According to online statistics website comScore, YouTube is still the dominant producer of Internet video. Eighty-four percent of Internet users in America watch videos online. Forty billion videos were watched in January 2012 alone. One trillion people visited YouTube in 2011.
And it’s not just folks sitting at their computers at home watching video, either. Mobile video accounts for 50 percent of all wireless device traffic. And it’s on the rise, projected to increase 25-fold between 2011 and 2016.
Some experts predict that 75 percent of all "channels" created will be Internet-based (that includes radio, TV, movies, personal, corporate, etc.), and that 90 percent of total Internet traffic will be video in the next 10 years.
Whew! Convinced yet?
I’m begging you — don’t forget that your patients are among those millions of people watching videos online.
They respond to video and are attracted by video. So, how do you start doing this for your practice?
The easy and most expensive answer is to pay someone to do this for you. I’ll give you a hint: There’s no limit to the amount of money you can spend to do this.
For us mere mortals, there are much simpler, cheaper methods that achieve almost identical results.
Your main goal is to create videos that promote your practice and educate your patients.
Put them on your website, on YouTube, on your Facebook page (for business, not personal), on Twitter, and in e-mails you send to patients. Another high-yield use for online video I’ve had great success with is in media interviews and news stories.
Here are five methods you can use to get your feet wet. None of them involve you being in front of the camera and a few don’t even require you to talk.
1. Transform a patient education article into a PowerPoint or Keynote video presentation.
This is one of the easiest ones — you probably have the software on your computer and you can easily find an article to use from your own website or even one from your specialty association’s site.
Pick a subject that’s in the top 10 of medical problems faced by your patients. Outline a short presentation with seven or eight slides with minimal text. Each video should be one minute to two minutes long.
The latest versions of PowerPoint and Keynote allow you to export your presentations as videos.
2. Give a screencast tour of your favorite patient education website.
A screencast is just a recording of what’s on your screen. Several tools, both free and paid, are available to accomplish this. Examples include:
Visit the website as you’re recording and talk the viewer through what you want them to see. Show how to find the most useful information patients ask about most frequently. Save the screencast as a video file and post a link to it on your website.
Here you can view my quick “welcome” video for new patients giving a quick tour of my practice website.
3. Use a screencast to give a quick visual overview of common clinical topic.
A great example of how to do this is to pull up a picture of an X-ray (with patient information deleted of course) and record yourself pointing out features of the X-ray. Usually your built-in computer microphone is adequate for the recording.
4. Use a free video slideshow tool to make a promotional video for your practice.
Video slideshows are a quick way to create videos out of still pictures you may already have, or can quickly take.
Animoto.com is a free online tool that will let you do this. Just upload your pictures, choose some background music, and the online software creates a video. You can link to the video on your website or social media.
Use pictures of your building, your logo, your staff, yourself, and relevant clinical pictures like X-rays or even PowerPoint slide screenshots of keywords associated with your practice.
5. Create a series of frequently asked questions on a narrow but popular clinical topic and put them on YouTube.
I created ten YouTube videos on carpal tunnel syndrome, the most common thing I see in my office. I’m on camera in the videos, but you can just as easily make these using PowerPoint or Keynote as a slide presentation with you talking off camera.
Google seems to love these related video series and I’ve seen my videos rank highly in regular search engine results on the first page.
C. Noel Henley, MD is an orthopedic surgeon and founder of ReachPatients.com. Physicians nationwide subscribe to his free e-mail newsletter where he delivers actionable marketing and practice promotion guidance for success-minded doctors who value their services and their patients. E-mail him here.