Key takeaways in this post:

  • Begin your creative healthcare marketing by delving into your organization’s brand story, guidelines, mission, and values. Identifying unique attributes can help craft authentic and engaging campaigns that resonate with your audience.
  • Involve a diverse team from various departments like marketing, digital, and operations to brainstorm and share unique perspectives.
  • After brainstorming, review and select standout ideas, then conduct thorough research to refine them. Investigate successful campaigns from other organizations for inspiration and adapt these concepts to fit your emotional connection alongside intellectual appeal strengthens trust and confidence in your healthcare brand.

Creative healthcare marketing ideas can help engage patients, recruit providers and educate the community on important public health issues. While creativity and healthcare may seem an unlikely pair, a little strategic planning, brainstorming and (most importantly) having fun can help your campaigns, messages and organization stand out in a crowded market.

But, in the rush to meet deadlines, create new content and post to social media, it can be easy to fall into a rut with your organization’s healthcare marketing campaigns.

Fortunately, injecting a little creativity into your marketing efforts is an easy pill to swallow. At WG Content, we’re honored to work with many organizations that create, implement and measure creative marketing ideas and campaigns.

Here’s how you can make creativity a priority for your healthcare marketing.

The best place to look for inspiration for creativity is your brand. Look through your organization’s brand story, guidelines or mission and value statement. Find the unique attributes that set your hospital, providers, medical centers and organization apart from competitors.

Starting with your brand will help you think of new ways to bring marketing campaigns to life in a way that’s authentic to your organization and interesting to your audience.

One of our clients, Providence, lives and breathes their brand and organization’s mission every day. Their promise to the communities they serve is “Know me, care for me, ease my way.”

They bring this to life in all marketing materials — not just by creating content that’s easy to find and read, but by always putting their patients and communities first. This is clear in their ads.

Once you’ve refreshed yourself on your organization’s brand, bring a team together that spans departments. Invite marketing, digital, operations and other relevant groups to the table. When you come together, you can discuss challenges your departments may face, what’s feasible and come up with new opportunities to connect with audiences.

Maybe your social media coordinator wants to try sharing engaging healthcare content on Reels or TikTok. Or, perhaps the digital team can share advice on what blog posts have been most popular or keywords visitors are searching for on your site.

Each person who is ultimately involved with launching a healthcare marketing campaign — down to the receptionists who greet patients at the office — can offer a unique perspective to share that can make an ordinary idea extraordinary. You just need to listen.

By reviewing the brand, discussing challenges and opportunities first, your team will be well-positioned to springboard into brainstorming creative ideas — the most enjoyable, exciting and sometimes daunting aspect of creativity.

Have a fun, successful brainstorming session with a few simple tips:

  • Establish ground rules that foster collaboration. This includes being open and respectful to all ideas, taking turns talking and encouraging participation from everyone
  • Find an interesting place to brainstorm. These days, it’s tough to gather in a room together. Encourage your team to take laptops outside or another part of the house during those Skype or Zoom meetings.
  • Write down all ideas. Be sure to capture everyone’s ideas — no matter how off-the-wall or seemingly unfeasible they may seem.

After brainstorming, go back through the list and circle the healthcare marketing ideas that stand out. Discuss what everyone likes about the ideas and how the teams could bring them to life. Then, sleep on it. Take a break and walk away to give each person a chance to consider the ideas and how they may (or may not) work.

Spend this time researching ideas and seeing what other healthcare organizations (and organizations outside the industry) have implemented. Consider if their success is something that your team could replicate (and make it your own) or see if there’s something you could do better.

Thanks to Google, it’s easier than ever to find examples of creative healthcare marketing ideas. You can also turn to marketing blogs, like HubSpot, Content Marketing Institute and many others, to research ideas and brainstorm marketing plans.

Schedule a follow-up meeting to go through the ideas and identify which ones are the best ones to try first. Have an open and honest discussion about what campaign ideas may work and what you should save for later. Be clear about expectations and roles, and most importantly, decide upfront what metrics you’ll use to demonstrate success.

Most of the time, this comes down to your ultimate goal. Sometimes, these metrics are easier to identify than others. For example, do you want more people visiting your website? Then web traffic should be included in your evaluation plan. Other goals, like new patients, can be a little trickier to measure. It’s not always clear if a new patient is a direct result of healthcare marketing campaigns, word of mouth, or a combination of efforts.

Fortunately, you can still use metrics like new patient signups, phone calls to offices, website traffic to a specific URL and even certain types of social media engagement to identify trends in behaviors. If all these metrics are on the rise during your campaign, then it paints a clear and compelling picture that your efforts were successful.

Once your new creative healthcare marketing campaign is launched, monitor and evaluate its success. Adjust it as needed, but be sure to give it time to connect and resonate with audiences.

Sometimes the best ideas come from the outside. If you are interested in learning more about how WG Content can help you come up with new approaches, or turn your big ideas into action with our custom content and design, let’s talk!

Editor’s note: This blog post was last updated on August 13, 2021. It was originally published in June 2018.

Begin by revisiting your brand story, guidelines, mission, and values. Identify unique attributes that set your organization apart from competitors and use these elements to craft authentic and engaging marketing campaigns.

Assemble a diverse team from different departments, establish ground rules for collaboration, find interesting places to brainstorm and ensure all ideas are recorded. This inclusive approach can lead to innovative and effective marketing strategies.

After brainstorming, research what other healthcare organizations and industries are doing. Identify successful campaigns and consider how you can adapt or improve upon these ideas. This approach ensures your ideas are both innovative and feasible, helping your campaigns stand out in a crowded market.

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