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Why Video in the Pharma and Medical Device Sector?

Why use video in multichannel campaigns?

For years there was this vague idea among marketers that video had a place in their output…but it seemed no one was very sure where. So in the grand tradition of tradition, they ignored it and carried on producing brochures and fact sheets.

Then came YouTube, Vimeo a host of social media sites and most importantly the metrics that flowed out of them.
Metrics, a simple return of data based on online usage and behaviour, hit the industry in the head with a sledge hammer. Any pretence that video could take a back seat was swept away by a set of stunning statistics.
Firstly the stats showed that the words on websites, so often agonized over in endless meetings, were not being read. In fact the average webpage visit lasts less than a minute. In other words less time than it takes to read 25% of the words, so three quarters of the writing on websites is left unread.
Add a video to the webpage and that average time spent, more than doubles. There’s no prizes for guessing what the visitor is doing…people are exponentially more likely to click on a video link to learn something than they are to read a passage of writing.

There are dozens of other impressive stats about the power of video – such as a 36% increase in sales for a product that has an accompanying video. One Australian real estate agent reckoned viewings went up by 403% for houses that had a video in their listing versus those that didn’t.
But the first stat – how long people will spend listening to your message when there is a video, is the one that should grab your attention. So that’s what I want to talk about and hopefully this will lead you into making informed choices about how and when to use video.

Firstly, we need to understand why it is that people prefer video to reading text.
Video stimulates the brain in three ways, aurally, visually and intellectually. Reading has the power of only one of those stimulants. That is not to say, by the way that a brilliant piece of writing cannot be extremely powerful, of course it can, by unleashing our own imaginations. But let’s face it, when it comes to describing a medical device or pharma product and its many benefits, we are going to struggle to match the emotional power of an prize winning novel…

So for us, video is a shortcut to the type of empathetic hearing a novelist will engender in his or her writing. With the visual and aural parts of our brain stimulated, we become more receptive to the intellectual and emotional message. A video makes it much easier for complex ideas to make sense and be understood.

It’s difficult to quantify the exact nature of the advantage video holds over the written word online, but Dr. James McQuivey at the famous tech and market research company Forrester, tried to. He came to the startling conclusion that a 60 second video imparts as much information to a webpage visitor as 1.8 million words.
Think about that for a second. Think about it next time you are engaged in a lengthy project to re-write your website. For all the hours it takes to polish up 1.8 million words, you could have commissioned a 60 second video. The price of video suddenly doesn’t seem so expensive does it?

And before you think that these metrics and stats are heavily geared toward the young, in other words the webpage visitors who are unlikely to be the key audience for pharmaceutical and medical device firms, think again. Forbes Magazine asked a range of senior executives whether they would prefer to watch a 60 second video or read about a subject, 64% of said they now preferred video.

Video is one of the most flexible weapons you have in your marketing armoury. There is literally no place it cannot be used.

We humans love stories and video is the easiest way to give your company a narrative that draws empathy from potential customers. Used well, even a technical explainer video can subtly reinforce your firm’s core values.

I hope this article has inspired you to approach your next campaign by putting video front and centre.

Hilver was born from a collaboration between the pharma & medical sector sales and marketing executives and creative news industry professionals.


6th July 2015



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