Using Micro Content to Create Authenticity in Healthcare

Branch Strategy's Jackie Martin defines the difference between "macro authenticity" and "micro authenticity." How can hospitals become patient-first through an empathetic approach to content and social media strategy?
Employee Interviews for a New Website

Today I met with a client who’s brand is killing it on Instagram. Her goal has been authenticity, but we chuckled about how perception is far from reality.

As the face of her brand, she works hard to be real and honest, but that none of her followers really want her to be REAL. They want her to be transparent up to a certain point, where she can still maintain her position of authority and trust as a brand.

This got me thinking …

As consumers engage more and more with brands who are authentic, especially in healthcare, how do we define what “being authentic” really is?

I separate this out into two terms: micro-authentic and macro-authentic.

A macro-authentic content strategy

Most brands in the healthcare space live here. It’s where we see everything at a 5,000-foot view, always speaking in general sweeping words.

Most hospitals strive for “authenticity,” but it usually ends up being more of the same, never revealing the personalities and empathetic tone they really have.

What does this look like?

  • Our newest ranking in US News & World Report.
  • A generic health article, like “5 Iron Rich Foods to Add to Your Diet”
  • Funding is secured for a new wing of the hospital

These macro-authentic pieces of content are not bad, as they are representative of the real things going on, but it’s not what consumers are demanding.

They need something real to them!

A micro-authentic content strategy

This is a brand being real enough that you draw the target customer into their story, letting them think they know you.

This is done by providing tangible value, showing behind the scenes, highlighting employees, and the internal processes … and balancing that with empathy, humor, and real human emotions.

What could this look like?

  • How a nurse with 20-years of experience chooses to be on the night shift because she loves the quiet moments with patients.
  • Sharing the story of an employee who immigrated to the United States and is now celebrating 5-years working at our hospital.
  • How a patient advocate connected two families with the same diagnosis.
  • A timelapse of a billing specialist dealing with one insurance claim, showing how a hospital goes above and beyond in navigating the complexities of insurance.
  • A dietician who is a Type 1 diabetic takes over Instagram for the week, sharing what she eats, how she makes good decisions at restaurants, and how she overcomes slip-ups.

These micro-events that happen at our hospitals every day are representative of the moments that patients live in.

It allows you to be authentic in the small moments.

It’s exposing and caring about the micro-details because that is what matters. It’s how we become patient-first.

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10 March 2020—Branch Strategy Founder, Jackie Martin, joins Neal Linkon from CHW, Mike Walsh from Nationwide Children’s and Aaron Watkins from Johns Hopkins Medicine to

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