A recent article in Eye on FDA points out that more consumers are turning to YouTube for news and real time reporting. The article sites recent research by Pew Research Center Project for Excellence in Journalism on the importance of YouTube and its growing importance in news media.
So what implications could this have for Pharma marketing–a traditionally slow-to- adopt group that is especially wary of “new” media? Can Pharma dip its toes into the world of YouTube in the hopes of exposing helpful information to more people? Mark Senak at Eye on FDA agrees that it won’t be easy, and that reporting healthcare news in real time is no simple task. But he makes a few suggestions–such as in-depth interviews at important conferences or insight videos that highlight some key topics or trends in the marketplace.
Having worked in the broadcast news business, I have a few suggestions for Pharma as it attempts to trek into the real time world of video reporting.
- Attention span is a limited commodity: Viewers don’t have the attention span they used to. This is something we already know–but it is even more important in the world of social video. Short and sweet wins the game if you’re attempting to get a message across to viewers, especially viewers on YouTube–who have thumbnails of “cats falling off of things” videos all around your video. They are just one click away from tuning away from your content–so you better make it quick and to the point.
- Think like a live TV news reporter: In the news industry–you don’t have a choice–your story has to be a minute and thirty seconds or it will get cut off. Video producers for Pharma need to work by the same guidelines. Just because you can make a 20-minute video, doesn’t mean you should.
- Spice it up: Ever notice that on the news, the reporter is only on camera by him/herself for a few seconds before the camera changes to something else? Keep that in mind when creating a video. Make sure to shoot b-roll or have interesting graphics. If b-roll or graphics aren’t an option–make sure your subject is expressive, using hand gestures, voice inflection or facial expressions that show he/she is really involved in what is being said. A good trick for this is having the subject talk to you and not the camera–sometimes that little lens can be very intimidating.
And most importantly:
- Think about your audience: Whom are you trying to reach with this video? Remember–if you’re hoping to use Youtube as a news outlet you have to make sure it doesn’t sound like an advertisement. Instead, make sure you are providing real and relevant content. Consumers are media savvy–and they know when they are being pitched. Before you do a video just for the sake of doing a video, make sure it’s something that will be relevant and useful for your audience.
I think that with the right tools and the right mindset, Pharma can navigate the tricky waters of social video and create content that is beneficial for both their audience and themselves.