Video Best Practices for Connecting with Potential Plastic Surgery Patients

News clips, movie trailers, and the never-ending streams that pop up in your Facebook feed, and you begin to understand why the folks at Cisco forecast that, by 2020, video will account for 82% of all consumer internet traffic.

You don’t need a crystal ball to see why video matters to anyone promoting a medical practice. As new research from Wyzowl demonstrates, video is proving to be more popular among consumers, more widely used by businesses, and more effective than ever. Consider the data:

Consumers (including aesthetic ones, no doubt) love to watch them.

  • According to the report, 98% have watched an explainer video to find out more about a product or service.
  • 79% say they’d rather watch a video to learn about a product than read text on a page — up from 69% a year ago.
  • 77% say it’s convinced them to make a purchase.

Businesses (including competing practices) find videos to be highly effective.

  • 63% of businesses are now using video, compared to 61% this time last year.
  • 76% say that video has increased traffic to their website.
  • 81% linked it to a direct increase in sales.
  • 83% felt that, overall, video provides a good ROI – compared to 76% a year ago.

For aesthetic practices, the benefits of video may be even greater. For one thing, it’s an excellent medium for explaining complex, confusing, or otherwise unfamiliar subjects, including many surgical procedures. For another, watching informative videos can reduce anxiety, generate more reasonable expectations, and lay the groundwork for better outcomes, fewer complications, and increased patient satisfaction. Most important of all, perhaps, video can provide a human touch, allowing viewers to get to know you as a medical professional and a person.

At the same time, the sheer diversity of aesthetic procedures means there’s a near-infinite array of approaches you can take. Some practices have racked up impressive views by having patients tell their stories; others, by undergoing various procedures themselves. From highlighting the latest advances to providing insights about recovery, the options are essentially unlimited. Whether you choose to use your iPhone or a professional service, the following best practices will ensure that viewers give your videos two thumbs up:

Avoid blatant advertising: The goal isn’t to brag about how great your work is, it’s to answer viewers’ questions, address their concerns, and provide information that will give them a clearer picture of their options and what to expect. That said, there’s no harm in incorporating patient testimonials, before and after images, and other content that provide a more subtle shout-out to your skills.

Keep it simple: According to the Wyzowl report, 95% of consumers believe that a video should be less than two minutes long. We recommend keeping it under a minute if you’re answering questions, but it’s also true that some aesthetic procedures warrant a more in-depth approach, especially when demo-ing a procedure. The best rule of thumb? Try to keep it under a minute, and if you must go over, consider having someone edit it down to only the essential parts of the procedure, or make it into a multi-part series.

Keep it real: When shooting videos, remember that your audience consists of potential patients, not other doctors. For many, your video may be their first introduction to the subject at hand, so be conversational, not overly clinical. As the Wyzowl report notes, 83% of consumers feel that narration that communicates like a friend or family member is more relatable and persuasive than a more formal approach.

Keep it professional: While viewers may prefer an informal tone, that in no way detracts from the reality that they’re researching subjects that can entail a jumble of physical, emotional, and financial considerations. As such, they’re quick to pick up on subtle cues, which is why looking the part — by wearing your lab coat, for example — can be a prerequisite to getting the consult. The same goes for your physical surroundings and approach to filming. A clean, clutter-free backdrop and high production values may not provide direct evidence of your medical skills, but they clearly speak to your professionalism.

Doctor Takeaway

Use video to inform, engage, and attract potential patients

As video content becomes more ubiquitous, it’s only going to get more popular and, by extension, more powerful as a way to engage potential patients. On RealSelf, for example, viewers watch thousands of videos every month, and they factor what they see into their decisions about procedures and providers. Follow the best practices cited above, and visit our Video Best Practices page for more information.

Join RealSelf University for the March 29 webinar, “Video – How to Look Like a Pro Without Spending Like One.”

About Rob Lovitt

Rob Lovitt is a longtime writer and editor who believes every good business has a great story to tell. He has written for dozens of magazines and websites, including NBCnews.com, Expedia.com and the inflight magazines of Alaska, Horizon and Frontier airlines.

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