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Press play to boost patient engagement: Using video to enhance study recruitment and retention



With the clinical study landscape more competitive than ever, advertising and marketing have never been more important. They can mean the difference between successful participant recruitment and study failure. We discuss this importance in greater detail in our white paper. But in this blog, we wanted to focus on the part video can play in enhancing participant recruitment and retention efforts.


The rise of video marketing

To connect with patients, you need to deliver your study marketing to the spaces they’re in. And in today’s digital world, people are spending more and more time online, often on social media. But it’s a noisy space. Standing out isn’t easy. Yet video is proving to create cut-through…


  • 81% of businesses use video as a marketing tool

  • 6 out of 10 people would rather watch online videos than TV

  • Mobile video consumption rises by 100% every year

  • By 2022, online videos will make up more than 82% of all consumer internet traffic

  • 78% of people watch online videos every week

  • 55% view online videos every day

  • A Facebook exec predicted that their platform will be all video and no text by 2021

  • YouTube is the 2nd most popular website after Google

  • 59% of executives say they would rather watch a video than read text

  • Viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video, compared to 10% when reading it in text

  • 72% of customers would rather learn about a product or service by video

With insights like these, we know video is a popular way for people to be communicated with. And here are just some of the reasons why…


The power of storytelling

Establishing a narrative that a person can relate to creates a connection, and video enhances the storytelling experience beyond what a written narrative can achieve. The beauty of visual storytelling resides in the fact that a narrative doesn’t have to be told but seen, using visual language. A sequence of specific shots focused upon a direct subject, placed in a clearly defined order and accompanied with a soundscape, can tell a story without a spoken word.


Engaging the senses to stir emotion

The advantage of choosing video to enhance your study marketing is the opportunity to connect with people’s emotions more strongly than you can in more one-dimensional collateral. The opening frame of a video consumes your concentration through movement, which is more visually appealing and attention grabbing than a static alternative. The accompanying sound adds to the experience by engaging two senses simultaneously – vision and hearing. By engaging more senses than other formats, it’s easier for you to convey or provoke emotion. And it’s those reactions that will lead a view to feel more invested and motivated to interact with the video or its subject matter.


Building trust

Video isn’t only great for gaining a viewer’s attention, it can also gain their trust. A video shows depth of personality that can’t be written; it shows who you are, what you do, and why you do it in a much better way. This helps build a trusting relationship with an audience. After all, seeing is believing. Interviews and testimonials are also more impactful and believable in video format than they are in written materials. And as we all know, gaining trust is one of the biggest challenges the industry needs to address.


Memorable & reusable

Unlike other marketing formats, a video is memorable to an audience. This gives scope for adaptation, as video can be edited into short form features from the original promotion. Doing this reawakens the memories, allowing the audience to relive the original video and interact with all the information without the need to watch the whole video again. This is an ideal scenario to implement into participant recruitment and re-engagement strategies, with the potential to save you time, money and resource.



3 ways video can improve participant retention


1. Convenient and manageable information sharing

The amount of information about the clinical study individuals want to access, and the amount people can digest in one go, will vary. On-demand videos can be used to create a library of content that participants can explore at their own pace, watch at their convenience, and refer back to as much as they like. Doctors, study coordinators, and patient ambassadors can respond to patients’ concerns and frequently asked questions in real-time, too. Doing this demonstrates a commitment to patients as individuals while unblocking patient concerns that typically cause study dropouts.


2. Create trusted connections

Access to members of the research team, investigators and physicians can be important to participants, but in-person access isn’t always feasible. Video recordings can help authoritative figures in the clinical study respond to participants, and continue to connect with them, when they don’t have capacity for appointments. There’s no need for high value video productions, simple Skype or smartphone recordings will suffice – it’s the information and relationship building that matters.


3. Share genuine experiences

While every participant’s medical situation is unique, there’s extraordinary value in patients connecting with one another. This is why working with previous participants, or those further into a study, to become advocates of your clinical study can be extremely beneficial to encouraging current participants to continue on a study. Video blogs, interviews, and short vignettes can help comfort and inform those just coming on board. Plus, asking participants to share their stories with others may also make them feel more valued as an individual.



If participant recruitment and retention is an obstacle your clinical study needs to overcome, video is just one way that you can be more creative and engaging with your marketing and advertising. For more creative inspiration and expert guidance, take a look at our white paper.


Or if you’d like to find out more about the videos we’ve created and our capabilities, get in touch.



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