The video format is tremendously effective for many things, such as showcasing products, introducing services, and conducting interviews — but something it’s particularly great at is providing effective explanations of complicated topics.
This is hugely important in the healthcare industry, where communicating information can be a matter of life and death. Accordingly, it’s become increasingly common for healthcare organizations of all shapes and sizes to invest in explainer videos.
But what exactly makes explainer videos so effective for healthcare content? Why do they fare so well relative to other types of media? Let’s take a closer look.
They attract a lot of attention
Video catches the eye in a way that no other form of digital media can. We’re all so used to scrolling through enormous lists of social media posts, articles and even images that our eyes quickly glaze over when confronted with a lot of content — but we can’t help but find motion compelling. It’s deeply rooted in our biology: when you see something move, you need to respond, because it might be a predator.
On some platforms, you can set video to autoplay when someone scrolls over it. On others, you just need to choose your thumbnail wisely and hope that it draws people in. Regardless, video sticks out and that’s crucial for the following two reasons:
- Healthcare is important to everyone. If anything deserves to get attention, it’s content about healthcare, because living a healthy life should sit near the top of everyone’s priority list. What’s more, how you treat your own health can affect everyone else — you can needlessly burden medical professionals, or even prove infectious.
- People tend to avoid uncomfortable topics. Many of us, particularly those prone to worrying, will prefer to avoid healthcare topics whenever possible. This can push us to breeze past articles and news stories. If a video can catch your eye for long enough, though, it can give you essential information despite this.
They’re powerful for fundraising
It would be great if all significant health issues were suitably funded at all times, but that isn’t the case, and it isn’t likely to ever be the case. Instead, research institutions and charities are often required to engage in fundraising efforts to find the money they need to do their vital work. This is where explainer videos really shine, because using video to show the impact of medical services is massively more effective than using any other type of content.
Here’s why: when we hear about medical statistics (the numbers of people dying every year from particular diseases), it can feel very abstract, making it easy to pay them little attention. But seeing a video about what it’s like to suffer from a disease is so much more impactful. It engages empathy in a way that’s hard to overlook.
Think about how a video can hit home about a basic part of healthcare such as having clean water. The ideas are obvious, but something like the “Water Changes Everything” video from the Charity: Water nonprofit can make them truly resonate.
They can be tonally reassuring
I mentioned that health matters can make people uncomfortable, and the comfort of patients (or prospective patients) is more significant than you might think. People who keep worrying about health will feel worse, make bad decisions, and choose inactivity over action that frightens them. Through mixing sound and motion, video can touch upon serious topics quite pleasantly.
For example, The Independent Pharmacy explains how the online pharmacy model works on its homepage with an embedded video under the subheading of “How does it work?” — evidently understanding that a lot of people are nervous about buying medicine online, the company filled the video with calming music, simple cartoon animation, and a friendly voiceover.
In addition, having an identified authority helming the video — a specific brand for the video I just mentioned, or even an on-screen presenter — gives the viewer a straightforward way to pursue any questions they might have. They can leave a comment on the video, or just follow one of the links inevitably provided in the description.
They simplify challenging concepts
Many issues in the healthcare world are difficult to explain — some even to those with basic awareness of medical terminology. And the problem with most forms of digital media is that their attempts to simplify things just make them seem more intimidating. For instance, you could write a 4000-word piece breaking down exactly how cancer cells form, but the sheer length would discourage most people almost as much as the complexity of the subject matter.
Video, though, affords the creator a huge amount of creativity when explaining something. They can use static images, animations, real-world footage, overlays, voiceovers, CGI models… even body language and gestures. What’s more, they can easily create playlists for issues too big to be suitably addressed in one-off videos (such as those provided on the Healthcare Triage YouTube channel) — and those playlists may well work, because video can be consumed passively (unlike blog posts) and it’s easier to just let autoplay run things.
For all these reasons and more, explainer videos are exceptionally formidable in the healthcare industry. If you want to simplify a tough topic and reach as many people as possible with a powerful message, this is the right path for you.
Image credit: PxHere