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How your healthcare practice can use storytelling

TILT Creative

1162 words5.8 min readViews: 570

Healthcare marketing is not your typical marketing endeavour. Not only do you have to be factually correct for every piece of communication with enough data and research to back your output, but you have the battle of the customer type itself. Many patients, regardless of where in the healthcare industry they fall, are prone to ‘Googlitis Exaggeratus’, a common but potentially fatal condition that affects those who believe they have a PhD after googling a health condition. We have all done it, and we are all guilty of it. There is even an entire meme culture around the phenomenon: typical user googles the cause of a runny nose and ends up with “cancer” (we have also personally experienced this). Because of the sensitivity of the information and the audience, healthcare marketers have to think a little differently. But how can storytelling, something that we associate with childhood, help healthcare practices? 

Healthcare practices are inundated with calls from patients about everything under the sun, from asking for a diagnosis over the phone to a billion and one questions about a condition which should be directed to a doctor, or in this case, a Wikipedia page. The reason why many patients are hesitant to search online for further information is the simple fact that the information cannot always be verified. While some doctors don’t mind answering the barrage of questions, a lot of time can be saved by not having to answer all the questions about the common cold, which should be common knowledge for those who are most susceptible to it. 

Using storytelling as a diagnosis delivery method for common conditions 

There are many common diseases out there that have extensive research and most of the information is verifiable, as long as it’s not parading as alternative medical practices; we’re not against these, however, we know that turmeric and onions is not a cure for SARS-CoV-2 and we all want to ensure that patients get the right information. Your healthcare practice can be one of those who set the tone for healthcare information in your area by using storytelling to take the patients on a journey about their condition. Common but progressive or degenerative conditions will benefit the most out of this, since it can illustrate how the condition works and how your patient can manage symptoms to slow its progression. 

Using storytelling to educate patients and followers about common and rare conditions 

Never before has the world needed educating on how conditions work. Autism, arthritis, lupus, cancer, bipolar disorder and even connective tissue disorders are growing in numbers. This is due to more education, research and testing in their respective fields of study, but also because we are more aware of what can affect our bodies, so we’re going to the doctors more than our ancestors. Education is the first step, not just for the patient, but for those around them. How many non-patients understand how fibromyalgia works, and not perpetuate the stigma of that patient being lazy? Through storytelling, your healthcare practice can add a layer of support for your patients, by providing the information we need to support those around us. 

Using storytelling to gently alert the public to a new disease 

The news around the novel coronavirus was a colossal clusterfuck (sorry there really isn’t another word to express such nuanced retrospective shock). It resulted in panic, with information going wildly out of hand, and people panic-buying toilet paper; if you know why people bought so much tissue please let us know. But it was not handled well, and the media frenzy lead the world into a panic. However, there are new conditions being uncovered all the time, and they’re not all pandemic worthy. Healthcare practices can use storytelling to keep their patients updated on everything new: new conditions, new developments, new research and studies. Education is key to healthcare but it really should come from a reliable source, such as a healthcare practice, not the Mirror. 

Using storytelling to remind patients about the routine activities  

Check ups and diet are very easily forgotten, but they are crucial in creating a culture of preventative medicine. We do not know what’s going on in our body, and the only way to know is to get an MOT on our bodies every year, but how many of us really do that? Diet plays a critical role in fighting off obesity, which can cause type two diabetes and chronic heart conditions. People are busy and need reminding of why it’s important to get a check up with your doctor, weigh in on your diet, and exercise regularly. Preventative medicine is the best medicine, and all healthcare professionals agree that they would rather treat patients early and help them manage their conditions with a new lifestyle than deliver news that could have been prevented to a large extent. Storytelling to remind patients of the importance of this is key to keeping your community healthy. 

There are so many ways that storytelling and blogging can positively impact your healthcare practice, and it’s not just limited to doctors’ surgeries, it includes all forms of healthcare as well, including dentistry. You need to reach your patients, remind them that you exist (as is the case with all businesses) and support them towards a healthier life, and we can help you with that, in whatever capacity you need. Storytelling is an art, and like medicine, it’s a highly specialised field. So while some practices can successfully manage writing in-house, many cannot due to a lack of time or resources, and this is where TILT comes into play. 

About TILT Creative Agency 

TILT Creative is a UK based creative agency specialising in content creation and managed solutions for blogging, websites, branding and design. Désiré, the chief writer, artist and strategist behind TILT Creative Agency, has worked with a variety of clients (from startups to luxury brands) across all kinds of industries (such as automotive, beverage, construction, oil and gas, tourism, and health and safety) all over the world, including the United Kingdom, Dubai, Africa, America and the Caribbean.

TILT Creative’s core philosophy is to change the perspective, or ‘tilt’ it. How can you TILT your business? Could it be a brand refresh, a better experience on your website, or perhaps a stronger blog strategy? Maybe writing a book on your expertise could skyrocket your company’s credibility and revenue? 

Désiré’s work quality stems from her ability to infuse your brand’s story with the essence of abstract creativity, and disseminate a unique experience that stimulates the senses to your customers on an individual level, while meeting your business’ objectives. Her comprehensive research process, attention to detail, and pursuit of perfection embellishes every piece of her work: writing and design. The results are always favourable.

Ready to TILT your business? Find out more at www.TILTcreative.agency or send an email to [email protected].

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Désiré Roberts

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