Unleash the power of video for your veterinary practice

Posted by Mark Olcott, DVM on Oct 27, 2015 2:53:00 PM

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I spoke not long ago about information technology to a group of veterinarians and practice management consultants, and was grateful for the opportunity to share with them some of the advances in consumer technology that veterinarians need to know about.  One of the things I discussed was the power of video and how practitioners should incorporate video into their marketing plans.

I’ve heard it said that, if a picture is worth a thousand words, then video is worth a million.  I frequently ask clients whose pets have odd or perplexing clinical signs to email/text me a video of the behavior when it next happens.  Whether it’s to help differentiate a seizure from a syncopal event, or to confirm for a client that their dog is just reverse sneezing and not dying, video can be very helpful.  My focus today is not on the use of video as a diagnostic tool, but rather as a means of communicating with and serving your clients.

On background, let me share a few statistics about the power of video marketing.  The references for these are available on my Pinterest boards, and there are some even more impressive graphics at Beyond Indigo’s Pinterest site:

-20% of web visitors will read the text on a website but 80% will watch the same content in the form of a video

-A website with video is 50 times more likely to be ranked on the front page of a Google search.

-Web visitors who view video stay longer on your site and are much more likely to purchase while there.

How do I start?

First of all, remember that smartphones and most basic cameras take surprisingly high quality video:  your iPhone is more than good enough for this kind of video.  That said, consider getting a lavalier microphone if you make a long-term commitment to video content, as the audio quality you’ll get from a smartphone is not nearly as good as the video.  Studies have shown that viewers are far more tolerant of bad quality video than bad quality audio, so make sure your content sounds good.  When it comes to actually posting the videos, upload them to your practice’s YouTube channel (watch a “how-to” video if you need to) and you’re in business!

What should I say?

Put a tech savvy client service representative or technician in charge of the program and develop a plan for frequency, topic, and length of your posts.  Also be mindful that pet owners aren’t nearly as interested in medical topics as veterinarians think they are.

What DO they want to learn about?  The things that we would normally consider to fall under the category of “husbandry”:  what to feed, how much exercise is appropriate, which cat litter to buy, how to introduce a new cat into the home, etc..  One suggestion might be to record a short clip of you demonstrating how to pill a cat.  Or that the best way to get a reluctant cat into a carrier is “feet first”.   All those techniques, tips, and tricks that you and your staff describe over and over again to clients?  Make a video clip of each one, post them online, then send your clients there should they need more information.  If they like the videos, they might even share them with their friends and…voila…21st century word of mouth!

You could also make a clip of a dog spay and put it on your website.  Or run it in a continuous loop on an inexpensive video monitor in your waiting room.  This will not only make client waiting time seem to go by faster, but also will create more value for your surgical procedures.  The next time you have a client complain about the price of surgery, show them a video of all that goes on “behind the scenes” and see if they still have the same questions.  

When should I start?

Now!  Don’t be intimidated…using video as a marketing tool is actually pretty easy.  Remember that your first attempt doesn’t have to be Oscar-worthy and give it a shot!

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