With all the talk of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, one social media site often gets swept aside. YouTube, the video sharing site, recently surpassed television in terms of consumer use. While many people think of YouTube as a place to see their favorite bands or view makeup and home improvement tutorials, the site offers a huge opportunity for cosmetic physicians who want to grow their practices.
First, it is far easier—and far more cost effective—to get your practice on YouTube than on network or cable television. In fact, you can create quality videos in your own facility with equipment you likely already own. Second, the video format of YouTube has a similar effect to television appearances: Viewers see you as a celebrity, giving your brand instant credibility. The question is, how do you create effective video content and help patients and prospective patients find this content?
What to Cover
One of the key benefits of offering videos versus written blog posts and website copy is that the video format allows you to explain your procedures exactly the same way you would explain them to a prospective patient who is sitting right in front of you. This, in turn, allows the consumer to get to know you and your practice in a more personal, “face to face” manner. In addition, you can film yourself performing the actual procedure and share before and after images as well as testimonials from satisfied patients.
If you’re unsure what topics to cover in your videos, think of your patients. What are the most common questions they have when they come to your office? Ask and answer those questions in a series of videos. Another strategy is to highlight the most common aesthetic concerns that present in your office with your range of solutions.
In addition to sharing your knowledge and expertise, patient testimonials are highly recommended. Consumers love to hear from other people like them who have been through the experience they are investigating.
Viewers appreciate seeing equipment demonstrations as well, which serve as great communication tools to help you explain a procedure. For example, include a laser demonstration when discussing laser hair removal or tattoo removal, or display the latest breast implants to help explain new shapes or highly cohesive gel options. Do not include gory procedure or surgery photos with blood or incised skin. You want to keep prospective cosmetic patients focused on the end results they can achieve, not the discomfort they might have to endure.
When prospective patients research procedures online, these “face to face” videos that explain the procedure—including length of treatment, patient selection, expected outcomes, and downtime and recovery—add significant value to their research and often solicit a visit to your website.
So remember the ultimate purpose of the video(s): You want viewers to call your office or visit your website for more information. Make it easy for them to do that by adding a banner with your website URL that stays onscreen throughout the video, or include a link to the site and your phone number at the end.
How to Create Compelling Content
In order to create the most effective content, you want to come across as honest and authentic, so don’t worry about putting on a performance; instead, be yourself. Practice with your iPad, iPhone, GoPro or handheld camcorder to get used to being in front of a camera. If you are a low-energy person, standing can help keep your energy up. Conversely, if you have a hard time standing still, stay seated at your desk to keep yourself centered.
Filming in your practice allows you to introduce yourself and your facility to viewers. For the speaking section of the video, use a shelf of books, your medical degrees or a wall in the practice that features eye-catching art or décor as a backdrop. If you are more versed in videography, you can film in front of a green screen, which allows you to insert verbiage, photos, demonstration videos, even changing backdrops behind you in the editing phase.
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A simple tripod to hold the camera, phone or tablet will make your video smoother and easier to watch. Keep the camera as close as possible—without creating an awkward video appearance—to capture your voice clearly. If the audio is scratchy or hard to hear, you can purchase an external microphone that plugs into your camera or mobile device though a jack.
Lighting is equally important. If your face is not clear or there are noticeable shadows, try opening or closing curtains in the room and moving lamps to better illuminate you and the equipment you would like to highlight.
If you don’t feel comfortable creating your own videos, you can always hire a videographer. You can find freelance videographers on craigslist.org, or contact your local high school or college. There you will find students who are anxious to build their portfolios. Many professional photographers also do video work. A Google search for photographer, your city and state will also guide you to professionals in your area.
Once you have your footage, you will need to do some editing. Most computers now come with basic film editing software, such as iMovie, or you can download editing software to use. This will allow you to link your different video footage together and insert banners and background music. If you need some help learning to use the software, you can find an abundance of how-to videos at—you guessed it—YouTube.
Sharing Video Content
Once your video is complete, simply go to YouTube and click on “Sign In” in the upper right-hand corner to create an account. Then click “Upload” to upload your video.
You can draw existing patients and prospective patients to your videos by sharing them on your other social media pages (i.e., Facebook and Twitter); posting them on your website; and sending them to your patients in an e-blast or e-newsletter. Be sure to include a link so viewers can share or forward the video to a friend.
You can reach an even broader audience by including the video with a press release and distributing it through PR websites, such as prnewswire.com and prweb.com Set up a process where you shoot and upload new videos weekly—or at least monthly—so you have fresh content being uploaded to your YouTube channel
Although the process of becoming a video personality—not to mention a videographer—might seem intimidating, the benefits YouTube offers in terms of practice growth are well worth the discomfort of getting through your first few shoots. Just remember, your first video doesn’t have to be perfect—you’re not trying to become an overnight success Rather, focus on being authentic, sharing your vast knowledge with interested consumers and building a comprehensive video library that will continually attract new patients who value the expertise you offer.
Catherine Maley, a cosmetic patient attraction marketing strategist, speaker, author and consultant, is president of Cosmetic Image Marketing. Contact her at 877.339.8833, www.cosmeticimagemarketing.com.
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