Monday, March 16, 2009
Yahoo Reverses Web Strategy
Yahoo’s recent about-face on their web video strategy as reported in today’s New York Times offers a valuable parallel for healthcare marketers crafting an internet video strategy of their own. The article quotes Trip Chowdhry, a senior analyst for Global Equities Research as saying that Yahoo ‘s “expensive attempts to transport TV entertainment the Internet ‘were all disasters.’” This is because Yahoo developed shows without targeting any specific consumer need and applied a “one-way model…more of a TV mindset.”
Now Yahoo is starting with the consumer first, “finding their biggest audiences and then building short Web shows for those groups of people.” Examples of this new strategy include “Primetime in No Time,” a 2-5 minute recap of top prime time shows and their latest venture, “Spotlight to Nightlight,” which features short segments about celebrity mothers.
Following in Yahoo’s footsteps, many healthcare companies have started with similarly “company-focused” strategies regarding Internet videos. Often times, their YouTube channels are little more than a collection of videos they have lying around the office. Don’t get me wrong – these initial forays represent important first steps. The healthcare industry always faces special regulatory hurdles in adopting new media. However, like Yahoo, healthcare marketers are being rewarded with similarly low viewership. It is hard to find a healthcare company produced video that is seen by more than a few thousand people.
Like Yahoo, healthcare marketers would do well to start first with the community-figure out who your important online consumers are and see how you can add value through video. Do they want personal stories, how-to videos or even videos with a condition insider’s “gallows humor” twist to release tension through laughter? One of the key tenets of the whole social media movement is that listening is the first step finding a mutually beneficial agenda.
Just as our websites started out as brochure-ware in the ‘90s before evolving into the more interactive, engaging sites seen today, our healthcare Internet videos will need to make a similar leap to relevancy.
To see the full NYT article, click here.