Emmott on Technology: Be Careful, that YouTube Video Could Land You in Hot Water and Other Sound Advice and Best Practices for Promoting your Office with Video

Emmott on Technology: Be Careful, that YouTube Video Could Land You in Hot Water
Thursday, November 01, 2012

A dentist attending one of my sessions at the recent ADA meeting identified himself as a state board member and warned the group that his board had reviewed a number of cases where one dentist filed a complaint against another based on a YouTube video. Not only had he personally seen these complaints but was aware of many others from around the country.

The complaints all had to do with clinical videos that depicted something that could be seen as improper or failing to meet standards. For example, I showed a short clinical video posted by a dentist demonstrating his new digital impression machine. In the video, one of the assistants in the video had her mask pushed down below her nose. I didn’t notice but the board dentist did. He said this was a violation of protocol, and is the type of thing one dentist would spot and then use to turn in the offending dentist to the state board.

Really? Are there that many dentists that are that petty and vindictive? I appreciate the duty of the state boards to protect the public…but really?

Two lessons: If you do post clinical videos be aware of the issue and be extra careful to do everything by the book. It’d be a good idea to let other dentists look it over before you post it so they can catch things you might have missed.

An even better lesson might be to just avoid clinical videos all together. The vast majority of dental patients find clinical videos unpleasant. They do not like images of dental instruments, people in surgical garb or gaping mouths.

The most effective YouTube videos are patient testimonials, a dentist introducing him or herself, an office tour, or a welcome to the office from the dentist or a team member.

The days are long gone (if they ever existed) of being able to grab a flip cam, record a video and then upload the raw video to YouTube. Office videos need to be properly lit with a professional looking background and good sound quality. An obviously sloppy and amateur video will give the impression of a sloppy, amateur office.

Even more significant is the length of the video. A rambling five minute talking head video simply will not be watched. Office videos are best if they are less than a minute and should be no more than ninety seconds. That means either a tight well written script or some good editing. Ideally, you need both.

In the video world there is nothing more deadly than the talking head. If you watch any professionally produced TV show you will notice that they change the scene every four or five seconds. If you want your office videos to keep the audience’s attention and create a professional feeling, you need to do the same thing. That means you either need to develop your skills with video editing software or you need to hire a pro to help.

Online video is a major trend in how we use the Internet. You can use YouTube effectively to promote your practice. However, you need to be aware of clinical gothchas, avoid the homemade DIY video look, and remember the future is coming and it will be amazing!

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