Marketing in healthcare is about education and information, and communicating with the myriad of stakeholders your organisation has, from GPs to patients, and consumers to businesses. It’s about listening, gathering feedback, and ensuring that your products and services meet the needs and demands of your customers.

But as the healthcare world becomes more competitive, it can be difficult to promote your products and services, and achieve real stand-out.

Image and imagery is all-important for healthcare organisations in today’s world. It should be top-of-mind for healthcare marketing teams. In a content-cluttered world, image can make all the difference.

A positive brand image can act as a leading factor in customer satisfaction, loyalty, and it enhances a healthcare consumer’s perception of service quality. This, in turn, increases the chance of a re-visit or re-purchase.

It’s about trust

Healthcare is a people industry. The service you provide is a personal one. The products you manufacture and sell have personal effects and results. Therefore, the people involved in providing healthcare, as well as those who have had successfully used your service or product, are uniquely placed to project a positive brand image.

Healthcare consumers who are patients, probably preparing to use your services or product for the first time, will most likely be in a state of anxiety or vulnerability. Visual content which shows that your organisation cares about them, and their future, will imbue patients with a feeling of comfort that will make them more likely to try you out.

Healthcare consumers who are looking to self-serve, and fulfil a fitness, diet, or other healthcare need, will be reassured by visual stimuli of real people who have had successful results from your products or services. Visual impact in the form of pictures, videos, and infographics, is not only an effective means of communicating your messages, but it can also psychologically affect consumers in a positive way.

It’s all about trust...

In the world of healthcare marketing, positive imagery of people can often convey stronger emotions than just copy alone.

Positively affecting human emotions not only enhances brand recall and stimulates engagement, but it can also evoke feelings of trust. This trust usually leads to action, and that action is normally in the form of a conversion – whether in terms or a purchase or choosing to use your service.

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It's about information

A website eye-tracking study by the Nielsen Norman Group discovered that visitors pay more attention to information-carrying images, spending far more time looking at the imagery than reading the copy.

Images and videos attract an audience’s attention, and can engage a potential customer more effectively than just text. Some of the kinds of visual content that could make a different you your healthcare marketing could be:

  • Testimonials: An extremely powerful weapon in the marketer’s armoury. People will trust the views and opinions of other consumers over what your organisation will say. A fantastic quote from a real, happy customer with a photo of them will do wonders in educating and influencing potential customers. Even better if it’s a video testimonial where visitors can hear from delighted users of your products or services in their own words, from their own mouths!
  • Educational explainers: A quick and easy method of delivering important healthcare information. Educational explainers in the form of images with text overlay, infographics with more detailed information, or even video, can make a difference. Visual content that points out how consumers could use your products or services to improve their health, and educates them on how your product or service can resolve their health issues will have more resonance and lead to a greater propensity for action than words alone.
  • Product demos: Another great tool to help get the information you need across. Visitors to your website can read through copy, bullet points, and explainer text about your product, but wouldn’t it be better to have a video which talks them through what your product or services can do, the features and the benefits, what they can provide, and the results a consumer will see? Having a product video on your website will also increase the amount of time a visitor will remain there.
  • Behind-the-scenes video. The greatest way to show a potential customer what your service is really like. Particularly good for healthcare establishments such as GP surgeries, dentists, physiotherapists, sports massage, and fitness trainers, a behind-the-scenes video starring your staff and real customers will show potential consumers what it will really be like if they sign up to your service. It will set your brand apart from competitors who haven’t gone the extra mile to show potential customers what their service is like.

Use of the right visual content can ensure the visitor absorbs the information you want them to know, and understands the kind of organisation you are.

It’s about brand

It’s the case in many industries – and healthcare is no exception – that you'll have strong views from different stakeholders on all aspects of brand, as it relates to marketing communications. Everyone has an opinion when it comes to marketing, from the colours that should be used, to the font, to the photography, to how big something is, to even the use of language. It can sometimes seem to take a lifetime to produce just one piece of content that everybody agrees upon!

But visual content is vital in delivering your brand message and getting people to remember who you are. Information presented using effective visuals and graphics is more memorable than just text-based content. People are more likely to remember your products, your services, and your organisation, if you use imagery.

Your organisation, as a brand, needs to have a clear vision, and communicating your strengths and values effectively on your website through the use of visual content is vital. It's imperative therefore, that healthcare marketers consult with all relevant stakeholders in the early stages of developing visual content to prevent revisions after already having published it.

Healthcare organisations that focus on creating good, engaging, effective visual content will improve brand recall in the minds of potential customers.

Image, and imagery, goes hand-in-hand together with brand building. It’s been like this since Madison Avenue and the dawn of advertising in the 1920s. You can’t do one without having the other.

Healthcare organisations need to focus on creating visual content that will educate and engage, help to drive brand awareness and brand recollection, and ultimately help to convert.

How we can help

We know what it takes to create visual content that stimulates. From simple, effective website design to stand-out imagery and video, we can help your healthcare organisation create a brand image that permeates your values, resonates with customers, and delivers commercial results.

We’ve worked with some of the largest names in healthcare, including med-tech, fitness clubs, and pharmaceutical giants, helping them transform their digital experience. If your healthcare organisation would like to know more about how we can help you, just get in touch.

The Importance of Image in Healthcare Marketing is part of our series of articles dedicated to the healthcare profession: