What’s Your Story?: Storytelling for Healthcare Brands

Do I have your attention?

We’ve often written about how healthcare marketing needs to get to the “point” quicker due to shorter attention spans. While this is valid when it comes to certain ad formats like 5-15 second YouTube Preroll videos, it shouldn’t apply to all forms of storytelling. There’s still a time and place for longer-form videos that can get really in-depth about a certain topic.

But to hook your audience, you’ll need a strong story.

Good healthcare stories, like all stories, require characters, drama, conflict, rising and falling action, and should invoke emotion. Here are some ideas and examples for how to get your audience’s attention with your story.


Example – Arnot Health: Community tells the story

For Arnot Health, their brand’s story was closely tied to the community since they are a community hospital, serving friends and neighbors for over 150 years. In their rebrand spot, we featured the faces of the unsung local heroes who make their town special – before bringing it into the hospital setting.

This strategy positioned Arnot as the clinical leader in their community in a humble, honest way. Arnot did this in contrast to their competitors, who elevate their doctors and other clinical staff above that of the patient.


Example – Columbia Memorial Health: Doctors tell the story

Columbia Memorial Health was in a similar situation where the community didn’t realize the quality care they had right in their backyard and instead traveled for hours to the competition. Because perception of the quality of care was low, we turned to the doctors to tell their stories – about their training at top universities and why they had chosen to practice in the Hudson Valley.

The physicians brought their vast training in medicine and delivered a more personal, one-on-one care experience for their patients – the people they had come to know and see in their communities. And that was something the competition couldn’t provide.


Example – White Plains Hospital: Patients tell the story

White Plains Hospital turned to their patients to tell their story across different service lines, including Cancer, Cardiac, and Orthopedics. These patients found out that they didn’t need to choose between quality medical care and convenience or exceptional customer service. They could get it all at White Plains. The videos also featured their key doctor, who acted as a support person during their treatment, showing the close and caring bond between hospital staff and patients.


Let’s break it down

Every organization has a story to tell. Most likely a big one – that could span decades and may include thousands of individual characters. But it’s not realistic for your organization to tell that all at once; you have to break it down into little human-sized bits, which actually translates wonderfully to social media!

Show how your brand story is reflected in the experience and efforts of individuals. Let the tale of just a few key people illustrate the philosophy and purpose of the bigger story. Think of your story as many little stories that add up to that big story. Then demonstrate it on a human scale, one story at a time.

What’s your story?

What’s your goal? What’s your purpose? Your reason for existing? It’s more than just treating sick patients. If you don’t have a clear position for why a patient should choose you over anywhere else, they’re probably not choosing you. If you need help uncovering your story or just finding the best way to tell it, we’d love to help.