Healthcare Marketing Strategies that Win
Firing up your strategic planning and budgeting for 2018 for your hospital or clinic? (or just starting up a new fiscal year). Here are five critical healthcare marketing considerations to think about:
Truly patient-centered strategies win. The one-to-one engagement with a medical provider and prospective patient (and family) tops out as number one in trust building for healthcare marketing. Trust building represents a power key in securing patients loyal to your hospital or clinic. However, getting to that key trust-building relationship is tougher than ever. More patients – whether in urban or rural areas – are increasingly well-informed before they make a call for an appointment or show up at your clinic’s door. Prospective patients (and families) will generally spend more time researching before they make a clinic or physician call. That includes treatment options, medical backgrounders, physician and protocol comparisons, safety records and more. Your hospital’s broad marketing outreach strategy remains critically important – including outdoor billboards, radio, spot TV – but the broad outreach should be supportive of highly individualized campaigns. Are you using automated marketing options to deliver critical information in a timely way? (which means when the prospective patient wants it).
PR still packs a power-packed third-party endorsement punch. While successful media relations are tougher than ever in public relations, many opportunities still exist for media placement of physician expertise and great personal stories from your hospital or clinic. Landing that positive TV interview or editorial profile can vault your hospital or docs to a top-of-mind position. Over-worked and short-staffed reporters are still looking for terrific stories, and they will often reward you if you present your information in an accessible and professional way.
The web – particularly responsive mobile design – is more important than ever. Check your hospital or clinic web site on your smartphone – is it effortlessly readable? Can links and data be accessed easily? The good news is that if you answered “yes,” your prospective patient will continue looking. Your healthcare marketing efforts will likely be rewarded. If the answer is “no,” the odds are high that your prospective patient will click the back button and head over to your competitor.
Smart content attracts patients. Many hospital web sites use vetted medical knowledge bases to provide general answers for online diagnostic info. Since the internet has become the “second opinion” (and in many cases the first opinion), having quality localized information online gives a sincere ring to your claim of personal attention. Well-informed prospective patients and families can detect “cookie-cutter” info a mile away – particularly when they see the same content on more than one separate web site. There exist many marketing automation options that your prospective patients can seamlessly use to create relationships where you automatically send them the information they seek. A satisfied prospect will more likely reward you with a visit.
Time is competitive currency. The value of your prospective patient’s time exists right up there with your physician’s time. Increasing alternatives in short-term patient care and quick response clinics drive prospective patients to expect quick service in seeing a medical provider. Changes in healthcare delivery make “waiting in the waiting room” a non-option. Time is literally of the essence.
Capture your docs and key professionals on video. Here’s the bonus point. Within a few years video content will dominate internet searches. YouTube already scored with high ratings across the board in healthcare settings. How’s your hospital’s YouTube account?
Michael Snyder – MEK Group