February 7, 2023

Video Storytelling: Your Most Powerful Marketing Tool

Healthcare institutions of all stripes and sizes are recognizing that keeping people well by providing the services they need to prevent illness is more efficient than spending big dollars to treat them when they’re sick. This shift toward so-called value-based care has healthcare marketers more and more focused on messaging about health and wellness. 

But keeping folks healthy often means changing behaviors: eating a little better, exercising more, reducing stress, and so on. That requires education and trust.

If you’re a healthcare marketer charged with convincing your audience to take better care of themselves, or to come to your provider network or nonprofit when they need help, your most persuasive communication tool is video.  

Types of Healthcare Marketing Videos

A senior who’s able to keep living independently because he’s connected to services in his community. A physician who shares her own experience with cancer as a way to reassure others. Local residents who benefited from Covid vaccination.  

Stories like these are powerful because they feature real people and real experiences. Capturing them in video is a great way to connect your audience into these stories. 

The healthcare space is full of opportunities for video storytelling, and video can be used across all your digital marketing platforms from your website to social media. Here are a few broad categories of healthcare marketing videos: 

Prevention/Wellness Videos

Introducing your audience to peers who are living their best, healthiest lives is a great opportunity for video. These lifestyle segments often include interviews with individuals in their homes or in settings that are comfortable for them. On-camera interviews can be intermixed with video of the person and their favorite activities. Hearing someone talk about how they stay healthy and why it’s important to them can inspire others to do the same.

 There’s an almost endless array of video content ideally suited to prevention and wellness messaging: think demonstrations of healthy recipes, exercise routines, tips on walking, ideas for creating an accessible home. 

Awareness Videos

Video can be an excellent way to introduce people to your services. Working with Age Well, an advocacy group focused on seniors in Vermont, we created a video profile of a client who, in spite of a traumatic brain injury, thrives as an artist. He talks about how Age Well’s services, including Meals on Wheels and housing assistance, allow him to pursue his passion.  

It’s also a great way to spotlight the people in your organization that interact directly with patients and clients. New surgeon in the practice? Get her on camera for a short interview about her specialty. Adding a service line to your hospital? Capture a video segment of the care team, or create a virtual tour.  

For another nonprofit client, Citizen Advocates (a multifaceted organization focused on mental and behavioral health and related services), we created a video version of their impact report. Together with a microsite, the video communicated Citizen Advocates’ incredible work in the community over the course of a year. 

Education Videos

Again, the list of topics is vast. Video can tell patients what they need to know about a specific procedure, how to prepare, and what to expect afterward. Or teach women what they need to know about heart health. Or help weekend warriors know if they’ve got a sprain or a break. Explanatory videos can also incorporate graphic elements like diagrams, animation, and anatomy lessons. 

How To Create Great Video Content 

Video storytelling is an effective marketing tool, but it takes attention, planning, and time. Here are some considerations as you add video to your mix: 

 Narrative focus — Video stories are most powerful when they take the perspective of the audience you’re presenting to. Shape the content so it addresses their needs, questions, and interests. 

 Content plan and call to action — Even seemingly casual videos need a storyline or script. Plot out what you want to communicate, what tone you want to use, what you want the viewer to think or feel at the end, and what action you want them to take. 

 People on camera — Think about the best person to tell the story: medical practitioners, your subject matter experts, patients or clients who’ve been helped by your organization, or others. Do you need a voiceover? Do you need someone to conduct an interview? Should you recruit someone influential from the community to do the interviewing? 

 Production values – What’s the ideal setting for the interview or profile? Do you need supplemental footage, and will you shoot it or will stock footage work? Do you need music? What’s the overall artistic direction for the video? 

 Shooting and editing — Mobile devices can capture amazing video footage, and simple editing tools make it easy even for laypeople to create videos inexpensively. For more technical videos you’ll want an editor and producer who can add graphic elements or animation. Physician interviews should be highly polished to convey professionalism. But lifestyle videos can be casual and loosely produced. 

 Video length — This will vary depending on content, but ideally you’ll aim for 30 to 90 seconds for anything aimed at an external audience. Video presentations for business purposes, like a year-end review, celebration for staff, or rebrand relaunch might run 3 to 5 minutes. 

 One final note about video: This medium is ideal for reusing and repurposing, so you can get the biggest bang for your marketing buck. Use quick excerpts across your social channels, run videos on screens in your reception areas, share them with important stakeholders like community leaders and regulators. And if you’re careful to style them in an “evergreen” way, you can get a few years of use out of your video content. 

 We’re great creative and technical partners for our healthcare clients who want to create video marketing content. Whether you’re a small nonprofit with a lean marketing team or a large provider with an in-house video studio, we can step in with whatever you need. Let’s get in touch