As a Digital Marketing Firm that specializes in the eye care industry, we’re often asked by ECPs which type of content resonates best with patients. Our answer can be summed up with one word: authentic. A 2019 study revealed that 90% of consumers cited authenticity as a key factor in deciding which businesses to support.
With the arrival of novel coronavirus (COVID-19), demand for genuine connection is at an all-time high. YouTube recently reported a 54% year over year increase in “with me” video views. These videos showcase “real” people doing everyday tasks alongside their viewers. People are feeling isolated and uncertain and they are turning to digital devices to recapture the stability they previously received from face to face interactions. It’s no surprise that as social distancing becomes our “new normal,” the popularity of the hashtag #InThisTogether has skyrocketed.
What Does the Rise In Authentic Content Mean for ECPs?
So what does this all mean for ECPs? For starters, people are scared. They are looking to trusted medical professionals for reassurance and guidance. That’s why regularly communicating with your patients is essential. But the best way for eye care providers to showcase their authenticity and connect with patients is by leveraging video. As marketers, we’ve known for several years that video content performs well. Before COVID-19, Americans watched more than 500 million hours of video on YouTube each day. More recently, the Global Web Index Survey Coronavirus Research Report found that Millennials, ages 24-37 have increased their online video consumption by 44%, while those in the 38-56 age range are spending 35% more time watching online videos.
Traditionally, in order to invest resources in video production, ECPs faced the challenge of finding topics that would appeal to a wide variety of patients and producing a professional-looking final product. In our current world, these obstacles have been eliminated. At a time when even celebrities are filming out of their own homes, overly produced videos feel ingenuine. That means anyone with a recording device has a chance to create and disseminate meaningful content. And, for perhaps the first time, almost all of your patients are wondering the same things.
Create Multi-Purpose Content To Stay Connected With Your Patients
The great news is that one video can also be used in multiple places. From uploading it to your website, to posting on your social media page, to linking to it from an email, there are numerous possibilities to drive viewership. To help you get the best results, we’ve compiled a list of the five most impactful videos your practice can film in the coming weeks.
1. SHOWCASE SAFETY
Safely navigating everyday life is a top priority. That’s why your patients want to know what steps you are taking to make it safe for them to visit your office. Listing out the numerous safety protocols you’ve implemented in a lengthy email can overwhelm readers. However, taking your patients on a virtual tour of your office is reassuring. If you were temporarily closed or limiting services, safety videos are the perfect way to announce that you are resuming regular operations. Consider filming different members of your staff explaining your new protocols with a smile on their face. You might feature your staff wearing appropriate protective equipment, sterilization procedures, operational changes that you’ve made, new equipment or additional services that you’ve added.
2. SET EXPECTATIONS
Your practice is likely making operational changes to comply with social distancing guidelines. Statistics show that viewers retain 95% of the information they watch in a video as opposed to a 10% retention rate from reading alone. Educating patients about what to expect when they show up for an appointment not only increases their comfort, but it also keeps your office running smoothly and protects your staff from unnecessary risk. You might consider including this type of video with appointment confirmation or appointment reminder emails. This video would be geared towards patients with upcoming visits and would discuss your office’s policies on wearing masks, taking temperatures, accompanying guests, and waiting areas.
3. HIGHLIGHT CONNECTION
Although physically distanced, we are all longing for social connections. That’s why videos that elicit feelings of togetherness are so popular. Giving your patients an inside look into what you and your staff have been doing recently, make you relatable. A simple photo montage of staff members saying “we miss you” or “we can’t wait to see you” makes patients feel valued. Videos thanking first responders and frontline workers can be a powerful representation of your values. And, footage showcasing your staff emotionally reconnecting – while still being mindful of physical distancing –is extremely powerful. Please note, videos showcasing connection only work if they are genuine so make sure to select a topic that resonates with you and your staff.
4. BE HELPFUL
Most practices have found new ways to serve patients during these trying times. Maybe you started offering online contact lens ordering or curbside pickup. Perhaps you instituted telemedicine options for your patients. Whatever changes you have made to accommodate your patients, it’s worth talking about them. You can also use this opportunity to give helpful advice. Have some tips for reducing digital eye strain? Know how to keep glasses from fogging up while wearing a mask? Your patients will thank you for understanding their challenges and providing manageable solutions.
5. HAVE FUN
Unfortunately, in our current reality, if you turn on the TV or go online you can easily get bombarded with bad news. That’s why people are looking for fun distractions to lift their spirits. This is your opportunity to let your personality shine. Maybe in their downtime your staff has choreographed a dance routine, or you’ve come up with fun ways to accessorize a cloth mask, or someone scripted a parody about standing “too close.” Whatever quirky or ridiculous thing you are doing to stay sane – now is your time to showcase it! The more unique you are, the better. Although we recommend staying tasteful, a good rule of thumb is: if it makes you smile, you probably have shareable content on your hands!
Key Advice: Authentic but Professional
In closing, we have one final piece of advice: although your authentic content should not feel over-produced, your viewers still expect high-quality video. It’s fine to film from your cell phone but you will still want to follow a few basic rules. Make sure you shoot all of your video in the same ratio, preferably by keeping your camera horizontal. Keep in mind that it’s difficult to watch a shaky video, so a steady hand or a tripod is key. You’ll also want to keep any background noise to a minimum while filming. Using a basic editing tool to smooth transitions and add background music will make it more likely that viewers watch your full video.
It’s clear that there is a huge demand for authentic video content right now. So there really couldn’t be a better time for ECPs to use video to communicate and connect with patients. ECPs can take advantage of this unique opportunity to stand out in their markets by responding to the current situation with short videos to educate, highlight safety protocols, and engage with patients. Just be yourself and keep it simple! The best videos are straightforward and genuine. If you have further questions or want additional advice, feel free to contact National Strategic Group directly. We’re all #InThisTogether and we are happy to help!