Why 360 degree video is the healthy choice for medical marketers

31st January 2017

Imagine the impact of allowing HCPs to experience what their patients feel – to really feel it – and then show them how your product can help? That’s where VR and 360 degree video come in to up the ante and empower your sales and marketing team with the brand storytelling tools to engage.

From live surgery apps that encourage patient empathy to demonstrating the impact of a medication in action, 360 video and VR are transforming healthcare and medical marketing.  The immersive 360 view brings the complexity of disease and the human anatomy, medical procedures and devices, and medication to life, taking (the already powerful) 3D medical animation to the next level.

360-degree video gets results

360 degree video is not just a gimmick, it’s here to stay.  Facebook, for instance is investing heavily in the tech and it’s getting results. A recent test compared two films on Facebook – one 360 and another traditionally shot video and found that the average percentage viewed was 28.81% higher with 360 than the other film. Furthermore 50% more people watched it right through, the CTR was higher and the CPM was lower (Magnifyre). Google also found interesting results in its own similar investigation with 360 degree video increasing engagement and shares.

For me, 360 degree is one of the top trends of the year, so read on as I share my thoughts on how it can drive ROI for medical and pharma brands.

Conferences and events

At busy events where you’re vying with your competitors to attract a crowd, 360 degree video can entice visitors to a stand and allow your sales team to demonstrate the benefits of your product. 360 degrees offers one of the most effective ways for your audience to experience your products or procedures and make a memorable connection with your brand.

Take this example, “Diabetes Voyager”, a game which aims to increase an understanding of this disease from pharma brand, Novo Nordisk. Watch the video below to see how the sales team can use this VR game to educate and engage visitors at an exhibition stand.

With 360, you’re putting your audience in control, which psychologically helps to them to make a memorable connection with your brand.

Emphatic storytelling

The first person perspective of VR and 360 degree video builds empathy and understanding between patients and HCPs. In the example below, VR is used to help medical students to learn what life is really like for an elderly patient in the early stages of eye disease.

The best traditional video content of course instils emotional, empathetic connection in its audiences, but the immersive experience of 360 and VR really adds another dimension.

Emotional stories

This experiential essence can also be turned to promoting products that can help with a particular illness. Pharma brand GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) combined emotional storytelling with AR and VR to powerfully illustrate the experience of a migraine to promote their medication. Loved ones of migraine sufferers were given an AR headset in order to understand first-hand what this condition actually felt like.

The campaign comprised four online videos following one of four migraine sufferers and their family and friends; there were four million views of the videos in the first three weeks of activation. To offer it to a wider audience, people could use a Google cardboard headset and an app:

As with any successful video marketing campaign, the tech is not enough, and unless the story is strong and the strategic brand purpose clear, the addition of 360 will not cut through. But combine a good emotionally driven story and put your audience in the action and brands will reap rewards. 360 really comes into its own to add value to your pharma marketing content – and ultimately help increase sales and brand equity – by demonstrating how a particular treatment can affect the patient’s health.

Live video streaming surgery

New technologies are also set to revolutionalise global medical education, building connections across borders and giving students greater insight. For Mike Marett, founder, Confideo Labs, VR creates “episodic memories,” an active learning technique which improves retention whilst participating in VR experience helps the user to concentrate on the content without being distracted.

One educational development is in the field of the live streaming of surgery with an increasing number of medical professionals taking to Snapchat to give a first-hand account of the operating theatre. Take Medical Realities’ world first live streaming of a colon cancer operation at the Royal London Hospital. Anyone around the world could join the surgeon on this immersive experience using Google Cardboard and their mobile phone. Here’s a feature about the event from the BBC:

Time to add 360 degree to your video strategy?

Across the whole medical sphere from pharma brands to healthcare professionals and educators, 360 degree and VR will be invaluable in creating content that makes medical complexity easier to digest and puts the user in the heart of the action.

All the same rules for medical video content apply from combining emotion and logic, ensuring a high level of accuracy and meeting compliance regulations, but if you get 360 degree content right, there are healthy rewards.

If you’re interested in 360 degree video for medical marketing, get in touch.

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