A big challenge faced by hospitals across the US in is improving visibility in a highly overcrowded marketplace. You have to have a voice that is heard above the noise.
Increase Your Marketing Campaign
We all know that today’s consumer has an increased dependency on the internet and those seeking healthcare have almost unlimited access to both valuable medical information and research, and “self-diagnosis” sites which are often detrimental to proper treatment. That means consumers are no longer likely to blindly accept their doctor’s word because they can research more about conditions and related treatment plans from the comfort of the sofa. This creates both an opportunity and a dilemma for health care facilities.
The significant downside of patients referring to self-diagnosis websites is that they are breeding grounds for misconception that can hamper progress on correctly diagnosing and treating. If you build your online presence and market yourself correctly, you can use your knowledge, experience, and expertise as a healthcare provider to educate your audience with medical facts while spreading the word about your facility’s success.
Using Digital Marketing to Educate and Raise Awareness
Digital marketing is essentially promoting and raising brand awareness by creating and sharing good quality content, producing functional and informative websites and landing pages, enhancing your presence through SMO, SEO, and PPC, and managing your online reputation.
There are several different types of avenues you can take including websites, landing pages, microsites, social media posts, email campaigns, videos, blogs, white papers and classic brochures and they all have different marketing purposes, each with its own mechanism for sharing online. With all of these options, it can be overwhelming trying to understand what to use, when to use it, and how best to use it. This is why you need to leverage experts in these fields in order to break through the online noise.
With daily content production in the form of social media posts and blog pieces, you can go a long way towards establishing a relationship with prospective patients. Developing white papers establish you as an authority in the healthcare field and email marketing campaigns generate leads for new patients. You can also use paid-for or sponsored advertising within social networks to build a database of prospective patients for email marketing with newsletters that you can also send to existing patients to keep them in the loop. These are just a few examples of the variety of methods available with digital marketing. Using the right content on the right channel in the right way is how you truly excel with online marketing.
Provide Information and Education in your Content
Creating the right kind of content is essential to maximizing your SEO efforts. Google is widely accepted as the main search engine people are using and following several updates to its algorithm. In fact, there are now even stricter rules about the content it recognizes and ranks at the top of the results pages or SERPs.
Google’s criteria are now focused on an enhanced user-experience for people making searches, meaning that your content has to be informative, good quality and current but perhaps most importantly, it has to deliver value by providing answers to specific search queries.
One of the best ways of judging whether you are creating the content patients will read is to put yourself in their shoes when you’re writing your material and ask yourself these questions:
- Is the information easy to understand?
- Can all the terms used be understood by non-medical professionals?
- Is the information presented concisely so as to not overwhelm?
- Are all explanations adequate?
- Are my questions on this topic answered when I read this piece?
How to Get the Best ROI from Social Media Marketing
From a marketing perspective, the healthcare industry is fairly unique in that its target audience is essentially everyone. That’s why social media networks are some of the best channels to concentrate your content marketing efforts.
There are four main ways you can use social media to boost your online profile – here’s how:
Give Your Hospital a Personality
It’s easy for a hospital to come across as a little bit sterile, and generally, people are very happy about that! However, it doesn’t do any harm to show your human side and this can be best done with regular blog posts, newsletters, and social media posts.
Share interesting content about the happier stories from patients in your hospital or new developments in the building and that will garner interaction and engagement with your audience. If you receive a review, whether negative or positive, it’s critical to respond in a timely manner as it goes a long way to establishing trust and also to dispel negative and potentially harmful gossip.
Share Content that is Compelling
Bearing in mind every piece of content you produce should have value; using social media is a great way to touch base with your audience to tell them about public health issues or new research developments. Be a font of information for all things healthcare related and you will soon become the ‘go-to’ in your state. You’ll also be more likely to avoid patients looking for information elsewhere online and the chaos that can cause!
Consider the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge of 2015 and how the unique campaign made great strides towards raising awareness of the condition. The purpose of all the content you share via social media is less to promote your hospital and more to provide valuable information that actively helps your patients. By doing so, you actually garner more respect and a higher likelihood of acceptance.
Use Social Media Channels to Advertise your Hospital
According to research, the majority of Americans spend more time online than they do sleeping – which is a compelling reason for you to advertise your hospital via social media channels. Paid-for advertising on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram is a highly effective way of reaching your audience and engaging their interest. You can also control the radius of your ad campaigns with geo-targeting so that you can market specific locations and demographics.
Paid-for advertising on social media is where you can distribute your best content too. Clicks on ads lead to a landing page where you can offer downloads and capture data. If the content is compelling enough, this advertising technique will yield a good marketing ROI. You also will need quality images with your ads and posts. Images are a great way of attracting attention and most social network audiences won’t click on an ad unless there’s it has strong visual impact.
Create and Share Content your Audience can’t get Anywhere Else
The days of copy and pasting chunks from different document to create one plagiarized one is well and truly over. What’s more, Google has the power to levy significant fines for content that is clearly not original and you’ll be penalized from appearing on the results pages or possibly face losing your website. It’s not worth it.
The best thing about using social media to share your content is that you can really go to town with it. Making informative video tutorials to give healthcare and fitness tips for certain demographics like the over 50s or teens can have amazing results; demonstrations on how to use healthcare monitoring devices at home or infomercials about the most common routine procedures can not only help your patients but promote you as an authority to listen to and seek out when it comes to healthcare.
No matter what state your hospital is, you are unique. The way to garner great – and valuable – digital engagement is by developing outreach that makes you different. Once the online marketing strategy is developed, it won’t be long before you’ll see the tangible value it can bring.