Branding Blue Marker

Tips for Creating a Unified Hospital Marketing Brand

Take a look at all of your branded material online — your social media profiles, your website, the blogs you create, the emails you send out, your graphics, your display ads, and anything else that is associated with your brand.

If you were to remove the logos, would all those pieces look similar/related? Would there still be a unified, consistent look among all of those elements — or would you not be able to tell they even came from the same company?

If the latter, you may have a problem with brand consistency for your hospital marketing campaign.

Learn more about why brand consistency is important and how you can build a stronger, more unified brand for your hospital.

Why Brand Consistency Matters

People have an innate ability to recognize patterns. We also have an innate ability to recognize and associate with brands, in that we notice what makes a brand stand out and recognize those elements when we see them later — and also, we build positive or negative connections between a brand and our opinion of it.

For example, seeing a physical example of McDonald’s “Golden Arches” is commonplace. We all know what those arches mean, just as we know what it means when we read McDonald’s tagline, “I’m Lovin’ It” or see one of the company’s advertisements. You could remove the logo entirely from the restaurants and the company’s marketing materials and you’d still be able to tell from the company’s consistent use of various other brand elements that you were standing in a McDonald’s (or reading/viewing a McDonald’s advertisement). And of course, every time you notice one of these elements, you experience emotions and thoughts about the brand (good or bad).

Brand consistency matters because it’s these strong brand connections that ultimately drive business. This is especially important when it comes to hospital marketing. A hospital isn’t a place people go because they want to — they only go there when they need to. And since no one knows exactly when he or she is going to experience that need, it’s important to ensure that your brand is “top of mind” when the time comes. Otherwise, your customer could choose another provider.

The simple truth is, people choose whomever has the strongest, most memorable brand. But you can’t make your brand strong or memorable without also making it consistent, and ensuring that it delivers the same message, no matter where your audience sees it.

Creating Brand Consistency

First and foremost, your hospital should have a brand guide. This is a document that codifies all that the brand is — not just how it looks, but also the brand messages to be communicated. This guide is where you spell out slogans, taglines, core values, messages, talking points, and the like —anything, that is, that can be used to create a message that a potential patient will encounter.

Of course, how a brand looks does also matter, tremendously. That’s why a style guide should be a part of the brand guide. The style guide dictates, to the finest detail, how the brand will look — which is key to ensuring consistency in any graphic you create, whether it’s a Facebook page, a print ad, a display ad, a social media post, an infographic, or a logo for a TV commercial.

Your guide can get very specific in detailing brand directions for each medium. For example, if you run ads on television, your guide can dictate what branding elements will be in each commercial. If you post on social media and create images for the post, you can stipulate what each image must look like and contain.

Everyone on your team needs to have the brand guide and be on board with it. This is crucial for successful hospital marketing. Otherwise, you’ll have different people creating different things — applying brand elements inconsistently across marketing materials. And that lack of consistency dilutes your brand.

Periodically, check your brand and review it to make sure it’s:

  • Coherent
  • Clear
  • Concise
  • Cohesive
  • Convincing

All of these qualities need to be in place, especially the cohesive aspect. Your brand should have the same uniform appearance wherever it appears. Checking it on a regular basis — maybe once a quarter — not only gives you opportunities to revise it if needed, but also keeps everyone on the same page.

Get Better Hospital Marketing with TotalCom

If you’re interested in advancing your hospital marketing campaign with consistent branding across all media, contact TotalCom Marketing. We’d be more than happy to help create winning branding campaigns that improve recognition and build trust within your market.

Hospital Marketing in 2016: Three Trends

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Want to know what trends to expect in hospital marketing in 2016? Here are three trends we’ve identified that every hospital will need to follow.

Increase Content Quality 

Content marketing continues to remain a big part of hospital marketing and will only increase in importance as we move through 2016. Last year saw an increase in the quantity of content. This year, we’ll have to see a rise in the quality of the content we produce.

It’s not enough to mass-produce content in order to fill a quota of pieces for a blog. We’ll have to spend more time on each piece of content in order to make an impression. This is actually a positive, because it means we can be really creative and spend more time developing and polishing a few pieces of content – an article for a magazine, a white paper, a video – rather than just pumping out content that is merely okay.

Focus on Simple Scheduling

People in 2016 will value convenience more than they did before. Amazon now has one-click buying that allows you to buy in a snap. Other platforms have rolled out one-click buttons to shop and buy. Hospitals can take advantage of this trend by having simple, convenient scheduling with just one click of a button.

This changes things. Formerly, a hospital’s campaign would feature landing pages that ask the consumer to learn more. But they’ve probably already learned a lot by the time they get to the landing page. When they arrive there, the instinct for instant gratification kicks in, and they’ll probably want to just go ahead and schedule an appointment.

So, we’ll have to retool our landing pages to reflect that desire. Allow your patients to sign up for an appointment right then and there, and you’ll have more success translating marketing into action.

Take Advantage of Moments

Over the past few years, consumers online have started to experience more “moments”. A moment is a short amount of time in which people turn to the Internet to find something that they need at that moment.

For example, they may want to know something about symptoms of a condition or illness. They may want to go somewhere near them, which means they’re searching for a local provider. They may want to know how to do something, like create a healthy exercise plan or cook something tasty yet healthy.

A hospital can live in these moments by creating content that takes advantage of this inspired activity. If you want to get people who want to know things, produce content that shares information about symptoms and illnesses and other health items that may be in the news. You can market the hospital and your doctors with geo-targeted campaigns that zero in on zip codes. You can create how-to videos on healthy living.

Living in these moments with your potential patients will place you closer to them in the moments that they appear online.

Even though these are the trends, the challenge for many community hospitals is to have the resources to keep up with the trends. Limited personnel and limited resources for technology will continue to hinder some from taking full advantage of these emerging trends.

For more information on hospital marketing in 2016, talk to the experts at TotalCom Marketing.

Do’s and Don’ts of Hospital Social Media Strategy

Social Media for HospitalsSocial media has become a pillar of hospital marketing – and its importance grows every year.

According to surveys, nearly 99 percent of all hospitals in the nation are on social media in some facet. But according to the same surveys, only 17 percent believe their social media efforts have been “very effective”.

The disparity comes in the social media strategies being implemented. While most hospitals have a social media presence, it is what is being done with them that counts.

Common Mistakes with Hospital Social Media Strategies

This failure to properly implement social media is resulting in such a low satisfaction rate across the nation. (It must be said that those who are satisfied with social media have had great success with the channel, meaning that doing it well is well worth the effort.) Common mistakes include:

  • Lacking a cohesive social media strategy: Many facilities have only a rough idea of what they’d like to accomplish, and haven’t defined goals, objectives, methods, metrics, or anything more specific than “We need to be on Facebook.”
  • Not creating a content calendar: One problem facilities run into is not knowing what to talk about. Creating a content calendar is an essential part of the process so a marketing department can know what to say, and when to say it.
  • Not sticking to a firm schedule: Most posting is haphazard. To be successful, content must be posted at a regular interval, at opportune times.
  • Leaving social media only to the marketing department. Effective social media execution requires participation from all levels of the facility, not just the marketing department.
  • Not having a procedure for responding to visitors. Your patients will attempt to engage with the hospital online; not having a system for handling these comments and responses will hinder the success of the strategy.

These mistakes are preventing hospitals from achieving optimal results with their social media marketing efforts.

Essential Elements of a Viable Strategy

Creating a sophisticated strategy for a hospital marketing approach require a few essential elements, such as:

  • Who will be responsible?
  • What topics will be discussed?
  • Where will the hospital pull its information for content?
  • Who will create the content?
  • What processes are in place to involve doctors and other professionals?
  • How often will content be posted?
  • What procedure will be in place to handle comments and responses?
  • What level of integration will there be with other marketing efforts and channels?
  • What budget does the hospital have for boosting posts and creating ads?
  • What are the demographics of the target audience for social media advertising?
  • What pages on the website will we want to send traffic to from social media platforms?

Answering those questions will go a long way toward creating a sophisticated social media strategy for a hospital that is looking to increase engagement, boost brand reputation, and enhance word-of-mouth marketing for new patients.

Contact Jimmy Warren, president of TotalCom Marketing for other ways to improve your healthcare marketing including both traditional and social media.

Essentials for Creating a Hospital Blog

hospital blog by TotalCom

One underutilized component of hospital marketing is a blog.

Many hospitals are on social media, and most hospitals use digital media in addition to traditional media. But few have a dedicated blog focusing on health, patient care, and information – and that’s a missed opportunity.

Take the Cleveland Clinic, for example. The Cleveland Clinic has transformed their website into essentially one giant blog that features daily content from their professionals and providers on a wealth of health-related topics.

People from all over the country go to the Cleveland Clinic website for information and education, meaning this clinic has one of the best, most recognizable brands in the industry.

Any hospital could do this – all it takes is starting with a simple blog and growing it into a dedicated resource for health-related information.

Why a Blog for a Hospital?

What value does a blog have for a hospital?

As any doctor knows, people are hungry for health-related content and will turn to the Internet before they ever think about speaking to a physician. They’ll also get it from anywhere they can – including many places of questionable integrity and veracity.

Because demand is so high for health-related content, a blog makes perfect sense. Through a dedicated blogging program, a hospital can:

  • Help patients by pointing them in the right direction for care
  • Raise the profile of their individual physicians
  • Increase trust and respect in the community for the hospital
  • Boost brand recognition and authority
  • Convert prospects into patients

A blogging campaign, if properly administered, can fulfill all of these functions and be a vital cog in the hospital marketing machine.

Start With a Blog Content Strategy

To begin, every blogging campaign needs a dedicated content strategy.

A content strategy is essential because you want to know what topics you will discuss, how often you will discuss them, and who will be creating the content (or serving as the source for it). This gives the healthcare marketing professional the opportunity to create cohesive, cogent structure for a campaign and plan everything well in advance.

A content strategy for a blog should contain:

  • The target audience
  • Broad topics to cover
  • More specific blog titles (these can be changed as needed)
  • Keywords to focus on
  • Internal links to promote
  • A regular schedule for drafting
  • A regular schedule for posting
  • Who will be responsible for supplying the information (i.e. physicians, department heads, outside sources, etc)

Honing the strategy should be the first step.

Develop a Smart Keyword Plan for Your Hospital Blog

Inside of your content strategy should be a plan around keywords. You should know what keywords you want to focus on and how they’ll be incorporated.

Ideally, choose one focus keyword per blog. Keywords in this context can be the same as those used elsewhere on the website and in online advertising. They can also be a bit more general. “Hospital in Tuscaloosa” may be a target keyword for the website, but a blog keyword could be something like “flu symptoms” or “how to treat diabetes”.

Keywords for a blog generally revolve around what people actually search for when they’re looking for information online. Stick to those keywords instead of keywords that relate to the hospital itself.

Remember: blog posts can rank in search engines, which is one of your ultimate goals.

Develop an Information Gathering System

One of the most valuable hospital marketing assets a facility has are the physicians who work there.

Physicians, nurses, and technicians are the experts in their respective fields. They know what marketing professionals don’t: the ins and outs of a diagnosis, a condition, a treatment, and anything else you’d want to talk about.

Finding a convenient and stress-free way to get information on a regular basis from your experts is the key to any successful blog.

Some doctors like to write and prefer to write posts themselves. Encourage this whenever you can. Most doctors, though, don’t have the time nor the interest to write a post and would rather just give information. That’s fine – develop a system to take their input and turn it into a full-fledged blog.

Distributing and Re-purposing Your Hospital Blog

Once a blog has been written and posted, you need to distribute it.

You can use blog posts as landing pages for ads. You can share them on social media. You can send them out via email. You can even do paid campaigns like Outbrain to direct people to the blog post. All of these approaches work well to distribute your blog post.

Then put on your PR hat to see what opportunities might exist. An individual post could be great source material for a reporter.

Outsource Some or All Blogging Responsibilities

A hospital marketing department can handle a blogging campaign in house, but it may make sense to outsource it to seasoned professionals who are skilled and adept at creating and executing blogging campaigns.

Contact Jimmy Warren, president of TotalCom Marketing for more information on outsourcing blogging and developing a powerful brand reputation 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!

3 Hospital Marketing Trends That Are A Must

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Hospital marketing is a challenge. Engaging consumers and convincing them to turn to your physicians and services – all while building brand recognition and authority and expanding reach to new potential patients.

It helps to identify important hospital marketing trends that will make an impact over the next year. In a couple of weeks, we’ll look at trends to follow in 2016, but for now, we’ll examine three trends that have made an impact in 2015 and should be followed today.

Here are three important hospital marketing trends to include in your marketing campaign, if you haven’t already.

Tap Into Search Marketing

Before the average patient ever sees a doctor, he or she will have searched online for answers to their symptoms and problems. In fact, 72 percent of Internet users reported looking online for health-related information within the past 12 months, according to Pew Research. This is why WebMD is so popular. This is why countless other sites including medical reviews exist – to provide a steady supply of health-related information for people searching for it.

A hospital has to find ways to tap into search. This is not so much a trend as it is a way of life.

The more information a patient gets from a source online, the more likely it is that that patient will use that facilities services. Tapping into search can mean taking advantage of SEO and SEM, writing blogs with keywords relevant to searches (i.e. find what health questions people are asking online and then writing blogs focused on those answers), and even spreading the message through guest posts and articles that link back to the main hospital website.

This leads us to another major trend: having a robust repository of knowledge.

Create Content and Post

This is another trend that is more like a way of life. A hospital’s website should be a virtual resource for health-related information, complete with topics that help patients find answers to their problems before they ever see a doctor.

This can take many forms. We recommend a hospital blog. But other options are static content that reads like an online encyclopedia or a FAQ page.

The content should then be re-purposed across all of your channels. It also forms great material for PR pitches, both traditional and digital.

Use a Reputation Management Service

Over 60 percent of patients use online doctor reviews before choosing a physician. The number of patients who use online physician and hospital reviews jumped by 68 percent from 2013 to 2014. These two stats alone reveal just how important it is to use some kind of reputation management service for your hospital.

A service can gather reviews and encourage patients to leave reviews on websites. They can also curate these reviews and let you know when one has been posted. Review tracking is a powerful way to manage your reputation, as is the ability to reach out to patients and encourage them to actually create a review. More and more patients are leaving reviews these days, but the more positive ones you have, the better your reputation will be.

Social media is a strong channel for this. You can solicit reviews and have them on your Facebook page, as well as direct patients and followers to external websites for reviews.

Reach for Better Hospital Marketing in 2016

In the coming weeks, check back here for what we expect to be crucial in 2016 for hospital marketing. For now, form a plan to implement the trends outlined here.

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!

Maximize Medical Reviews to Market Your Hospital

Online Reviews to Market Your HospitalWhen it comes to healthcare, patients are consumers, just like with any other industry. Consumers like to share reviews on how their experiences went with a provider, and healthcare is no different.

In a day and age where the average adult spends over 20 hours a week online, with 28% of that time on social media sites, it’s impossible to ignore the potential of internet marketing and management.

It’s imperative to understand the clout of online patient reviews.

One in four new patients report having chosen a physician based on a website reviews. Furthermore, the power of influence is growing, with some insurance companies even linking patients back to these sites. While posts on medical review sites (such as Healthgrades, Yelp, Vitals, etc.) are anonymous, there are tactics that can be used to elevate the good and combat the bad, overall boosting a hospital’s online reputation.

 

Visibility

With around 80% of customers searching the Internet for information on doctors, it’s important your healthcare facility is visible on all of the most important medical review sites.

Studies have shown that Healthgrades® is the most searched medical review site, with Yelp following close behind. Placing your hospital on these sites gives consumers an enormous amount of confidence in the brand. It is greatly advised that you do not discourage patients from critique with tactics such as a contractual agreement that prohibits a patient from public reviews. Many hospitals and practices have such tactics in place and are building a relationship of mistrust, suspicion, and hostility.

That being said, too much visibility can negatively affect your online reputation just as easily. Be sure to have a policy in place that advises all of your staff to have private social media accounts for socializing, and public/professional accounts for engaging in medical groups and gaining public trust.

 

Request

Positioning yourself online, in any platform, makes your hospital open to extreme criticism. There are a few tactics one can take to encourage positive reviews and dissuade the bad from emerging.

As each new generation enters the age where they are seeking health care without parental supervision, the Internet savvy of hospital consumers increases. Newer patients searching for online medical reviews can tell the difference between an authentic and fake review. When requesting reviews, ask your patients directly. Do not rely on family and friends to boost your positive feedback. Advise physicians to ask their patients they have a strong relationship with to take a moment to review their work and the hospital. Not all patients will oblige, but some will.

Another tactic to generate positive commentary is to give surveys to recurring patients while they wait for their scheduled appointment. Linking to an online review site at the end of a survey could generate traffic. You can also link to review sites through a follow-up email. Think of your follow-up emails as a medical thank you card. Kindness goes a long way with patients, and sending a thank you card encourages a strong bedside manner.

Want to discourage consumers from ranting and raving their negative experiences online for the world to see? Presenting complaint cards to patients provides the consumer a chance to get their anger out before going public, declining the likelihood of taking it online.

 

Reply

Once placed on any medical review website, commentary on your services (good and bad) will begin to appear. It’s important to do a consistent scan of these sites for new reviews. It is highly likely that more than a few patients will be disappointed in the outcome of their treatment and say so online.

Respond to these reviews in a timely and conscientious manner. With a proper response, other patients may even come to your defense. Acknowledge the person’s complaint, show a commitment to improving your service, and encourage the distressed patient to contact you directly in order to discuss their complaint and come to a resolution.

Utilize the power of medical review websites! Not only do they encourage more patients to use your healthcare facilityl, with enough positive reviews, you can boost your credibility with Google and receive a higher ranking on search engine results!

Want to learn more tips to market your hospital online? Check out this blog for more information!

Need help marketing your healthcare facility? Contact Jimmy Warren today.


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!

5 Tips for Boosting Your Healthcare Google AdWords Budget

TotalCom Healthcare Marketing

 

Google AdWords is a highly-effective tool for healthcare marketing. When executed correctly, a healthcare organization can decrease the cost of leads, gain a deeper understanding of their patients, target a very specific audience, and increase market share.

Merely running an AdWords campaign, though, doesn’t mean you’ll get the results you want. There are many factors that come into play that have a role in generating results. For example, keywords, especially for a hospital, can be costly, so you want to choose carefully to maximize your budget.

Below we have tips to help boost your Google AdWords budget.

Monitor Your Account Regularly

Make use of Google Analytics daily. Using their tools can help you determine which of your keywords do and do not display your ads.

Also, change the view of your campaigns by sorting your cost per conversions from lowest to highest. Maximize the money for campaigns doing well, and decrease, or stop, your unsuccessful campaigns.

Use all match types for your keywords and continuously oversee their effectiveness. One broad match keyword may cost you less, but be receiving little conversions. Through frequent monitoring and adjusting, your Google AdWords campaign can become an effective powerhouse.

Use Targeting

Google allows you to target specific ages, geographic locations, gender, and much more. A thorough study of your target audience for a specific service could greatly increase your conversions, making the most out of your budget.

Track Click Through Rates (CTRs)

It’s important to track the click through rate of your campaigns. You want to make sure one keyword isn’t getting a great deal of search hits, but few CTRs.

By tracking CTRs, you can also figure out which keywords are over performing and which are underperforming.

Fine Tune Campaigns

What are patients truly searching for? Fine tune your campaigns to meet those searches. Most people aren’t Googling “emergency.” Perhaps your facility offers a specialty that others in the area do not. Focus on bringing in new patients by boosting those keywords.

To boost your budget, narrow down your Google AdWords strategy to the few keywords that are maximizing your conversions.

Check Your Google AdWords Budget

Some of the most common mistakes healthcare facilities are making on Google AdWords involve overbidding and underbidding on a keyword. Many times a business will overbid on a term to ensure their ad pops up. While effective in helping you reach PPC goals, it can greatly increase your cost per conversion. Underbidding guarantees a competitor’s ad will outrank your own. It’s important to stay in charge of a keyword, without overspending.

As you can see, Google AdWords is an extremely effective marketing tool, and will continue to be as the digital world maintains its steady progress. With any marketing strategy, consistent overview is important, but it’s imperative for Google AdWords.

Since fine-tuning an AdWords campaign is very time-consuming, your hospital would benefit greatly from hiring a professional to oversee your campaigns, so you can focus on everything else on your plate.

If you are interested in marketing your hospital using Google AdWords, contact Jimmy Warren today.


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!

 

Stop Blocking My Hospital’s Digital Ads! Ways to Get Around Ad Blocking

Detour ad blocking TotalCOm

It’s frustrating to spend valuable ad dollars and just as valuable (if not more so) time developing digital ads to only have them blocked by consumer-end ad-blocking software and plugins.

This is a growing phenomenon, and a burgeoning thorn in the side of hospital marketing professionals who depend on digital ads to reach prospective patients. Millions of consumers (roughly 28 percent of Internet users) use ad-blocking software and plugins on their browsers for desktop, laptop, and mobile – depriving brands of the opportunity to earn full reach.

What can hospitals do to sidestep ad blocking, thus ensuring higher CTR and ROI?

Turn to Native Advertising

One reprieve is native advertising.

Native advertising can circumvent ad blocking because promoted content isn’t always recognized by ad-blocking software as an actual ad. Furthermore, it deals with “banner blindness” – the idea that savvy browsers have become more or less blind to online banner ads and ignore them.

Spending on native ads, according to projections, will rise by 34 percent by the time 2015 has come and gone. That’s a total of $4.3 billion.

An advertorial is a type of native advertising that can be easily promoted via third-party sources and get past ad blockers. Plus, advertorials are strong advertisements anyway because they deliver useful and engaging information – perfect for building brand awareness and converting prospects to patients online.

Use Platforms that Have Deals with Ad Blockers

Ad blockers are somewhat akin to the Mob – if you pay protection money to them, they’ll keep your store safe.

That’s the sentiment adopted by Google, Microsoft, and several other leading brands that depend on selling ad space for their revenue. Google is a good example; they have a deal with leading ad-blocking software providers to “white-list” their ads, thereby ensuring that ads purchasing through Google (such as Adwords and Google Display Ads) sneak past the ad-blocking security.

Since the Google display network already constitutes such a massive presence in online advertising, many hospital marketers are protected. If you use another platform for your ads, though, you may consider using one that has reached a deal and paid the protection money to ad blockers so your content gets through intact.

Want to Learn More?

If you have questions about better utilizing online advertising for hospital marketing including optimizing your campaign for maximum CTR and ROI, 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!

 

Healthcare Marketing: Connect with Emotion

Emotional Connections Healthcare Marketing Totalcom

In healthcare marketing we have to walk the line between expertise and emotion. People will be drawn to your facility for your expertise, reputation, outcomes, physicians, and technology, but those alone are not enough to convince them to choose your hospital.

Ones health is very personal and patients choose healthcare facilities because they trust them and connect with them – on an emotional level.

So promote your technology, new services, and procedures, but do so in a way that connects with your audience.

Branding Builds Familiarity and Loyalty

One way to connect with future patients on an emotional level is through a strong branding strategy. Effective branding relies on consistency. Your logo, colors, tone and message should always remain the same regardless of the platform you are using.

If a consumer is familiar with your TV ads, they should have no trouble recognizing your outdoor or paid ads on Facebook.

Marketing your hospital across multiple media outlets helps build a stronger brand. If your TV and radio ads are combined with a good social media presence and outdoor, people will become more familiar with your facility than if you just focus on one medium alone. It takes several touch points before consumers make a decision – they need to see you and know you before they choose you.

Tell Stories

Consumers connect emotionally when you tell your story. Patient testimonials are great because they involve a real person telling their real patient experience at your facility.

Prospective patients can relate to the condition, the apprehension, and the suffering and yearn for the same positive outcome.

Patient stories can of course be told through traditional media. But, blogging and online videos can also be very effective for relaying a patient’s experience. Having both video and audio and little more time than is available in a television commercial, makes video testimonials especially powerful.

Another way to tell your story is from the perspective of the physician. For instance, if someone is searching online for solutions to their back pain and they find a video of your physician explaining a new procedure done at your hospital, they can begin building that bond of trust before ever meeting the doctor in person! Video makes doctors human, takes away some of the anxiety and makes the prospective patient confident in the expertise of the physician and the facility.

Encourage Social Media Engagement

People are more likely to connect with your hospital emotionally when they see others have that connection. That is why it is so important to encourage your patients to engage on social media. There are several ways to do this.

One idea is the use of a specified hashtag. Brookwood Medical Center in Birmingham, AL has had great success with this strategy. In their #ichooseb campaign they urge patients to use the hashtag and then give the reason they chose that particular hospital.

As a result of this tactic, you see a ton of posts on social media where patients are telling others all the great things about Brookwood Medical Center. Not only is this free advertising, but it also gives people who may not have had any experience with that facility an immediate emotional connection. People think, ”If my friend Lisa chose Brookwood, then maybe I need to go there as well!”

When you do experience social media engagement, make sure to nurture it by responding. You build that emotional connection when you respond to someone’s social media post because it shows to that patient and their friends that you care about what they have to say.

 

If you need help connecting with your target audience on a more personal, emotional level, contact Jimmy Warren today!


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!

 

5 Tips for Creating Better Banner Ads for Your Hospital

TotalCom Tuscaloosa

Banner ads can be a great way to market your hospital online. You probably already know that you need a clear call-to-action and a landing page designed to seal the deal, but what else can you do to make your banner ads stand out among the crowd?

 

Try these 5 tips to build brand preference, drive more traffic to your hospital’s website and convert prospects to patients.

 

1.  Change Your Hospital Banner Ads Every 3 Weeks

We live in a culture where things are changing constantly. We’ve become trained to get bored when things stay the same. Bored consumers won’t click on your hospital’s banner ads!

 

To keep your digital ad campaign fresh, switch out your banner ads every 3 weeks or so. A new ad will recapture the attention of your target audience.

 

2.  Keep File Sizes Small

Small file sizes mean faster load times. You want a quick load time so that prospective patients don’t scroll down before they’ve even had a chance to see your ad.

 

Google Adwords suggests keeping ads under 150 kb for optimal load time. A compressed JPEG or GIF file works best for this!

 

3. Give Your Hospital’s Banner Ads a Border

The human eye is naturally drawn to framed objects, so add a border to your ad. This is especially important if your ad matches the background color of the website. Don’t let your ad get lost in the chaos of most websites!

 

On a white or black background, a gray frame looks nice. On any other color background, a black frame is the most effective.

 

You can also frame your hospital’s banner ad in colors from the ad itself. The important thing is that your ad is separated from the rest of the page, helping it to stand out.

 

4.  Use the Right Colors

In banner ad marketing, there are no good or bad colors. However, some colors have feelings associated with them that are better than others for marketing your hospital.

 

First of course coordinate the colors in your banner ad with your hospital brand. Blue is often associated with safety and trust. Green is the color of health and new life. Both of these color schemes work great for hospitals assuming they work with your logo colors.

 

Gray or white are good choices for the background of your hospital banner ad because both evoke feelings of cleanliness, order, and neutrality.

 

5.  Use Animation

Animated banner ads tend to outperform static banner ads, but there are some rules when using animation in your banner ad marketing.

 

First and foremost, make sure that the animation isn’t distracting the user from the actual purpose of the ad. Overly busy ads tend to pull focus away from the call-to-action – which is the most important aspect of the ad.

 

An animated banner ad for your hospital should loop no more than 3 times and should be limited to 15 seconds or less. Make sure your call-to-action is on every frame.

 

Ready to Make the Most of Your Hospital’s Banner Ads?

If you would like help to make the most of your hospital’s banner ads, contact Jimmy Warren today!


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!