And it bears repeating, people are more likely to share information they feel will be helpful to others. Just a couple of patients sharing your video on their social media sites could potentially get hundreds to thousands of views!
Online video marketing is an evolving, exciting area, and a great way to increase your visibility. People are searching online for the products and services you (and your competitors) offer. Stand out from the competition with video.
Video Marketing: Best Practices
Keep it short. People have a short attention span for online videos.
Spread the word. Post to your social media sites, YouTube, web site or blog.
Be shareable. People are more likely to share your videos on their social media sites if they provide valuable information that can help others.
Be searchable. Google loves video!Include relevant keywords in the title and description of your video.
Drive traffic. Include a call-to-action at the end of your video (call our office, visit our web site, etc.).
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Steve Vargo, OD, MBA, is president of New Media OD in St. John, Ind., a company that specializes in online video marketing for doctors. He is also a consultant for the EyeXam mobile application. Dr. Vargo also is an associate with Eagle Eye Optique, a private practice in Crown Point, Ind. To contact him: NewMediaOD@gmail.com