Patients are the lifeblood of hospitals and a significant method of improving patient acquisition is to target appropriate audiences. There’s still a place for hospitals to market on a broader level but there’s also value in narrowing audiences, particularly so they can be provided with more valuable and relevant content.
Effective Niche Marketing Powers More Patient Conversions
It’s important to bear in mind that the personal approach is always most effective when it comes to marketing hospitals and managing patient communication. For that reason, a marketing strategy that reaches all different categories of patients is essential. By targeting each group individually with messages and information specifically for them, separate channels of communication are created that are always open for patients to access the most relevant health services for their needs.
Steps to take for Effective Niche Marketing in Healthcare:
Step #1: Choose your Niche Audiences
Creating niche groups is a powerful marketing device as it allows direct communication with precision target audiences. The best method for hospitals to identify patient profiles is by researching data that’s generated internally. Patients can be profiled according to medical condition and their status in a treatment cycle to create as many required niche markets for marketing purposes as possible.
Step #2: Develop Niche Marketing Strategies
Among the patient profile-groups created, it’s possible to find out more about each niche’s content preferences down to specific topics. For example, parents are likely to relate to content related to topics such as pediatrics and common illnesses among children. It’s important to prepare a marketing strategy for each niche and stick to it with consistent delivery of relevant content to nurture audiences.
Step #3: Identify the Digital Channels to Use
As part of patient-profiling processes, it’s worth finding out what channels they use to access healthcare services. For a start, not everyone will be online although the majority will be which represents a niche group in itself. It’s important to know what devices are being used to access medical information so that content can be successfully delivered with full functionality across the board, from tablet to smartphone to desktop and of course snail mail for the unconverted.
Step #4: Create Personas for Niche Patient Groups
A persona is a characterization of each niche category and is compiled of information gleaned from patient-profiling. Here are some methods to assist in creating accurate personality groups:
- As mentioned above, the first step is to define patient profiles and segment them into community groups, which can even extend to family members and caregivers. For example, diabetics form a community as do expectant mothers and cancer patients.
- Identify the demographics of each niche patient group with information such as name, age, marital status, income level and health circumstances and compile the information into a paragraph-length description of a personality ‘type’ to represent specific patient groups.
- Record niche personas’ average healthcare journey and establish details such as what level of education each group has regarding any specific conditions. Develop a picture of niche preferences in terms of how they prefer to make appointments, whether by phone or via a website. Find out what particular healthcare goals and challenges they face and how they feel about them. The objective is to target the most relevant content to each niche in order to nurture better hospital-patient relationships and bring about more admissions.
- Pinpoint the needs of niche patient groups as it enables refining the best approach when addressing sensitive medical issues. By determining what information niches generally request or look for online, it’s easier to create content that provides the most appropriate responses or information.
The Bottom Line
Each and every patient is different and in healthcare marketing, it’s essential to acknowledge individual needs, wants and desires in order to nurture longstanding, trust-based patient relationships. The key to a successful hospital marketing strategy lies in niche marketing as it provides the closest virtual equivalent to a face-to-face consultation.
There’s additional value in marketing to niche groups as separate and identifiable communities, as it conveys a keen understanding of specific patient needs. In terms of improving retention numbers, generating new patient leads and managing hospital reputations, niche marketing is the most effective tool for delivering results.