RealSelf Video Tip of the Month: 9 Seconds to Improved Engagement

When it comes to video marketing, there are a few levers you can pull to figure out how to better reach your audience — video length is one of them. So is short or long form better? This month’s top video shows that if you want to keep viewers’ attention, keep it short.

Need proof? Earlier this month, New York plastic surgeon Daniel Del Vecchio, MD uploaded a video entitled, “This Asian Patient Wanted a Big Butt and Was Not Disappointed”. Since then, it’s been watched more than 2,000 times, tallied over 7 hours of viewing time, and earned the No. 1 spot as RealSelf’s Top Doctor Video of the Month. Those would be compelling statistics for any video about fat transfer but what’s really impressive is that the entire thing lasts all of 9 seconds.

Truth is viewers love short videos. Today’s aesthetic consumers are time-pressed multi-taskers, balancing jam-packed days with the long-term pursuit of trustworthy information about their options. With few words and simple actions, Del Vecchio’s video gives them what they need without taking up their time.

Keeping your videos short — 60 seconds or less is a good guideline — is important for another reason: More people are viewing video on the go, using tablets and smartphones for quick-hit information wherever they are. On RealSelf, for example, 46% of total minutes of video were watched on smartphones and tablets so far this month, with almost half of that (22%) coming from phones.

Such numbers clearly underscore the power of video marketing in general and short videos in particular. To get even more out of your own video marketing:

Use a compelling thumbnail to entice viewers to click: Chances are potential patients will first see your videos in reduced-size snapshots known as thumbnails, so make sure the image in question grabs their attention. Even without motion, Dr. Del Vecchio’s close-up of his patient’s posterior makes it perfectly clear what the viewer is about to get into.

Write conversational headlines in easy-to-understand language: There’s a time and place for in-depth and highly technical explanations of specific procedures; the title of your video is not it. The title of Del Vecchio’s video — “This Asian Patient Wanted a Big Butt and Was Not Disappointed” — not only keeps things simple but also personalizes the subject and puts the focus where it belongs: the patient’s quest for a bigger backside (highlighting the beauty problem versus calling out a specific procedure) and her satisfaction.

Use innovative camera angles: Look at retail giants like Zappos or ASOS, and you’ll see that they have video for every single product they sell — and this is in addition to multiple images of the product. Video enhances and informs a consumer’s online shopping experience and this fat transfer video is the perfect supplement for those researching the procedure.

In fact, the same evolution that’s reinventing online shopping for shoes and dresses is likely to have a similar impact on the “decision journey” consumers make as they research their aesthetic options, a trend that poses both challenges and opportunities for doctors. As Del Vecchio puts it,

I think that we, as plastic surgeons, definitely need to be more fashion-conscious. We need to appreciate what beautiful is — not only in the body but also in clothing and shoes — because it will put us in better touch with our patients.

About Chako Suzuki

Chako Suzuki is the Managing Editor for RealSelf.

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