Mobile Marketing for Your Hospital

Why Mobile for Hospital Marketing?

TotalCom Mobile MarketingThere is a tendency in the healthcare field to think of online marketing as necessary for desktops – but optional for mobile devices. However, mobile marketing for your hospital is not an option. Here’s why:

Most people have a smartphone. According to a recent Pew Research Center report, almost two-thirds of American adults own a smartphone – up from 35% in 2011. And nearly 20% of American adults have limited or no broadband access at home, relying almost exclusively on their phones data plan for Internet access.

As a result of this increasing dependence on smartphones, businesses, including hospitals, have seen mobile interaction with their website surpass desktop usage. And many experts agree that mobile searches will likely surpass desktop searches in 2015. Therefore, it is essential that we don’t ignore mobile marketing in healthcare.

Below are some ways to market your hospital to the increasing number of consumers who are using mobile as an entry point to the Internet.

There’s an App for That

One way to market your hospital in the mobile arena is through apps. If an app is useful to the consumer, it can be an effective marketing tool by increasing engagement with your brand and creating opportunities for future, patient-hospital interaction.

Some hospitals have had success with apps that allow patients to check in to the emergency room before they arrive at the hospital or apps that give ER wait times. GPS-based, way-finding apps can be useful to patients and visitors especially if your facility is large or spread out.  Wellness, medicine-monitoring, cancer treatment and new mom apps are other examples that can increase engagement and create possible future patient conversion.

Digital media as well as traditional media can be used to promote your hospital app.

Responsive Design is a Must

Google rolled out a new search algorithm this year that rewards responsive sites in mobile searches. Increasing your hospital’s position in search results on mobile devices is reason enough to have a responsive web design – but this isn’t the only benefit.

Responsive design also gives consumers a better user experience on your website. Given a choice between two sites, consumers will defer to the site that is easier to navigate and provides the best user experience.

In addition, responsive design eliminates the need to have a separate mobile site. Instead, your one hospital website will look great on desktops, tablets, and mobile devices. And that’s one site to manage, maintain, and update.

Make Important Information Easy to Find

When prospective patients are on your hospital’s website, they don’t want to have to search to find what they are looking for.

  • Put your main phone number, as well as street address, at the top of the page.
  • A hospital phone directory should be easy to locate, with phone numbers “clickable” for one-touch dialing.
  • Make links obvious with the use of buttons or underlined, different colored or bold text. 

The easier it is to access and use your website on a mobile device, the more likely that your site will be visited and used. And the more interaction, the more opportunities to convert prospects to patients.

Make Your Hospital Mobile-Friendly

Don’t wait to make your hospital’s website mobile-friendly! Mobile is more than an entry-point for consumers to access the Internet. It can be an entry-point for prospects to become patients of your hospital.

I would love to hear your successes (or even what NOT to do) with hospital mobile marketing. Call or email me.


 

ABOUT JIMMY WARREN
Early to bed, early to rise, work like crazy and advertise! Jimmy Warren is president of TotalCom Marketing Communications and has over 30 years experience helping all kinds of businesses build a strong brand. A large portion of that experience has been helping hospitals and healthcare organizations. He loves the ‘weird’, interesting and extremely talented people he gets to work with every day – that includes co-workers and clients. Outside of work he enjoys his grand kids, traveling and any kind of good ole fashion Alabama sports. Roll Tide!

 

New TV Ad Metrics Could Help You Market Your Hospital More Effectively

Healthcare Marketing TargetTraditional media is still an important component in the hospital marketing media mix. There is power and scale in newspaper, television and radio advertising for healthcare marketers. But the data-driven opportunities available in the digital space and the ability for precise targeting are just not as sophisticated and advanced in traditional channels – until now.

Major Media Companies Offering New Data-Driven Targetability Tools

Hoping to close the gap between the benefits offered by traditional advertising and those offered by online advertising, both Time Warner Inc.’s Turner Broadcasting and NBCUniversal (owner of channels including USA, Bravo and E!), have recently unveiled new tools that offer more precise targetability and believe marketers will no longer have to choose between the reach of traditional and the data-driven opportunities online.

Turner is offering a product called “Audience Now” that will help advertisers reach specific audiences likely to purchase their product. The tool uses data that merges shopper loyalty card data – which is VERY valuable –  with TV viewing.

NBCUniversal’s “Audience Targeting Platform” offers data-driven targetability using information from large databases on what products people buy, matched with data from set-top boxes that tracks the programs people watch.

Both companies say the data they use for this ad tool is “anonymized” – meaning they don’t see consumers’ personal information. (As healthcare marketers, we are trained to be very sensitive to private information.)

What This Can Mean for Healthcare Marketing Professionals

These tools are currently being offered at the national level during this summer’s “upfront” negotiations. But if and when made available at the local and regional level, will afford hospital marketers more precise, data-driven targeting. For example, our wellness commercials could be targeted to consumers, who based on purchase patterns, likely suffer from obesity, heart issues, diabetes, and other conditions. Our sleep center commercials could be seen by consumers, who based on related purchases, are likely to suffer a sleeping disorder. There would be many opportunities to reach and connect with specific audiences who are likely patients of specific service lines in our hospitals.

The Power of Television Advertising for Hospitals

The advantages of television go beyond the enormous reach is offers. Television commercials can tell a hospital’s story in a way no other medium can. Through the use of sight and sound, an effective commercial can evoke emotion, inform, entertain, connect, and create a desired response – but only when seen by the right audience. New tools and technology are on the horizon that can help ensure prospective patients hear and see our hospitals’ stories.

Need help telling your hospital’s story? Contact Jimmy Warren.


ABOUT JIMMY WARREN
Early to bed, early to rise, work like crazy and advertise! Jimmy Warren is president of TotalCom Marketing Communications and has over 30 years experience helping all kinds of businesses build a strong brand. A large portion of that experience has been helping hospitals and healthcare organizations. He loves the ‘weird’, interesting and extremely talented people he gets to work with every day – that includes co-workers and clients. Outside of work he enjoys his grand kids, traveling and any kind of good ole fashion Alabama sports. Roll Tide!

Attract New Hospital Patients with Inbound Marketing

Inbound Hospital Marketing TotalcomNow, more than ever, it is important to actively attract new patients to your hospital. In the past, most people chose their healthcare provider based on geographic location. Therefore, the hospital closest to home was generally the hospital of choice.

However, in the past four years, the number of people who go online to find healthcare information has doubled. The rise of the Internet and the ability to find reviews online has led to a more consumer-based approach to finding doctors and healthcare services. Therefore, your healthcare marketing strategy must include an online strategy.

Hospital marketing is no longer about touting your services or showcasing how great your doctors may be. Today it’s all about engaging your potential patient and ensuring your doctors and facility have positive reviews online. Patients go online looking for a healthcare provider they can connect with and feel like they can trust – even before calling or walking in the door.

It is critical that we shift our hospital marketing approach from product-centered to patient-centered and utilize the Internet to reach our target audiences.

Inbound Marketing Is the Answer

The goal of inbound marketing is not only to drive traffic to your website, but to also engage those users and convert them into patients by answering their questions and building trust.

In order to be effective, you first have to attract the right kind of traffic, which is done by providing relevant and targeted content that is designed to educate the target audience.

While outbound marketing relies on purchasing ads and email lists to build brand awareness, inbound marketing works to naturally attract consumers to your site based on their interests and concerns. You then build trust with the consumer by providing them with information they were already looking for and setting up your facility and doctors as an authority.

One of the greatest benefits of inbound marketing is the cost of implementation. Inbound leads actually cost approximately 61% less than outbound leads and traditional marketing efforts. In short, inbound marketing is not only effective, but is also incredibly affordable.

Another benefit is that inbound marketing is easier to track than other traditional methods since it is digital and therefore has a plethora of tools for tracking purposes. The ability to track lets you know exactly what is working and what isn’t, allowing you to tailor your methods to what is providing the biggest return-on-investment.

However, it is important to remember that inbound marketing is a long-term strategy, not a quick fix; therefore, allow ample time for results when tracking its effectiveness.

How to Implement Inbound Marketing for Your Hospital

Get the Most Out of Your Website

When it comes to online marketing and advertising, your website is ultimately at the center of everything you do. Therefore, make sure that your website is user friendly.

When people visit your hospital’s website they should be able to find all the information they are looking for quickly, without much effort. Include clear calls-to-action on every page. Use photos and videos to add interest to your hospital website and highlight your doctors and facility with visual media. Always think about your design from a consumer’s point-of-view.

Another way to utilize your website’s potential is through proper search engine optimization (SEO) and local optimization. Optimizing your website for search traffic and local inquiries will help your website with being seen by potential customers.

Generate Updated Content Through Blogging

According to a recent survey by HubSpot, 82% of marketers who blog daily report positive ROI for overall inbound marketing efforts. This is because fresh content helps you stay relevant in search engine results, which increases traffic to your site and your overall online visibility. You should use your blog to educate about current health concerns, proper preventative care, new technology and procedures, or anything related to the services you offer.

Social Media Marketing Builds Your Brand

Do not underestimate the marketing potential of social media for your hospital. Over 40% of consumers say that information found through social media affects their health decisions. Social media is a great way to share your blogs, keep consumers aware of current events at your facility, and engage your audience on a personal level, all in an effort to keep your hospital top of mind. In addition, your hospital’s social media efforts greatly impact your search results.

In Conclusion – Inbound Marketing Is Key

These are just a few inbound marketing strategies you can use to promote your hospital online and reach your target audience when they are in the market for your services – before a decision is made about where to go or who to see. There are many others, including white papers, monthly email newsletters, and lead nurturing campaigns. All of these have a common theme – they are always patient-focused and designed to educate prospective patients and build trust, which leads to them choosing your hospital over the competition.

At the end of the day, use inbound marketing to focus on the needs of the patient. Match your marketing efforts and content building to those needs in order to convert prospects into patients.

Contact Jimmy Warren to learn how to use inbound marketing as part of your overall hospital marketing strategy.


ABOUT JIMMY WARREN
Early to bed, early to rise, work like crazy and advertise! Jimmy Warren is president of TotalCom Marketing Communications and has over 30 years experience helping all kinds of businesses build a strong brand. A large portion of that experience has been helping hospitals and healthcare organizations. He loves the ‘weird’, interesting and extremely talented people he gets to work with every day – that includes co-workers and clients. Outside of work he enjoys his grand kids, traveling and any kind of good ole fashion Alabama sports. Roll Tide!

 

Marketing Your Hospital with Google Adwords

Adwords Hospital Marketing TotalCom

Fifteen years ago, Google changed the face of digital advertising forever with it’s launch of Google Adwords, a self promoting advertising service any business can utilize to reach their target audience.

Even today, the potential this platform offers companies is exponential, with Google owning 67.6% of U.S. search engine shares.

Understanding Google Adwords is imperative to marketing your hospital in this competitive digital world.

Search Ads – Google Pay-Per-Click (PPC)

Google Adwords uses search ads, or Pay-Per-Click (PPC), that allow your message to appear above or to the right of organic search engine results. You can specify which area of the page you want your ad to appear, and you only pay when someone clicks your ad. The cost-per-click varies, depending upon the competition.

When creating PPC ads, it’s important to stay extremely precise.  Use keywords that will help you reach your goal or objective. Take note of your top competitor’s ads to see what keywords are giving them high-ranking scores. Then, focus on what makes your hospital different from the keywords competitors are utilizing and try marketing those differences.  Your goal is to help viewers click your ad instead of the competition’s.

Landing Pages Save You Money

When you set up a PPC campaign, you are including links to a destination page. It’s a common mistake to make this page your hospital’s homepage.

Creating a landing page for your PPC ads increases the likelihood of achieving your goal and can improve your ad relevance, which decreases the cost-per-click. On the landing page, it’s essential to make sure there is a call-to-action. For example, you can create the page so visitors can fill out a form to request an appointment or sign up for a health screening event.

Use Site Link Extensions

Finally, make sure to take advantage of Google Adwords’ site link extensions.  Site link extensions increase your ad space and make you more relevant to any given search.

Advertisers have reported a 30% increase in click-through-rates (CTR) in the last year by using these extensions. Location and review extensions are seeing the highest CTR increases, and are extremely important for hospitals in-particular.

Hospital care is usually received locally, therefore, including a location link makes your hospital more relevant and accessible in a search.

Likewise, review extensions establish credibility. Patients want to receive quality care and if your hospital has great reviews, then seeing the high reviews beside your ad can make your hospital stand out among the competition.
It’s important to note that adding these extensions do increase the cost-per-click of your ads.

Without a strong knowledge on how Google works, the return on investment tends to be minimal. The only way to keep your hospital ahead is to join your competitors in competing for relevant Google Adwords.


ABOUT JIMMY WARREN
Early to bed, early to rise, work like crazy and advertise! Jimmy Warren is president of TotalCom Marketing Communications and has over 30 years experience helping all kinds of businesses build a strong brand. A large portion of that experience has been helping hospitals and healthcare organizations. He loves the ‘weird’, interesting and extremely talented people he gets to work with every day – that includes co-workers and clients. Outside of work he enjoys his grand kids, traveling and any kind of good ole fashion Alabama sports. Roll Tide!

3 Tips to Overcome Decline in Your Hospital’s Facebook Posts

Facebook post declineAre your hospital’s Facebook posts being seen by fewer and fewer users?

There is definitely a decline in organic reach on Facebook.

According to Facebook, the reason for the decline is the increasing competition. More brands have Pages and are putting out more information. Facebook claims to want to make sure users’ experiences are good ones, so they are showing users stories in their News Feed that are most relevant to them (based on their prior activity on Facebook).

Some think it is because Facebook wants Pages to buy (more) ads.

Here are several tips to help your posts have a better chance of being shown in more users News Feed.

  • Quick and Original. Keep your posts short and original. It’s fine to share information from other sources occasionally. But the majority of your posts should be original content.

  • Pictures. Incorporate photos and videos. Photos depicting human interaction tend to be more successful. Show people interacting with your brand. Posts with videos are often times even more successful than ones with photographs.

  • Call to Action. Ask users to do something. Ask a question, take a poll, ask for feedback and opinions. Be sure to respond to those that do.

Be sure to use Page Insights to evaluate your most successful posts. Check to see which ones get the most likes, shares and comments.

Even though there may be a decline in organic reach, your hospital’s Page can still be used to build and grow strong relationships with the community in which you serve.

Contact Jimmy Warren to learn how you can better market your hospital.

 


ABOUT JIMMY WARREN
Early to bed, early to rise, work like crazy and advertise! Jimmy Warren is president of TotalCom Marketing Communications and has over 30 years experience helping all kinds of businesses build a strong brand. A large portion of that experience has been helping hospitals and healthcare organizations. He loves the ‘weird’, interesting and extremely talented people he gets to work with every day – that includes co-workers and clients. Outside of work he enjoys his grandkids, traveling and any kind of good ole fashion Alabama sports. Roll Tide!

 

Content Marketing to Move Market Share For Your Hospital

Boost online visibility and convert prospects to patients with content marketing.

Hospital Heatlhcare Marketing Jimmy Warrenmarketing has certainly seen big changes in the past few years. No longer is a campaign that includes traditional media, elevator signs, a few Facebook posts and web banners, complete – or the most effective.  To connect with patients requires new and different tactics. One that should be considered is content marketing.

We often promote that we are “here when you need us”. And we are, but are we there for patients and prospective patients in the beginning? When they are searching online for a solution to their sleep problems or looking for an OB/GYN? To move market share requires building a relationship BEFORE a decision has been made about which physician or hospital to use. Content marketing is one way to do this.

Boost online visibility and position your hospital or physician as a leader who is trustworthy and knowledgeable with quality content.

What (to write about)?
Know the topics consumers in your service area are searching for online and create content that addresses these issues. Use Google keyword tools to learn exactly how many consumers within a 25 mile radius were looking for information about diabetes or depression in the past year. Then by creating blog content that discusses these topics you will make your hospital more visible and more relevant – early in the cycle of the consumer moving from prospect to patient.

Where (does the info come from)?
When a physician is the author, credibility is established for the physician and the healthcare facility.  Service line managers and other clinical staff members are great resources for material. Guest bloggers can provide quality content as well. Share the responsibility. Look around and tap into the resources in your own building.

How (to get the info out)?
Take your efforts past just publishing the blog post. Break up the content into snippets of info and recycle on social media and your hospital’s website. Be sure to link back to the article for more information. One blog post can become content for many posts and tweets.

Content marketing is one way to move market share for your hospital. By increasing online visibility, you are able to form meaningful and relevant relationships with prospective patients BEFORE they make that call for an appointment or referral. Content is key to be the one they call.

Contact Jimmy Warren to learn how you can better market your hospital and monitor your reviews online.

 


ABOUT JIMMY WARREN
Early to bed, early to rise, work like crazy and advertise! Jimmy Warren is president of TotalCom Marketing Communications and has over 30 years experience helping all kinds of businesses build a strong brand. A large portion of that experience has been helping hospitals and healthcare organizations. He loves the ‘weird’, interesting and extremely talented people he gets to work with every day – that includes co-workers and clients. Outside of work he enjoys his grandkids, traveling and any kind of good ole fashion Alabama sports. Roll Tide!

 

Marketing Your Hospital to the New Generation

Marketing to Millenials There is no doubt that in today’s digital world that marketing your hospital has evolved to include more than just traditional marketing and advertising efforts. Today, everything from search engine optimization to social media plays a role in getting people to choose your hospital over the competition.

While Millennials are likely not the majority of cardiac, cancer, and some other service lines, they are your future patients and often assist their parents and grandparents in making key healthcare decisions, often doing the research online for their parents and grandparents.

Be Social

Statistics show that social media is essential for reaching the younger generation.

Did you know that 90% of 18 to 24-year-olds trust healthcare-related information if it is shared by someone they are connected to on social media? (Statistic provided by Search Engine Land.) Therefore, it is essential that your hospital is not only active on social media platforms, but that you should also encourage happy patients to mention your hospital on social networks.

Despite this statistic, only approximately 26% of hospitals within the United States are active on social media (statistic provided by DC Interactive Group). Social media isn’t going away – if your hospital is not active on these growing platforms, now is the time to start.

Monitor Reviews

Before determining which hospital to visit or doctor to use, most Millennials search online for reviews and other, relevant information about the doctor or hospital. Therefore, it is essential that someone is monitoring and responding to online reviews not only for each of your hospitals, but also each of your doctors.

Fortunately, there are several tools that allow you to quickly and efficiently monitor reviews across the Internet, providing you with real-time emails to notify you of new reviews.

Use Online Advertising

In addition to being social and monitoring reviews, you can help improve the overall recognition of your hospital through affordable online advertising. There are a variety of ways to have your hospital and doctor profiles to show up across the Internet – plus, it is incredibly affordable when compared to traditional advertising methods.

Not only can you track the results, but you can also choose which websites your ads appear on, who sees your ads (by choosing demographics), and the geographical location that you are targeting.

At the end of the day, with Millennials relying on the Internet when choosing which hospitals and doctors to trust, it is important that your hospital is showing up online. Get active on social media, monitor and respond to reviews, and use the power of online advertising to help your hospital stay in the mind of your target audience.

 

Contact Jimmy Warren to learn how you can better market your hospital and monitor your reviews online.

 


ABOUT JIMMY WARREN
Early to bed, early to rise, work like crazy and advertise! Jimmy Warren is president of TotalCom Marketing Communications and has over 30 years experience helping all kinds of businesses build a strong brand. A large portion of that experience has been helping hospitals and healthcare organizations. He loves the ‘weird’, interesting and extremely talented people he gets to work with every day – that includes co-workers and clients. Outside of work he enjoys his grandkids, traveling and any kind of good ole fashion Alabama sports. Roll Tide!

Marketing Your Hospital through Video

Online video is on the rise.  Marketers should take note.

More and more consumers are watching video online.  They are watching hours per week, VIdeo Marketing for Hospitalfrom their computers, smartphones and tablets.  For hospital marketers, this indicates we should be devoting more time creating videos to communicate our messages and integrating these videos into our traditional and social media marketing.  If we believe in going where the consumers are, then online video is definitely a place to be.

Simple, informative videos can be effective – and not necessarily expensive. Videos can be produced with a handheld camera or even with a smartphone. Videos that are not too slick, polished and perfect deliver authenticity – a preference of many consumers.

Video doesn’t have to be shot with a camera to be effective – slide shows, Prezi presentations, and still photos can be used to create a video presentation that is effective and again, not expensive. Like any marketing effort, video should be used as a tactic to meet a marketing goal – and not just because it would be a fun thing to do.

Your video should be uploaded to your hospital’s YouTube channel for easy viewing with any device as well as embedded on your website. Be sure to include tags, descriptions, and a transcript on YouTube. And most importantly, disable suggested videos so that when the viewer is at the end of your presentation, they are not bombarded with competitive options.

Video as a marketing tool is beneficial not only in the message delivered to the intended audience, but when uploaded and optimized on your hospital’s YouTube page, there are SEO benefits as well.

Need more convincing?

Below are statistics and from Adrants that clearly demonstrates the popularity of online videos.

Recently, Blinkx  released the results of survey of online video viewing habits conducted on its behalf by Harris Interactive. The survey was designed to reveal viewing and social media sharing habits of U.S. consumers and uncovered some not-so-surprising trends.

In total, 2 out of 4 people watch online video.

  • 57% watch 1 to 5 hours each week
  • 26% watch more than 5 hours each week
  • 17% watch less than one hour each week
  • 86% watch videos on their computers
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  • 35% watch videos on their smartphones
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  • 23% watch videos on their tablets
  • 14% watch videos on their smart TV

Smartphone users watch more viral videos with 61% viewing virals on their smartphones. Tablet users watch more entertainment with 48% viewing entertainment on their tablets.

Of smartphone users:

  • 61% watch viral videos
  • 48% watch entertainment
  • 41% watch news
  •  24% watch how-to videos
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  • 17% watch TV shows
  •  14% watch movies

Of tablet users:

  • 48% watch entertainment
  •  45% watch news
  •  44% watch viral videos
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  • 40% watch TV shows
  •  34% watch movies
  •  29% watch how-to videos

Of course, for Smart TV users, most (72%) watch movies and TV shows (64%)

In terms of video length, in general, shorter videos are viewed in smaller screen and longer videos are viewed on larger screens.

In terms of the most memorable advertising videos, entertainment category videos (movie trailers, etc.) are most remembered at 37%. This is followed by consumer goods at 17%, financial services at 17% and cars at 15%.

Need help developing a plan for an inexpensive video for your hospital? Need help optimizing your YouTube channel? Contact Lori Moore at TotalCom Marketing.

Brand storytelling through traditional and new media channels, we are TotalCom Marketing, a full service advertising agency in business this year for the 30th year. We are located in Tuscaloosa and Huntsville, AL.

Facebook to Market a Nursing Home? Yes!

Facebook for Nursing Home MarketingFor a number of reasons, in order to build census, long-term care facilities can no longer rely heavily on faxing over avails and dropping off cookies to the hospital discharge planner.

Instead, new tactics must be considered to win over a different audience. New channels that will reach and influence the decision maker BEFORE the care decision making process starts – the Baby Boomer adult children of prospective patients.

One channel worthy of taking a look at – social media giant Facebook.

  • 45% of Adults 60 plus use Facebook on a regular basis (Pew Research).
  • Adults 60 plus are Facebook’s largest growing audience – increasing more than 80% since 2011 (istrategylabs).
  • The top 4 online destinations for Adults 60 plus are (in order) Google, Facebook, Yahoo and YouTube (AARP).
  • Baby Boomers spend more time online than do Millennials – an average of 27 hours per week compared to 25 hours per week (WSL).

A few more reasons to consider Facebook:

  • Familiarity – Marketers should personally use it to professionally understand and successfully execute it – and most do.
  • Interaction – Baby Boomers are accustomed to one-on-one interaction, and Facebook, unlike traditional media which is more of a one-way communication channel, affords this opportunity.

But before a page is created and posts and pics are added, it is important to understand:

1. All media efforts – whether social or traditional – should be used as a tactic to accomplish a marketing objective, and should tie back to the overall strategic plan. Just because Facebook is “exciting”, or a magazine is running a special, or an event would be fun to participate – does not mean it is a good idea. All efforts must connect back to the company’s overall plan for success.

2. A social media policy must be established. This is imperative regardless of whether or not your facility participates in social media marketing, as employees, patient families, volunteers, and visitors are all present and can bring your facility along with them – for good or  bad.  With the guidance of HR and Legal, clear rules and boundaries must be developed, shared and documented with all of the above audiences – especially employees. Clear rules and examples of what is acceptable and what is not acceptable must be shared through a variety of channels including online, in social media, new employee/volunteer orientation, in-house signage, communication with family, etc.

Still wondering how posts and pics can benefit your facility? Facebook offers opportunities to:

  • Build trusting relationships with decision makers
  • Establish expertise in the industry or in a specific niche
  • Influence decision makers
  • Humanize your brand
  • Keep families and friends up to date with your facility (i.e. new activities, renovations, etc)
  • Increase traffic to your website
  • Monitor and manage your online reputation
  • Generate leads
  • Recruit new employees
  • Retain employees
  • Acknowledge volunteers
  • Better inform patient families and employees during weather events, crisis situations, etc.

If any of these can help you accomplish your marketing objectives and overall strategic plan, then Facebook deserves consideration as part of your marketing efforts.

If you have questions about how to set up a Facebook page for your facility, or about content, social media policy, or strategy,  contact Lori Moore at TotalCom Marketing.

Healthcare Marketing: For Stickiness – Motivate Your Audience

Understanding what motivates your audience helps make your message resonate.

Understanding your audience is a key ingredient for successful messaging. Healthcare marketers must know and understand their audience to effectively comsticky marketingmunicate with them.  We are often too quick to talk about features and about our hospital than to talk about benefits and what it means to the consumer.  We must always stop and ask from a consumer’s perspective, so what?

There are many methods to use for getting to know you audience.  Market research, patient interviews, primary and secondary consumer research and, of course, listening. We have all used these and many other methods with varying degrees of success.

The desire for all healthcare marketers is stickiness.  For our message to stick.  To resonate with our target audience.  To achieve this, it’s not only important to understand our audience it’s also important to understand what motivates them.  Some of the most successful advertising campaigns are the result of not just knowing the audience but having a deep understanding of what motivates their audience. Nate Fleming, writing for the Agency Post (agencypost.com) summed up successful advertising this way, “the most powerful messages tap into the audience’s desired emotional state and transport them from where they stand to another place and time. A message that connects deeply has a kind of transformative power that only comes from knowing what makes the audience tick. And it’s not just made of words. There’s magic in it”.

He continued, “In this fast-moving digital age, it’s easy to get distracted by technology and forget that human beings with beating hearts are the fuel that keeps our economic engine running. These strategies focus on activating the human reward response by focusing on a specific desired emotional state or end goal. A good message is a promise. And if yours promises to help people achieve one or more of their end goals, you’ll have messages that are both memorable and motivational”.

Fleming went on to list five key motivating factors for consumers.  They are very helpful as we try to create messages that resonate with our audiences?

1.  Power and Control

An absence of power or a feeling of loss of power activates the threat response. By offering to bring stability, empowerment and order to people’s lives, you can activate the reward response and appeal to your audience on a deep, emotional level. In healthcare, quite often consumers have a strong emotional sense of losing control.  They feel their health and possibly their healing and recovery are totally outside their control.  Hospital can respond to this by offering help and the expectation of good outcomes. The “Truth” campaign does just that by empowering young people to rebel against the big tobacco companies that were trying to manipulate them.

2.  Pleasure and Enjoyment

Promising luxurious, sensual experiences appeals to the reward system in ways that don’t need much explanation. Promise consumers’ senses a good time, and you’ll tap into a motivational nerve that is millions of years old. In addition to the expectation of good outcomes that lead to an enjoyable life, hospitals have been successful tapping into this emotion by offering amenities that go beyond basic medicine and treatment.  BMW focuses on this motivator with the promise of the “ultimate driving machine.” Klondike bars also do it in a very clever way by posing the question, “What would you do for a Klondike bar?”

3.  Freedom and Independence

Promising people a sense of freedom encourages people to look to you as a companion that supports their desire to break free from social norms and the confines of their current reality. Freedom to act courageously and get outside the box is an alluring proposition for many. Hospitals can offer a new improved life with the right kind of treatment and successful recovery.  Levi’s flips the freedom switch with its “Go Forth” campaign that celebrates freedom and the hard work that comes with it.

4.  Certainty and Understanding

The discovery of truth and knowing the inner workings of things can be very potent motivators for some. Promise to be a source of clarity and confidence, and you’ll tap the basic human need for security. Feeling safe is a comforting reward.  By communicating and becoming the source of helpful knowledge and information, hospitals can connect with consumers.   Lumosity brain training leverages this by helping people understand that they can improve their mental capabilities because of a thing called neuroplasticity.

5.  Achievement and Accomplishment

For many people, the act of doing something is fueled by an even deeper need to achieve a goal or to create for ourselves a sense of accomplishment. Promise to be a means to achieve this state, and you’ll find plenty of takers.  Good health and an active life is an achievement or accomplishment every consumer desires.  Hospitals wellness programs can certainly offer a promise of a better, healthier life.  Nike has consistently tapped the human need to achieve a personal best for decades. Then again, so has the My Fitness Pal application, where members have lost 100 million pounds since 2005.

Fleming concluded, “delivering on the promise in your message at every turn, of course, is the key to making your message work. Simply saying the words isn’t enough. Which goes without saying and is certainly worth repeating. Sound bytes alone won’t cut it. The promise must match the experience.”

Understanding what motivates our audiences is the key to creating messages that have stickiness. We should always strive to understand consumer motivation and then craft our message so we not only communicate but we connect – with the mind and heart.