How to: Get great veterinary video in 4 easy steps
Caitlin DeWilde, DVM
Caitlin DeWilde, DVM, owns the social media consulting company The Social DVM and practices as an associate at a St. Louis-area hospital.
Up your internet game with these multimedia moves.
With the confluence of widespread high-speed internet and smartphones capable of producing video of dazzling quality, the digital moving picture has become an indispensable aspect of today's social communication. People don't want generic pet content-they want their favorite veterinarian. As Fetch dvm360 conference speaker and social media whiz Caitlin DeWilde, DVM, puts it, "Video is a key component of a successful social media strategy."
But what if you don't have an arsenal of equipment and a background in filmmaking? Don't worry. Dr. DeWilde has four tips to help you realize your online video goals.
Tip No. 1: Don't blow big bucks on fancy gear
Your marketing videos aren't destined for the silver screen, so there's no need to drop loads of money on cameras and lenses. In fact, you may be reading this article on the only piece of equipment you need.
"Any late-model smartphone has the capability to get you great video footage," Dr. DeWilde says.
Well, OK, there is one pretty cheap accessory you can buy: a phone tripod. Dr. DeWilde says using one will stabilize your image as well as free up your hands to tend to the patient or whatever you're trying to share.
But ... which tripod?
Amazon.com offers more than 20 pages of tripods for sale. Uhhh ... don't panic! Dr. DeWilde has an accessory suggestion for you. She swears by the JOBY GorillaPod, a flexible, easily storable tripod that's compatible with just about any smartphone. It even features a remote control that lets you start and stop your recordings.
So, switch that device to camera mode and get rolling.
Tip No. 2: Shoot in horizontal orientation
Before you set up a single shot, for goodness' sake, please turn that phone on its side. Nearly all video on social media platforms displays best horizontally-or in landscape orientation. A horizontal shot not only fills up the frame, but, as Dr. DeWilde points out, it provides more screen space to show off your team members, your beautiful clinic or an assortment of adorable pets. And those square videos with the sides blurred out? Strictly amateur.
Tip No. 3: Keep it short and get to the point
Nothing says "unpolished" like a rambling, unfocused piece of content. Though various social media outlets allow for different lengths of video (for example, one minute for Instagram and currently unlimited for Facebook), the more important consideration are clients' attention spans. Dr. DeWilde notes that viewership starts to fade between 60 and 120 seconds. Plus, there's really no need to say it all at once.
"Try to deliver bite-sized pieces of information," she says. "It's better to have small, frequent chunks in terms of your strategy rather than one giant video."
Social media and the vet clinic: Dr. DeWilde's take
Social media must-haves for veterinary practice.
Not on Instagram? Your practice is there.
Tip No. 4: Relax and be yourself
One of the greatest strengths of the video format is that it shows off your personality-assuming your personality isn't stiff, apprehensive and uptight. As long as that's not the case, Dr. DeWilde says just relax and let your true self shine through.
"Your clients want to get to know you," she says. "They want to go behind the scenes at your hospital and ... know more about your team."
You. Can. Do. This!
At Fetch dvm360 conference, we're the support system you need. With every conference this year, we intend to nurture your mind (meaning quality CE for days) while also encouraging you to take stock of your physical and emotional health. Register now.