The most effective way for an orthopedic surgeon to convert prospects into patients is through the power of a visual medium. Showing the results of your services is enough to convince prospects that you have the expertise and talent to help them with their specific needs.

That’s why so many orthopedic surgeons invest thousands of dollars on TV ads. But there may be a more effective way to spend your money: social videos.

Aside from being far less costly to produce and market, social videos have the advantage of being able to focus on smaller – yet more appropriate – demographics, thanks to the tremendous amount of data made available on platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

Not only that, but social videos don’t come across as traditional advertising. Rather, their purpose is to personalize your practice and connect you with your prospects on a far more human level.

And that’s the power of social videos in today’s consumer-centric climate: videos grab attention, engage, and help viewers retain important information, particularly when the content of the video is targeted at your audience.

The YouTube video below, created by MetLife, is the perfect example of how a brand can use the power of story to pull at the viewer’s heartstrings and keep them engaged through to the end.

About one minute in, the positive vibe of the video changes drastically, as an unexpected twist is revealed. Even the music changes.

You can’t help but watch.

In three minutes and twenty-six seconds, MetLife delivered a tear-jerking tale that relates to any parent, which, of course, is the company’s primary target for this campaign.

MetLife’s example above demonstrates how a video can do so much more than merely entertain. And while MetLife is a rather large corporation with deep marketing projects, you, too, can create similar content with a powerful message the speaks to the pain points or fears of your targeted audience.

Make your videos work for you – Connect with the heart

patient-educationWith so many options to choose from when consuming content, your prospective patients respond best to the types of videos that speak to the heart.

Blatant advertisements – the types you find on TV – are generally ignored. Compelling storytelling, however, pulls the viewer in and bolsters your authenticity.

One of the easiest ways to develop this type of connection is to focus on a specific hardship or struggle that your target audience can relate to. You want them to say, “I’ve been there. I know the feeling.”

As an orthopedic surgeon, you serve a wide spectrum of patients, including young athletes with sports-related injuries and older patients suffering from the effects of aging.

When creating videos for your social platforms, don’t try to reach all your audience segments at once.

Instead, create separate videos that focus on the pain points for each of your prospective patient types (you can then use targeting to deliver these videos to the right people).

If, for example, you’re building a campaign to reach folks who suffer from arthritis, don’t focus your video on the actual services or procedures you provide.

Focus, instead, on the 45-year-old woman who struggles with day-to-day activities (such as brushing her teeth, opening the door), because of the pain she endures throughout her body. Highlight the many ways she’s unsuccessfully treated her symptoms, and then, perhaps, delve into how she finally discovered the successful procedure or medication that helped her live a pain-free life.

When highlighting the successful procedure/medication that the woman discovered, your instinct might be to cast the spotlight on your practice. Hold off on that type of blatant advertising. Speak in more general terms, as the more ad-like your video is, the less likely it’ll be shared across social channels.

Avoid over-branding with your social videos

videosAgain, we should reference the MetLife video. The content of the video focuses solely on this vignette of the little girl and her father. The only MetLife branding you’ll find is the logo at the end, as well as a URL (with the audience-focused call to action: “We all have a dream for our children. Share yours with us, and it could be a reality.”).

You could incorporate something extremely similar, assuming we’re still focused on your arthritis campaign.

For example, at the close of your vignette on this 45-year-old woman, you could flash the name/logo of your practice. Then, end the video with a call to action such as:

“Share with us how you don’t let arthritis limit your choices for a chance to truly live a pain-free life. Learn more at URL.” In this instance, the URL would point to a landing page you created specific to this campaign.

This approach allows you to push your services while giving your audiences a reason to take action following your video.

Social is fast and fleeting – but take a different approach with your videos

cutting-edgeA successful social campaign can go viral in an instant. However, there’s a lot of work that needs to be implemented before you ever share your video.

The quality of your video production needs to be professional if you want your campaign to be shared by others. This is where many orthopedic surgeons run into the most frustration – they want to launch their campaign quickly, and aren’t interested in investing the amount of time and money required to produce an effective video.

But the more time you take in the planning and production phases, the more successful your video will be once it does reach your social channels.

Rather than approach social videos as a last-minute idea, plan a few months ahead. That way you’ll have plenty of time to find a video production team who can help you bring your vision to life while speaking to the hearts of your target audiences.