Research Series: Healthcare New Media Marketing

U.S. Hospitals

on YouTube

A Test to the Altruistic Marketing Approach

Edgar Huang, PhD
Associate Professor, School of Informatics and Computing, Indiana University
535 W Michigan Street, IT471, Indianapolis, Indiana 46202, USA

ehuang@iupui.edu, 317-278-4108
http://informatics.iupui.edu/people/edgar-huang/


Accepted for presentation to the IEEE International Conference on Healthcare Informatics (ICHI), September 9–11, 2013
Published in Journal of Communication in Healthcare, 6(2), 128–134, 2013

 

Findings

1. How have U.S. hospitals used YouTube videos to connect to their online users?

Over 12 months from October 2011 to October 2012, the average number of videos uploaded by U.S. hospitals was 38; however, because of the high standard deviation (80) and high skewness (6.8) of the data, the median, 17, is a more precise description of the typical number of videos uploaded. The breakdown of the total number of videos uploaded when the data were recoded supports this claim (see Figure 1 below). It is important to note that 14% of the U.S. hospitals established a YouTube channel but uploaded no video during the most recent 12 months though most of them did post videos before.

Figure 1. The Total Number of Videos Uploaded by U.S. Hospitals to YouTube over 12 Months

figure1

From the time each of the U.S. hospitals established a presence on YouTube, the average number of views of U.S. hospital videos on YouTube was 111,572; however, because of the high standard deviation (245,167) and high skewness (5.25) of the data, the median, 23,281, is a more precise description of the typical number of total video views. The breakdown of the total video views when the data were made categorical supports this surmise (see Figure 2 below).
 
Figure 2. Number of Total Video Views

figure2

The median number of subscribers for U.S. hospital videos on YouTube was 30 while mean was 101. For the same reason as stated above, median is a more precise description than mean for this estimate.

Logically, once a hospital has spent great amount of time, effort, and possibly money, to put videos on YouTube, it will promote its YouTube videos on its hospital Web site. An examination of these hospitals’ Web sites showed that most hospitals (78%) promoted their YouTube videos on their home pages, 7% tucked away such videos on their inside pages, and 15% did not mention their YouTube videos at all.

2. What kinds of hospital videos on YouTube are popular?

On YouTube, 14 types of hospital videos were detected, which can be grouped under four categories: advertising videos (34.49%), informational videos (36.37%), educational videos (25.32%), and entertainment videos (3.82%) (see Table 1 below). A one-way ANOVA test of the means of these four categories shows a significant difference (F=40.33, df=3, P<0.001). A post-hoc Tukey HSD test demonstrated that the number of advertising videos and that of informational videos showed no significant difference, but all other categories presented significant differences with one another.

Out of these four categories, the first two, advertising videos and informational videos (70.86%), mainly promoted a hospital while the latter two, educational videos and entertainment videos (29.14%), mainly served users. Although the single type of most posted YouTube videos by hospitals was patient education videos (20.7%), obviously, hospitals had also made great efforts to promote themselves in different ways.

From the users’ end, the first two categories of self-promoting videos (70.86%) attracted a total of 34.38% of views, but the latter two categories (29.14%) attracted a total of 65.62% of views. Although public service announcement videos (1.48%) constituted one of the least posted types of videos, they attracted the most views (39.1%).

Table 1: Types of Videos that U.S. Hospitals Posted on YouTube


Type of Videos

Number of Videos

Percentage

Number of Views

Percentage

Advertising videos

883

34.49%

243,806

18.03%

Corporate identity

172

6.72%

74,593

5.52%

Department advertising

355

13.87%

60,943

4.51%

Recruitment

25

0.97%

3,032

0.22%

Patient testimonies

331

12.93%

105,238

7.78%

Informational videos

931

36.37%

221,028

16.35%

News

206

8.05%

25,356

1.88%

Hospital information

407

15.9%

105,238

7.78%

Local information

9

0.35%

695

0.05%

Documentary

302

11.8%

87,002

6.43%

Leader greetings

7

0.27%

2,737

0.2%

Educational videos

648

25.32%

305,458

22.59%

Patient education

530

20.7%

122,495

9.06%

Lectures

101

3.95%

7,672

0.57%

Surgery process

17

0.67%

175,291

12.96%

Entertainment videos

98

3.82%

581,816

43.03%

Public service announcement36

38

1.48%

528,716

39.1%

Entertainment

60

2.34%

53,100

3.93%

Total

2560

100%

1,352,108

100%

 

3. How have hospital size and ranking affected a hospital’s implementation and viewer reception of its videos on YouTube?

Chi-square tests showed that the larger a hospital was, the more videos it uploaded to YouTube (c=40.9, df=12, P<0.05), the more video views it attracted (c=23.1, df=9, P<0.05), and the more subscribers it gained (c=31.6, df=12, P<0.05).

Every year, USNews.com ranks U.S. hospitals and introduces a list of Best Hospitals on the national and on the state levels. Chi-square tests also found that, though nationally ranked hospitals may not have uploaded more videos to YouTube than the rest of the hospitals (c=13.9, df=8, P>0.05), significantly more viewers subscribed to the videos from the nationally ranked hospitals on YouTube (c=67.5, df=8, P<0.05), and their videos attracted significantly more views (c=27.3, df=6, P<0.05) than those unranked hospitals.

Although most hospitals tended to promote their YouTube videos on their Web site homepages, a Chi-square test showed that significantly more smaller-sized hospitals tended not to promote such videos than larger hospitals did (Chi-squre=14.689, df=6, P<0.05).

 

36. Rigorously speaking, public service announcement videos are not entertainment videos. Since such videos often embed a call for action in a more entertaining manner, they were expediently assigned to the Entertainment Videos category.