The Power of Storytelling in Healthcare Content Marketing

Written by Team SI on Wednesday, October 23, 2019

The shortest distance between two people is a story. Stories build empathy and understanding. Stories generate a personal connection. Stories are how audiences remember. Most importantly, stories help us better understand ourselves, our own fears and hopes, challenges and triumphs.

Naturally, when one is facing a health issue and trying to learn more, they and their loved ones look to the experiences of others to better understand what they should expect and how to proceed. And where do you think they look? They look to the internet. In fact, one out of every 20 Google searches is health-related. Eighty percent of internet users, including 93 million Americans, have searched health-related topics online, and more than half of those did it for someone they know, either a child, spouse or loved one. Seventy-two percent of patients check online reviews, the personal experiences of others, before booking appointments.

A study by Demand Metric reports that traditional healthcare marketing techniques are no longer as effective as they once were. Eighty-six percent of people ignore TV commercials and 44 percent ignore direct mail. The same study shows that for every dollar spent, digital content marketing generates three times as many leads as traditional marketing.

The new healthcare patient journey begins on a mobile device or computer, so it’s crucial for doctors and medical clinics to meet potential patients at their point and time of need with the information that can best help them know what they SHOULD do next, while inspiring them to actually DO IT.

That is why story-based content marketing campaigns on social media and websites are so powerful. These campaigns show potential patients and their loved ones how your organization has already helped people just like them and, also, prove that you view your patients as real people that you care for, rather than numbers on a chart.

To get started, organize and plan your content to tell your story through three different lenses:

1) Patients. Patient testimonials are the most valuable resource. They are real and organic. It’s the difference in just telling people your hospital is great and showing them why it’s great because of how you have literally changed and saved lives. Personal pieces of writing and video with real people telling their compelling stories of quality care will instantly set you apart from the others, make an emotional connection to your potential patients and begin to build brand loyalty. Your patients have the “purest” voice and the most credibility. Some patients might even be willing to do live, interactive question-and-answer sessions on social media videos or in chat rooms. These folks are your greatest advocates and your greatest resource.

2) Doctors. Show potential patients who they will be meeting with before they ever get in the door. Blog articles and videos can educate patients about your doctors’ specialized training, professional highlights, motivations and life experiences. They can introduce the doctors and establish a level of comfort that potential patients would never have if they had walked in off the street. These stories can show and explain cutting edge techniques and certifications your doctors will implement and utilize. Most importantly, the potential patients can see that they will be placing themselves in the care of real people with a passion and calling for what they are doing. It is so important to begin to establish that trust. The stories of your doctors will do that.

3) Services. The story of your services is also crucial. Use pictures, infographics and videos to highlight your facilities, your equipment, and your functional and dependable technology. Introduce your departmental organization and help your potential patients understand the “flow” of patient care and also the deeper philosophy behind it. Potential patients respond to detailed information about the services you offer, especially when they are told in a story format that helps them internalize and visualize what services they can expect from the moment they make the first contact with you. You have the opportunity, when telling the story of your services, to demonstrate that once they become your patient, they will always be your patient, and to show them exactly how that will look.

If you haven’t already, it’s time to tell the story of your patients, doctors and services through digital content marketing. And, if you’ve already begun, rededicate yourself to it and keep it near the very top of your priority list. Your content is like an investment account: the more you put out there into the digital realm, the more return you will get on the investment.

Team SI can help you design a thorough, holistic and far-reaching storytelling campaign. We have the experience and know-how to cast a wide net using multiple platforms in your content marketing efforts. Our team members can sit down with you to develop a plan, work with you to implement it, and help you measure and multiply your success. Get in touch with us and we’ll get started telling your unique stories right away.


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