Why Mobile for Hospital Marketing?
There 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!