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YouTube Marketing for Doctors and Medical Practices

YouTube Marketing for Doctors and Medical Practices 

Google is the most popular search engine in the world, there are 5.4 billion searches on Google a day and has over 90% of the search engine market share. Google also owns the world’s 2nd largest search engine: YouTube. Studies show that 3/4 of people say that YouTube advertising made them more aware of brands, and almost as many say it impacts their buying decisions. Videos on YouTube can significantly impact buying decisions of people. However, YouTube advertising is not commonly a part of the marketing plan for medical practices and doctors. There are two significant benefits to take advantage of when advertising on YouTube:

  1. Advertising a medical practice through YouTube Videos and Channels
  2. Building brand awareness by building out a YouTube Channel.  

What are the benefits of a YouTube channel for doctors and medical practices?  

For the most part, patients know that a medical practice can not put videos up that would violate patient confidentiality and HIPAA regulations. Knowing this, it may be difficult to think what a potential patient is looking for when they come across a doctor’s or medical practice’s YouTube channel. Patients often want to know what a doctor looks like and get an idea of their personality. As much as it is essential for a doctor to have medical skills, their “Bedside Manner” is almost equally important. A video can convey much more of a doctor’s personality than the written words on a website.

Another thing many patients will want to see is a tour of a facility. They will want to see the waiting room and examination rooms, and some may even want to see how easy it is to park there. A quick video showing these aspects of a facility and the doctors who will be treating patients can make a strong connection and lead to a conversion.  

Sometimes, when patients have given explicit permission, videos can demonstrate procedures or treatments that features real patients. Some of the best videos showing these will involve patients giving 1st personal testimonials about their visit to a facility. Popular videos involving patients are “Before” and “After” videos showing the results of a treatment or procedure. Again, a practice will need explicit written permission to film and share their experiences. Showcasing patients will help boost the relevancy, authoritativeness, and reputation of medical practice in their field.  

The fact that Google owns YouTube is another great benefit. Relevant information often has a high SEO and will get better organic rankings in search engines for critical terms targeted by a medical practice. A well-developed YouTube channel is a great place to send potential patients if they have questions about a medical practice or its services. Finally, the demographics YouTube reaches are often the prime demographic for most medical practices. YouTube reaches more 18 to 49 year old than cable TV, giving a medical practice a great platform to engage with current and potential patients.

How can a medical practice advertise on YouTube?

In addition to creating a YouTube Channel and posting videos, a medical practice can launch an advertising campaign to show videos at the start of other videos on YouTube. Advertising on YouTube works much like advertising does with Google AdWords: A medical practice will target specific keywords people use when searching on YouTube and then bid to position their videos to show at the start or at other times during a YouTube Video. It is a great way to reach a target audience that may not be aware of a medical practice and help grow brand awareness. While a potential patient is unlikely to use YouTube to find a specific medical practice, they will often use it to find stories about people suffering similar symptoms or seeking similar treatments. These are opportunities to introduce them to a medical practice and available services.  

YouTube users are familiar with the platform and know that short advertisements frequently play before watching a video. Videos generally appear in two forms:

  • Bumper Ad – This video is only 6 seconds long (or less) and gives a short, memorable video with a call to action. The YouTube user can not skip this video, and an advertiser pays every time a video ad plays.
  • TrueView Video Ad – This video is longer than 6 seconds, and the YouTube user can skip it after 5 seconds. An advertiser only pays for the ad if 30 seconds or more of a video is watched. These are similar to Google AdWords paid results, where the advertiser only pays for ads if someone clicks on them.

Both ads are great to use to increase the brand awareness of a medical practice’s logo, branding, and messaging. TrueView Ads, if they are skipped quick enough by the user, can still be just as effective, although they must be designed to get the word out quickly before they get skipped. However, they can be very cost-effective as few people will watch an ad past 30 seconds. Finally, like Google AdWords, advertising on YouTube has a degree of targeting. A medical practice can focus on specific physical locations where videos will play. For example, a medical practice could limit their campaign so that the video will only play on devices within 10 miles of their physical address. A medical practice can also handpick different YouTube channels or categories of content that they believe their target audience in the area will frequently view.  

What type of YouTube videos performs well for a medical practice if they want to use videos in their medical marketing plan?

Most people who use the internet view online videos at some point. Recent data suggest that over 75 percent of people watch video content. Since there is such a large audience of potential viewers, various videos are needed to target these likely patients. The videos used to promote a medical practice generally fall into two categories: Promotional and Educational. Each category has different types of videos that serve other purposes.  

Promotional videos

Promotional videos, as it may not surprise you, are designed to promote a medical practice. It showcases certain aspects of it to help promote brand awareness.  Here are some video types:

  • Facility Tour:  Many potential patients want to know where they will get their treatments and what they look like. A tour of the facility or doctor’s office can give them a good idea of the spaces they will spend time in for treatments or other services. Generally, a medical practice will want to highlight treatment rooms, any rooms with special equipment (like x-ray machines), and the waiting room. Many rooms will highlight features, comforts, and anything else that makes them unique.  
  • Staff Introductions –   Much like looking at the space where patients will receive treatments and services, they will also want to meet doctors and staff who will take care of them. Videos should introduce the people they interact with during their visit to medical practice. The staff and doctors should talk a little about themselves, how long they have worked there, and their role as part of a patient’s treatment. An introduction of everyone they are likely to meet during an appointment will be a great way to make them feel at ease and create a conversion.  
  • Patient Reviews & Testimonials –  A first-person review or feedback from a treatment or service at a medical practice is compelling. 84% of people trust testimonials. While written reviews online are great, a video is a significantly more impactful. When a potential patient sees another patient like them feeling better or pleased with a service, it will build trust with that medical practice. To maintain HIPAA compliance, medical practices must ensure they receive written permission to use any recording of a patient that talks about their personal health information. 
  • Special Offers and Discounts –  From time to time, a medical practice may be able to offer service discounts. Videos announcing this discount can be a great way to get the word out. Be sure to include the special’s terms and expiration date so there is no confusion or upset patients.  
  • New Services –  If a medical practice adds a new service available to current or potential patients, a video is a great way to announce it. The video should detail the new service, its benefits, any limits in availability, and where someone can go to learn more information.  

Educational Videos

While some treatments and services are relatively straightforward, others might be more complicated and require some explanations. While writing out this information is certainly helpful from an SEO perspective, creating a video will also be immensely helpful in educating current and potential patients. They will have an increased understanding of the service or treatment available, which will drive up conversion rates. If YouTube videos become very popular, they may even begin to gain some organic ranking themselves, further promoting a medical practice and its brand. There are a few types of educational videos.  

  • Single Topic –  These videos focus on a specific topic. They could talk about preventing or alleviating a particular symptom. For example, a video could speak about home treatments for poison ivy and when it is time to come and see a doctor. Another example would be at-home stretches to relieve knee pain.  
  • Treatment Guidelines –   There are usually specific steps patients should take before major treatments or services as well as after they have completed a treatment or service. A step-by-step guide will ensure they will make a quick recovery without making any mistakes that could prolong their healing time.  
  • Procedure or Treatment Videos – Patients may put off procedures or treatments if they do not fully understand them or have some misconceptions about the process. A video that details treatments or procedures explaining what they should expect before, during, and after can put them at ease. The more they understand, the more likely they will proceed with it.  
  • Frequently Asked Questions –   There will be questions about medical procedures, treatments, policies, and even directions. Creating a video that answers these common questions can save time, reduce the number of calls the front desk receives, and increase conversions. While written explanations will likely be posted, a video version complementing it can be very effective.

Where should a medical practice post and showcase their marketing videos when they upload them to YouTube?  

Once a video is created and uploaded to YouTube, there is much more that can be done with it than just leaving it on a YouTube Channel. There are many different platforms where videos (both promotional and educational) can be posted and promoted.  

A Medical Practice’s Website

Many medical practices will increase site traffic if they embed a video onto their website. That said, a single page should not have dozens of videos embedded. In most cases, a single video giving more detail or information about a treatment or procedure will produce good results. Videos are often used to break up text content to make it easier to understand and retain. There may be times when multiple videos on a page are needed, such as a bio page that has a short video along with each doctor. Be sure pages are designed to promote a flow of information. Regardless, videos often lead to more appointments from patients. YouTube makes it easy to embed videos into websites without slowing down site speed.  

Posting YouTube videos on Social Media Channels

Social media channels are a great place to post links to YouTube videos or channels. Many patients will engage with a brand when they see their video on social media. Consumers like seeing videos on social media. Healthcare businesses have increased their usage of videos on social media because of this increased engagement. YouTube is also considered a social media site where people can comment on videos and tag others. A medical practice should monitor these posts as much as their other social media channels. Below are some social media channels where links to YouTube channels and videos that could be shared to: 

  • Facebook –   Facebook lets medical practices post a longer description and links to other information and a link to a YouTube Video. Be sure that the correct thumbnail is displayed to increase engagement. If Facebook does not pull the right thumbnail, the link may need to be debugged using this Facebook Tool.
  • Twitter –  Twitter may allow a YouTube video to be played from a timeline. To increase the reach and engagement, include hashtags in the post. Engagement increases by 100% when hashtags are used. 
  • Instagram –  While Instagram does not allow active links to be used in posts, a link to the YouTube channel can be placed in the bio. Try uploading clips from the YouTube video and encourage people to visit a channel for more information.  

YouTube marketing for doctors and medical practices is a great way to promote a practice and increase its reach. Video marketing should be a part of any well-developed medical marketing campaign. The experts at are available to help you create an effective medical marketing campaign that uses YouTube Marketing tactics. Contact us today and let us show you what we have done for other practices across the country!