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6 Ways YouTube Connects With Patients

Marianne Aiello, for HealthLeaders Media, March 26, 2014

Even providers with small marketing budgets can implement YouTube strategies that resonate with patients in meaningful ways.

On a recent episode of the TV game show Family Feud (yes, it's still around, though the show is on its sixth or seventh host) the following question was posted to players: When are people most likely to watch online videos?

One of the top answers: While waiting for your doctor.

Assuming a game show survey of 100 people is an accurate representation of public perception, it appears that people think hospitals and YouTube already go together... if not for the reasons we'd like. However, many hospitals are producing quality video content and posting them on the Google-owned site, reaching thousands of patients in a number of meaningful ways.

According to a 2013 study by Indiana University, by October 2012, 634 (11%) of 5,754 U.S. hospitals had created a YouTube channel. Of those hospitals, 65% had posted 50 videos or fewer, with 14% having posted 0 videos.

Of those videos, 30% had 10,001-50,000 views, and 22% had 50,001-200,000 views. The most popular types of videos posted by hospitals were advertising videos (34.49%), informational videos (36.37%), educational videos (25.32%), and entertainment videos (3.82%).

"Hospitals lacking robust marketing and communications budgets may be more likely, not less likely, to consider technology investments a major priority," Cindy Smith-Putnam, Executive Director of Business Development, Marketing & Community Relations at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center said in the study's conclusion.

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