September 19, 2013

Summit Spotlight: Video production tips

By Randy Schwarz

Editor's Note: This post by Jessica Levco originally appeared on Ragan's Healthcare Communication News and previews a pre-conference workshop from the 5th Annual Health Care Social Media Summit in October, which is part of Social Media Week at Mayo Clinic

Sometimes, medical information can be downright boring. No matter, it’s your responsibility to share important messages with medical staff and patients.

It’s also your responsibility to make sure they don’t fall asleep during it.

At our 5th Annual Health Care Social Media Summit at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., award-winning TV producer Drew Keller will teach you how to create video that people will watch. His session, “Video boot camp for health care communicators,” will be filled with practical, hands-on tips that you can take back to your hospital.

Keller shares his thoughts on video production:

Why are videos so important for telling health stories?

Health stories often reach an audience at a point of crisis or confusion. Views tend to be driven by search (a viewer is looking for answers to a question or insights about a personal challenge), and these videos are an opportunity to share insights with patients or family members. Videos can help viewers manage their wellness or make thoughtful choices about medical options. When an organization thinks about the goals and needs of their viewers, they create trust and empowerment for a viewer.

Why are some health care videos so boring, and why are others so good? What’s the secret?

More information does not create a better video. You don’t want your video to feel like a white paper or a sermon. It might be tempting to throw in a whole lot of content so that the viewer sees the source as credible, but that’s not what happens. The viewer becomes overwhelmed with options and data. A videographer has to balance the need for credibility with the emotional message of the video.

The best medical videos happen when the message is personal. This means the script is written with active voice. Your speaker should connect with the audience. Keep it human, rather than institutional, to engage an audience.

What’s the perfect length for a video?

It depends on what you are trying to accomplish. If the goal is awareness or marketing, the video should run 90 seconds to two minutes. If the video is more of a process piece or an in-depth tutorial, research shows the audience will stay engaged longer. A producer should have a clear understanding of the audience’s expectations and ensure the tone, tempo, and content match those expectations.

What three tips do you have for people who want to produce better videos?

  • Know your audience. Producers need a clear understanding of the audience’s needs, why are they searching for your information, their state of mind, and what will trigger your intended action. If you don’t target a specific audience, you are likely to create content that gets lost in the clutter of the 144,000 hours of video published on the Web daily.
  • Get to the point quickly. Fancy animation and long branding messages are barriers to your audience. If you don’t let them know what to expect within the first 10 to 15 seconds, they will move on to the next video.
  • Practice. There is no excuse for bad-looking video or unintelligible audio. The framing of your shots should advance your story. The stories should be told with more than a talking head, and the interview should have proper lighting so you can clearly see the subject. To get better at any craft, you have to practice.

See this page for details on all of the events in Social Media Week at Mayo Clinic (including links to Social Media Health Network member discounts), or go directly to the Ragan site to register for the Summit.

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Summit Spotlight: Video production tips
Video boot camp for health care communicators
Sometimes, medical information can be downright boring.

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