Embrace Patient Storytelling to Strengthen Your Healthcare Marketing

March 31, 2014
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Storytelling has been around far longer than man’s capacity to put those stories into words. People tell stories with their hands, their eyes, their smiles, and yes, their words. The art of storytelling today is used to create bonds and solidify relationships.

Storytelling has been around far longer than man’s capacity to put those stories into words. People tell stories with their hands, their eyes, their smiles, and yes, their words. The art of storytelling today is used to create bonds and solidify relationships.

When it comes to medical marketing, effective storytelling creates better engagement, improves patient satisfaction, and more.Patient Storytelling, Patient Engagement, Healthcare Marketing

The reasons below exemplify why more medical practices need to follow the patient shingles experience example Merck provides of using storytelling in their marketing efforts.

Patient Storytelling Creates an Emotional Connection with Patients

The medical field often involves improvements in quality of life, and can make the difference between life and death for many patients. Yet, patients often feel disconnected with their medical care providers. Creating an emotional connection isn’t often easy when seeing dozens of patients on a daily basis and only experiencing a few minutes of time with each one.

Storytelling, in marketing, social media, and even print literature, offers an opportunity to generate the connection that limited interaction and time constraints don’t always afford.

Patient Storytelling Leads to More Engagement in Marketing

Storytelling, at its best, invites conversations. It begs for other experiences and stories to go along with it. The more people get caught up in the various stories being shared, the more engaged they become — and the more likely they become to contribute to the stories being told.

Patient Storytelling Develops Positive/Open Communication between Physician and Patients

Once people see the stories of others, whether it is symptoms of a disease, how a medical device helped them, or how a treatment worked, and understand that they are not alone or isolated in their conditions, experiences, and illnesses, they are more inclined to have open and honest discussions with their physicians.

In some cases, an inaccurate diagnosis is the result of a physician lacking vital symptom information because the patient is embarrassed or afraid to talk about what’s really going on. Patient storytelling can help patients feel more comfortable expressing things that are going on with their own health.

Patient Storytelling Humanizes Facts, Numbers, Statistics, and More

Patients want to feel as though their medical care provider is attached and invested in their care and condition. That’s often difficult when discussing dry things like statistics, numbers, treatment options, and facts about ailments and conditions.

Storytelling, on the other hand, gives them an experience that isn’t dry and detached. It’s emotional and compelling instead. Whether you’re simply providing information as a public service or actively engaging in efforts to market your medical practice, storytelling is a much more compelling medium than presenting the facts and figures in black and white.

The medical profession is a service industry. You’re marketing your service to people. Storytelling works as a marketing tool because people are emotionally driven. Dry numbers and logic don’t call people to take positive action to change their health the way a good story does. That’s why you must begin to incorporate effective storytelling into your physician practice marketing efforts today and into the future.