They say a picture is worth a thousand words. I wonder, then, how many words a video is worth? It’s no secret that people learn differently. Some people need to see the words on a page to process them. Others need pictures, diagrams, and figures to help explain concepts. Regardless of how we prefer to learn, most would agree that a video accompanying a written communication enhances that communication. Videos are engaging. People like watching them. What’s more, they like sharing them. And as a marketer, having someone share your video is pretty much the Holy Grail.
According to Reel Marketer, “While the written word is far from dead, video has done a fine job of putting a dent in its armor. If someone visits a website and a video is offered, curiosity will often lead them to play it.”
Health communicators have capitalized on this concept. Earlier this year, I wrote about the Cleveland Clinic’s successful video series on empathy. Recognizing that the complicated notion of the Affordable Care Act was going to have to be explained to millions of people, the Kaiser Family Health Foundation created a wildly popular (and helpful) video called Health Reform Hits Main Street and then updated it with The YouToons Get Ready for Obamacare: Health Insurance Changes Coming Your Way Under the Affordable Care Act.
The idea of sharing messages and information through video was a theme at the 2014 PRSA Health Academy. Nearly every presentation espoused the use of video as a communications tool—a tactic that is particularly effective for communicating health information. With the power of social media sharing, using video as a marketing tool has boundless potential. Swedish Medical Center’s Swedish Cancer Institute saw this first hand when it teamed up with Seattle Seahawks’ All-Pro cornerback, Richard Sherman to promote the institute’s personalized medicine. Published on April 27, the YouTube video featuring Sherman now has more than 106,000 views.
Video production company DemoFlick contends that more and more companies are also using videos for internal communications. This is a tactic Signature Healthcare in Brockton, MA, employed as a way recruit and retain physicians. Using recorded interviews with their physicians, Signature has been able to present itself as a unique organization worth considering. Since launching the video project, the hospital has seen a net increase in physicians.
Bottom line: 90 percent of TV viewers are visiting YouTube and Google Search; if you are not using video when creating your communications plan, you are missing a significant opportunity to spread your message exponentially.