Promoting Your Pharmacy with Videos Is Easier than You Think
Quickly and easily produce videos that engage customers and drive sales
When marketing experts made their predictions for what would be big in 2015, use of video for marketing purposes was a dominant theme.1,2 The good news for independent pharmacy owners with a tight budget is that creating videos is easy and inexpensive, and YouTube provides an effective platform for sharing them.
“The only way to compete with a giant conglomerate is for people to know you,” said Eli Katzoff, owner and operator of StormPort Productions, which creates high-definition videos for business. Video allows you to tell the story of who you are with emotional impact and how your pharmacy is different, connecting you with your audience.
Thanks to inexpensive, high-quality video cameras (including those on smartphones) and YouTube, you no longer need a professional team to produce a video people will watch. “No one cares anymore about how pretty the images are or how well they are edited,” said Katzoff, who said his clients sometimes ask for an amateur style. “You can do it all yourself and almost free.”
While YouTube lowered the bar on production quality, Katzoff said, it raised the bar for personality, with viewers expecting a real person to come through on camera, rather than a well-rehearsed executive delivering a prepared speech. With an effective video, “People feel like they know who you are and want to connect with you,” Katzoff said. That can draw them into your pharmacy.
If you’re uncomfortable in front of a camera, find the person in your pharmacy who people will connect with, Katzoff said. “People want to know who their pharmacy tech is.”
Getting Started Is Easier than You Think
Watch the Brandon Health Mart Pharmacy videos on YouTube and you’ll get to know owner Tom Wullstein and his sense of humor, learn about health topics, and see what his pharmacy can offer. The pharmacy has more than a dozen videos all created by Wullstein.
To demonstrate how to use his pharmacy’s mobile app refill, he used his smartphone to record himself using the app on his wife’s phone. The video is less than two minutes and he shot it on a slow day in his pharmacy. To date, nearly 500 people have viewed that video and nearly 6,000 have watched his demonstration of the Health Mart® brand True Results Meter for blood glucose monitoring.
But view counts alone don’t tell how effective a video is for marketing. Wullstein knows his videos are drawing customers when people come into the pharmacy and, for example, ask for the offer he made at the end of his “Fish Oil Basics” video, $1 off their first bottle of any Health Mart fish oil capsules and $5 off Health Mart krill oil.
Creating Videos 101
Use these recommendations from Katzoff and Wullstein to create videos for your pharmacy:
- Just try it. Turn on the camera and start talking about a topic you are comfortable discussing. Wullstein started with the refill app because it is easier to explain the app to people with the visual element. Because of the low cost of creating a video, Wullstein said, “You can do 100 takes. If you don’t like the way it turns out, don’t post it.”
- Use the equipment you have. Wullstein started with the video camera on his phone and uses a desk lamp for lighting. For videos on your website or the Internet it doesn’t matter if your lighting and sound quality aren’t perfect, Katzoff said. “The person watching will forgive all of that.” A video editing program is available for those with a YouTube account, so you don’t have to invest in software.
- Be brief. “Whatever you really want to say, say it in the first minute,” Katzoff said. In a 31-second video, Wullstein showed 10 refill options available at Brandon Health Mart Pharmacy. In a longer video, repeat a key point throughout, so viewers who fast-forward or click ahead won’t miss it, Katzoff said. People generally won’t watch a video longer than 3 or 4 minutes, so break larger topics into several shorter segments.
- Make many. “It’s not about one video, it’s about making 10,” Katzoff said. For example, you could:
- Take people on a virtual tour of your pharmacy. In each video highlight a different area.
- Introduce your staff. Create a one-minute, informal profile of each employee.
- Focus on a health topic. Educate diabetic patients with a series of videos, and post one per week to bring viewers back frequently and portray your pharmacy as a reliable, consistent source of health information.
- End with a call to action. Urge viewers to do something, like come to the pharmacy for that fish oil discount. Invite them to visit for a personal demonstration or just ask them to “Like” your Facebook page. When you encourage them to do something, you will be able to tell whether they watch all the way to the end. You also can refer people in your pharmacy to demonstration videos on YouTube.
- Learn as you go. You don’t have to know everything about videos or YouTube before you start. Start by posting just one video. As time goes on, add different elements, such as a playlist and channel, Katzoff said. (Check out “Getting Started — YouTube Basics” for more information.)
- Welcome comments, bad and Even if someone doesn’t like your video, through your reply you can present your pharmacy as a friendly and professional business. People will see and remember comments and how you handle them.
- Keep improving the quality. “With a little research, you can make your videos a lot better,” Katzoff said. You will learn how to improve the sound quality and lighting, making your videos a step above the others on YouTube, and over time, viewers will notice the quality level, which will be a positive reflection on your business.
Because YouTube is a Google product and connects with Google+, posting videos with keywords there also can benefit your search engine optimization, placing you higher in the ranks of Google searches. Plus, Wullstein noted, “The more content you have, the higher ranked you are.”
Wullstein’s wife also posts the content on Brandon Health Mart Pharmacy’s Pinterest page. And sometimes they post a video directly to the pharmacy’s Facebook page instead of YouTube. In determining what shows up in users’ news feeds, Facebook gives higher priority to videos uploaded through its own program rather than YouTube.3
Once you develop the mindset of turning ideas into videos, they become easier to produce quickly. For example, in October Tom Wullstein had taken a video of his young daughter dancing in the pharmacy. A week later, when he wanted to promote flu vaccines, he posted that video on Facebook with the caption: “Hannah is dancing because she got the FluMist nasal spray instead of a shot. School is out, but we are open. Come in and get your flu vaccinations out of the way for the year!” A video of a little girl dancing is just the type of thing that can grab the attention of Facebook users scrolling through their news feeds.
“People don’t like being sold to,” Wullstein noted, but they do appreciate visual storytelling.
Share a link to your pharmacy’s video and tell us about it in the Comments section below.