Every now and then, a healthcare organization creates a stellar piece of content, launches a particularly clever social media campaign, or proves that they just get their target audience in a way that makes us fans of healthcare marketing just want to stand up and clap.
Sure, the medical industry may have once been considered a slow adopter to the world of inbound marketing, but it's safe to say that these 10 examples of healthcare marketing are making up for lost time.
10 Examples of Brilliant Healthcare Marketing
1. Carilion Clinic
Several 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.
This campaign used the #YESMAMM hashtag to answer common breast cancer questions in a Twitterchat. It also drove traffic to the Carilion Clinic website to encourage women to make an appointment at one of its screening locations. The #YESMAMM campaign is a perfect example of the power of hashtags to start a movement.
2. New York Presbyterian Hospital
Campaign: Patient Stories
For most businesses today, storytelling is a boon for their branding. Healthcare, in particular, is a perfect candidate for telling uplifting success stories of patients who were saved by the care of a medical center. New York Presbyterian Hospital has built an entire video marketing strategy around this concept.
The story of patient Michael Kiernan is one example of how New York Presbyterian connects with its audience, publishing raw accounts of its doctors and nurses who were on the scene and at the public's service. Watch Kiernan's story below, and try not to cry a little.
Campaign: We Dare You
The multi-award winning "We Dare You" campaign from UnitedHealthcare stands out as the gold standard for what can happen when healthcare organizations engage with their following.
With monthly "dares," quizzes, and prizes on its website, United Healthcare encouraged followers to make one small healthy change per month and document it on social media. This interactive campaign not only led to healthier habits, but it also fostered an interactive online community of brand loyalists.
#WeDareYou to snap a photo of fresh produce & tag it #FreshVeggiesWDY for your chance to #win! http://t.co/FbxtpbU91B pic.twitter.com/5KtZyxfpzJ
— Source4Women (@Source4Women) June 7, 2015
4. Anne Arundel's Medical Center
Campaign: Stachie Facebook Contest
This contest, organized by Anne Arundel's Medical Center, asked participants to post their best "stachie" -- otherwise known as a selfie with either a real or fake mustache. The purpose was to raise awareness for men's health during November (or, "Movember" or "No Shave November," as it has popularly come to be known).
This clever contest not only took advantage of social media hilarity, but it also drove traffic to the medical center's webpage for Men's Health -- which has other attractions for awareness, like their blog, podcast, and calendar of events.
5. Dana-Farber Brigham & Women's Cancer Center
Campaign: You Have Us
It's an incredibly powerful slogan: "Right now you may have cancer. But what your cancer doesn't know is -- You Have Us." Through confidence-inspiring web videos, the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute shows its personal approach to cancer treatment and state-of-the-art facilities.
By sharing these videos on social media (as well as using more traditional marketing techniques, like television and radio) the cancer center embodies what it means to build trust with your target audience.
6. Medical Realities
Campaign: Surgical Training in 360 Degrees
Medical Realities is a medical training service that uses virtual reality (VR) to teach complex healthcare topics to an audience of healthcare professionals. And some of its VR content is quite inventive.
The marketing campaign below teaches the video viewer a surgical procedure from the point of view of a patient. Using Oculus Rift, a VR product owned by Facebook, Medical Realities allows you to drag the video 360 degrees around with your cursor. It's an excellent way to show current and future surgeons how surgeries should be experienced according to the patient. Try it out below:
7. Floating Hospital for Children -- Tufts Medical Center
One of the main covenants of effective marketing is catering to your target audience -- and the online community/blog OurCircleofMoms.com does exactly that. The content and community of support that Our Circle of Moms offers for mothers whose children are patients at the Floating Hospital for Children lives up to their slogan: "Just What Moms Ordered."
By creating this space for mothers to find the support they need, the Floating Hospital for Children is positioning its medical center as a trusted resource for parents.
8. The Mayo Clinic
Campaign: Sharing Mayo Clinic Blog
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. Of course, Mayo Clinic is no stranger to having multiple blogs and general healthcare marketing awesomeness, so its inclusion on this list shouldn't come as any surprise.
9. Arkansas Children's Hospital
In order for a hashtag-driven marketing campaign to be successful, it has to be memorable and worth sharing.
The shock factor of the #100DeadliestDays social media campaign from the Arkansas Children's Hospital (in partnership with the Injury Prevention Center) 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 its social media channels, as well as an interactive pediatric care center, which can be found here.
10. Banner Health
Speaking of infographics, visual content is widely popular with digital marketing audiences, as exemplified by these wellness, parenting, nutrition, and mental health infographics by Banner Health. Infographics are best used to simplify a potentially complicated or controversial topic, like children's sugar consumption.
Infographics 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.
Of course, this list is far from a complete collection of all the great healthcare digital marketing happening on blogs and social media. With so many ways to connect with patients and prospective patients online, healthcare organizations are finding more and more ways to market brilliantly every single day.