Patients are becoming more sophisticated when researching doctors, so physician directories and websites such as HealthGrades.com no longer are the only go-to resources. The wealth of information available on the internet increases competition among doctors and hospitals, forcing them to take a deeper look at how they can set themselves apart.
Storytelling is an excellent way to make that connection with patients, and can humanize your physicians. Healthcare blogging is one way to share information and tell stories about procedures or health issues; another method that can complement your blog is to mix video into your marketing strategy.
Video adds many elements beyond what’s in a blog post—music, lighting and even voiceover language all enhance the physician’s presence on camera. A powerful video can deliver a compelling message that will resonate with viewers, while keeping them informed of the latest health trends and information. Viewers feel more comfortable selecting a physician they’ve seen in action or heard speaking about their specific condition because they’ve observed the physician’s personality and skills, and formed an opinion about whether they would work well with this physician before interacting in person.
So how can video marketing be effectively incorporated into your strategy to humanize your physicians? Let’s break down the four types of videos.
This is particularly relevant when there is a new physician on staff—video is a great tool to boost awareness that a new doctor is available to treat patients in that area of expertise. However, veteran doctors also can benefit from this structure because it explains the physician’s specialty and allows the doctor to discuss his or her areas of expertise within that specialty.
Kuno Creative recently produced a biographical physician video for a new cardiologist at Fisher-Titus Medical Center, Dr. Chetan Hampole. The two-minute video shows Hampole interacting with patients and family members and describing his medical background treating a variety of cardiovascular conditions.
The video was shot on location at Fisher-Titus Medical Center in Norwalk, Ohio. The video promotes the addition of Hampole to the Fisher-Titus cardiovascular team, as his knowledge expanded their capabilities. The video lives on the Fisher-Titus cardiovascular page and on his physician page within the physician directory. It was published to the hospital’s YouTube channel and promoted on its Facebook page.
We will let the data speak for itself: The video received 517 views on Facebook and 146 views on YouTube. That’s more than 650 potential new patients for Hampole.
Pro Tip: Social videos are becoming increasingly prevalent in marketing strategies, as many platforms are allowing videos to be uploaded directly, rather than shared from hosting sites such as YouTube. Rather than pasting the link to Hampole’s video (housed on YouTube) in a Facebook status update, we uploaded the video directly to Facebook. This helps us track the performance in two locations, and based on the numbers it looks like more people were able to find it through the social network.
Formally interviewing a physician helps answer common patient questions. Seeing a physician convey his or her knowledge in a video can help patients feel like they are interacting with the physician and can save them a few minutes during their office visit.
Hampole was a part of a second Kuno-produced video for Fisher-Titus, in which he discussed women and heart disease. Now an established cardiologist at Fisher-Titus, Hampole was able to go beyond introducing himself to discuss a common condition—heart disease in women—and share his knowledge from working with patients. Hampole was interviewed on camera at Fisher-Titus, and the video breaks down his answers by category: the difference between men and women with heart disease; early warning signs; prevention; and what to expect when meeting with him.
Imagine you’ve been told you have cancer and must undergo chemotherapy treatment. Wouldn’t you feel better if you could get a preview of that treatment center from the comfort of your own home? This style of video helps patients visualize where they will be treated and can help relieve their anxiety about an upcoming procedure, but it also helps healthcare facilities introduce a new procedure, new equipment or a new location.
Fisher-Titus created a Surgical Services Tour video that explains what patients can expect and where they will be during their surgery. Patients and their families can take a virtual tour of the operating room, waiting area and a consultation room where the surgeon meets with family members after the surgery. It highlights amenities for those waiting for you during surgery, such as a beverage station and children’s play area. Patients and their loved ones can view all of this from the comfort of home so they won’t arrive on the day of surgery to a totally unfamiliar location.
Similarly, a procedure-based video focuses more on a specific procedure and the pre- and post-surgical process, and may even include footage of the procedure itself. It would likely include patients who have undergone the procedure discussing their experience. These formats answer patients’ questions about where they will be during a procedure. The video shows a patient in the exact place they will be and goes beyond what a brochure or blog post can do, eliminating the unknown and easing some of the tension.
In this type of video, the patient and their experience are the focus. This allows the patient to tell their story of their health condition, how they came to find the physician who treated them, and their experience with the procedure and recovery. It usually also includes the physician speaking about their experience treating the patient, their expectations and the patient’s prognosis.
Fisher-Titus also created a patient testimonial video that describes Kathy’s robotic-assisted hysterectomy. This promotes the capability of Fisher-Titus to perform robotic-assisted surgery, and can put others at ease knowing the positive outcome Kathy experienced.
The type you choose should align with the goal for the video, so you must first be clear about what you want to promote—a doctor, a procedure or expertise, or awareness about a specific health condition. But the most important thing to remember is that your physicians are people, too: mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, sisters and brothers. Physicians can find themselves on the exam table one day themselves, and should keep this in mind when working on their strategy for their video. Although schedules get busy, deadlines are tight and medicine is becoming increasingly technical, compassion must come through in a video.
This should be incorporated into every aspect of the video: the script of a voiceover, the style of the music, the lighting and camera angles and the answers to questions. Those producing the video should put themselves in the patients’ shoes and ask themselves: What would comfort me most to see if I faced this condition, had to go to this facility or see this type of doctor? Let that question be a guiding force to help humanize your physicians with video marketing.