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Hospitals, Industry Trends & News

Get in Front and Stay in Front: How Strategic Digital Marketing Gives Your Hospital a Competitive Edge

Brian Davis Executive Vice President of Healthcare

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 for local service providers and include a city, town, state, county, or zip code. More than 80% of these searches turn into 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 Davis Executive Vice President of Healthcare

Brian Davis is the Executive Vice President of Healthcare of Healthcare at Scorpion. He leads our vision of bringing a new level of competitive advantage to healthcare providers online. Brian has been a speaker and panelist at various healthcare industry conferences and has been quoted in Becker’s Hospital Review. Most recently, he was a panelist at the Becker’s CIO and Health IT Summit. Brian is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Sloan Business School Entrepreneurial Development Program (EDP) and received his undergraduate degree in Journalism from Louisiana State University. He currently resides in Dallas with his wife, two daughters, and three dogs. In his spare time, he likes to spend time with his family and to take long road trips.

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