In order to be a successful healthcare marketer you not only need to be good at marketing itself, but also have a deeper insight into the specifics of the healthcare industry, which means understand how to build marketing campaigns around topics that may be upsetting, sensitive, or in some cases embarrassing. Healthcare brings up plenty of topics no one really wants to talk about, whether it’s because they’re too emotional or uncomfortable for your audience.
The biggest challenge for any healthcare organization is finding an efficient and engaging way to cover sensitive but important topics with consumers. Covering sensitive topics isn’t easy, and there’s not always a blueprint for success. That being said, there are a few tips you can utilize when creating a healthcare marketing campaign on a sensitive topic that will help get the point across to your audience and engage them.
Tip 1: Choose Your Tone Of Voice
The first step for a successful healthcare marketing campaign, especially one centered around a sensitive medical topic, is selecting an appropriate tone of voice. Tone can be very different, ranging from friendly and compassionate to threatening and disturbing. It can involve a lot of humor, or be completely serious and strict. What tone of voice you select for your campaign depends in large part on the type of service or product you are marketing and reaction you want to arouse from your audience.
Different tones create different reactions among audiences, so it’s important to select a tone that will work towards your end goal – whatever that may be. By using a threatening or disturbing tone of voice, you’re more likely to trigger shock or fear that can motivate your target audience to act. Conversely, using a friendly and humorous tone of voice can incite more positive emotions among your target audience, and may facilitate active social sharing, which will create wider awareness for your cause.
Looking for real-world application?
These two different approaches are often seen within the anti-smoking community. Passivesmokingkills.org uses very harsh slogans and images in their lung cancer campaigns, the goal of which is to scare or motivate someone into quitting smoking because of the fear of consequences, while National Committee Against Tobacco uses a satirical approach to get more people to share and create awareness about the issue. NCAT’s approach is less likely to drive someone to quit smoking immediately, but more likely to drive emphasis and awareness to the dangers of smoking. Both approaches accomplish their goals, but they use tone to do so in a very different way.
Tip 2: Let Your Audience Know That It’s Normal To Feel Afraid Or Ashamed, But That They Shouldn’t Have To
When it comes to many aspects of healthcare, it’s important to remember that it is people and our society that shapes the attitudes towards these topics. We are the ones who decide that a headache isn’t something to be ashamed of, while acne certainly is. This means that we can be the ones who shift the way our audience looks at sensitive and delicate topics by encouraging them to engage in conversations about something that is important, but taboo to talk about.
At the end of the day, anything that’s natural is exactly that: natural. We shouldn’t be afraid to talk about topics that are perceived gross but are, in reality, a natural part of our everyday lives. You just need to find a way to get that conversation rolling. For example, organize public awareness events and campaigns that will attract people who can relate their experience and want to be heard.
Tip 3: Show Your Compassion And A Genuine Desire To Help
No matter what healthcare topic you are talking about, you always want to show your genuine compassion and a desire to solve your patients’ health problems. When it comes to sensitive healthcare topics, you need to be even more caring. It’s all about making your audience feel safe enough to engage in a topic that’s emotional or share something very personal. In order to gain that trust, your marketing strategy should always include messages of support and care, no matter what tone of voice you choose.
Tip 4: Don’t Be Afraid To Find The Humor In A Sensitive Medical Topic
A traditional psychological trick many marketers use to diffuse tension is humor. No one can argue that a clever line or funny visualization attracts attention. Jokes help to produce positive emotional and psychological responses, create unity, and make your brand memorable. However, don’t forget that being sensitive is also important, as you never know what undertone different people might see, even if for you its something completely harmless.
While it’s fine to find a way to laugh about certain medical issues, make sure that your humor is appropriate. When joking about a sensitive healthcare topic in your marketing campaign, don’t forget that the humor you implement should relax, not embarrass or irritate. It’s quite easy to cross that thin line and evoke negative emotions over positive ones. In order to mitigate that risk, you can test out your campaign using marketing research methods like focus groups or panel discussions. Any focus group or panel discussion should involve a sample population of your target market that will share their opinions on your marketing campaign regarding a sensitive topic.
How Do You Actually Build A Marketing Campaign For A Sensitive Medical Topic
Even now, after going through all the tips, you might be wondering how marketing collateral, social media strategy, or content marketing on a sensitive medical topic can be crafted. Here’s our advice: in order to create an actionable marketing campaign, consider consulting a competent healthcare marketing agency that will study your healthcare business and develop a comprehensive marketing strategy tailored to particular details of your business.
For example, at Atlantic Health Solutions, we can develop and implement an extensive marketing strategy that will include content marketing and blogging, paid search, social media management, website design, and much more. You can choose from a wide range of services and be confident that your sensitive medical topic will be heard.