Humans are visual creatures. Simply put, we process visual data better. Research shows that more than 80 percent of human learning is done visually and that humans process visuals 60,000 times faster than text.1 As such, creating compelling, easily sharable videos is one of the best ways you can choose to promote and showcase your orthodontic practice. Thankfully, creating low cost, high impact videos online has never been easier. With just a small amount of effort and know-how, you can make a lasting, positive impression on potential patients and set your practice apart from competition in your area.
Videos that introduce yourself and your staff, feature patient testimonials and showcase your practice and the services you offer is a key way to build trust and let potential patients get to know you before actually ever stepping foot in your office. As a bonus, videos hosted on your practice website can also improve how your site appears in search engine results…meaning increased web traffic.
Videos can easily be created without a major investment in equipment or software. Although they do take some planning and time, especially early on, the investment is well worth the effort. But, if you are trying to keep your costs low, a newer model iPhone or Android device you may currently have in your pocket offers outstanding video capabilities. (Just be sure you’re shooting in horizontal vs. vertical mode.)
Regardless of what equipment you use, following these basics.
- Shooting a video can be intimidating at first. Just always try to focus on sound and picture quality.
- Shoot your video in 720p or 1080p resolution.
- Pre-plan your video. Have a goal in mind. Create and work from an outline so you don’t go off-track.
- Be sure to add captions to your video. This is because up to 85 percent of videos watched and shared socially are viewed without. Captions are added via a video editor’s text feature.
- Make the first few seconds of your video visually impactful. Your goal is to capture your viewer’s attention quickly, within the first 3 seconds.
- Give your video a compelling title or headline.
- Brevity is key. Be efficient with words and visuals.
As you begin planning your videos, consider:
- Stability is key. Invest in a small tripod, monopod or desk stand – your videos will be of much higher quality if you can prevent excess camera movement.
- If you are producing a video for patient education, you may want to invest in a high quality consumer camcorder with an external microphone.
- While professional lighting is always preferred for marketing and practice website videos, natural lighting is usually sufficient. Just film in a brightly lit room and make sure there is enough light on your subject’s face.
- Make sure to have your interviewee or one of their parents sign a photo/video release form giving you permission to use the video you just shot. These forms are available at aaoinfo.org. Log on; then go to Practice Management > Forms and Releases. Scroll down to Practice Management Forms & Materials; then click on Photo Releases.
- Think outside the box. Videos can be an extremely powerful communication tool for patient education and staff training.
Once you’ve captured your video, you’ll want to begin editing. Editing video means trimming and arranging your video. Video editing software is also how you can add transitions, music, captions and titles…as well as export the movie file that you’ll host on your website or social media channel. Thankfully, there are easy-to-use and affordable options available that will allow you to quickly transform your raw footage into a finalized video for your web page or social media channels.
For users on the Mac, iMovie is a solid choice for beginners. On the Windows side, Windows Movie Maker is an ideal tool to use. Some video users even use apps on their smart phones to edit footage. Apps like the iMovie app for the iPhone and CyberLink PowerDirector for Android are well worth considering for no-frills, simple video edits. For more advanced editing, you might consider options like Apple’s Final Cut Pro X or Adobe’s Premiere Pro CC.
Creation of videos goes quickly and the learning curve is shallow. Make it a goal to begin producing videos today. Fight the urge to think it’s too difficult and just get started.
1. Gutierrez, Karla. “Studies Confirm the Power of Visuals in eLearning.”
Shift eLearning (8 July 2014). Retrieved from shiftelearning.com/blog/.
* For advice or encouragement on how you can easily begin shooting videos for your practice, or for any video related questions you have, please contact Burt Bollinger, AAO Multimedia Production Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org.