Creative Ways Hospitals Can Use Video to Build a Sense of Community
In today’s media-saturated world, video has emerged as one of the most effective content-types for connecting with consumers; the question for hospitals is not “if” it should be integrated into their marketing strategy, but “how.” The ever-increasing ubiquity of smartphones and mobile tablets has had a profound impact on the way we consume information and engage with one another — specifically when it comes to video content. Currently, according to the Media Briefing, roughly half of all online videos views can be attributed to mobile devices, and ZenithOptimedia predicts that the average amount of time we spend watching online video each day will increase by 19.8% in 2016. It should come as no surprise, then, that recent research suggests that 93% of marketing professionals across all industries use video content as a core component of their campaigns. And of those individuals, 83% reported an upswing in business outcomes once video was incorporated into their marketing strategies. So why is video such an impactful medium for healthcare marketers? Simply put, it engages multiple senses simultaneously, allowing hospitals to convey complex and nuanced information about their various service lines in the form of a highly digestible and relatable narrative.
Thanks to their emotional and educational value, videos make excellent community building tools that simultaneously bolster confidence in your brand. Confidence is important, especially considering that nearly 71% of patients experience high levels of stress and anxiety when faced with an upcoming surgery or hospital stay, according to BMC Surgery. By creating video content that showcases various facilities like the operating rooms, rehabilitation center, or where they’ll be staying can help make patients become more familiar and comfortable in advance of their arrival. Moreover, video can also be used to profile physicians, surgeons, and other hospital staff. ProMedica, for example, has a terrific YouTube playlist that introduces prospective patients to its physicians and showcases some of their groundbreaking work, giving viewers a more personalized sense of the ProMedica community. Encourage community participation by using videos to promote any sponsored events, from conferences to symposiums, and record the events themselves to highlight their success. There’s no better way to tell a compelling story — in fact, according to Forrester Research, one minute of video is worth 1.8 million words.
Video’s highly engaging nature makes it a prime medium for patient education, according to Becker’s Health and CIO Review. Whether you’re seeking to provide a general introduction to healthcare or demonstrating a specific treatment, information delivered in video content is more likely to resonate with patients and stick with them in the long-term. Moreover, asserting yourself as a trusted authority on health-related issues will ensure that patients think of you first when they’re in need of care. Meanwhile, enhancing your hospital’s social media presence with timely video content, especially during healthcare-themed social media observances (e.g., Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month or World AIDS Day), bolster patient education and engagement and facilitates community involvement. Check out this video that Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center for American Heart Month to see this idea in action.
When it comes to building a sense of community and humanizing your hospital’s brand, there’s no better way to do this than letting actual community members and patients tell their stories. It’s also important to remember that patients will always trust their peers more than your marketing department. Video testimonials are a relatable and highly evocative way to convey the impact that your hospital has had on each patient’s journey, thereby establishing an emotional connection to your brand for prospective patients. St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital does a wonderfully compassionate job of sharing its patients’ stories, and showcasing all those who provided a helping hand in the path to recovery. A hospital provides more than just simple services and procedures — the emotional connections between hospital staff, patients, and their families are incredibly personal and often long-term. By leveraging the capabilities of video to effectively communicate the unique value proposition of your facilities and humanize your brand, you can effectively differentiate yourself from your competitors and start building lasting relationships before patients even walk through the door. (Main image credit: Pexels)