In a conversation the other day with Simona Ramos, one of our top artists at Healthcare Success, I was reminded how the general public has become far more visually aware and demanding. For healthcare marketing, good pictures are not good enough.

The ability to “think visually” is a talent that not everyone has. They don’t have Simona’s creative eye, years of training or experience in art, design, graphics or visual imagery. But the proliferation of great technology continues to raise the public’s expectation standard for images and photos.

Image-intense social media (Pinterest, Instagram, SlideShare, Facebook and others) are among the “visual-ed” forces at work. What’s more, a camera and software is built into nearly everyone’s phone. And the quality of most SLR digital cameras is exceptional.

As a case in point, a professional photographer told me the other day that he hates it because a lot of individuals now own the same high-end camera that he does. For him, it’s become more difficult to figure out if the wedding pictures, for example, were taken professionally or by someone in the audience.

Sure enough, while I was on a run a couple weeks later I saw three teenage girls taking pictures with that same, expensive-model camera. The hardware, software, technology and expectations have produced a new and higher standard for photos.

Much of what your healthcare marketing and advertising says about the practice or hospital is communicated in pictures and other visual elements. Your website, blog, print and digital ads all contains photos, videos, podcasts and other images.

It’s important to add here that technology alone does not replace the creative talent of an experienced graphic artist or professional photographer. That’s an exceptional skill set that you should hire or outsource.  But for the healthcare provider or marketing executive, this means that your photos have to be better than ever…color corrected, in style and more.

This is a reminder for all of us that, to capture attention and have impact, your audience (patients, prospective patients and others) now expects your photos to be nothing less than terrific.

And for more on this topic, read Picture This: Using the Explosive Trend to Visuals in Social Media.