Every hospital and health system wants to grow its patient base. That is the job of hospital marketing: to increase brand awareness and build positive relationships between the hospital and potential patients.
There are a lot of methods that hospitals currently use to market themselves. From buying billboards to airing TV commercials, creating a Facebook page, and even sending out direct mail, marketing strategies can work together to create a total-package approach that targets a patient from multiple angles.
Here, we’ll focus on three marketing methods in particular that, when combined with strategic goals, can get more patients.
Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of getting your website and its pages to rank near the top of the page whenever someone searches for something you do.
When people look up “family medicine,” or “orthopedic surgery,” you want that particular page on your website to show up first. This is because an estimated 49.5% of all clicks on the first page of a search go to the first two positions. Another 9.5% goes to the third, and another 7.9% goes to the fourth – which means the first four searches account for 68% of all clicks.
You do not want to be near the bottom. Optimizing for search means doing things on the page and on the backend of your page/site to make your pages stand out and appear at the top.
SEO can be very complicated, so it is important to work with SEO specialists who know all the tips, tricks, and best practices to get your web pages to rank well.
Pay-per-click (PPC) Advertising
Paid advertising is necessary to get your name out there as much as possible. Organic or earned media can only go so far.
One of the most cost-effective ways to get attention from the right people at the right time is PPC advertising. PPC broadly refers to a system in which you pay someone – Google, Facebook, an individual website, etc. – for every click that you get on one of your ads.
So, those banner ads you see on a website fall under PPC, but those are more clearly defined as display advertising, and PPC in a more specific context refers to the text ads that appear in search results on Google and Bing.
The beauty of PPC advertising is you pay only when someone clicks. You do not pay per impression (although you can if you choose).
Email Newsletter Marketing
Your existing patients are one of the best resources you have to increase business. You can your marketing by sending out email newsletters.
If you make these emails informative, engaging, easy and fun to read, you will have more success. Talk about patient stories and other human interest stories, and refrain from plugging the hospital too much.
What this does is twofold:
- Your patients can spread the word via email to their friends and family (especially if you ask them to)
- Your previous or current patients can come to you for additional services
Staying in touch with patients through email is always a good idea. Adopt a robust and creative email newsletter campaign and you will attain more patients and more revenue through word-of-mouth marketing.
There are many other things you can do as a part of a hospital marketing plan. The above strategies work well with each other and go great with other hospital marketing strategies as well, such as social media marketing and content marketing.