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Healthcare News: Helping patients help their loved ones grow old gracefullyHow to use Twitter pollsThe perfect pair of jeans … a classic movie … a handwritten thank you. Some things never go out of style. A great storyteller is another timeless commodity. Storytelling has been around since the beginning of time. It’s been used to educate, entertain and ensure cultural preservation. And today, it is also an integral part of many content-marketing strategies.

A great story can reveal the genuine character of your brand, promote trust and turn prospects into patients. Healthcare organizations interested in becoming great storytellers may want to read these tips on enhancing patient engagement with authentic, motivating stories.

Storytelling 101

Before jumping into storytelling best practices, it may be helpful to cover the basics. The goal of storytelling is to engage your audience and drive action. It can be described as a tool of sorts, where marketers share their message through narrative. These marketing messages, when told through stories, are more engaging, more emotional and more likely to be remembered. Consider these tips when beginning your storytelling:

  • Be authentic: When it comes to good storytelling, authenticity is king. Allowing real doctors, caregivers and patients to tell their stories in their own genuine words lends credibility, emotion and trust. You likely already have brand advocates out there willing to share their experiences with the world—but are you listening?

Those who offer praise on surveys, volunteer to provide testimonials or actively recruit others for your organization are a great start. Forgo the actors, toss the scripts and look for real people with amazing stories to tell. And when they do share, be sure to offer a genuine thank you in return. A high-end sherpa blanket or bamboo tablet stand will help keep your organization in the good graces of your brand advocates.

  • Inspire action: A great story creates a connection and has the power to move a patient to action—perhaps into the doors of your clinic or healthcare facility. It could mean choosing your organization over a competitor. On a more serious note, it could be the difference between calling to make an appointment and ignoring the signs of a potentially life-altering illness. A great story involves real people with real problems and shows how your brand was there to help.
  • Promote via channels that align with your brand: Your organization likely participates in a number of social channels that may be a great fit for promoting your story. Post innovative procedures on Instagram®. Promote inspiring patient stories on Pinterest®. Or create a storytelling campaign with sequenced ads on Facebook®. Your social channels can also be a great way to recruit more brand advocates. Thank frequent engagers with small tokens of recognition—hand-held massagers, pocket spray sanitizers or first-aid kits are nice choices.

Remember, a good story never goes out of style. It also drives patient engagement and action. When telling yours, reveal a brand that’s authentically you, and your audience will be sure to listen.

Cutchins, Clay. “The Art of Storytelling in Health Care Branding.” The Next Idea. N.p., 13 Feb. 2014. Web. Retrieved 18 Feb. 2016.

Sherman, M. “Why Storytelling Is Essential in Healthcare Marketing.” Wax Communications. N.p., 29 Oct. 2015. Web. Retrieved 18 Feb. 2016.

“What Is Storytelling (In Marketing)?” Zideate. N.p., n.d. Web. Retrieved 18 Feb. 2016.

Kramer, Sandra K. “Healthcare Marketing: Engagement Through Storytelling.” Medicom Health Interactive. N.p., 19 Feb. 2015. Web. Retrieved 18 Feb. 2016.

Kakroo, Upasna. “5 Ways to Use Storytelling in Your Social Media Marketing.” Social Media Examiner. N.p., 26 Oct. 2015. Web. Retrieved 18 Feb. 2016.

 

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