The Importance of Storytelling in Healthcare Marketing

Posted on December 13, 2016

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By: Liz Paulson, Copywriter

Hi everyone! Liz the copywriter here. So, some of you may remember my post about my favorite part of my job: interviewing people!

I've told you why I love telling people's stories and what it does for me personally, but I'd like to expand a bit on why this kind of storytelling is also good for business: how compelling, emotional narratives can help drive patient volumes and establish your facility as a trusted leader in the community.

Let's start by reminding ourselves why we love stories. Why do we watch TV, go to the movies, or read? Why do children sit in rapt attention when someone is telling them a story? Why did those early humans at Lascaux feel compelled to draw on cave walls?

  • Stories connect with us emotionally
  • They make us think
  • They help record history and shared cultural values
  • They help us process and make sense of a chaotic world

Believe it or not, this is what the right kind of storytelling does for your audience. There are a lot of ways to use storytelling for your facility, and the first we will discuss is testimonials. First person testimonials are tried and true ways to grab an audience's attention and put them "in their shoes." Whether it's an elderly gentleman telling how his knee replacement added life to his years, the mom of an addict gratefully acknowledging the rehab facility that saved her son, or a middle-aged dad who enjoys a better quality of life now that he got his sleep disorder under control, these stories tug at heartstrings and allow your audience to see themselves in these real-life examples.

If you're not used to it, finding these kinds of testimonials can be intimidating at first. Just keep at it! In short order, you will be able to sniff out a good story like any beat reporter.

I know what you're thinking at this point: Wait, what if these people don't want to talk about their experiences?

Don't worry! In our experience, people are tremendously happy to share their success. When you speak to a potential testimonial, assure the person that he/she will have complete approval over their portrayal, and in the case of behavioral health, know that name changing and other anonymity measures are totally acceptable.

Once you have your story, be sure to make the most of it! Don't limit yourself to one iteration of your story. If you were doing an on camera interview for an online testimonial for your website, consider an edited version to use on a TV spot. Take still photography so you can use this in a print ad. Mark what words and phrases stick out that would lend themselves to a radio spot.

It may seem obvious, but telling compelling stories will help you build your brand in no time. If you want to learn more about how you can use storytelling for your healthcare facility, contact us today!

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