Your Healthcare Marketing Guide For Instagram Stories & Snapchat

An Introduction To The Platforms

Marketing for hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and industries within healthcare can be quite unglamorous at times. Even so, these types of businesses can pull immense value from Instagram and their built-in ‘stories’ feature.

Instagram Stories is almost a platform in itself, bringing new life to Instagram’s old one-dimensional approach. Most would say they simply copied Snapchat, and I would have to agree, but that doesn’t make it any less effective for marketing your business.

In fact, implementing stories was a fantastic idea for Instagram, the famous social media platform launched in 2010 which is now owned and operated by Facebook. They decided to capitalize on their massive audience and roll out the new feature, which ended up being a huge success.

Stories have been seamlessly integrated into the Instagram feed, making the “Snapchat vs Stories” decision quite easy for folks who regularly use Instagram. After all, why use two apps when you can do the same thing using just one?

Well, this only holds true for the average social media user, not for brands and marketers. Why is that? Well, for one, plenty of people have already amassed quite a large Snapchat audience. This is an audience that’s very comfortable with the platform and will continue to use it regularly.

Second, there is simply no reason for brands and marketers to choose just one platform. Since most consumers will be using only one of the two, we should consider them two separate audiences. By using just one, we’d be handicapping ourselves, completely ignoring a set of people ready to consume our content solely because of the app they choose to use.

So who actually consumes content regularly on channels like these? Using data from Verto Analytics’s 2016 study, we can see that the most popular demographic is by far 18-34 year olds.

verto study resized

This means Snapchat and Instagram Stories are BOTH effective channels for marketing, especially if you’re targeting the millennial market. Thankfully, even if we’re targeting a higher age demographic, there’s still a significant number of users to make each platform worth using.

Engagement rates are also extremely high on both platforms compared to Facebook and Twitter. In fact, engagement rates on Instagram are 10x higher than facebook and 84x higher than Twitter. So how do we extract value from platforms like these, or better yet, how do we actually build an audience and BRING value to the people who follow us on these platforms?

We talked previously about how to generate real results for your business using social media, but we didn’t touch on any specific marketing techniques for Snapchat or Instagram Stories.

In this post, I’m going to teach you how to grow your following, bring value to your audience, and most importantly, bring in new business using these next-generation social media platforms.

Techniques

Most of us get stuck at the very beginning, meaning, we have no idea what we should be posting on these platforms. There are a number of ‘universal’ content types that work well here, but it’s always good to get creative and add some flavor of your own as well.

Mixing up the types of content you use is also important as it keeps things exciting for your audience. Brand consistency is essential, but there’s a big difference between being consistent and being flat out linear with your content.

Now, let’s go over some things you can start doing to be successful on both of these platforms.

1) Exclusive Deals & Offers

Giving away something unique on each platform is always ideal, that way, people have a reason to follow you there. After all, why would someone follow you on Instagram if you’re just re-posting the same images from your Facebook page?

This concept applies here directly. For example, we can post a custom coupon code in our story that’s only valid for its 24-hour duration. You can direct users to the link in your Instagram bio and send them to a landing page that explains how to redeem the special offer.

Whether you’re doing e-commerce and selling actual products, or offering a service, everyone loves exclusive deals. By offering deals regularly on each platform, people have an incentive to continue looking at your snaps and stories, and they’re also likely to tell people to start following you so they don’t miss out.

2) Behind The Scenes Footage

We all want to add more personality to our brand, that’s a fact. People enjoy interacting with humans, so finding ways to humanize our brand is a must.

This is the perfect opportunity to give the audience a sneak peek into our work process, or give them a virtual tour of our work facility. The video below, created by Blind (a brand strategy design consultancy), follows around their creative director for 24 hours to give us a look into both his personal and work life.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y0xxvHyaebQ

They do a great job of bringing us closer to the brand and making the Blind brand feel more human. We can apply a similar idea to Snapchat and Instagram Stories in order to spark a real human connection with our following.

The reality is that we are all people, with real problems, feelings, and emotions. Any way in which to project a less ‘corporate’ feeling is a great thing and is going to invoke trust with fans. It doesn’t matter what your specific business is either, you can find a way to show off your creative process, or like the video above does, showcase the real lives of your fellow employees.

3) Tutorials and How-To Guides

This one is too easy, it’s almost like snaps and stories were meant for how-to guides! Why? Because we can simply use one card after another, in step-by-step fashion, to explain how to do something.

For example, detailing a root canal procedure through stories would be quite simple. We’d create a short video clip for each step of the procedure, number each one and include a short sentence, and upload them in order.

This would let potential patients know exactly what to expect when going in for their next root canal. It lets them know that you have the expertise necessary, shows them any unique points about your procedure, and overall gives them a feeling of ease going into the whole thing.

4) Instagram Live

Live streaming is another growing trend, so of course, Instagram had to implement it into their platform. Is this just a fad, or are there ways we can use this to bring value to our audience?

Personally, I love the Instagram Live feature and have found multiple ways to use it effectively. My favorite technique is to hold interactive Q&A sessions with my audience, engaging with customers directly and answering their questions in real time.

You can either have customers send in questions ahead of time or have them post directly in the comments section of the broadcast. Not only is this a great way to engage one-on-one with your customers, but you get valuable insights into the real problems your customers are facing.

We can also merge the other techniques we mentioned with the live streaming feature. For example, we can live stream a behind-the-scenes look into our office and go around filming our employees as they work. Since there is no time limit on live streams, it opens up more doors by allowing long streaming sessions, so we can show more even more to the customer than our standard stories.

5) Instagram Stories Paid Ads

Instagram’s paid stories function just like regular stories, however, they come with a “sponsored” label so people know it’s not an organic story from someone they follow. They pop up in-between regular stories, however, so everything is quite natural and nothing seems forced.

Since Facebook owns Instagram, we get to use the same extensive targeting options and analytics that we use with our paid Facebook ads. This allows us to create highly targeted stories, while also retargeting audiences who saw our Facebook ads or one of our standard Instagram ads.

Instagram even put up an official case studies section on their website. This lets us see success stories from businesses around the globe (not just major brands, but also smaller mom and pop shops). Whenever I’m struggling with Instagram Story or Snapchat ideas, I come here to get my brain stirring.

Wrapping Up The Story

As you can see, there are plenty of ways for us to utilize these platforms and bring value to our customers. I still consider Snapchat and Instagram Stories to be in their infancy, and there is no doubt a lot more to learn about them. They will only continue to grow, with brands and marketers consistently finding new ways to extract value from them.

Do you have some clever tricks for Snapchat or Instagram Stories that you don’t mind sharing? Let us know in the comments section below, we’re always looking for new ways to use them, and so are our readers!