4 Things the Viral Photo of a Crying Doctor Taught Me about Healthcare Content Marketing

A few weeks ago, this photo of an ER doctor crying after losing a 19-year-old patient went viral across the Web. The doctor, whose photo was taken by a coworker and used with his permission, was crouched down outside, sobbing. After a few minutes, the physician went back to work “holding his head high.”

healthcare content marketingI, too was captivated by this photo. What makes it so endearing? Why did it go viral? And what can we, as healthcare content marketers, learn from it?

Here are a few points I took away:

1. People crave empathy.

We see a doctor showing emotion over the loss of his patient and we go nuts, hailing him as a hero and spreading his image across the Web. Why? Because we all appreciate and value this side of humanity. Content marketers: take notice of this and make sure you’re incorporating empathy into your digital content. Talk to your audience like they’re real people. Give them information that real people not only find valuable, but find meaningful.

In healthcare content marketing, empathy is crucial. Without empathy, medical organizations may struggle building a connection with their audiences. Content marketing should be all about your audience, and without empathy, it isn’t.

2. Doctors are people, too.

Doctors at your healthcare organization aren’t robots. Sure, they may be trained to suppress their emotions and keep a sense of perspective on the job, but that doesn’t mean they don’t care. Use this to your advantage in your healthcare content marketing. Get your doctors involved and share their stories with your audience! Patients appreciate the humanistic side of doctors because it helps them relate better and trust their doctor’s advice. Show this side of doctors through your content.

3. Healthcare is personal.

If you create content for healthcare, you already know this. But it’s important to play into the personal side of healthcare by getting to know your audience. What does your audience truly care about? What are their pain points and motivations? The answers to these questions should be the focus of your healthcare content marketing. Your content should be planned, created and promoted in an audience centric way. Don’t make it about your company, make it about your patients.

4. Don’t be afraid to be real.

More than anything, this viral photo tells us that people appreciate realness. This showed a side of a physician that is not seen by patients every day, yet the photo was enlightening and refreshing to see. Make your healthcare content the same. Give it a fresh (yet real) spark that sets it apart from your competitors or other healthcare organizations. Content that feels fake, forced or no different from any other healthcare content won’t perform as well as content that speaks to the heart, tells a different story and shows truth.

I’ll admit it – I clicked on the story about the crying doctor and was touched by it, as were millions of other people. Use this emotional example as motivation for your healthcare content to reach and touch the lives of your target audience. I know I will.

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