6 Ways Content Can Humanize Academic Medical Centers

It’s a common plight: Marketers struggle to humanize academic medical centers. Consumers know you’re the place to go when they’re facing a serious, scary diagnosis. But for their everyday primary care or preventive health and screening needs? Not so much.

Academic medical centers—with all of their valuable research, life-changing innovation and highly credentialed teams of doctors—sometimes struggle to soften their image for the everyday consumer.

Here are six ways content can humanize academic medical centers and reach consumers throughout their patient journey.

1. Use compelling patient stories to highlight the human element of innovation.

Storytelling through the eyes of a patient is an effective way to humanize the high-level research and innovation that an academic medical center provides. When creating a patient story—whether via text, video or photos—include interesting and relatable details about the patient’s life. These might include a unique hobby or talent the patient has returned to thanks to a procedure or interesting details about their family or job.

2. Always bring innovation back to patient impact.

Look at your innovation through the eyes of your consumers. Rather than simply highlighting your academic medical center’s latest breakthrough research or innovation, focus on how it will impact patients’ lives.

3. Reconsider calls to action for high-level specialty care.

The natural call to action for a breast cancer patient story, for example, would be the cancer services page on your website. But consider instead—or in addition—a more thoughtfully considered call to action to encourage women to schedule their annual mammogram. You’ll likely reach more women with that preventive call to action and give a good reminder that you’re not just there for the scary procedures, but the everyday care as well.

4. Humanize providers through video and audio content.

Find your superstar doctors—not just those who bring the credentials and training, but the charisma. Feature these doctors in unscripted, conversational videos and podcasts to give your academic medical center a friendly face in addition to its respected name.

5. Target all areas of the funnel with a content web approach.

Plan content with multiple entry points and multiple extensions—a “web of content” approach that can speak to all areas of the funnel with one central effort. For example, from one central effort to create a patient story (bottom-of-funnel content), also plan several extension pieces including a screening checklist (top-of-funnel content) and doctor Q&A (mid-funnel content).

6. Create a consumer content brand that is patient focused.

Establish a holistic consumer content brand that governs all channels and is patient focused, rather than hospital focused. This puts your audience first by eliminating confusion, humanizes your brand, differentiates you from competitors and supports your organizational goals and objectives.

To see humanizing content in action, check out our Ultimate Guide to Reverse Publishing, and learn how to drive your marketing strategy with patient-focused content.