Healthcare marketers are adding more “you” to YouTube.
As consumers increasingly seek medical information online, a growing number of healthcare organizations and providers are posting more videos on YouTube.
More than 72% of internet users say they looked online for health information within the past year, according to Pew Research Center. Sixty-two percent of smartphone users have done the same looking for information about treatments/procedures, specific conditions, and health professionals. Now, more of that digitized medical content can be found on YouTube, the second most popular social media platform.
YouTube’s more than 1 billion users upload more than 300 hours of video every minute. Those uploads include a host of entertaining and engaging videos that help patients learn about topics such as disease management, wound care, health, fitness, and wellness.
Professionals in the healthcare space have embraced video and YouTube for communication and treatment. Seventy-five percent of health care marketers use video, and 71% of them use YouTube to distribute content, according to a survey by the Content Marketing Institute. Unlike other platforms, YouTube allows videos of varying lengths that enable posters to explain complex topics using engaging visual imagery.
In 2014, the Food and Drug Administration posted on YouTube as part of its comprehensive multimedia campaign to discourage teen smoking. Last year, Harvard Medical School added a YouTube channel to explain and demonstrate surgical techniques and other procedures.
Mercy Medical Center consistently posts patient education and promotional videos of doctors and services on YouTube. Segments of its weekly television program about women’s health conditions, treatments and breakthroughs are also posted on Mercy’s YouTube channel. Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Covenant Health also post 3D animation videos of specialty surgery and procedures on their channel, while health systems such as Centegra and Detroit Medical post educational videos to help consumers detect symptoms and treat common illnesses.
“Today’s medical technology is extremely complex, and animation is a powerful way to help non-medical professionals grasp the intricacies of modern medical technology, as well as those of the human body itself,” said Ken Bearden, Corporate Director, Integrated Marketing Communications with Detroit Medical Center. “Beyond our primary goal of education, we hope providing these videos will encourage potential patients, both locally and across the nation, to recognize Detroit Medical Center as a destination for specialty care.”
Attracting and retaining viewers of medical content requires quality over quantity. Just ask Nucleus Medical Media, a leading creator of medical animations and illustration for healthcare marketing. Nucleus develops animations and provides licensing, consultation, and cross-promotion so clients can reach millions of patients.
The Nucleus YouTube channel includes Hollywood-quality, cinematically-engaging medical animations covering topics such as cardiology, childbirth, and oncology. The most popular videos include reproductive topics such as fertilization and sperm count. To ensure medical accuracy, Nucleus employs a team of medical writers and illustrators/animators to produce the videos. Their work is then reviewed by a board of physicians.
The company’s YouTube channel, featuring 390+ medical animations, has attracted more than 259 million views since launching in 2007, outpacing similar channels. The CDC channel houses 1,544 videos and has garnered about 67 million views since 2007. Mayo Clinic’s YouTube channel contains 4,280 videos with 19.5 million total views since 2006, and Dr. Oz’s 1,572 videos have received about 17 million views since 2006.
Nucleus also won Google’s Silver Play Button award after reaching 100,000 YouTube subscribers in 2014.
“We’re setting the standard for medical information on YouTube,” said Katie Jackson, marketing manager at Nucleus. “It speaks to the fact that health information is universal. Just because you speak a different language doesn’t mean your heart is any different.”
The medical animations are not only popular – receiving more than 400,000 subscribers and 182,000 shares — but also engaging. Nucleus’ YouTube analytics showed an average audience retention rate of 56% (or 2:03 minutes) in 2015. Nucleus medical animations about reproductive health and chronic conditions have reached retention rates as high as 70%.
Clients such as health systems, pharma companies, and educators can license the content, customize it with their branding and physician narration, and embed the medically accurate animations to their website or even a physician’s mobile device. The medical animations help doctors, hospitals, and health systems boost traffic and engagement to their web and social properties and ensure that complex, medical information is easily understood by viewers.
That’s good news for providers and patients as 85% of healthcare providers want to increase communication to patients, according to a Ragan Communications survey. Forty-two percent of patients say they would better follow prescribed plans if they received encouragement from their doctors between visits.
Nucleus 3D medical animations bridge the gap between providers and patients in the following areas:
- Communications: For improved patient-to-doctor communications, medical animation videos deliver consistent, accurate information. Important details are covered during a conversational format that answers vital questions about diagnosis, treatment and care. Patients can watch at their leisure.
- Education: Compared to traditional educational material, medical animation video narration helps overcome low literacy/reading comprehension. Saves time (and paper), is more likely to be viewed and is easier to recall by patients.
- Treatment: Discharge medical animations offer a resource for patients to access treatment instructions after they leave the hospital. Reduces calls or return visits to ask questions or receive clarification.
When Centegra needed to enhance its video strategy two years ago, the health system chose medical animations by Nucleus to engage and educate its audience. Its 3D medical content far exceeded other companies under consideration, explained company officials.
“Our content team aims to develop strategic content that promotes our services and demonstrates how they benefit our patients and their families,” said Michelle Green, director of public relations and communications at Centegra. “Our relationship is still fairly new, however, Nucleus animations have already elevated our video content and helped us reflect our health system’s clinical expertise.”
Likewise, 3D medical animations from Nucleus have contributed to Detroit Medical Center receiving more than 1 million views on its website and YouTube channel.
“We’re confident that our videos are having an impact on our brand and on the way people view and understand healthcare,” said DMC’s Ken Bearden.
The Nucleus animation library of medical video content help clients become larger players in the healthcare marketing space.