Did you know each month the world consumes 4 billion hours of YouTube video while users upload 72 hours of video per minute to the service? Chances are you fall into one of these categories either as a consumer or a producer. If you don’t, you can sure bet your patients do.YouTube-logo-full_color-300x186

As the third most popular site on the Internet behind Google and Facebook, YouTube is a robust, free business tool waiting to help you market your medical practice. The question is, are you ready for your close-up?

Here’s what you need to know to start producing video for your practice.

Why Does Your Practice Need to Be on YouTube?

The simple fact of the matter is that patients are looking to learn more about you before they pick up the phone to schedule their appointment. They want to know that you’re caring with good bedside manner, that you’re likeable but not too friendly, and, today, they don’t want to just read about you. They want to see you. Yes, it has really come to that.

In the past few months alone we’ve seen video numbers for our clients grow at an incredible rate (one of our client’s videos has more than 166,000 views).

In the information and social media-driven world we live in today, patients have dozens of ways to learn everything about you before they even go to your website. Putting a few quick videos together allows them to see the “you” that you want them to see – plus if you’re the first to market, it can really give you a leg up on the competition.

In fact, we’ve had several patients tell us they’ve chosen some of our clients for a surgical procedure 100 percent because of a YouTube video they watched while researching their potential physicians.

The cost-to-benefit ratio is also one of the best you’re going to find today. Uploading videos is a free service because YouTube wants as much content on their site as possible. All you have to do is purchase the equipment, edit your clips together and you’re done. You then have a piece of marketing material that potential patients can watch at home and on their mobile device, share with their friends and family and one you can use for Facebook posts and website content.

What Do You Need to Get Started?

業務用ビデオカメラTo get started producing video for your practice there are a few things you’re going to need – but don’t worry, most of them are free.

First, you’ll have to have a Google Account. This will double as your login information for Google and unlock many of their free services. We suggest signing up for a Gmail account to house all of this data. From there, once you login to YouTube you can create a channel for your business. This serves as your video hub, allowing you to upload videos, make edits to titles and descriptions, choose keywords (very important for organic search results) and even view in-depth analytics about each of your videos.

The next step is creating the videos. For this you’re going to need a camera, a tripod, and the video editing software of your choosing, although you’re probably also going to want to invest in a decent lapel microphone to really get the best sound quality out of your video. This should be all of your hard costs to get started. You can get a decent setup going for under $1,000 and be on your way to Hollywood fame (well, not really – but you’ll at least be on your way to more patients).

Getting to Know Your Physician Example Video

Next up, once you’ve got all of your equipment and your Google profile, you need to give some consideration to what you’re going to be saying. What content are you going to produce? For starters, consider filming a video that just tells a bit more about you and your practice. Then, you’ll want to focus in on a few key procedures or treatments you offer to patients. From there, the only thing limiting you is the space on your hard drive and the amount of patience you have in front of a camera.

What Are Some Tips for Success?

Once you actually get everything needed and you’re ready to record, there are a few things to keep in mind to get the best video on the web for patient’s hungry eyes. Of course, no one expects you to be an ace cinematographer or director with your YouTube medical practice marketing videos, but you shouldn’t be shooting for Blair Witch quality, either.

When deciding on the composition of your video (how the shot will look) consider using a background that will not drown you or your outfit out. You’ll want to choose somewhere that looks somewhat professional (depending on the topic of your video) and you’ll want to make sure you are the subject of the video. That means make sure you are the focal point, and your body takes up most of the screen space. If we can only see you from the shoulders up but have a full view of your office library, something is wrong.

Often overlooked is sound quality. As discussed previously, your best bet for quality sound is a lapel microphone. Even then, you’ll want to find a quiet hall of your office or schedule the video before or after appointment hours with patients. The last thing you want to hear when editing is a nearby door closing or office staff discussing yesterday’s Orlando Magic game (Go Magic, by the way).

Speaking of editing, be sure to keep your videos under five minutes in length whenever possible. No matter what you’re talking about, no one cares after five minutes – especially if it’s a static camera angle.

There are a few more tips and trends to be considerate of to get the most out of your videos, especially when it relates to keywords and descriptions, so if you don’t know where to start or if your videos aren’t getting the views you want, it’s best to contact a medical marketing group to help you gain exposure for your project.

Remember, as painful as it is to watch yourself on screen, it’s worth the time even if you just get one patient or surgery from your efforts. Lights, camera, patients.