Doctors Look To YouTube To Boost Sales

Recently, I completed a series of videos to help a friend of mine promote his book. The videos have gotten him other publicity and also garnered an uptick in book sales.
Today’s New York Times reports that doctors are also using YouTube–and giving discounts to patients for an endorsement:

Last year, Cynthia Goodstein was struggling to figure out how to pay for a face-lift. During a consultation with Dr. Payman Simoni, a Beverly Hills facial plastic surgeon, the doctor asked if she would be willing to be a before-and-after on a promotional video made for YouTube. “I probably said, ‘Do I get any discount?’ and he gave me a good deal,” Ms. Goodstein said, who paid just $3,800 instead of the $12,000 he usually charges.
Dr. Joseph T. Cruise, a plastic surgeon in Newport Beach, Calif., has posted 23 client videos on YouTube since 2005. While he said he did not have difficulty getting patients to talk in front of a camera (it is, after all, Southern California), the cash incentives of 10 percent or so didn’t hurt. (He stressed that all surgeries were already scheduled when he offered patients a publicity rebate.) “The money kind of gets them in the door,” he said, “but once they go through the process, they’re happy to talk.”
Doctors stress that their videos educate, not only promote, their trade. That distinction allows them to meet the bar of sites like YouTube, where the policy states that people can “upload health-related, educational, scientific and documentary footage — even when it involves graphic content.”

We all preach how valuable word-of-mouth is. When I had LASIK surgery, I got a doctor’s recommendation from a friend. Would YouTube videos influence you to select a doctor for an elective procedure?



About Dan Goldgeier

Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. Dan is also a columnist for and the author of View From The Cheap Seats and Killer Executions and Scrubbed Decks.