Posts Tagged ‘YouTube’

Why Online Videos Should be an Integral Marketing Tool for your Hospital or Practice

July 8, 2014

Anytime you can invoke multiple senses in delivering your message, it makes a larger impact on your audience. Video affords you the opportunity to both paint a picture and capture sound. It has the ability to stir emotions and influence people and allows you to be a better storyteller. This emotional response ultimately helps drive engagement and allows viewers to connect with your brand.

This makes video a valuable tool in your communications with patients because it allows you to deliver valuable content in a format that viewers are consuming at a faster pace than ever before.

In 2012, Google and Compete, Inc. surveyed 533 hospital researchers to gain behavioral insights on how digital is used to seek healthcare information. They found that:
• One in eight patients watched an online video on:
Hospital sites – 42%
Health information sites – 30%
YouTube – 29%
• Patients seek video reviews and testimonials to learn about hospitals
and treatment options with 43% watching patient testimonials and
32% reviewing patient generated content
• Online video drives patients to hospital sites where they are more
likely to convert
• YouTube traffic to hospital sites has increased 119% year over year.

So why do consumers connect so strongly with video? Susan Weinschenk, Ph.D., a brand consultant for large companies, says there are four driving factors:
• We pay attention to faces – our brain function uses the human face as
a gathering point for believability and information
• Voices provide a way to convert information into meaningful content
• Emotions are contagious and appealing and humans love to share it
• Movement grabs your attention – the power of peripheral motion is
ingrained into our DNA

People have very different ways of absorbing information. Some prefer to read and others to hear or see it visually. Because video is capable of imparting information in any and all of these ways, it allows you to effectively convey your message regardless of the viewer’s learning style.

So, if you aren’t currently using videos in your marketing, you’re missing out on an incredible opportunity to connect with your audience. Engage with them and get your message out there!

Breaking the Piñata: When is too much information, too much?

September 16, 2010

Four days, 6 general sessions, 70 break-out workshops, 119 exhibitors, dozens of exchanges during breaks and luncheons with fellow attendees and the SHSMD 2010 conference is complete.

Rich with content and excited to share these pretty, shiny nuggets of knowledge with you, I’m struggling to find a starting point.

It’s almost like cracking open a piñata and not being certain of the direction in which I should scamper. Which goodies do I want to hoard for myself? Which ones do I want to share with others? Which ones do I find fascinating and you may find irrelevant?

I could craft a summary of the SHSMD conference and provide an overview of all the tidbits I’ve gathered, but the final product would be more like a dissertation rather than a blog entry.

Bursting at the seams, I feel like Adam in Paradise Lost when Raphael warned:

 “But Knowledge is as food, and needs no less

Her Temperance over Appetite, to know

In measure what the mind may well contain,

Oppresses else with Surfeit, and soon turns

Wisdom to Folly, as Nourishment to Wind.”

 Now that consumers have developed an excessive craving for conversation, education and details, what makes for a successful online interaction?

Just like biting into a juicy apple, you want to give your consumer digestible bits of information.

As marketers, we need to get out of broadcast mode where we craft our talking points, add some nice graphics or even a video, and post content to the web as another means of pushing out our messages. As The Cluetrain Manifesto laments, we’re still treating the online market as “eyeballs” rather than as people engaged in conversation.

Similar to chatting it up with a fellow attendee at a conference, you need to have a genuine delivery that leads to a positive exchange of ideas and dialogue. Not too much information where you overwhelm the other person and turn them off. Rather, the right balance of content that leaves them satisfied – and wanting seconds.

I can keep serving up my sampling of the conference, but what are you craving? Click brochure to get an overview of the SHSMD 2010 conference. Then, send me a note at and tell me what topic you would like discussed next.

Social Media Use in Southeast Hospitals

August 24, 2010

Social media in healthcare seems to be growing exponentially. Or does it?  For starters, let’s look at hospitals in the Southeast. 

Based on the Hospital Social Network List (last updated July 24), 112 hospitals across six Southeastern states engage in social media.  That’s an average of just 16% of short term acute care hospitals (not including children’s hospitals).

State Using SM Total ST-Acute ( % in SM YouTube Facebook Twitter Blogs
AL 6 100 6% 4 5 5 0
FL 40 213 19% 20 27 26 5
GA 19 115 17% 12 18 11 2
NC 17 106 16% 8 10 16 5
SC 16 64 25% 7 14 14 3
TN 14 117 12% 8 9 12 2
Totals 112 715 16% 59 83 84 17

While social media may not be right for all of these hospitals, the numbers seem surprisingly low especially when considering the wealth of facts validating the top social platforms.

Danny Brown recently shared excellent stats on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and blogs.  Some of the highlights: 


  • The average Facebook user has 130 friends.
  • There are more than 100 million active users currently accessing Facebook through their mobile devices. [Does your hospital have a mobile-friendly site? What about your Facebook page design?]
  • People that access Facebook via mobile are twice as active than non-mobile users.
  • More than 25 billion pieces of content (web links, news stories, blog posts, notes, photo albums, etc.) is shared each month.
  • The average Facebook user is connected to 60 pages, groups and events.
  • People spend over 500 billion minutes per month on Facebook.

Statistics from Facebook press office


  • Twitter gets more than 300,000 new users every day.
  • There are currently 110 million users of Twitter’s services.
  • Twitter receives 180 million unique visits each month.
  • There are more than 600 million searches on Twitter every day – more than Yahoo and Bing combined.
  • More than a third of users access Twitter via their mobile phone.

Statistics from Twitter and the Chirp Conference.  


  • The very first video uploaded in April 2005. By June 2006, more than 65,000 videos were being uploaded every day.
  • YouTube receives more than 2 billion viewers per day.
  • Every minute, 24 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube.

Statistics from YouTube press center


  • 77% of Internet users read blogs.
  • There are currently 133 million blogs listed on leading blog directory Technorati.
  • Bloggers use an average of five different social sites to drive traffic to their blog.

Statistics from Technorati’s State of the Blogosphere 2009 .  
Hopefully, these stats may help you build a case for jumping into social media at your healthcare organization – or expanding your outreach into other channels. 

Brands Living Big

July 21, 2010

I saw a tweet about Chick-fil-A’s self-proclaimed Cow Appreciation Day a few weeks back. The tweet led to this AdAge interview with Marketing Exec David Salyers where the usual questions came up. When will you start opening on Sundays? They won’t. And what is it with those cows? They started as an off-strategy billboard idea.


I have been a long-time fan of the cows and their egregious spelling for years. Created by The Richards Group in 1995, the cows are everywhere Chick-fil-a is: in their ads and TV spots, at the Chick-fil-A Bowl, on Twitter at @EatMorChikin, on their annual calendar, on cups and to-go bags. And, apparently, they almost never came to be. Interesting.

But the educationally-challenged cows have new competition in my heart from a suave, young spokesman.

Scaling the brand idol category, both bare-handed and shirtless, is the Old Spice Guy created by Weiden + Kennedy. He’s making hilarious commercials, one dissected here (especially interesting if you are “into” production). The Old Spice Guy is tweeting  personalized videos, too. Here’s one he made for Apolo Anton Ohno  and another for a guy named Kevin.

The cows and the Old Spice guy are ways big advertisers have taken their brand and brought it to life all over the place. Like on a horse.

SCHA Hosts Social Media Workshop for Hospitals

June 24, 2010

SCHA’s one-day social media workshop (tweets at #smrev) will no doubt get the social media wheels whirring at many SC hospitals. The morning sessions featured Reed Smith and Ed Bennett, two social media rocket scientists.

Reed took workshop participants through the social marketing mix advising them to approach social media with a different set of the 4 P’s of marketing. Instead of Product, Place, Price and Promotion, he suggested Policy, Purpose, People and Plan. Reed’s plan for social media?

  1. Listen and monitor. Search for existing communities and content. Identify ongoing conversations and blogs.
  2. Join the conversation. Leave the sales-y mentality behind. Ask questions and participate. Being involved gives you credibility and the opportunity to talk about what you do.
  3. Measure. Look at what’s working and what’s not.

In addition to connecting with external audiences, Reed advised that social media is also a great way to connect with staff and physicians for recruitment and retention. For staff, noting good deeds and awards is magnified on a Facebook wall. Their family will likely see it, as well as the average Facebook user’s 150 “friends.” In employee recruitment, social media can be a welcome alternative to the local chamber website and give a feel for what’s going on at your organization. Having information accessible is to your advantage, too. Your prospects are doing brand research on your organization, too.

Reed advised tying social media efforts to traditional ones:

  • Include social media icons or links in print, digital and broadcast communications.
  • Put links to Facebook pages and blogs on your website and reciprocal links back to Facebook.
  • Even include descriptions of social media vehicles for less social-savvy consumers.

He also discussed user-generated sites such as Yelp, Foursquare, Gowalla and YouTube which allow organizations to amend user content by adding special offers and information, contact data, reviews and more.

Reed advised hospitals that it does take time to manage social media but that it can be managed efficiently. Social media can be a valuable tactic in your marketing arsenal.

All that just from the first speaker. Next up was Ed Bennett.

Ed’s presentation was chock full of data on national social media use. His Found in Cache blog includes special widgets displaying hospital social media activity in SC (and NC) hospitals. Ed kicked off his presentation with an interesting tidbit on why social media matters. Google has cruised along as the #1 website for years. Facebook, a relative newcomer to the scene has surpassed Google in website visits. That’s like John’s Hopkins, who has dominated the US News & World Report’s America’s Best Hospitals list for years, suddenly dropping to number two.

Ed, who has been following social media data for years, has noticed a 10% decrease in non-social media web traffic as people spend more time on social media. After all, he said, there are only so many hours in the day. The dissemination of information has undergone a fundamental change. Where we were once provided information through traditional marketing, e-mail campaigns and first generation websites, today we get information from our friends and through social media.

Ed’s social media program goals are basic and effective:

  • To enhance and enable word of mouth.
  • Perform brand and reputation monitoring.
  • Media corrections.
  • Get his hospital “in the room” (be a part of social media).
  • Establish his hospital as a trusted source. Build on the current web program. One of Ed’s stongest suggestions is to be “in the room.”

Being “in the room” is especially critical if something goes wrong or there is a crisis. You can’t get in the room when a crisis happens; you should have been there already. Rather then being on the defensive or unprepared, your community will likely support you if they know and trust you already. More important, they will come to your defense and help you.

Ed suggested that YouTube is a nice, “safe” way to get started on social media. His “secret sauce” for more views? When you upload videos, be sure to utilize the 250-300 word description and to use relevant key words for search. Also, be sure to secure non-profit status when applicable. He also advised that as much as we’d like, we can’t plan for something to go viral, just be ready in case it does. Have the behind-the-scenes story ready and other relevant information in case the content catches.

Ed suggests branding your social media efforts closely to your organization to prevent ambiguity. Ed’s a Twitter guy and likes it for the searchability and amount of raw information. Right now, he says it’s a smaller community but it’s a great place for reputation monitoring and service recovery.  He gives Facebook props for its ability to engage and build communities. As far as how much to tweet or update your status, Ed suggests no more than 2-4 times a day. But that guideline can go out the window if there’s something of quality to share.

Ed showed how they are pushing their Facebook page by embedding good content from their website such as an active Ask the Expert tab. Facebook has helped the hospital find patient stories that started with one unsolicited comment from a reader. The Facebook wall is also a good place for employees to see the impact they make in people’s lives. Even in acknowledging service breakdowns, an apology and acknowledgement can yield positive benefits.

Ed also suggested making a blog a home base for all social media activity. On a blog you have more control. Then you can add Facebook and Twitter, if those a part of your plan. Add Twitter and blog feeds to your website.

Ed offers these insights:

  • Try social media. It’s not that hard or scary
  • Find passionate people to manage the communities.
  • Learn from his mistakes. Start with policy and legal review, then implement. Be sure social media is accessible to employees. If it’s not, start the effort to make it accessible from the workplace. They’re already accessing it from their smart phones. It’s also helpful if you want to be seen as a progressive employer.
  • Last, don’t use the word blog. Call it something else if you can. That term can send up stonewalls on social media efforts.

All that information from the first two speakers. The afternoon sessions featured a discussion on ROI with Ed and Reed, legalities of social media use with Michael Shetterly of Ogletree Deakins Law Firm and a panel Q&A with several hospitals and a physician using social media. A post will follow on the afternoon session.

It was a full day of useful information for those using social media and those pondering the use of social media.

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