How your web team optimizes your SEO to keep pace with Google and other search engines will impact the reach of your videos.

By Susan Saldibar

Since I knew I was going to speak with G5  (a Senior Housing Forum partner) about videos, I scouted around various websites and social media. I found some great videos out there on senior living community Facebook pages. There are videos of seniors making New Year’s resolutions, staff members interviewing seniors, even some of seniors picking up microphones and singing their favorite tunes. And what’s awesome about these videos is that they were not filmed by professional videographers. They appear to be taken off smartphones. As a consumer, I like that. It gives them an air of authenticity. And who isn’t sick of slick, formal videos?

I spoke with the folks at G5 about the importance of using video, not only in your social media but on your website. I found out that it’s a lot easier to do than you probably think it is.

First, a word about HIPAA and avoiding privacy violations.

I hear many a lament from life engagement directors who are hesitant to start taking videos because the owners are afraid of a HIPAA violation and potential invasion of privacy. They should be. But only if they haven’t taken the proper steps and gotten HIPAA-approved written waivers. It is a process, but a worthwhile one. So, before you pick up a camera or smartphone, make sure you have the appropriate forms and a social media policy in effect and that all staff members are trained on those policies.

Once the legal aspects are tackled and you have clear, valid, written consent from your residents, you can begin to relax and work on putting together some amazing videos. Here are a few tips, taken from a great e-book that G5 has published:

  1. Know your goals. Why? Because knowing your goals will lead to a better understanding of your audience. G5 also recommends that you identify the best channels for posting your videos. Those are the channels where your videos have the best chance of being seen by your target audience. Having a full profile in place, along with goals, will also make your topic development and messaging much easier.

  2. Embrace originality. G5 notes that video “has the power to express authenticity.” So true. Don’t be afraid to express the personality of your residents and community in your videos. Ask yourself “Would I find this interesting or boring?”

  3. Keep their attention. That means keeping your videos at an optimum length. According to the chart in the G5 e-book, the rule of thumb is to keep all videos under 4 minutes long (even shorter for property showcase videos).

  4. Let your brand shineAs G5 remarks, “Your video is an extension of your brand, so be sure to capture it in your messaging and visuals.” Most can be do-it-yourself, but they suggest hiring a professional videographer to shoot your official corporate video. (That doesn’t mean it can’t still be original and interesting!)

  5. Perfection is overrated. Progress isn’t. Other than for your corporate video, G5 suggests that communities not worry so much about perfection. Pick up the iPhone or camera and “just do it”!

Now, the important part: Get found!

G5 reminds us that there is much more to making videos than just slapping them up on YouTube or your website and hoping people see them. The rules and conventions of SEO are changing constantly. How your web team optimizes your SEO to keep pace with Google and other search engines will impact the reach of your videos. Remember, you want to move well beyond engaging only those who visit your website or Facebook page!

The G5 e-book, by the way, is really informative. It has a lot more than I’ve covered here, including optimum video lengths for different purposes and a cool list of tips on how to film with iPhones and iPhone extensions. You can download it here:

For more information about G5, please visit their website:


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