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Healthcare video marketing strategy for doctors

Video marketing is an excellent tool to engage with patients. Here’s what you need to know about video marketing for doctors.

a provider benefitting from video marketing for doctors

At a Glance

  • Video marketing for doctors can be a way to reach a wider audience.
  • Promotional videos and educational videos can allow you to connect with patients in different ways.
  • Posting videos on your medical practice website or social media can further support your brand awareness.

Videos are a great way to engage with patients and prospects, and can be a key component of a medical practice marketing strategy.

Consider that 96% of people have watched an explainer video to learn about a product or service. And 92% of video marketers say they’ve had a good return on investment from video.

Video content can allow an independent healthcare practice to connect with new and existing patients differently than written content or other social media. And there are several types of videos. For instance, YouTube is a video-based platform with more than 2 billion active monthly users. It is the second most-visited website in the United States after Google, where "YouTube" is the most popular search term. The average YouTube video is polished and about 11 minutes long — perfect for depth.

In contrast, TikTok is a video-based social media platform with more than 1 billion active monthly users, an average use of 52 minutes a day, and the longest average user session of any social media platform. TikTok rewards more casual and shorter video content. And Instagram's Reels, which has a similar functionality to TikTok with an even shorter 15- to 90-second video length, is fed to over 2.3 billion active monthly Instagram users who can all access Reels.

While doctors may not consider YouTube a top marketing strategy, it can be a game-changer. Want to highlight a unique approach to patient care or explain a complex new procedure? YouTube is the perfect platform to engage. For doctors and other practitioners with something to say, it offers a world of opportunity.

Here’s what you need to know about video marketing for doctors, including the best doctor YouTube channels, how to make healthcare YouTube channels stand out, tools to create video content, and ideas for engaging healthcare content.

Patient Perspectives Report

Best YouTube doctors to watch

Of the possible healthcare video marketing platforms for doctors, YouTube stands out because of the opportunities for depth — and finding an audience. According to Hootsuite, 81% of internet users have used YouTube. A whopping 95% of 18- to 29-year-olds say they use youTube, along with 91% of 30- to 49-year-olds and 83% of 50- to 64-year-olds. YouTube is still popular with the older population, with 49% of 65-year-olds and over reporting use, according to Pew Research.

The following providers have impressive YouTube followings with informative, entertaining, engaging video content that’s generating hundreds of thousands of subscribers and millions of views. In doing so, these doctors establish credibility, drive Google traffic, and increase prospective patient volume. In some cases, they also create opportunities to generate revenue or advance their careers.

Dr. Brenda Mondragon is a licensed chiropractor from Orlando, FL, whose YouTube channel has over 1.9 million subscribers. Her regularly updated YouTube library offers videos of back-cracking, neck-popping chiropractic patient visits. Dr. Mondragon performs on patients from all walks of life — from tiny dancers to huge Marines, she applies her techniques on people with tightness, tension, and a variety of aches and pains. She’s an engaging, expert personality who is clearly passionate about the power of chiropractic care, and uses YouTube to promote her field and the body’s ability to heal itself through chiropractic adjustment.

Mike Varshavski, DO, best known as “Doctor Mike,” is a family medicine doctor from NYC with more than 11.4 million YouTube followers. An internet celebrity, Dr. Mike has a YouTube presence rich with hard-hitting topics such as COVID-19 and antibiotic over-prescribing, and lighter topics like nutrition, medical myths, and awkward health questions. Approachable and entertaining, Dr. Mike is the perfect recipe for a YouTube sensation. He's also a great example of how physicians can use YouTube videos on commonly searched topics to engage with prospective patients.

Dr. Rutland (also known as Dr. J. Rutland) is a pulmonary/critical care physician who leads this engaging channel with more than 27,900 YouTube subscribers. Whether he’s discussing emerging COVID-19 treatments or how to start your own medical practice, Dr. J. aims to simplify complicated topics for his fellow physicians and medical students. Over his career from hospital medicine to a self-owned private practice, Dr. J has uses YouTube as a marketing platform to connect with audiences, including physician colleagues and entrepreneurs. On camera, he is smart, helpful, and inspiring, leaving subscribers curious as to what’s next for his medical career.

A fellowship-trained orthopedic spine surgeon, combat veteran, and motivational speaker, Dr. Antonio Webb overcame a rough childhood, avoiding a life of drugs and violence that claimed many of his friends and loved ones. With more than 413,000 subscribers, Dr. Webb’s YouTube channel features inspiring videos for aspiring physicians, ranging from how to apply to medical school to what it’s like as a resident. Dr. Webb has turned his journey to becoming a physician into a popular channel he’s using to shape the lives of prospective young physicians. He’s inspirational, dynamic, and empowering for anyone considering a medical career. Top tip: Dr. Webb includes a link to his YouTube channel on his online bio at the South Texas Spinal Clinic (a Tebra practice).

With more than 1.38 million YouTube followers, Dr. Danielle Jones is an OB/GYN who loves babies, pregnancy, and gynecology. Mama Doctor Jones provides practical education on a range of health topics for people with vaginas in an entertaining way — from periods to contraception to infertility. Dr. Jones is funny and witty as she takes the edge off what may otherwise be uncomfortable topics of discussion. She demonstrates that she’s an expert and personable doctor you can trust.

Dr. Ed Hope is a self-proclaimed “junior doctor” whose YouTube journey has followed him through medical school and into a new career in emergency medicine, where he has worked on the front lines of COVID-19. With about 483,000 followers, Dr. Hope’s Sick Notes is a blend of humor and education. As a former advertising professional, Dr. Hope has mastered engagement. His YouTube videos are a ‘light-hearted look at hospitals, the human body, and what it’s like to be a doctor.”

For Dr. Joseph Allen, OD, YouTube is all about education and engagement. On his YouTube channel, Doctor Eye Health, Dr. Allen discusses eye health, ocular disease, and vision products to more than 938,000 subscribers. Practicing with a local optometry group in Buffalo, MN, Dr. Allen covers topics like dry eyes, eye strain, blue light, contact lens care, and more. His brief and informative videos, which he cross-promotes on his website, are sure to help him connect with prospective patients.

Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Anthony Youn is a nationally recognized doctor, author, and podcast host whose goal is to “help health-conscious [people] over 30 look and feel their best.” He connects with YouTube viewers by sharing skincare strategies, anti-aging routines, and entertaining reactions to celebrities’ plastic surgery jobs. Dr. Youn is a YouTube marketing guru as evidenced by his 5 million subscribers, and promotes free (pre-recorded) online consultations, in an effort to drive procedural volume.

One great use for YouTube is to promote niche procedures and emerging fields of medicine. That’s what Dr. Christopher McGowan does with his growing channel focused on unique non-surgical procedures for weight loss using endobariatrics. Dr. McGowan is a board-certified physician in internal medicine, gastroenterology, and obesity medicine who uses YouTube to explain innovative weight-loss procedures. He also features patients sharing their experiences, and live-streamed procedures that demonstrate his expertise and approach.

The world of YouTube video content may feel overwhelming for healthcare providers. But, for those with a dynamic, engaging personality and valuable information to share, YouTube is a powerhouse of opportunity.

Tools doctors can use for YouTube video production

Video marketing for doctors on YouTube requires some upfront investment in quality equipment. Here are some of the tools you’ll need:

  • Smartphone or video camera: If your smartphone is only a year or so old and has a good video camera, it might be all you need for filming. Consider factors like image stabilization, image quality, internal memory, and sound quality. If your smartphone is older, you might require a video camera.
  • Tripod: Whether you’re using a phone or video camera, a tripod decreases camera movement and enhances picture quality. Plus, some tripods can also serve as a light stand.
  • Lights: Poor lighting can easily ruin a video, so it’s important to have the right lights on set. Traditional video lighting is known as three-point lighting. This can be accomplished on a budget via extension cords, a few clamp lights with bulbs, and 3 light stands, for example.
  • Microphone: Your camera is equipped with an internal microphone, but that doesn’t mean you should use it if the camera is a distance from the subject. A shotgun mic or a boom mic will allow you to properly capture audio.
  • Editing software: Filming is only part of the process. When you’ve captured all the right footage, you’ll need to edit your content. Plenty of options are available, ranging from inexpensive programs like iMovie to pricier programs such as Premier, Final Cut, and Avid. If you’d prefer to edit video on your smartphone, you can also use iMovie or try apps such as Kinemaster, inshot, or CapCut. 

Content types for video marketing for doctors

People watch an average of 17 hours of online video content per week, according to Wyzowl. This amount of time consuming video speaks to the need for a variety of content to meet demand. Popular forms of video marketing for doctors include the following.

Promotional videos

Designed specifically to market your practice, doctors often create the following types of promotional videos:

  • Office tour: The look and feel of your office space can help draw patients to your practice. Create a video that highlights the spaces in which they’ll spend time, including the waiting room and exam rooms.
  • Staff introductions: Choosing a new medical practice is a personal decision, so patients want to know who will care for them. More than just meeting you, this type of video introduces your entire team because each person plays an important role. Create one for all of you together, or consider introducing team members individually over time.
  • Special offer: Occasionally, you might give patients the opportunity to enjoy a certain service at a discounted rate. Using video to announce specials gets the word out and reduces the chance of confusion. Just make sure to stay in compliance with rules around medical discounts and freebies.
  • Patient testimonials: Nothing speaks louder to the patient experience than hearing from those who have received your care. Written testimonials and patient reviews are great, but video takes it to the next level. Viewers can put a face to a patient’s kind words and see their enthusiasm for your practice.

Educational videos

Some services your practice offers might be more complex than others. Creating educational videos to help explain these procedures and their benefits can bring more patients into your practice.

In fact, 95% of marketers say that using video has helped them increase brand awareness, according to the Wyzowl report. Here are a few different types of educational videos you might create:

  • Specialty education: These videos focus on preventing or alleviating a specific concern. For example, a dermatologist might discuss summertime skincare, or a dentist could demonstrate the proper way to floss.
  • Pre- or post-treatment instruction videos: Helpful for patients interested in certain procedures, instructional videos serve as a step-by-step guide to preparation before and after the process.
  • Procedure videos: Medical procedures can be very intimidating. Sharing videos that detail the process helps patients gain a better understanding, putting them at ease.
  • FAQ videos: Responding to patient FAQs on video is a wise move, as many inquiries likely require a rather involved reply. A video explanation can be easier to understand than a written explanation because patients don’t have to leave anything to interpretation.

Simply put, medical practice marketing is more effective when video is involved. Video marketing for doctors creates a connection, allowing patients to feel like you’re speaking directly to them.

Sharing videos is an easy way to highlight both your personality and expertise, making patients feel more comfortable putting their health in your hands. If you’re not already using video marketing for doctors, it’s time to get in front of the camera to promote your practice.

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Michelle Meier, freelance healthcare writer

Michelle Meier is a freelance writer with extensive experience writing about B2B/SaaS, digital health, and US healthcare. Her passion for writing about healthcare stems from an interest in health equity, addressing SDoHs, and improving access to care for all. She enjoys working to further the conversation about key issues impacting the healthcare landscape today. She lives in New York.

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