YouTube is Leading The Way in Helping Consumers Find Credible Healthcare Information
Where’s the first place you turn to when you have a health question? The internet, of course! A multitude of online sources provide robust libraries of health articles that answer some of the most commonly asked health questions. But following the COVID-19 pandemic, a surge of misinformation has spread throughout the world wide web like wildfire, making it difficult for consumers to differentiate between which sources and recommendations are backed by science and which are not. To help combat that, YouTube is now making it easier for qualified medical professionals to share and validate credible health information.
Last year, YouTube began labeling health-related videos from educational institutions, public health departments, hospitals, and government entities as authoritative sources. Now they’re expanding this feature to healthcare professionals, leading the way to help consumers find credible information online in the format they want.
Video Killed The Search Engine Star
While that’s not entirely true (yet), it is a possibility. With Gen Z on pace to become the largest set of consumers by 2026, marketers need to be prepared to meet them on the platforms they are using to search for answers. Right now, TikTok is the go-to channel for Generation Z to search for information. What does this tell us? Gen Z prefers quick video content over traditional articles. Now, what do we do about it?
Leveraging YouTube’s Healthcare Certification
If the video-preferred habits of Gen Z continue, which we suspect will, other platforms need to adjust. And YouTube is doing just that. At Parallel Path, we encourage eligible healthcare professionals and health information providers to leverage this change for a variety of reasons:
- Build brand credibility and authority
- Expand the reach of other marketing/resources
- Gain the opportunity for relevant videos to appear higher in search results
- Create trust in the brand and/or practitioner
- Allow you to serve valuable, trustworthy content in a place and way people want
Additionally, certified channels qualify for Information Panels & Health Source Context, meaning videos from an approved channel will contain an information panel listing the credible source of the content. Plus, these channels can become eligible for their videos to show up on Health Content Shelves. Health Content Shelves are found at the top of the search results and only include videos from recognized authoritative sources.
YouTube has some pretty strict requirements to become eligible for the certification, which is a good thing. They’ve partnered with the Council of Medical Speciality Societies (CMSS), the National Academy of Medicine (NAM), and the World Health Organization (WHO) to establish guidelines and ensure channels are following the rules including:
- Primarily showcase videos containing healthcare information
- Have no active Community Guidelines strikes
- Have more than 2,000 valid public watch hours in the last 12 months
- Attest to the Health Information Sharing Principles
- If you’re applying on behalf of an organization, you must be a licensed professional in one of these professions
- Licensed Doctor (eligible to practice medicine in the relevant country)
- Licensed Nurse / Registered Nurse (US only)
- Licensed Psychologist or equivalent
- Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist or equivalent
- Licensed Clinical Social Worker or equivalent
- You must also have oversight and review of the content your organization posts on YouTube
- Follow YouTube channel monetization policies, regardless of if the channel is monetizing
If you meet all of the requirements applying for certification is easy and should be done by any channel that qualifies. Keep in mind, the verification process can take anywhere from 1-2 months.
Healthcare Marketing of the Future
The director and global head of healthcare and public health at YouTube, Garth Graham, M.D., sums it up pretty well, stating that healthcare is behind the times, especially when it comes to how providers tend to distribute information. Gone are the days when handing out a brochure about a condition is adequate. Instead, health organizations need to get on board with patients becoming more engaged in their healthcare journey and help provide them with quality information. YouTube has now made it possible, and pretty easy, to do so.