Video for Dentists, Doctors: Reach Across the Digital Divide
Video earns its place at the top of the virtual food chain with its ability to engage both our visual and auditory senses to create memories that are "sticky."
- Visuals Stick in Long-Term Memory
According to education consultant Dr. Lynell Burmark: "…unless our words, concepts, ideas are hooked onto an image, they will go in one ear, sail through the brain, and go out the other ear. Words are processed by our short-term memory where we can only retain about seven bits of information ... Images, on the other hand, go directly into long-term memory where they are indelibly etched."
- Visuals Transmit Messages Faster
When it comes to images, the brain is fast. It can see images that last for just 13 milliseconds. In addition, our brains are pre-wired to automatically interpret relationships between objects, allowing for almost instant comprehension with minimal effort.
We also interpret visuals faster than the text associated with them. Take for example road signs. Which is faster to interpret: A sign describing a winding road or a picture of the road's S-curves?
- Visual Cues Trigger Emotions
Images cause faster and stronger reactions than words. The brain is designed to easily link visual stimuli and emotional response to form memories, which makes the information "sticky."
Paul Martin Lester, Ph.D., at California State University at Fullerton, wrote: "Words are easily forgotten, but pictures stay in our minds. We may not remember many of the facts that led to the brief student uprising in China's Tiananmen Square in 1989, but you can never forget the image of the lone protester standing defiantly in front of a line of menacing, green Chinese tanks."
Engage Patients with Video
What types of video will showcase your expertise and your authenticity? Consider these examples:
Meet the Doctor
Example: Hurwitz Center for Plastic Surgery
A professionally produced biographical video introducing you is an invaluable first impression for prospective patients. An authentic video gives the viewer a sense of your personality and bedside manner, allowing patients to "get to know you" well before they meet you in person.
Videos that are sharp and crisp will look every bit as professional as you are.
A biographical video:
- Gives prospective patients a sense of your personality and bedside manner.
- Instills confidence that you are a doctor they like and trust.
- Allows you to share your expertise as well as your empathy for a more complete picture.
Pro Tip: Four times as many consumers would rather watch a video than read about a product or service.
Welcome to the Practice
Example: Dr. Peter Hellwig DDS, MAGD
A "Welcome to Our Practice" video expands the focus to include your staff and your facility. Prospective patients are able to see first hand what makes your practice and staff special.
A video also allows potential patients to familiarize themselves with your practice before they come through the front door.
A professional "welcome" video:
- Makes people feel more at ease by reducing uncertainty over the unknown.
- Makes them feel more confident about your practice.
- Creates a visual memory that sets you apart from other physician websites.
Pro Tip: Consider offering a "virtual tour" of your practice. This is an interactive option that allows online vistors to navigate through your office any time of day.
Example: Fredric Newman MD, FACS
Reviews are important to every practice, but when testimonials come alive in video prospective patients actually see and hear the heartfelt stories of your thankful patients.
Video ensures your patients' compelling testimonials are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week … whenever a prospective patient is looking for help.
- Bring reviews to life by allowing patients to share their stories, virtually one-on-one.
- Are more believable than text alone. Remember: Seeing is believing.
- Can be paired with Before and After images to provide visual proof of your skills.
Pro Tip: 84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.
Interview videos open the door to special topics featuring your practice. Consider showcasing a treatment you specialize in or new instruments at your practice. Or, you may want to enlighten patients about new procedures you are offering.
The list of interview possibilities is limitless and each entry offers further proof of your knowledge and expertise.
- Can go beyond "talking heads" and show you interacting with patients, building trust and rapport.
- Allow you to show your expertise. Are you presenting at a medical society conference? Consider including a video highlighting your presentation.
- Can be used to answer common medical questions or educating your viewers on timely issues.
Pro Tip: Share your video on social media to amplify its value. Did you know: 64% of consumers say watching a marketing video on Facebook has influenced a purchase decision in the last month.
Example: Artistic Expressions Dentistry
Procedure videos allow you to go in depth about a specialty at your practice. An added benefit of using video is the opportunity to employ diagrams or medical models to provide clarity.
Prospective patients feel more confident about their choice when they hear and see the physician himself explain the procedure.
- Can "pre-educate" patients before an office visit.
- Allow you to convey your expertise while describing a procedure in detail.
- Can include patients who have undergone the procedure, providing proof of your skills.
Pro Tip: People spend on average 2.6x more time on pages with video than without. The more engaged people are the more likely they'll pick up the phone and call.
Coming Soon: A Video-First World
The times are a changing. Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, notes:
“Most of the content 10 years ago was text, and then photos, and now it’s quickly becoming videos. I just think that we’re going to be in a world a few years from now where the vast majority of the content that people consume online will be video.” — Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook
There is a wealth of information about doctors online and patients themselves are more savvy when it comes to researching their doctors and dentists. By employing video, you can set yourself apart using your own personal brand: You.
After all, people buy from people, not businesses.