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How to Use Video in a Dental Practice

These days, video is everywhere and it seems like everyone is using it. In the last few years, YouTube has lost more and more of its attention as social media platforms add native video content for their users (LinkedIn is the latest adding it in 2018). Any new app or social network release has video at the forefront (think Musical.ly and Twitch for gaming). My eight year old daughter is now texting her friends using video on her iPad. To her it seems silly to take the time to write (text) when you can just send a video.

We’re all used to seeing video from friends and family on social media, but what about a dental practice. Can you use video to help you grow?

Show And Tell

I’m going to let you in on a little behind-the-scenes secret. On average I talk to four to five new dental practices across the country every week. Every single one of them tells me that they’re “different.”

Every dental practice says they’re different.

I think it’s sincere and they probably are, but it’s one thing to SAY you’re different. It’s another thing to SHOW you’re different. Video gives us the opportunity to prove it.

By creating quick, raw content for social media, we can create thousands of connection points with the community and potential patients. By creating edited, produced content for your website and ads, you can establish your expertise and gain trust with those seeking more advanced dental care.

Plus, social media platforms prefer video and will show that content to more of your audience (WIN). It will give you an SEO boost since Google is rewarding sites that use video (ANOTHER WIN) and it allows you to tell your story and connect with hundreds/thousands in your community. The haters can hate on technology, but it’s allowing you to connect with more people than ever before.

The dental practices that take video seriously and leverage it are the ones that will win. So let’s talk about two different kinds of video content and how you can use them to grow.

HOW TO USE VIDEO IN A DENTAL PRACTICE

1. Produced Video

Purpose

The main purpose of produced video is to tell your story and connect with patients. The key thing to think about is this: if you want to establish trust and expertise with strangers, you must reflect that in the quality of the video.

Where

Produced video is meant for the website and social media ads introducing your practice to patients for the first time. Their quality must represent the quality of the experience inside the practice.

I remember having a discussion with my former boss about creating video content for an upcoming seminar we were hosting. He wanted to capture testimonials from long-term clients to showcase on our website. I did some research and submitted a proposal to him for the equipment. We thought we could do it ourself, but it was about $4,000 worth of gear. Out of frustration he said, “Why can’t you just pull out a phone and interview clients?”

Handheld, iPhone videos on a high-end website would have been an immediate disconnect for anyone visiting to learn more about our services. It actually would have backfired and made guests wonder, “If I’m supposed to trust you as the experts, then why can’t you create better videos?”

Examples

I love professionally produced videos for specialty services. I think if you want to be perceived as the dental implant (Invisalign, orthodontic, etc.) expert in your community, you need produced, educational videos that make you look like the expert.

These are also great as a “What to Expect as a New Patient” concept. It shows that you care so much about the new patient experience you took the time and effort to portray it as best as you can.

Last, I love patient testimonials to be professionally produced. Let me explain this one. You can certainly pull out your phone and ask the patient to say a few things, but often the patient feels “on the spot” and acts awkward with the camera pointed at them. Usually the lighting is unflattering and the audio is not great. Again, if their experience is so great, let’s think through how we tell it.

Produced patient testimonials allow us to edit the footage into clean and concise statements that communicate with power. Cut to a second angle and add some moving background music and you’ll end up shedding a few tears.

Gear

Most likely you’re going to bring in a production company for produced video. It usually takes multiple people over a block of time to capture this kind of content. I recommend “batching” it and get 6–10 of these videos done in one session.

High-quality video is going to involve multiple cameras. Often full-frame DSLRs with wide aperture lenses. You’ll need a lighting kit, tripods and monopods for the cameras. Shotgun and lavalier microphones are often necessary depending on who is talking. Last, drones come in handy to capture that “interesting” factor. Big sweeps over the practice building and community make amazing “B-Roll” footage.

ProTip

We’ve learned along the way that if you put people in front of a camera and ask them to talk to it, they typically freeze up. Every now and then we get a rock star that feels completely comfortable talking to a camera, but that seems to be the exception. To get better answers have an interviewer off camera talking to the patient or doctor. Have a list of bullet point questions to ask. This will make the whole experience feel conversational and relaxed instead of rigid and scripted.

2. Raw Video

Purpose

The purpose of raw video is to capture that everyday, behind-the-scenes content. It’s spontaneous and it allows multiple connection points with patients. It’s a great opportunity to communicate your values and practice culture.

Where

These videos are meant for social media. Think Facebook and FB LIVE along with Instagram and IG Stories. Both platforms prioritize raw video so these make great posts to boost.

Examples

There are so many examples of how to use raw video. If we tried to list them this article would be endless, but here are some favorite ideas I’ve seen recently.

  • Use Boomerangs as much as possible. They’re fun and perfect for staff birthdays or anything celebratory.
  • Go LIVE on Facebook and give patients a tour of the practice. Even better if you’re in the middle of a renovation or build out.
  • Use Instagram Story filters for fun. Most people think dentists are too serious. This is a great way to break that stereotype.
  • Showcase new practice swag like chapsticks, stickers, toothbrushes, etc. Anything with your logo on it.
  • Show everyone how your CAD-CAM mills a crown or how Invisalign creates trays or CBCT takes 3D images. If you geek out on it, chances are others will too.
  • Capture patient reactions instead of testimonials. Don’t put the pressure on them of saying something significant. Just ask for a thumbs up, a hug with their hygienist, etc. Short videos or Boomerangs of reactions will feel much more native to social media platforms.

Gear

This is the easiest part: pull out your phone. That’s 90% of it. If you want to go further pick up a GoPro to create killer time lapses and hands-free videos.

ProTip

If you’re tying to capture content with a patient, instead of pointing the phone at them, turn it to selfie mode and include yourself in the video. It will help the patient relax and make you feel more like friends. And if you ever do a selfie video on your phone, for goodness sakes, hold the phone up! Nobody wants to talk to your neck.

Hopefully that helps you think creatively about using video. My advice is to start by creating one piece of video content every week. Sit down with your team and brainstorm ideas. It will probably feel weird at first, but keep pushing through it. Eventually it will become a habit. And when that first new patient walks through the door and says, “I saw your video on Facebook…” you’ll realize you’ve tapped into a whole new way to connect.

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