“Video is the most interesting and engaging way to share an idea with others.”Chad Hurley
There is no other way of saying it, Adopt video marketing quickly. People want to feel like they know you even before coming to you.
Creating videos of interesting aspects of your practice can be a very effective and engaging factor that can give you an edge over your competitors and help build your brand. Consumers relate well to content that is visually appealing, well thought out, eye catching, and has a personal touch.
Videos can also be very engaging and useful in your social media strategy. Snapchat offers less filtered, more immediate glimpses into daily life as well as scripted events. And just as with real life, the videos are short lived, lasting from 10 seconds to 24 hours, which encourages people to participate in real time. These new social media platforms are changing the landscape of behind-the-scenes access, offering unfiltered views of everything from megawatt award shows to a glimpse of what goes on in your office.
Read on to get video marketing strategy for cosmetic surgery practices
Best Video Formats
The first video to consider creating for your marketing program is a 2–3 minute video clip that lives on the landing page of your clinic website. I refer to it as a “Welcome to my practice” theme. Patients cannot get a sense of who you are from a still photograph anymore, especially at low resolution on a mobile device. Therefore, placing a short and sweet video on your website can draw patients in to get a sense of their comfort level with you as a practitioner.
It is a good idea to write out a script or at least bullet points to guide you through the recording, although you can improvise along the way to avoid seeming like you are reading from a teleprompter. The most sincere video clips are on topics the subject knows well and is passionate about. You should appear to be relaxed and comfortable.
If you are planning to promote your clinic with a new or unique treatment, having b-roll of the practitioner performing the treatment is also nice to have on hand. B-roll is footage that television networks typically use as a cutaway to help tell the story. It can be used to introduce a segment or between interviews in the background. Generally, no sound is used, which allows for voice-over or music to be added as needed. Television stations will sometimes ask for b-roll when considering if a pitch idea is media worthy. This footage can also be used in other ways, such as on YouTube, Facebook, your website, and other social platforms.
Keep in mind that your video-recording area should be good quality, with consistent lighting and background. You can use a backdrop or a bare wall if you prefer, although sitting at your desk may be more natural and comfortable for you. Dress for your target audience—clean scrubs, a white coat, or a suit jacket as appropriate. If you are not comfortable in front of the camera, enlist a professional videographer. Record several takes to make sure you get the best possible sound bites and quality, and eliminate any background noise like traffic, music, doorbells, phones, or footsteps that may arise.
One of the most common video themes used is the “Patient Diary” or “Patient Journey” style. These can be extremely compelling videos showing the patient from consultation through recovery and final result, or any variation on that theme. This tactic is especially helpful when the procedure being documented is one that can have a healing process that could turn patients off. Seeing how another patient fares can overcome those objections and make the patient feel more comfortable going ahead with the procedure.
Testimonials are the new word of mouth. As clinics are so concerned about reviews and ratings, videos from real patients talking about their experience are extremely compelling. It is common to see handwritten notes and e-mails with the patient’s name blacked out posted on websites. That is fine, too, but video is more compelling. Because we know the importance of what other patients are saying about your clinic and the work you do, this is a great way to counterbalance online reviews. These should be from legitimate real patients, not staff or family. It must ring true to viewers. Real people want to hear from other real people who are relatable and sincere.
Whatever you post should mirror the target audience you are going after. A patient doing the talking is word of mouth at its best. Used in the right way, testimonials can influence potential patients to choose you over your competition. In fact, when it comes to medical practice marketing, testimonials are essential, because they are evidence of your ability as a practitioner and they provide prospective customers with an expectation for results. When a prospective patient identifies with a patient who has given a testimonial, it helps the prospective patient understand more about the solutions you offer and how they relate to her. Testimonials also give you instant credibility. People are always more comfortable when they see a real person, with real results, and an honest opinion endorses your practice.
NOTE: If the patient decides she does not want the video on your site, social channels, or YouTube at any time in the future, the patient has the right to ask for it to be taken down.
10 GREAT IDEAS FOR VIDEO SNIPPETS
•Consultations with patients with signed consent
•Nonsurgical treatments—injections, lasers, light therapy, etc.
•Surgical procedures—preferably with patients’ private areas carefully draped
•Aestheticians performing spa therapies
•Hair restoration procedures
•Real patients talking about their experiences
•Introduction to staff members
•Staff having treatments
•Patients’ friends/family talking about their experience
•Tour of the clinic facility
How to Ask for Testimonials
Some patients will volunteer to give you an endorsement. When this happens, ask them to write their testimonials in their own words quickly before they forget. For patients who are pleased with your products and services but don’t offer to provide you with a testimonial, you must simply ask. Patients who are truly pleased with your clinic and work may be inclined to give you a testimonial, but you must ask for it. A testimonial is best taken when the patient comes in for a follow-up visit, since they may not recall the experience after an extended period of time.
Think about any recent e-mails you have received from patients to say thanks. Maybe you received positive feedback from someone who responded to a survey you sent out. When a client says great things about you, your work, or your staff, give the client the opportunity to turn that praise into a testimonial. Say something like this, “We would really appreciate it if we can include what you just said in our testimonials. Would that be okay with you?” If a patient says something like, “This has been a great experience and I am so glad I chose you,” respond by asking if she would mind giving you a testimonial for your website or writing a review on a forum that is relevant to your practice. You may be pleasantly surprised at how many patients may be willing to do it for you.
Make a list of potential contacts to approach. Depending on your relationship, this can be done by phone, e-mail, or when they come in for a visit. If the patient is particularly fond of a staff member, it may be best left to them. Ask if the patient would allow his or her first and/or last names to be used, initials, age, location, and photos. In most cases, patients will want to be anonymous, such as “Jill from Northern California,” or “J.T., age 56.” Never exert pressure or make the patient feel uncomfortable.
You may tactfully ask individuals who have clout with your target market or name recognition if they are willing to use their real names and/or photos. This must be handled delicately. There is a tremendous value to your practice to be able to use a local celebrity, TV personality, or beauty queen in your practice materials, but that usually comes at a price.
6 TIPS FOR GREAT TESTIMONIALS
1. Reach out to patients who are most like your key target audience.
2. Make sure they have a compelling and positive story to tell about their experiences in your practice.
3. Choose patients whose stories will highlight the key aspects of your practice, such as popular procedures, treatments, and aftercare services.
4. Always say “thank you” when patients agree to give you a testimonial; make sure they know how much you appreciate their support. Rewarding a patient after the testimonial is done is fine, but incentivizing patients to write positive reviews in advance is frowned upon.
5. Gather a robust selection of testimonials in different formats: personal thank you notes, letters, e-mails, comments given by phone or to staff members, and video. If a patient gives you a gift of flowers or sweets, highlight this on social media by posting, “We have the best patients!” (No name required)
6. Get testimonials about new procedures you have added to the practice, and those you want
Ideally, allow patients to describe their problems briefly, then let them talk about how they felt about the treatment you provided, and then let them brag about the results. Allow patients providing you with testimonials to write or tell you about the experience naturally. You do not want to tell patients what to say, but you can help them shape their testimonials by asking the right questions.
The key to great testimonials lies in flawless editing. Go over the content recorded, and zoom in on the pertinent points. The more personal, the more engaging it will sound. Draft a summary or concise version you want to use, and include direct quotes whenever you can. Share your edited version with the patient before posting it anywhere to be sure he or she is happy with the way it reads or sounds. Once you obtain the patient’s approval and signed consent form, your testimonial can go live.
All of the above results are proof of the value of the services you offer and will hopefully convey a sense of caring and credibility to prospective patients.
to highlight, such as a new fat melting system or a signature facelift technique.
5 PROMPTS FOR A VIDEO OR AUDIO TESTIMONIAL
1. What was your experience like in our practice?
2. Ask if they were was initially skeptical about having a treatment done. What were some of the patient’s concerns and how was he or she made to feel more comfortable? (I was afraid of going under anesthesia, but the medical staff made me feel very safe, etc.)
3. What specific results did they get from the treatment or procedure they had done? The more details they can add, the better. (I look better than I did at my wedding; I look less tired, etc.)
4. What was the reaction from family, friends, and colleagues? (My husband loves the way I look; my mother wants to have something done now too, etc.)
5. How do you feel after having the procedure? Let them talk about their feelings, not only the results. (I feel so much more confident when I look in the mirror, I love wearing makeup again now that I can see my eyelids, etc.)
Post testimonials where prospective clients are most likely to read them, such as on your website, blog, Facebook page, e-blasts, or in printed promotional materials such as brochures and banners. Create a dedicated page devoted to testimonials, or add them on specific pages related to procedures. Another option is to include quotes from satisfied patients rotating on the landing page.
Testimonials can take many forms. You can re-purpose a testimonial into a short quote for your site or use it in an e-book or article for a consumer publication or website. Review your testimonials to refresh them as you gather new ones. Try to post the most recent testimonials in chronological order, with the most recent first. This should be an ongoing process.
Thank patients appropriately for their kind comments about your practice. A handwritten note, flowers, or a call shows appreciation. If you want to be generous, offer the patient a complimentary product, service or treatment, but only AFTER the testimonial is completed. Do not incentivize patients to provide testimonials, as that practice may be considered questionable or unethical in most markets.
Using testimonials to market your clinic is an impactful strategy. In fact, not having patients sing your praises leaves you at a distinct disadvantage.
YouTube, owned by Google, is the social destination for all things video and boasts over one billion users worldwide and four billion daily views.
The global influence of YouTube is off the charts. It is the premier destination to go for video content of all kinds. There is content covering all aspects of health and well-being, treatment videos, surgical footage, and more. The visual nature of this video-sharing site has proven to be a natural fit for aesthetic physicians. Video is ideal for illustrating aesthetic procedures and to help patients get acquainted with your practice. It is also a super popular channel for all your patient targets, from millennials to boomers, both male and female.
YouTube allows you to create a branded channel where you can upload videos that you own the copyright for. Users can subscribe to your channel to view your videos, comment, and like or dislike your posts. They can get notified any time you upload a new video to YouTube, which can keep them coming back. Add a cover photo to customize your channel.
YouTube can be a great forum for people to connect, inform, and inspire other users on any topic you can think of. Video content, along with photos, has emerged as the primary content that gets liked and shared on social media platforms.
YouTube allows users to
•Browse millions of videos uploaded by community members
•Upload, “tag,” and share videos worldwide
•Make uploaded videos public
•Find, join, and create groups to connect with people with similar interests
•Subscribe to member videos, save favorites, and create playlists
•Embed YouTube videos into websites with a video embed code
Your Clinic Channel
To get started on YouTube, set up a branded channel for your practice. By creating a channel, you will have a public profile and be able to comment, save videos to playlists, and more. Without creating a channel, you can only subscribe and like videos.
The video camera on your iPhone is sufficient quality for this purpose. YouTube only allows you to post original videos or ones you have the rights or permission to use, which does not usually include clips from television appearances. For example, if you were on a national television show, you may be restricted from posting the video clip on YouTube or may require permission or need to pay a fee for the privilege. In that case, you may get away with using a screenshot or clip, but you can certainly post the link on all your marketing platforms.
How to optimize your YouTube channel:
•Add a description to your video so that viewers can learn more information about it, which will display at the bottom of the video.
•Tags allow YouTube users to see your video by linking common words associated with your video of “Wrinkle Treatment,” “Wrinkle,” and “treatment.” Other videos with similar tags will be seen in the “Recommended videos” sidebar.
•Annotations allow you to add notes or pauses to the video that you may have overlooked. These allow the viewer to see additional information about your channel without having to read the description.
•Give the video a description that is different than the assigned title.
•To get the most views, keep the title simple, add relevant tags, and include your username as a tag.
•To share your video on a website or social platform, embed it by copying the code YouTube provides.
Original video content is required on YouTube, which means that you cannot really recycle content easily. But the content does not have to be professional quality. Another option is to hire a videographer who could spend a day or half a day at your clinic making videos of the staff, patients who have consented, procedures being done, or a consultation taking place. One video is not going to be cost effective, but to do five or ten short videos in one day can be worth the spend. The trick is in the editing process, which requires some level of skill.
Video editing apps abound and can be very useful to create more professional videos for your marketing efforts.
TrueView Video Ads
YouTube offers a cost-effective video ad program, TrueView, that starts at just $10 per day for a local campaign. The platform offers step-by-step instructions on how to create various types of video ads to promote your practice. Much like other online advertising solutions, you only pay if a user watches your ad for 30 seconds, watches your entire ad, or clicks on your ad. You can create ads to drive viewers to your website or YouTube channel. With TrueView ads, you are only charged when viewers watch or interact with elements of your video. There are two types of TrueView ads: in-stream and video discovery. A big selling point for YouTube’s ad platform is that viewers who complete a TrueView ad are more likely to visit or subscribe to a brand channel, watch more from the brand, or share the video.
Snapchat, now called Snap, is an app like Instagram. It is an extremely popular platform for the under-35 set. Actually, one of the big appeals of Snapchat to its fans is that, for the most part, their parents don’t use it … yet. While users may skew younger, Snapchat users are growing up, and it has become a trendsetting platform for brands to experiment on.
Snapchat allows users to share pictures on their phone. You can control who gets to see and receive your images, and once someone receives your snap, it will be deleted after the timer runs out, which is set from 1 to 10 seconds only. The signature of Snapchat is disappearing content. Their claim to fame is the ability to send short videos, and to communicate through video chat. Their “My Story” feature allowed users to compile images or “snaps” into chronological storylines. This feature then morphed into “Live Stories” and earlier in 2017, Snapchat started allowing users to add links to snaps to direct viewers to websites.
Pros and Cons
For anyone over 35, Snapchat can be a cruel mistress. It is tricky to navigate from the get-go, and it is not abundantly clear at first glance how to use it.Becoming proficient using filters is a mandatory skill set to stand out on Snapchat.
Snapchat allows users to get an unfiltered look into people’s lives, businesses, and unedited thoughts. In a nutshell, Snapchat involves snapping a photo or selfie, or a short up to 10 second video, drawing on it or adding text, incorporating one or many filters, throwing in some emojis for good measure, adding a self-destructing timer up to 10 seconds, and either sending it out to select friends or adding it to your Story. Stories is a curation of all of your snaps from the past 24 hours and then it is gone, unless you “save it down” in Snapchat speak.
Before you start snapping, chatting, or sharing your story, think through your mission and consider how Snap fits into your overall social media plan:
•Who is the prime audience you are trying to reach?
•What are their main interests?
•How can you engage your audience?
•What kinds of memorable content should you create?
•How can you use Snapchat to stay true to your brand?
Among the cons are the fact that Snapchat does not yet offer any real analytics to effectively track your progress.
What users like most about Snapchat is creating their own stories. Stories are photos and videos that you can post to your feed that expire after 24 hours and can be replayed as many times as you want. Snaps, by contrast, are sent directly to select individuals.
Ironically, or perhaps predictably, Instagram unveiled its own version of Snapchat Stories that is nearly identical and rapidly surpassed Snapchat numbers in record time. So, the lingering question is now that Snapchat has morphed into Instagram, why do we need to be active on both?
Until recently, it was not easy to advertise on Snapchat unless you were a techie. It was not a user-friendly or speedy platform, because users had to reformat and convert their existing assets to fit into Snapchat’s vertical video format.
Under pressure from Instagram, Snapchat launched a platform for users to create full-screen video ads quickly by using a web browser with a creative tool they call Snapchat Publisher. Brands can buy ads by using a self-serve buying option called Ad Manager.
Before you start advertising on Snapchat, build up a sufficient fan base who can view your content. If you are serious about Snapchat advertising, check out the new ad platform and choose one video to test so that you can see how long it takes to master. Then watch how it works for you, and judge whether the process is worth the time and effort. In my humble opinion, Snapchat is best managed by a millennial who really gets the platform.
We can expect to see more upgrades coming from Snap, as Instagram nips at their heels. As with Periscope and Meerkat that were hot once and died, these platforms are all moving so quickly that I think the better investment for clinics right now is Facebook Live.
The new flurry of live-streaming applications can bring your brand to life and bridge the digital divide between your practice and consumers. People are watching more and more streaming content. Live streaming refers to content delivered in real time, as events happen, online. It is akin to a live TV broadcast. To do this, you need a video camera and a microphone to capture the sound and images and a platform on which to broadcast the content. This can be accomplished with a smartphone or a tablet. With streaming video content, the user watches it live on a laptop over the Internet.
Viewers like to watch this evolving form of content for educational purposes, entertainment, or to learn about a product or specific topic. The challenge for busy practitioners is that this is a live event, as in right now, so it cannot be outsourced. Users demand authenticity, which means you will have to make time to schedule a Facebook Live session and be present to tape the video. Pre-video promotion needs to be done to round up viewers, although the video can be saved to view at a later time. Hold off on doing a Facebook Live video until you have a sufficient fan base to stream to, or you can use it as a hook and promote it with Facebook ads to build interest on your page. A typical Facebook Live session may last 15–20 minutes. If you are not getting people participating by asking questions on your page, you may end it sooner.
Facebook Live is the practitioner’s platform of choice and has been picking up steam in medical aesthetic clinics. Since it can be done from an iPhone and is relatively straightforward, it is a good adjunct to a social media campaign and is growing in popularity.
5 REASONS TO USE FACEBOOK LIVE FOR YOUR PRACTICE
1. Schedule a Facebook Live video session where you can answer questions directly to patients about a specific treatment
2. Give your fans a behind-the-scenes look at your practice, staff and a day in the life format
3. Generate excitement about an upcoming patient seminar or event
4. Introduce a new product, service, or procedure by explaining how it is performed and who is a good candidate
5. Broadcast biweekly or monthly videos for your fans about a variety of timely or seasonal topics—pull content ideas from your blog posts or create new themes
- Video marketing is inevitable. Adopt it quickly.
- Make a 2-3 min introductory video and use it on your website and social channels, so visitors can have a feel of what they will get when they visit.
- Post real and authentic videos e.g your staff, some birthday being celebrated, a new technique you want to introduce.
- User feedback, testimonials are a good way to go. Make sure you ask permission from a patient to use it.
- True video can be of great help
- Youtube is the main platform. Make your channel and post original videos, seminars, testimonials e.t.c
- Snapchat can be used as well if your target audience is young and not older than 35.
- Live streaming is becoming a popular norm as well. Use Facebook live for Q&A sessions or for any live worthy event.
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