Patients have endless choices on who to trust with their healthcare. Creative healthcare marketing is necessary to make your hospital or healthcare organization stand out in a competitive market, make your name recognizable, and attract new patients.

If you feel like you’ve exhausted every healthcare marketing option out there, keep reading. In this article, we’ve put together six ideas that you can use to build trust and open the patient floodgates to your hospital or doctor’s office.

The healthcare marketing landscape

Healthcare marketing has changed significantly in recent years.

With the widespread adoption of the internet and mobile devices, healthcare providers are leveraging digital marketing channels to reach patients where they are.

Providers focus on patient needs and preferences and use data-driven insights to create innovative healthcare marketing campaigns that resonate with patients.

And, as such, creative healthcare marketing campaigns should focus on building trust and establishing credibility through clear communication, transparency, and authenticity.

Have you been keeping up with the times? If not, read on.

Why you should build unique and inspiring campaigns

Taking a fresh approach to creative healthcare advertising makes your hospital or doctor’s office memorable. That’s important because all your competitors are vying for patient attention, too. Patients won’t forget the originality of a campaign.

Memorable, interactive healthcare marketing tactics can help a hospital or healthcare organization achieve its marketing goals faster.

Grow with these 6 creative healthcare marketing ideas


Create a community on social media

People love to be part of a community, and that’s especially true on social media. Creative healthcare marketing campaigns get people rallying together like the University of Iowa’s annual “Flu Fighter” campaign did.

The medical center created a buzz around flu vaccinations and their importance by offering fun brand-building gifs to use in Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok stories.


Provide helpful, trusted, doctor-vetted educational content

Most people will listen to advice if it’s coming directly from a doctor.

The Mayo Clinic found this true when they launched a “Mayo Clinic Explains.” This YouTube video series features physicians and other healthcare professionals answering common medical questions in laymen’s terms.

The Cleveland Clinic took a similar approach, offering a “HealthEssentials” blog written by Cleveland Clinic physicians and other healthcare professionals.


Offer events

Planning and hosting events for your hospital or doctor’s office is another creative healthcare marketing idea. The events can be educational, inspiring, motivating, or entertaining.

One example is the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Buddy Walk. This annual event supports life-changing care, treatment, education, and research so Down syndrome patients can experience the joys of childhood and flourish in adulthood.


Partner with influencers

Influencers have large, engaged followings on social media platforms. Hospitals, healthcare organizations, and other medical groups can reach a wider audience by working with influencers.

Influencer marketing campaigns

Medics used CPR to save Damar Hamlin’s life earlier this year after he went into cardiac arrest on the field during an NFL game, and now the Buffalo Bills safety has teamed up with the American Heart Association to pay it forward.

For the American Heart Association’s #3forHeart campaign, Hamlin recorded videos to go with other impactful assets used to educate the public about different things they can do to improve their heart health. partnered with Johnson + Johnson to launch the Swab Challenge, which promotes the bone marrow registry and the Give a Spit About Cancer campaign. They worked with YouTube stars Ayo and Teo to encourage their fans to “give a spit” to save lives.

But if partnering with NFL football players and YouTube stars is not in your budget, there are still ways to utilize social media influencers for your creative healthcare marketing initiatives.

Influencer marketing on websites

But you don’t have to create an entire campaign to leverage the power of influencers. When designing OrthoNebraska’s website, we incorporated logos of the teams they provide care to at the top of their sports medicine service page.

This design choice helps call out the healthcare organization’s impressive connection to elite athletes in the area. As soon as the page loads, visitors see all of the sports teams who have entrusted their care to OrthoNebraska’s doctors.


Use gamification

Gamification applies game-playing elements to non-game environments and is a creative healthcare marketing idea. Humana runs its Go365 wellness and rewards program to make it fun and easier for its members to reach health goals and thrive at any age.

How do you help a regional hospital grow?
At the start of our partnership with Logansport Memorial Hospital, they were upfront about addressing their reputation with the community. Despite being known as a “band-aid station,” the hospital had ambitious plans for growth and improvement. To help them achieve these goals, we worked closely with LMH’s in-house marketing team to develop a digital brand that supported this vision. By collaborating on business solutions and enhancing its online presence, we were able to help LMH repair its reputation and connect with its community in more meaningful ways.

At the outset of our partnership, it became clear that the best results would require a long-term strategic plan supported by various healthcare marketing initiatives designed to help LMH achieve its growth objectives. While all of the goals of this partnership are too much to include on a single webpage, the following areas are among the most noteworthy:

Amplify existing strengths to showcase LMH's competitive advantages
Bolster the digital infrastructure to align with business objectives
Develop a library of helpful content to build trust and authority
Identify community needs and incorporate those messages into the plan
Create a high-end website that aligns with LMH’s improved brand identity
Establish reporting mechanisms to track and evaluate the effectiveness of marketing efforts

Here are some milestones achieved by Humana through creative healthcare marketing used to support its Go365 program:

  • 2019: Participants in Go365 had 28% fewer emergency room visits and 17% fewer hospital admissions than members who didn’t participate.
  • 2020: Go365 members with a chronic condition had a 28% lower medical cost trend than members who didn’t participate in the program.
  • 2021: 92% of people in Go365 reported that the program helped them set and achieve their health goals.

The program’s focus on gamification is considered a critical factor in its success. Its rewards have motivated Humana members to make healthy choices and stay engaged with their health goals.


Collaborate with other organizations and businesses

Partnering with other organizations can make your creative healthcare marketing efforts more powerful. For example, the American Heart Association and the American Medical Association teamed up to create Target:BP™. This national initiative was created to address the high prevalence of uncontrolled blood pressure.

Another example to check out is #MIKidsCan. This campaign is a collaboration between Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and the Detroit Pistons.

“Through the MIKidsCan campaign, we’ve been able to engage children and families in unique ways to build healthy habits, like good nutrition and physical activity, into their daily lifestyles,” says Andrew Hetzel, vice president of corporate communications at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

Developing a creative healthcare marketing campaign

Now that you have six great marketing ideas for your next campaign, you may be wondering where you should start. Before you jump right in, don’t forget these four fundamental steps.


Identify your unique value proposition

Understand what your healthcare organization does best and how that makes you different from other providers.


Set goals and measure results

Looking back at what worked and what didn’t will help you determine if your next campaign has the impact you hoped for.


Build a consistent and memorable brand

Develop brand guidelines for your healthcare organization and follow them in all of your marketing campaigns.


Stay up-to-date with current trends and best practices

Know what your competitors are doing, your industry standards, and what’s working for other healthcare organizations.

When you’ve created a strong brand foundation, you’ll be able to build creative healthcare marketing campaigns on them successfully.

Benefits of working with an agency

If you need help getting started on a creative healthcare marketing campaign, don’t put your trust in just anyone. Look for a marketing agency with a team who can understand your challenges because they’ve worked with other healthcare organizations.

An experienced healthcare marketing partner can lead you down the right path. They know what works and what doesn’t. Plus, they can draw on their years of experience to point your hospital or doctor’s office in the right direction.

Choose TBH Creative for award-winning healthcare marketing

We’re not giving lip service to the words “award-winning.” We really are.

TBH Creative is proud to have recently won the ADDY for the creative healthcare marketing video we created for OrthoIndy. In this specific campaign, our patient-first point-of-view approach allowed us to put a humorous spin on our messaging. As a running theme, we focused on how people will do just about anything to avoid visiting their doctor.

When you’re ready to build a more creative healthcare marketing strategy (like the one we developed for OrthoIndy), we can help. Let’s talk.