For many communities, there is just one hospital option that is local and so marketing becomes more about community morale and goodwill than it does an active promotion of services that can be rendered. For hospitals in metropolitan areas, however, that have competition, the need to effectively market becomes a high priority. Patients will go to the hospital that they believe will provide them with the best service possible, especially when their health insurance will cover a visit to either location. How can you make your hospital stand out from the rest?
It begins with your ability to provide cutting edge services that limit the need for travel to receive care. People will pay a little more to receive needed services at home then travel a couple hours to save on those same services. The more services you are able to provide across a wide spectrum of care, then the better you are going to be able to establish a solid base of patients that will seek care from you when needed.
Best Hospital Marketing Ideas to Grow Your Business
1. It’s About Expertise
People want to be treated by the best doctors possible because that gives them the best chance at recovery – even if they’re just suffering from the common cold. Promote the expertise of your staff by documenting their experience, giving links to papers they have had published, and provide access to other forms of information that will prove your staff is the best in the area.
2. What Does Your Blog Say?
Health care provides value in information as much as it does care. A hospital website with an informative blog about local patient resources, contact information, and even self-care options will provide your community with the added value they need to see you as an expert in your field.
3. Videos Are Simple and Informative
Video marketing is an effective way to communicate a specific message without having to spend a whole lot of money to do so. You can show off the latest equipment you may have purchased, have patients get to know a new doctor you’ve hired, or give them tips about how to best access emergency services if that is needed. Videos can also be used for testimonials of good care, to show expectant mothers the birthing unit, and pretty much anything else that will put someone’s mind at ease if they need to be treated for some reason.
4. Social Media Offers More Than Negative Reviews
Hospital costs can be quite high for some patients and that’s a foundation for ill will, even if those costs are justified. Hospitals tend to avoid social media because of compliance issues that may creep up, but that’s the excuse to avoid negative interactions. A little proactive conversation would turn the morale of many patients about a hospital and because people are on social media, that’s a natural place to engage. Not having a conversation with an upset patient doesn’t mean that patient won’t talk to other people.
5. Manage Your Online Reputation
A lot of bad things can be said about your hospital and you’d never realize it until the damage has already been done. An easy way to begin managing your online reputation is to set up alerts on search engines to notify you of new content that has been published about your hospital. Social media also has search tools and alerts to keep you informed so you can stop a negative before it becomes a snowball of a problem.
6. Actively Listen
One of the biggest problems a hospital faces is an appearance that they don’t care because of problems one person may have. You don’t have to apologize, but you do need to be understanding about what that person is feeling. Negative feelings come from the perception of a negative experience, whether it was actually negative or not. Let them express their concerns to you, make things right if necessary or possible, and take their feedback as a way to make things better.
7. Digital Ads Need Control
There are trillions of digital ads shown every year and the average person sees nearly 2,000 per month. What websites are showing your ads? Can people even see your ads displayed on your system? According to recent data, over 30% of advertising online was shown to crawlers, spiders, and bots that monitor websites, not to actual human users – but the impressions still count toward costs. Over 70% of ad content is placed alongside content that either doesn’t relate or is of questionable validity. Do you want your hospital associated with malware? Get controls put in for your ads or don’t use them.
8. More Information = More Value
Information is worth more than money today because good information allows for long-term profitability in a variety of ways. For a hospital/patient relationship, information means being able to research symptoms, understand a potentially scary symptom is nothing to be worried about, and allow parents to treat infants at home. Not only is that invaluable to the patient, but it also frees up your staff to treat those with serious conditions.
9. Appeal To Your Community
For your website to rank well in markets where multiple hospitals are present, you’ll need to provide content that will help people make empowered decisions. Why is this important? When people search for hospitals online, they will naturally assume that the hospital with the highest ranking is the BEST hospital in their community.
10. Be Accessible
Many of today’s internet users access content through mobile devices instead of a laptop or a PC. If your website is not designed to provide a quality user experience on mobile devices, then you’ll automatically have these mobile users question your hospital’s ability to provide quality care. Every impression is a first impression in your marketing efforts.
11. Be Smart About QR Codes
Your hospital can utilize QR codes to create a tremendous advantage, but the biggest complaint most people have about these codes is that they either don’t work or take users to worthless content. If you can steer people toward something they need or want, then this almost free marketing tool can be added to every piece of content you print out to enhance your entire campaign.