Over the last month or so, two rather significant media outfits (MTV News and FOX Sports) announced they were ditching written content entirely, and instead focusing their efforts on video.

This shift even has a fancy term: “pivoting to video.” And aside from meaning layoffs for content creators with a writing background, the recent pivots by folks like FOX and MTV may actually impact how you market your medical practice.

This shift toward video isn’t exactly new. It started a few years ago, right about the time that Facebook changed its News Feed ranking system. During that algorithmic update, FB began to weigh videos more heavily than links to external articles.

So, for example, a video about the latest healthcare bill proposal has a better chance of showing up in a user’s News Feed than a link to a news article that covers the same topic.

The relationship is pretty clear:

Brands and publishers like Facebook because that’s the best place to find an audience. Facebook likes videos because they keep people on FB and because people spend a lot of time, in FB, watching these videos.

In short, this little equation means that it’s looking more and more like if you want to make a splash on a key platform like FB – or even Google (which owns YouTube) – then you have to up your video game.

Now, let’s be fair here. Publishers like MTV and FOX have pivoted to video because they believe they’ll find more success in advertising dollars. The thought here is that users are more likely to sit down and watch an ad before a video than they are to look at an ad while reading an article.

And they’re probably right.

And that pearl of thought, alone, should be enough to catch your eyes, as a medical marketer. If more and more users are turning to video, perhaps it’s time to shift your ad spend toward ads that appear in videos related to your services.

The shift to video – a focus on ads

We make it pretty clear to our clients in the medical space that as important as a solid SEO strategy is, true success can’t be enjoyed unless a solid paid media strategy is implemented.

In other words, you have to pay to play.

But how can you make sure that your ad dollars are being spent wisely?

Here at Cardinal, we’re pretty meticulous about our campaigns. We dissect the performance of every single campaign we launch and find ways to improve upon these campaigns moving forward.

Often times this includes shifting our bid strategy, or expanding the budget on display ads while minimizing spend on PPC.

Each client is different; however, if we’re talking about overall trends in the industry, what we have noticed is that more and more of our medical clients are seeing tremendous returns on their video ads that appear on platforms like YouTube.

What’s key here is to make sure your ad appears before videos related to your content. For example, we conducted a simple YouTube search for:

“how to perform a mole check.”

This is a pretty common search type you’d find on YouTube – a how-to tutorial. One of the first videos we saw on the results page was called How to Check for Skin Cancer. Perfect! We clicked on it, and, before the actual video popped up, an ad appeared.

You can see a screenshot of it below:

youtube autofill example

This is an add from Grammarly, an app designed to help you write with proper grammar (we’re assuming).

It has nothing to do with the mindset of our searcher – someone who is clearly concerned about their risk of skin cancer.

Now, let’s assume that your medical clinic offers skin cancer screenings and treatment. Wouldn’t have this been an incredibly fortuitous spot to nab with an ad touting your services?

This is just one brief example of how a shift to video can aid your practice. Sure, a video ad is going to cost you more than the creation of a display ad – we’re not saying it won’t. However, as large publishers like FOX and MTV make that video pivot, you should begin to accept that even just one or two video ads per year could, very well, deliver higher returns than dozens of ads found only within the pages of written content.

The shift to video – a focus on organic content

The use of video as an ad strategy can be effective, but it wasn’t even the chief reason we sat down to write this article.

Our first purpose was to shed light on the wonders of organic video content.

And for that, let’s head over to Google and ask it how to check for lice:

how to check for lice google results

That image above features the first four organic listings for that search term. You’ll notice #3 is a video, straight from YouTube.

What you’ll also notice is Google has embedded a thumbnail of the video into the results entry, making that one entry easily more eye-catching than the others.

For something like a how-to, doesn’t it make sense to see a video, rather than read an article? Most people would say yes, which is why Google bought YouTube to begin with years ago. They knew that video would reign supreme.

So, what does this mean for your practice?

We’ve talked, at length, about the importance of actively producing content that highlights all of a practice’s offerings and services. For example, there are many types of cancers that a cancer center might treat. That cancer center should have dedicated web pages, and supplemental blog posts, targeting the keywords around these offerings.

Here’s a clearer example:

A cancer center could have a series of pages and posts just on squamous cell carcinoma (including symptoms, treatments, case studies, latest advancements, etc.).

With there clearly being an increased emphasis – by platforms including Facebook and Google – on video, it’s pretty clear that medical professionals need to start creating videos as part of their content strategy as well.

Let’s use squamous cell carcinoma as an example. What kinds of content (video and text) could a cancer center create, just on squamous cell carcinoma?

  • A dedicated web page on their website
  • An article that covers FAQs
  • A video where a doctor goes over FAQs
  • A video that gives viewers a behind-the-curtain look at one of the procedures used to treat this form of cancer
  • Written and video testimonials from past patients
  • A webinar, hosted by a specialist in the field, that is then recorded and published online
  • A Facebook Live stream (or YouTube live stream) where visitors can ask questions of doctors on staff

The list could go on and on – and, to be frank, should go on and on. The more unique content you can build around singular offerings and service areas, the better you’ll rank in the long run.

But here’s what we want to end this article with today: We know video can be a bigger investment on your part. But it doesn’t have to be.

For starters, rather than create absolute new content dedicated just to video, why not repurpose your existing written content? You see we did that in the list above with, for example, the FAQs and testimonials. We’re not recreating the wheel. We’re just shifting our content to a new medium.

Next, videos don’t always have to be over-the-top productions. Sure, ads you create likely should be; however, more important than a highly produced video is your ability to be authentic, while providing value to a client.

Just look at the videos created by Dr. Mark Sutor (a dentist) for Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/drmarksutor.

These simple, and often quick, videos provide incredible value to users and can help your practice get on the radar of more and more prospects.

Because of our access to smartphones and YouTube/Facebook, now is the time to test out some DIY-type video content. If you see that it works, then perhaps you should look to up your game and bring in a production team that can help you create a few cornerstone videos you can use for marketing and advertising purposes for months – if not years – to come.

Either way, we’re not kidding when we say that video is hot. It’s time your practice jump in on the game.

Alex Membrillo Cardinal CEO

Alex Membrillo

Founder and CEO

Alex Membrillo is the CEO of Cardinal, a digital marketing agency focused on growing multi location companies. His work as CEO of Cardinal also recently earned him the honor of being selected as a 2015 and 2016 Top 20 Entrepreneur of metro Atlanta by TiE Atlanta, Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 2016 Small Business Person of the Year (Rising Star), and the 2015 Digital Marketer of the Year by Technology Association of Georgia (TAG).