Have you been brainstorming hospital marketing strategies, but couldn’t come up with any novel ideas to support your current initiatives?
You’re not alone. Most hospitals in the US stick to the tried-and-true marketing tactics that they always have. They’ve recently added digital to the mix: much later than most businesses. Why? Because it takes time and effort which is often spent taking care of the hospital’s immediate needs.
There are, however, ways that you can come up with good hospital marketing strategies that work for you. Here are the keys to doing so.
Satisfy the needs of your local market.
Every market has different needs, and your market is no different.
You already have much of the data needed to satisfy your local market’s needs. Data such as the median age of the population, ethnic backgrounds, patterns in patient behavior, all of these will help you understand what the unmet needs are.
For example, if your area has a high proportion of Medicare enrollees, you may want to invest in services that a geriatric population will benefit from (that a younger population might not). Or, as another example, you may find that your local area’s Chinese population is growing. You might want to invest in more Chinese-language services and marketing materials in order to communicate with them.
Only you can truly understand what your local market needs out of a hospital and their messaging.
Create high quality interesting content.
Good content wins on the Internet. There’s so much content out there, especially medical content, and in order to stand out, the content that you decide to promote and produce needs to be better than what’s currently out there.
This means satisfying a need that isn’t currently met, giving information that isn’t expressed, or simply giving them a friendlier, more familiar person to listen to.
Your content, though, is NOT the time to toot your hospital’s horn. However, it is perfect for conveying information in a way that’s relevant to the people in your market, giving you an edge on the competition.
Reach out to your patients.
You have patient data (not derived from medical records) that you can use to market to them. Now, that doesn’t mean being annoying and spammy: there are rules against that.
What you need to do is make sure your patients know when they need to come in for follow ups, annual checkups, and give them whatever information they need in order to get the most out of the care you’ve given.
You can also use this opportunity to get feedback. Ask your patients how their experience was, and get them to answer questions that could help improve your hospital’s operations.
Leverage the true power of social media.
Why would a person follow a hospital on social media? There are many reasons. One reason is to stay up to date with information regarding the hospital’s openings, closings, and events. Another reason is to get important health information relevant to your local market.
A big reason, though, is to get information that is relevant specifically to them from people they trust. They’d rather hear information from a physician they can meet and speak to, especially if it’s going to be their physician. Local authorities build trust first by being local, and then by being an authority.
Remember, though, when using social media, you will need to remain HIPAA compliant and make sure that no PHI is being transmitted in any way on a social media platform!
It’s not good enough to be everywhere. You need to put effort in making sure that every initiative your hospital takes part in is measured.
How should you measure the effects of content strategy and social media marketing? Blog viewership, social media following, and related upticks in hospital performance metrics.
By measuring your initiatives, you can figure out what’s working and needs more investment, and what isn’t working and should be pruned back.