Here at Old Town Media, we have a set of plugins that we use on a regular basis to make our sites the way that we want them to. We love all of these plugins and almost every single one of them ends up on client sites that we build. There are upwards of 20 other plugins that we sporadically but these are the core of extra functionality on our sites.
ARYO is a great lightweight tracking tool that records certain activities that occur in the backend of a WordPress site. This is especially useful if you’re tracking down a bug with a particular user or want to see how many times invalid login attempts are being processed on the site (ie: bots attempting to brute force in). The feature set is not very extensive, but it’s a good catch-all for when you need to know what’s been going on in your site.
Backup Buddy handles automated backups & migrations to another server for us. Their backup & offsiting tools are top-notch and very reliable if you’re on a quality host. It’s a paid plugin, but the developer license is only $150/year which is a steal if your site ever gets corrupted or hacked and you need to restore it.
This simple tool allows us to create sidebars in the admin area of the site and assign them to individual pages or custom post types. It’s a big time saver when you just want to spin off a sidebar for a specific page or purpose and don’t have a lot of time.
This tool disables the extra scripts and parsing that WordPress has loaded since the beginning of 4.3 for Emojis. Since most of our clients are businesses, they rarely need
This fantastic plugin by Yoast (the same guys who build WordPress SEO below) allow very easy, simple integrations with Google Analytics. It will create the proper tracking code on your site, track any events that you want, and if you are connected in with the Analytics API it will display your Analytics on dashboard so you don’t have to hop over to the Analytics site. It’s a heavy plugin but a must=have if you’re looking for a simple Analytics integration.
Gravity Forms is one of your favorite plugins at Old Town Media. It makes editing and publishing forms a cakewalk and is infinitely configurable with the code and add-ons. Want to get email signups into your email client of choice? Got it. Want to process payments based on conditional logic along with event signups? Got it. Want to have email notifications sent to different people based on submitted answers? Got it. Want to have users signup for your site or create their own posts? Got it. If you need to do anything with forms on your site, this is your plugin.
The downside of being this complex and configurable is that the codebase, styles, and scripts are particularly bulky and heavy – which is why we sometimes use Ninja Forms
We use Ninja Forms for simple, easy contact forms. No complex conditional logic, no intense styling overrides, no user input, just plain simple contact forms. It’s very easy to edit, setup, and stylize.
This is our default security plugin. It handles and stops most brute force attacks and tracks most important security related activity. It’s a complex plugin and one that could stop other plugins from working but it’s very effective when setup properly.
If you need to add redirects to your site from old URLs and don’t want to mess with an .htaccess file, this guy’s for you. Two-input redirects and it supports wildcard redirects very easily.
This is a plugin that I developed and open sourced. All it does is display the page template that you are looking at, where the file is located, and what other pages are using the same template. It’s very handy for working on other companies’ sites that use a complex system of templates.
Simple is the name of the game here – add an image to a widget with drag and drop functionality. You can also link, add titles and other pieces of text around the image and it’s very easy to stylize on the frontend. This is a great back-pocket plugin for easy image handling.
Simple as it gets – add a map to any page with a simple shortcode and only an address. It’s lightweight, simple, effective with no options. We use this for 95% of our sites for incredibly easy maps. Anything beyond simple we start using the Google Maps js API because the rest of the WP maps plugins are frankly a mess.
Slider (rotating banner, generally on a homepage) plugin of choice. Easy interface, doesn’t load scripts except when necessary, configurable and lots of options. Paid, but cheap and I highly recommend it.
This is our favorite caching plugin by a long mile. It’s effective and easy to configure. It offers options that most other plugins can’t touch such as advanced minification and concatenation. While it’s a paid, premium plugin, it’s well worth the money just to not see the insane configuration screens that Wp Super Cache and W3 Total Cache give you.
Video is an often overlooked method of connecting with future (and current) patients and building credibility, especially in the medical industry. Since the beginning of the pandemic, more and more services have switched from in-person to hybrid or 100% online and people are utilizing digital platforms more than ever for things like finding credible providers and hosting virtual visits.
Video marketing for doctors is becoming more necessary in helping form personal connections by allowing people to get a sense of their doctors before scheduling a visit.
In this blog, we will cover why you should use video marketing for doctors, types of videos to make, and tips for ensuring your videos are successful.
Why Use Video?
Video marketing for doctors isn’t just about making specialist introduction videos to post on a website. Patient testimonials, informational videos, introductory videos for doctors, and office overviews are great tools to engage your audience and turn curious viewers into lifelong patients.
The first and most important outcome of video marketing for doctors is establishing trust and credibility.
When a patient can watch a quick interview with their physician, they feel a connection and gain an understanding of the doctor’s background, qualifications, and personality.
Many people searching for a provider will automatically self-disqualify if they feel a practice or particular physician may not be a good fit, so providing them with a glimpse into a doctor’s personality will help them feel at ease, knowing in advance who will be trusted to care for them.
They may feel drawn to a particular physician based on personal or medical backgrounds, forming a bond that helps the patient feel at ease with their provider choice.
On top of building trust, video marketing for doctors establishes a platform for education. People turn to the internet to search for medical information that pertains to their situation, so being a source of accurate information is a valuable way to position your practice. It also helps deter misinformation, as these videos are being produced by experts in the field and hosted by credible sources.
Video Types for Successful Marketing
Many people search the internet to learn about their diagnoses and potential treatments, which is where informational videos come into play.
As a doctor, you may often find yourself explaining complex concepts to your patients repeatedly. If there’s a topic that comes up often in your practice, it’s probably a great subject for an educational video.
People usually turn to the internet to learn about a diagnosis or treatment before visiting a specialist, so providing accurate information is a great way to help guide a patient on their health journey. As a bonus, you’re establishing your expertise while providing education.
Patient testimonials are another great tool to show your audience proof of credibility. Since video is more personal than a text-based review, patient testimonials can feel more like a friend’s referral. The audience can see the patient’s genuine enthusiasm and may feel more invested, as a result.
Introductions and Office Tours
Introductions and office overview videos provide a glimpse into the world of your practice. Viewers can get to know doctors, their backgrounds, their personalities, and take a tour of the office before even scheduling an appointment. Providing this type of content is an important part of video marketing for doctors, as it establishes a welcoming atmosphere for anyone considering an appointment.
For example, check out this introduction video we did for a new doctor joining the team at the Orthopaedic & Spine Center of the Rockies.
This video is great because it’s short, informative, easy to embed on on a website, use for a social post, or include in an email newsletter.
Tips and Tricks for Great Videos
Consider recording audio separately from video. You can find inexpensive, great quality unidirectional microphones to use, and this is an easy way to automatically increase the production value and professional feel of your video. A great tip to remember is to use a clapboard or have your subject clap in front of their face when sound and video are both recording, as it helps when the time comes to sync audio to video during editing.
Lighting is another simple way to increase production value and make your videos look more professional. Simple, soft lights are preferred (even a large ring light is a great investment for this) and will help fill in any dark shadows if you’re also using overhead lighting, which can be unflattering on its own.
There are tons of great resources online that explain three-point lighting, if you’re looking to step up your lighting game even further. If you don’t want to use separate lights, natural lighting is a great supplement. For this, place your subject facing a window (don’t place the window behind them) and the natural light will be much more flattering than overhead indoor lighting.
When framing your scene, keep it simple. Avoid clutter in the background, and have your subject stand slightly off-center. While we love visual interest, a lot of background items can be distracting, so it’s a good idea to stage an area so it feels welcoming and clean, without distracting from the subject matter.
You may have a lot to say about your subject matter, or want to help a new doctor get a complete introduction out into the world, but keep in mind that most people do not have the attention span or interest to watch a long video online.
Keep it simple! Ask yourself, “what are the main points I want to get across?”
It’s always better to provide the necessary facts and invite a viewer to contact your office for more information, or refer to an article or blog post that explains your video topic in more depth.
We want to establish trust, get to the point, and invite people to interact with your content. Keeping videos under two minutes is a great rule of thumb. If you have a longer video, consider breaking it into shorter clips for social media.
Include a CTA
A CTA, or “call to action,” encourages follow-up from viewers. It’s as simple as listing your phone number or website at the end of the video and saying something like, “for more information, get in touch!” You may want to offer a link to one of your blog posts or to the contact page from your website. The point is to encourage people to do something based on the content you’ve provided. Video marketing for doctors isn’t just about getting your practice seen; it’s also about creating a comfortable space for interaction with people who may be looking for guidance or services you offer.
Why a Distribution Plan is Important
Once you make your videos, where do they go? If they sit on your website, you may notice very little interaction, so creating a distribution plan will ensure you make the most out of your videos. When deciding how to utilize your content, you should first establish the purpose of each video. Is it short and educational? This may be a great candidate for not only your website, but YouTube and social media. Is it a tour of the office? In addition to your home page, this may be a great video to embed in a marketing email for new or potential patients. For more information about full funnel marketing check out this blog we wrote.
Think about what you want your video to accomplish and where it could best achieve those goals. Don’t be afraid to post cross-platform, either! The more people your video can reach, the better! Video marketing for doctors can be tricky, so don’t hesitate to reach out to a marketing agency with a video production team if you want help figuring out a plan or managing distribution.
No matter where you are in your marketing process, video marketing for doctors can be an effective way to humanize your practice and establish your expertise. Video brings people together and offers a more personal experience, which is why people are often more receptive to video marketing. With these helpful tips and ideas to keep in mind, you’ll be able to up your game and see more online interaction with easily made, high-quality videos.