5 easy ways to pump up your wellness marketing

Engage your audience with a fresh perspective of what your organization has to offer in terms of nutrition, fitness and overall well-being.

“Wellness marketing” for hospitals tends to bring us the same kinds of images and copy.

It goes a little something like this:

  • Here’s a fun, nice-looking couple running together on their neighborhood street.
  • Get 30 minutes of exercise each day.
  • Quick tip: Take the stairs, instead of the elevator—you’ll burn 5 calories!
  • Look at this older couple riding a tandem bike.
  • Are your kids eating too many cookies?
  • Don’t forget to go to the farmers market this weekend.
  • Speaking of food, have you tried buckwheat?

Wellness marketing is a big trend—and everyone can support people living healthy, active lives—but what’s missing from most wellness marketing is the old-fashioned joie de vivre that a person wants to see in the copy or pictures in order to inspire them to make healthy changes.

Here are a few ideas to make your wellness marketing come alive:

  • Feature real patients who’ve made big changes in their lives. Take a cue from Vanderbilt Center for Surgical Weight Loss. Their patient-testimonials aren’t stuffy or filled with jargon. Listen to Cheryl: “I was disgusted with myself and I got depressed. Then, gastric bypass surgery changed my life. I lost more than 100 pounds. I’m more confident now. I’m not down on myself. I’m not embarrassed. I’m happier with the way I look. I don’t feel trapped in my body anymore.”
  • It’s great that your hospital is sponsoring a 5K, but beyond just putting your name on T-shirts, be available to participants once the race is over. Hint: Get your physical therapists to offer massages to runners, or have clinicians on hand to check heart rates or blood pressure levels.
  • Wellness isn’t all about running around and burning up calories. It’s also about learning how to relax your mind. We found a few hospitals that put an emphasis on mindfulness meditation. Take a look: The Mindfulness Institute at Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals The University of Iowa Health Care’s mindfulness course for undergraduate students and The UW Health’s Integrative Medicine Program. Bravo to these organizations for saying “ommmm.”
  • Ask your nutritionists to go to local schools or nursing homes to lead seminars on healthy eating.
  • Live-tweet from your hospital’s farmer’s market. This is a perfect opportunity to snap photos of your staff and patients shopping for produce. In addition, you could tweet infographics about the benefits of certain kinds of fruits and vegetables. Want a challenge? Tweet out 140-character limited recipes.

Readers, what would you add to this list?

Jessica Levco is a freelance health care marketer.

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