Now, 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!