Why YouTube has to be included in the online marketing plan of healthcare service providers

YouTube is, with 7,5 million users in the Netherlands, third place of most used social media channels. Partly by its many users the fast growing channel is, after Google, the largest search engine. For healthcare service providers YouTube is an effective channel to deploy. Especially now that the empowered patient has an increasing need for better information, it is very important to have a strong online presence on different channels and offer relevant information. In this article I will delve into the possibilities YouTube offers.

What are the possibilities for healthcare service providers?

YouTube can in may ways be an effective addition to the online marketing plan of health care service providers. To follow we describe the different possibilities.

Presenting your organization

Through videos you are able to, in a fun way, offer your target audience a look behind the scenes. Show for example how your employees go about their work and what people can expect when they visit your organization. A good, first impression is important to convey the right image, emotion and the passion of the health care service providers and the organization. This is for (potential) clients important when they choose their healthcare service provider. It is not for nothing that the ‘about us’ page is one of the most important pages of a website.

Sharing of relevant information

By sharing relevant information via YouTube you form a connection between the online patient and your organization. To discover what content is needed, it is wise to monitor up front where the patient’s interest lies. Videos with explanations of certain treatments are very effective because people use these as preparation for their own treatments. Think of YouTube-videos with an explanation of exercises, medical rehabilitation or medicines.

How the Jeroen Bosch Hospital reaches her target audience
The Jeroen Bosch Hospital responds cleverly to the fact that patients increasingly use YouTube to look for answers to their questions and tips on their health. The hospital picked actors from different age groups to discuss particular treatments, hereby comforting patients from every target group. The following clip shows how Emmy is put on a drip. Because of all the questions she asks the nurse, kids that are going to be put on a drip are comforted on what is coming. The questions that children have are answered this way and any uncertainties are eliminated.

Create a stronger online presence in and through YouTube

Because almost any quest of the online patient starts with typing in search terms in search engines, it is important for health care service providers to rank high for those terms. This can be effectuated, for example, by using relevant keywords in the title, description, tags and annotations of your videos. Through executing keyword research, you can find out what keywords people use the most and which ones should be added to your video description.

That YouTube ranks high within Google is through the high domain authority the website has. The number of likes, views and subscribers naturally plays a part in the ranking of YouTube, but the factor that counts the most is playtime. The longer a video is watched, the better the content is in the eyes of Google. For example, the abovementioned YouTube-video of the Jeroen Bosch Hospital has the top most ranking in Google when typing in the keywords ‘intravenous infusion’.

Employer branding through YouTube

By showing through videos what it’s like to work at your organization, you reach potential employees in a positive way. What a number of healthcare service providers are already doing well, is sharing videos on what it’s like to work as a nurse. With this kind of employer branding video you give an impression of what kind of employer the health care service provider is and what the atmosphere is like at the workplace. This way you put your organization on the map as an employer.

The VU Medical Center reveals in a YouTube-video what it’s like to work at the hospital as a nurse. In the video several nurses are accompanied during the day while they perform their duties. It gives a good impression of the profession and the video shows what it’s like to work at the VU Medical Centre. Comments below the video display that potential employees find the idea to work for this organization exciting.

Advertising on YouTube

YouTube offers the possibility to place ads and target viewers. This way you can determine exactly when people get to see your ads. Through YouTube-advertisements you can target age, gender, location and interests. Through Analytics you can measure the results instantly and adjust your ads accordingly. For example, as a healthcare service provider in the south of the country, you can show your ads to people living there. As a children’s hospital, you can target an age group that has a high likelihood of including parents.

Starting with YouTube

To help you on your way with using YouTube, i will share a concise and practical roadmap with you:

Step 1: Determine the goals and the target group
It is important to determine beforehand the goals and respective target group of the video. Would you like to, for example, generate more website traffic? Or reach a specific target group and stimulate interaction? Define this to establish if your videos have achieved the desired result. Determining the target group is important to make the videocontent fall in line with the needs of the viewers.

Step 2: Perform keyword research
Like mentioned before you can, by doing keyword research, discover what keywords have the highest search volume. These keywords can be used in the description, titles, tags and annotations of the videos. Besides this you can, on the basis of the outcome of this research, determine the subjects for the videos that are the best fit.

Step 3: Develop a strategy
After the goals, target group and subjects are determined, a strategy should be developed. Insert here the kinds of videos you want to develop to reach your previously set goals. You can, for example, make the health care service provider look accessible by letting employees or patients say a few things and explain complex diseases in an animated video with a voice-over.

Step 4: Create the video
With creating videos you have to take several things into account. For a video with employees or patients you have to think about hiring an agency, taking care of the location, actors and equipment. With an animated video you have to think about who will draft the script, who will be the graphic designer and who will do the voice-over.

Step 5: Publishing and distributing the video
When publishing the video, put the right words in the description, titles, tags and annotations for a stronger online presence of the video. Besides this it is important to share the YouTube-video on different social media channels. Hereby you can increase the rank, reach and popularity of the video.

Step 6: Analyze and optimize the executed strategy
Finally, it’s important to pro-actively analyze the results of the videos to examine why one video is more effective than the other. Through YouTube Analytics you can see, for example, how far into the video most viewers call it a day and on what channels the video scores the best. On the basis of these analyses you can optimize new videos.

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