These days, when a person is diagnosed with something, the next thing he does is go online. Not to tell the world via social media about the disease he can barely pronounce or spell, but to look it up on Google. The healthcare industry is very much aware of this and is capitalizing on search-engine marketing.
Any sentence with the word “marketing” on it will almost always be equated with revenue, profit, or money. Of course, that’s what a business is for. But most businesses also have corporate social responsibility (actually, the responsibility applies to all, but there are businesses that are just in it for the money), and when you take away all the commerce, some actually care enough to look after their customers, or at least, give them something more than the medicine or services they paid for.
Here are some of the better marketing campaigns done by several health care organizations that helped create awareness of a disease, educated the public about preventive measures and mitigating factors, and helped the customers make informed choices by simply explaining their products or services.
The Mayo Clinic
“Sharing Mayo Clinic” blog turns patients into global online community where inspiring stories
Recognized as the best hospital in the United States by U.S. News and World Report, it’s no surprise that the Mayo Clinic is also leading some of the most innovative marketing campaigns in healthcare. The Mayo Clinic sees patients from literally all around the world and the goal of the “Sharing Mayo Clinic” blog is to unite these diverse patients into a global online community. The blog showcases stories from patients, family members, and Mayo Clinic staff. These inspiring stories and the sense of community that comes from sharing them in one place plays directly into Mayo Clinic’s well known reputation as a trusted healthcare resource.
Go Ask Alice!
A wellness forum where you can ask anything without fear of being judged
Columbia Health’s wellness forum, Go Ask Alice!, allows young audiences to pose healthcare questions in an accessible environment free from prejudice. The community forum and casual writing style speaks to Columbia Health’s own energy and culture. By attracting young audiences in this vibrant, open community, Colombia builds a loyal readership and connects with the public. The blog’s topics range from issues of puberty through adulthood, keeping the audience engaged from a young age and into their adult careers.
Carilion Clinic: #YESMAMM
Timely and clever hashtag helps in breast cancer awareness
Some years ago, in order to raise awareness about breast cancer and the need for early detection, Carilion Clinic of Virginia’s Roanoke Valley started the “Yes, Mamm” campaign.
Whether using the hashtag to answer common breast cancer questions in a Twitterchat or driving traffic to their website to encourage women to make an appointment at one of their screening locations, #YESMAMM is a perfect example of the power of hashtags to start a movement.
United Healthcare: We Dare You To…
Healthcare company dares customers to achieve better health
The multi-award winning “We Dare You” campaign from United Healthcare stands out as the gold standard for what can happen when healthcare organizations engage with their following.
With monthly “dares,” quizzes, and prizes on their website, United Healthcare encourages followers to make one small healthy change per month and document it on social media. This interactive campaign not only leads to healthier habits, but it also fosters an interactive online community of brand loyalists.
Arkansas Children’s Hospital: #100DeadliestDays
Shocking hashtag tells about a critical period may people don’t know
In order for a hashtag-driven marketing campaign to be successful, it has to be memorable and worth sharing. Not only did the #100DeadliestDays, a social media campaign from the Arkansas Children’s Hospital have both – it also had the “shock factor”. The rather morbid hashtag aimed to raise awareness of the dangerous time period between Memorial Day and Labor Day when the risk of death for children and teens is increased. Arkansas Children’s Hospital shared safety facts and tips on their social media channels, including popular infographics.
Banner Health: Infographics
Making complicated health issues easier to understand
The thing about infographics is that they’re easy to understand and quick to finish, with just a few numbers, some words, and attractive colors. Yes, visual content, especially infographics, is widely popular with digital marketing audiences, as exemplified by helpful sugar content and flu myths infographics by Banner Health. Here, infographics are best used to simplify a potentially complicated or controversial topic, like children’s sugar consumption. They tend to resonate with audiences who may not be interested in sitting down to read a full blog post on an important topic. Plus, infographics are highly shareable across all social media channels, making them a great attention-grabber to attract new patients.
Boston Children’s Hospital
Patients’ testimonies help others in coping with their medical conditions
Perhaps more than in any other field, the power of the testimonial is key in healthcare, as patients and families researching diagnoses often turn to patients with similar experiences. Boston Children’s Hospital, which has a strong presence on Facebook, harnessed this together with the power of social media to share patient stories and connect consumers when they realized that patients wanted an outlet for telling their stories. The result is something even the most potent drug cannot deliver: peace of mind, assurance, hope.
Healthcare is an ever-expanding, ultra-competitive marketplace. Done properly, medical marketing can grow your profits, attract the patients and cases you want, build your reputation or brand and at the same time, improve the people’s quality of life.