Getting Ideas for Your Next Medical Practice YouTube Video

Here’s an easy method for finding nearly unlimited ideas for your medical practice’s next YouTube video.

Online video is now an essential and expected part of a successful, modern practice website. It’s no longer enough to have a simple website with a few information pages. You might get away with this in a smaller town; in a smaller market where your competition is still stuck in 1998, but not for long.

Most patients expect to see video as part of a website, or at least links to videos they can go watch elsewhere.

In a previous blog post I’ve talked about ways to get started with online video. It’s not as intimidating as it sounds.

In fact, you don’t even have to create the videos yourself.

Step one in adding video to your practice promotion strategies is to start looking at relevant videos online on YouTube. Spend 15 minutes a week of dedicated video surfing time, trying to find videos in your field of practice.

I created a new YouTube account expressly for this purpose.

Once you’re logged into your new "research account," you can mark videos as favorites, add videos to specific categories, and even subscribe to new videos from certain doctors or practices as they come out.

If you’re just starting out in online video, start adding (or embedding) videos on your practice’s web pages where it seems most relevant.

But at some point you’ll want to produce your own videos. Doing some YouTube research is one of the easiest ways to discover what topics you should focus on.
Here are three ways to come up with ideas for your next online video.

1. Watch other related videos

Do a search on YouTube (there’s a search box at the top of the page) - for some broad topic within your specialty. Remember to think like a patient. What would one of your patients type into YouTube if they were searching for good, reliable information.

You will quickly be able to tell the trash, spammy videos from genuinely popular and useful ones.

Remember that Google ranks YouTube videos according to relevance to your search term, so there’s a reason one video is listed above another video.

Start making notes on what keywords are popular in the descriptions, titles, and what’s interesting about the videos themselves. Things like:
• Are most videos produced by individual doctors?
• How long are most videos?
• What style is being used?

Ask these questions about the most popular videos in your field. Start getting a feel for what subjects are being covered. At this point you’re just watching videos and taking notes. Use mind mapping to keep track of your research.

2. Examine keywords used in popular videos

Late in August 2012, YouTube removed visible tags from its videos. You can no longer see what categories or labels video creators used to tag their videos.

However, there are other ways to find out what keywords and phrases are popular on YouTube. These words will help you when writing video descriptions, titles, and when creating blog posts to go along with your videos.

There are several places to look for keywords:
• in the title of each video
• in the closed caption transcription of the video (click on the "CC" icon at the bottom of the video pane where the video is playing)
• in the description under the video
• in the comments for the video

Keywords are just phrases that are either naturally associated with the video or added by the video creator.

Start building a keyword list for each main subject area. You want to create a naturally interesting and appealing video, but adding known popular, relevant keywords will let your video be found more easily.

3. Look for gaps in content or quality

This is huge. Video is still relatively new in a lot of areas of medicine. Individual physicians especially are reluctant to produce their own videos. It’s changing, but you still have a chance to stand out from the crowd by putting yourself (or your information at least) out there in video form.

When you begin watching videos on YouTube you’ll see obvious problems: poor quality, bad audio, incomplete or wrong information, etc.

Make a list of these "quality holes" and "content holes" among popular videos. What topics are not being covered well? Make plans to create solid videos that patch up those holes.

For instance, the most popular videos on YouTube on gallbladder surgery are not produced by a surgeon at all. They’re uploaded by companies who produce patient education videos and sell them to doctors.

These types of videos are created to impress doctors, but may not have accurate, current, or even intelligible information.

You may not be able to rank higher in YouTube than a video with 800,000 views, but you can use those popular videos to get plenty of ideas on topics for your future videos.

Find out more about C. Noel Henley and our other Practice Notes bloggers.