Marketing is an integral part of every business whether it be as important and as complex as Healthcare. Increasing brand awareness while following a set of regulations is not easy for any healthcare consultancy to work with. In order to gain traction Hospitals need to have serious and informative conversations with their audience rather than short and quirky ones to gather mass support. But ever since the onset of the pandemic, people have started to realise the importance of healthcare and now is a really good opportunity to target your audience with information that they want to know.
As mentioned before, the Healthcare sector is a very sensitive and complex industry where you need to be careful of what information you put out in the world. In today’s world, one wrong piece of information can destroy the image of a hospital overnight hence one needs to carefully plan each aspect of their marketing strategy keeping in mind their customer base,
Nevertheless, there are a few things one should always keep in mind while planning a marketing campaign for a hospital or a relatively smaller clinic
Identify your Goals and audience:
Before delving into the marketing aspect, a hospital or other healthcare subsidiaries need to identify its goals. List down the services you provide so that you can narrow down your target audience. Create groups based on age, disease, location, etc. so that you can get an idea as to which services are performing and which needs improvement. Further, you will be able to better understand your patients even before they step into the hospital. In the end, you need to have a fair idea as to what you expect to improve with the help of marketing and this is where your vision for your hospital comes in.
Assessment and thorough analysis:
When you plan out your marketing strategy you need to conduct extensive research and analyse the data to completely understand the healthcare sector that you are a part of. Closely follow the market dynamics and keep a track of your competitors by picking up on their new features and services which you can later improve upon and incorporate into your marketing strategy. Know your strengths and weaknesses, conduct surveys in order to get enough data so that you can build your marketing strategy. Ask your patients to fill feedback forms to help you make their experience more comfortable at your hospital.
Create personalized websites:
Today everyone seems to be using the internet in order to look for services. Studies have shown that 5% of all Google searches are healthcare-related. With such high search volume, there is a demand for online consultation but a lack of accurate healthcare information. However, after this global pandemic, even the healthcare sector has made the shift to the internet in order to target a larger audience, supplying to the online demand. With each passing day, more and more people are surfing the internet, looking for answers to their health-related services. Creating a website that is easy to navigate, mobile-friendly and aesthetic will draw more and more users to your website which will eventually lead to increased footfalls in the hospital.
Share health-related news article:
As mentioned before there is a huge demand for healthcare information or health tips online but a lack of a proper and accurate place where one can find it all. So posting health-related news articles or other interesting information on social media draws a large crowd to your website which will increase your popularity amongst the masses. The most important thing to remember while creating a post is to make it informative and yet simple enough so that no prior expertise is required to understand it. Posting relatable health news consistently, short infographics or interesting facts in short forms of information that can be read quickly, significantly increases your brand awareness.
Keep a lookout for reviews:
Online platforms and services are open to criticism online especially in the healthcare sector where patients give feedback about the services they received at your hospital. More important than positive reviews, one should focus on the negative ones because they can tarnish your brand name. Therefore it is necessary that they be addressed immediately and with an appropriate reply. Answering these negative reviews on online forums or even on your website gives you a positive image and makes the patients feel that they are being heard.
Hire a Healthcare consultant:
Analysing the market dynamics and planning marketing strategies accordingly can be a lot of work when you already have to manage a hospital. In such cases, hiring a healthcare consultant can be extremely helpful. These consultancies work solely towards analysing your functioning, finding out areas that need improvement and planning marketing strategies based on your strengths. They provide you with a variety of services like increasing your hospital’s online presence with the help of apps and other online applications. They further assist you in hospital management with the help of EHR software. They are equipped with the latest technology and apply these to increase your hospital’s brand awareness and make it more efficient.
Overly self promote:
The idea of marketing is to increase brand awareness and find out your target audience. In the healthcare industry, healthcare consultancies often misunderstand this idea and tend to over-promote their brand name. This creates a sense of irritation and general disregard amongst the customer base towards your hospital brand which can seriously damage your image. Marketing is all about being perceived as modest and humble which is defeated if one starts overly self-promoting.
Stuff your content with keywords:
Content marketing is an important part of any marketing strategy in today’s world. You need to focus more on the quality of the content rather than filling pages with irrelevant things. Stuffing keywords into your blogs or posts to get a higher page rank no longer works and Google will penalize you for it.
Do not violate patient privacy:
Healthcare consultancy sometimes like posting about success stories of their patients to get positive traction online. But in these cases, if any information about the patient is posted on social media or other online platforms that are confidential or without consent will be immediately taken down. Further, your hospital will face serious legal repercussions.
Do not use humour while marketing:
Although humour is a great way of attracting attention towards your brand but in the healthcare sector is frowned upon. When dealing with topics about healthcare services, educating your audience about the latest developments in the healthcare industry, etc. The addition of humour in these contents creates a disconnect with the viewers which significantly harms your reputation.
One should understand the new frontier of marketing before taking any further steps. Digital marketing has revolutionised the way we perceived marketing because it is the cheapest and can penetrate remote areas, providing you with the opportunity to showcase your services or product to a larger and more targeted audience. With such a large audience or customer base, things can go south pretty quickly if you do not use healthcare digital marketing the right way. Following the above principles will not only give you an extra edge over your competitors but also will help you structure your marketing strategy for the future.
As a healthcare marketer at a medical practice, your primary duties are to promote the organization’s success to gain patients and maintain patient loyalty.
Healthcare marketing strategy is an inbound marketing process where we bring forth all the resources that could bear against various opportunities and threats of a highly competitive healthcare business.
If you are sure that you would like to hold a marketing title in a healthcare setting, you need to start by completing a degree program. While a marketing degree is ideal, you can also earn a degree in business or an MBA in Business Administration and gain leverage in the field.