For hospitals and other healthcare organizations, digital marketing isn’t about checking all the right boxes and pursuing every available avenue—that’s an inefficient, shotgun approach to growth.
In healthcare marketing, you want to be laser-focused. A master tactician with an impeccable strategy.
What Makes a Good Hospital Marketing Strategy?
It starts with understanding where your hospital can handle more patients. Then, you need to get inside the hearts and minds of those patients to deeply understand their needs, wants, and fears.
Only after doing those two things, can you start thinking about the strategy for attracting those patients?
So how do you do that?
There are three things you need to incorporate into your digital marketing strategy to maximize your dollars and effectively attract patients:
1. Understand your hospital’s capacity
Not just referring to the number of available beds—the entire capacity of the organization. Which service lines are booked up and which ones aren’t; the state of the radiology equipment; the number of surgeons on staff; all of it. You don’t want to market the outstanding quality of your orthopedic surgery department if it’s booked solid for the next 16 weeks. You want to market in areas where there’s actual potential for new growth.
2. Detailed knowledge of your ideal target
You need to understand your ideal patient if you’re going to successfully connect with them. If you’re trying to promote gynecology and obstetrics, it pays to know the profile of typical OBGYN patients; what they’re doing online, what websites they’re visiting, where they live, what messaging appeals to them, etc.
3. Potential for improvement
Your strategy must provide an opportunity for optimization; because digital marketing trends and consumers behaviors are dynamic, dumping money into a static strategy is a recipe for disaster.
Traditional Marketing Media Are Struggling
Traditional marketing media typically includes:
- Flyers and posters
- Radio and TV ads
- Billboards and signs
- Newsletters, postcards, and snail mail
It may seem easier to justify spending $5,000 on a 672-square-foot billboard with your hospital’s name on it, but if you’re looking for ROI that billboard is a total waste.
Online marketing is the only way to target specific groups (types) of patients, and closely monitor the results of your campaign.
With a billboard, or newspaper ad, or radio commercial, you have no real way of know how many prospective patients are exposed to your message. The subscription of a local magazine might be 10,000, but does that mean 10,000 people looked at your ad? Not a chance.
Online marketing is different. With a pay-per-click advertisement, you not only know how many potential patients see your ad, you know exactly how many interact with it; how many clicks the ad and visit your hospital’s website.
Local Search Results and Google Algorithms Work in Your Favor
Hospitals have an easy time ranking on page one of Google’s search results IF they’re employing the right strategy.
The Google Algorithm called “Pigeon” evaluates locality as relevant to a user’s search query.
In layman’s terms, that means a local healthcare facility (like your hospital) is more likely to show up in the search results if a potential patient searches for something like “mammography service near me” or “pediatrician in [city].”
Approximately 30% of Google searches are forlocal service providers and include acity, town, state, county, or zip code. More than 80% of these searches turn into a real-life consumer action.
Your hospital needs to take full advantage of Google’s emphasis on local search results.
Get a Digital Marketing Partner on Your Side
From local searches to the knowledge of your target audience, you can’t formulate or execute the kind of digital marketing strategy your hospital needs without a competent, creative, knowledgeable digital marketing partner.
Put another way, there’s just too much for you and the rest of your marketing team to do when it comes to managing a successful online marketing strategy.
If you think you could benefit from a partner with creative solutions, a rich understanding of Google, and in-depth knowledge of patient profiles and demographics, schedule a free consultation call with Scorpion.
Start maximizing your marketing funds today and watch your ROI grow.
About the Author
Brian Q. Davis is Senior Vice President of Healthcare at Scorpion. Brian leads the digital marketing agency’s healthcare team, overseeing its strategy and business development. His team has helped over 200 healthcare organizations develop and execute successful healthcare marketing strategies through state-of-the-art websites and results-driven online media campaigns.
Brian has been a panelist and speaker at several healthcare industry conferences, including Becker’s CIO and Health IT Summit and the Healthcare Internet Conference. He has been featured in Becker’s Hospital Review and Forbes.