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4 YouTube Best Practices for Healthcare Marketers

Marianne Aiello, for HealthLeaders Media, November 16, 2011

YouTube, while notoriously responsible for the rise of Justin Bieber, the controversial popularity of "David After Dentist," and countless cat-centric videos, can also be a powerful marketing tool. But hospital marketers must follow a few critical rules in order for YouTube to enhance their efforts.

Lexington Medical Center, a 384-bed hospital in West Columbia, SC, adopted YouTube as a marketing vehicle early on, setting up their page in 2007 because it was a way for the organization to showcase its award-winning TV spots. Now, four years and 27,000 views later, Director of Marketing & Advertising Mark Shelley has a clear view of what works and what doesn't.

1. Play to viewers' emotions

This axiom is true of all healthcare marketing efforts, but it's particularly relevant when you are creating content for YouTube because Internet users are a less captive audience than television viewers. If you don't hook them within the first five seconds, they'll likely click away.

"Our cancer commercial and any of the more emotional spots receive the most views," Shelley says.

What's more, LMC recently won Medline's Pink Glove Dance video contest, which challenged hospitals to create fun breast-cancer awareness spots using their own employees. To date, LMC's entry has received more than 150,000 YouTube views. It won the national contest with more than 61,000 votes on Facebook.

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1 comments on "4 YouTube Best Practices for Healthcare Marketers"


Andrew B. (11/21/2011 at 9:36 AM)
The explosion of YouTube is based on the premise that everyone can do it. But that doesn't mean everyone can produce a great video. You need to be totally professional. That means you need consent forms for everyone in the video, especially patients. You shouldn't show logos or trademarks. You shouldn't disrupt workflows. Video technical specs need to be up to par. Editing needs to be tight. Good audio and proper lighting are essential. DO NOT hand a Flip cam to your staff and hope for the best.