Why Video Matters

Universal Medical

One thing we don't really do enough of on this blog is feature others' exemplary video content. We try our best to lead by example with our own videos, but there are a ton of different ways to approach video marketing, and to make a great video and use video effectively, you don't necessarily have to craft an over-the-top, high-budget, viral phenomenon. We feature others' videos and the stories behind them in our Why Video Matters series.

Norwood, Massachusetts-based Universal Medical has been providing unique items to the medical industry since 1983. They sell medical supplies to hospitals, medical centers, doctors' offices, laboratories, and more.

Why Video?

The number one reason Universal Medical has ended up creating videos over and over again comes down to conversion. "Video is efficient and effective communication," says Stephen Lamb, "When people discover our site, they have never heard of us before and probably don't feel comfortable buying from an anonymous website."

They use video to help reduce any anxiety a visitor may have when looking at a product to purchase. "If we can explain it in a professional-looking video, it adds credibility and helps us build trust with both existing customers and first-time visitors."

Getting Started with Video

Universal Medical's focus with video is education – they want to both quickly highlight features and explain the benefits of a given product. They don't directly stock any products: manufacturers ship the product directly. This was an initial roadblock: you need the product to create a product video!

The first videos Universal Medical ended up making were for products that they happened to have hanging around the office: 15 or 20 various returns and demos. "We didn't really have any idea what we were doing," said Stephen, "we just knew we needed a script, a voiceover of that script, and to show how the product works." This video was the result of that:

"Thankfully, we improved on these as time went on. For example, maybe we shouldn't wear jeans and Aeropostale undershirts when we're demonstrating a product that's used in the operating room, d'oh!"

Even with these flaws, Universal Medical saw significant results from using the video: year over year, the sales of the product increased 300%. It was then that they knew video had to be made a core focus of their marketing efforts.

Choosing which videos to make

Universal Medical's strategy for choosing which videos to make is pretty simple: they start with their most popular products, since this is where the largest impact will be: "A 10% increase of your already-popular product categories will be more impactful than a 10% increase of a slow-moving product or category of products."

Essentially, they never want to stop making product videos, but will continue to prioritize the most popular products.

The video creation process

It took time for UM to nail down their video process, and it's still constantly being refined, but as of now the steps for their product demo videos look like this:

  • Request and receive the product from the manufacturer.
  • The marketing team meets with media team to review the product.
  • Write a script and send it over to the person doing the voiceover.
  • Shoot footage.
  • Edit footage and add the voiceover.
  • Export the video and upload to Wistia.
  • Embed the video and track results!

Once the process was in place, they were much more able to streamline the production of videos, and with 17,000 products and counting, they really have an endless queue to choose from.

As Universal Medical considers adding another videographer to their team, one challenge is finding videographers who are interested in this type of production; many wish to do project-type work instead of a steady flow of videos of a similar format. They're trying to address this by doing non-product-demo videos, but are just getting started in this format. Here's a recent example of one of these videos:

What were your challenges when you got started with video? How have you streamlined your video creation process?

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