You have alerts set up and scour review sites for those dreaded one- and two-star ratings. You jump on the ones that start with, “If I could have given ZERO stars, I would have.” And rightfully so. How you respond to negative reviews affects not only your relationship with the reviewer but your reputation with anyone who reads it forever after. But it’s just as important to respond to neutral reviews for a few reasons:
Why Reputation Management Is Key for Hospital Marketing
Reputation is everything in business. It’s even more important for hospital marketing because a hospital’s reputation is its most important asset.
Without a strong reputation, your hospital’s patient intake will suffer. After all, people don’t want to entrust their health to a hospital that has a poor reputation. (more…)
If you don’t think that healthcare social media marketing is important, think again – because patients do. According to one survey, half of all Internet-using patients surveyed said they use social media to check out a doctor, which plays into their decision on the provider they choose.
Potential patients use social media a lot. And a lot of the healthcare information they receive on an ongoing basis comes from social media. Facebook and the like aren’t just to connect to friends and family; they are there to provide information. (more…)
How to Make Your Community Hospital Stand Out with Hospital Marketing
Running a community hospital in an area dominated by larger hospitals with more brand recognition and bigger budgets can be very difficult. It’s hard to stand out unless you have a convincing brand value proposition, a competitive advantage to exploit, and a smart hospital marketing strategy to gain market awareness. (more…)
Hospital marketing programs across the country often do things differently. After all, what works for one system will not necessarily work for another. With that being said, there are systems that have the most robust and effective hospital marketing programs in the nation, and they all seem to incorporate the same fundamentals and tricks of the trade. (more…)
You’ve heard the adage, “Nothing changes if nothing changes.” It’s true! If you’re looking to create a new brand for your hospital, promote a new service line or procedure or gain market share, it may be time to think outside of the box. Consider these creative ways to send a new message.
How can your advertisements serve another purpose than getting your message to the masses? It can be easy to overlook an ad that is mostly fine print and technical jargon. Monash University created wristbands for an event that were used to identify who’s ID had been checked to allow them to purchase drinks, but they had a secondary use. The user could place a drop of their drink on a designated spot on the wristband to detect if common drugs had been used to spike their drink.
Consider the true message you want to send. Monash University wanted to make sure that those who were drinking were of age, but went even further to ensure that they were being safe while drinking. Think about how your message can reach further than the page, especially in print ads.
Use Your Staff
How often do you run a campaign that looks successful on your computer but didn’t seem to make as big of an impact as you wanted? Maybe the hospital’s staff isn’t being utilized to the fullest extent.
We know that doctors, nurses and administrative staff have a lot on their plates, but something as simple as wearing a button about a current campaign can have a significant effect. Many times, people see advertisements for a new service but can’t remember the name once they arrive at the doctor’s office. Or even worse, the staff members aren’t aware of the campaign and unable to answer any questions the patient may have. When prepared, your staff can have a remarkable impact on a campaign.
It’s true – people have access to a wealth of knowledge online with just one search. When it comes to big topics like cancer, how can your organization stand out in the middle of all of these long, technical terms and a potentially bleak outlook?
After they’ve found the information on their issue or diagnosis, they need tend to look for something else – hope. Providing these patients with a community of people that have been in their shoes is comforting when a diagnosis, treatment and every day can be shocking. If you give them access to testimonials and inspiration, it can be much more compelling than information that can look the same from site to site.
If you are ready to send a new message or strengthen your current message within the healthcare industry, contact TotalCom Marketing!
We’re at the beginning of a new year.
Now is the perfect time to take a step back, analyze the what you did over the past 12 months, and build a strong plan for 2018.
This may seem like a daunting task. That’s why you should start planning now. We’re giving you a checklist of the most important things you should do in the coming weeks.
- Ensure business listings are accurate
If you’re not already on top of this, potential customers may end up someplace other than your healthcare facility. Don’t let old phone numbers or former street addresses drive your customers to the wrong hospital or clinic. Fix whatever data errors you can this year, and make a New Year’s Resolution to keep an eye on it during 2018.
- Add special hours to Google My Business
With the end of one year and beginning of a new one, hours can change. Maybe your clinic is changing hours in the new year. Either way, add your new or extended hours to your Google My Business page. No customer wants to show up at your clinic and find you are closed for the day when Google says differently. Negative brand impressions lead to negative reviews of your healthcare business, so check these hours twice.
- Social media ready to go
Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, or Pinterest that your customers rely on most, start brainstorming ideas for healthcare content in the new year. Don’t leave it to last-minute scrambles to think of something to say. Make a spreadsheet and schedule days and content for your posts.
- Website pages updated
Been putting off updating your site’s blog or adding that new employee to the site? Get on it now to ensure everything is crossed of your list when January rolls around. Customers like a completed, up-to-date site, and you will too.
While many people are cherishing this time of year and in the jolliest of moods, there will still be unhappy reviews coming in. Be prepared for reviews, both good and bad, in 2018. Come up with a strategic plan on how to handle and respond reviews about your facility in a timely manner. Make sure everyone in your company who handles reviews is well versed in the plan as well.
The start of a new year is a great time to get started on these healthcare marketing resolutions. But get ahead of your digital resolutions now so they don’t get pushed aside until 2019. If this list seems too daunting to handle on your own, let TotalCom help! Contact us today.
Hospital marketing is competitive, especially if you’re in an urban setting where there are multiple hospitals to choose from – and a wealth of private practitioners, too.
Structuring your campaign the right way goes a long way toward capturing market share and increasing your patient flow.
Here are three key ways you can prepare a top-notch hospital marketing campaign, no matter your competitive situation.
Understand Your Market Well
A lot of marketing campaigns are built on intuition and going by your gut. A precious few are based on solid, tangible market knowledge.
The best way to understand your market is through market research. Market research lets you get inside the minds of potential patients. You’ll learn what they value in a doctor or a hospital, their key decision-making factors, and how they emotionally react to messages, branding elements, and the like.
You can use this research to create patient personas that help you pinpoint the demographic and psychographic elements of a typical patient, so you can better tailor your key messages.
You’ll also learn more about where your patients are and how to reach them, which lets you choose your channels wisely.
Prioritize Your Objectives
A hospital marketing campaign needs to be well-structured. But, this can be challenging since structure implies prioritization – given limited resources – and yet there are so many service lines to consider.
Since you have a limited budget, you’ll need to figure out a priority list. That list could shift and change as the year progresses, which is fine, but you need some idea of how you’ll allocate your limited resources.
Some of this is a business decision the hospital administration will have to make based on their patient growth targets. Other portions will be based on revenue goals; some service lines may have more revenue potential or higher profit margin than others.
You’ll have to determine which objectives are most important so you can structure your campaign appropriately.
Tie Everything Together
No matter what you do – post on social media, run PPC ads, buy billboards, take out print ads, run commercials on TV and radio – you’ll benefit from tying these various tactics together.
This is where the campaign-style format works best. A campaign ties everything around a central theme. The theme is replicated in each channel with each tactic, so there’s a unified message. This is much better than a person seeing 10 different messages from 10 different touch-points for your hospital.
Choosing the campaign-style format for your marketing strategy will help you better organize and allocate your resources. It’ll also make your efforts more successful.
Following these three pieces of advice will help create a more robust hospital marketing strategy that can carve out competitive advantages and win patients.
TotalCom is a full-service hospital marketing and advertising agency that believes in getting great results from telling great stories. Contact us for more information or view our previous work and see what stories we can tell for you.
You took the plunge about the iPhone X and you’re not even sure if you’re supposed to say iPhone X or iPhone ten.
But what’s the big difference between this model and the one you had before collecting a new monthly payment added to your stack of bills?
Facial recognition is the big difference. Are you unlocking your phone or is it unlocking you? This could bring in a new era for marketers. Since the announcement of the iPhone X, facial recognition has quickly become the topic of dinner conversations everywhere. Facial recognition used to be reserved for top secret labs or something you saw the President use in a movie. But now we have access to it as well (celebrities, they’re just like us!)
While this feature is marketed as a security function for unlocking your phone, a consumer device used by the masses is a seriously powerful technology.
It is said 90% of personal communications is nonverbal. Every day there are instances where we don’t understand the nonverbal cues of the person on the other end of our screens. We use emojis and GIFs to try and share emotion within our digital interactions.
For all of us in the communications business, we know good experiences lead to trust and loyalty while bad experiences lead to brand rejection. So what could we do as marketers if we were able to obtain real-time reactions from a consumers? Imagine a world where we have access to consumer’s facial expressions and emotional cues in reaction to products and brands?
If we could access the facial cues from patients waiting for an extended time in the emergency room? The excitement on someone’s face when they try out a restaurant’s new dish. Or the skepticism on your face when you’re indulging in a purchase you shouldn’t be.
Currently, Apple is keeping detailed facial recognition data local on the phone and not storing it on its servers. App makers can use the iPhone X, with the user’s permission, to read a rough map of a stream of facial expressions. While Apple may never store this information for public use, it’s interesting to think about a world where we design advertisements based on the most unique human feature. This technology would tell us more about our consumers than we’ve ever known before.
These days, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media platforms are changing the way patients interact with their healthcare providers. Social media is certainly something that you can’t afford to ignore.
Paid social is having a banner year in 2017. Analysts from HootSuite predicted that social ad spending will top $35 billion this year. Judging by the past several years, which have each seen consistent growth, that growth will continue into the future.
As long as you do it right – paid social is an excellent investment in your healthcare marketing plan. Here are 3 reasons why.
Paid social is a necessity if you want your brand to be seen on social media.
When you post something on social media, you’re competing with what feels like 1,999,999 other healthcare businesses- and we’re just talking about ones that are advertising. Realistically, there’s no way that your posts are going to get engagement from more than a few people unless you pay to promote them. With social media algorithms becoming more and more complicated, it makes it even harder for current and potential patients to see your content.
Organic social is still important, but if you want your posts to be seen, it’s time to set aside some budget for paid social ads.
Paid social allows you to target users with incredible specificity.
It’s really amazing how specific you can get with your ad targeting these days.
Look at Facebook, for example. You can customize your audience by everything from level of education and field of study, to online activities, to simple demographics.
This ultra-targeting means that you’re a lot less likely to be wasting your ad dollars. Instead of showing your ad to people who almost certainly aren’t going to buy what you’re selling anyway – men and gynecologists, for example. Through targeting, you won’t be annoying people with ads they would never be interested in and you’re cultivating an audience that may eventually lead to a loyal customer.
It’s highly resource- and cost-effective.
When you’re just starting out with paid social advertising, you don’t have to know it all. You can create relatively basic ads with a relatively basic audience and budget. You also don’t need a huge budget to begin with. Base your budget on factors including your company size, the number of people you want to see your ad, etc… This is especially helpful when your hospital is just starting out and not sure where to begin.
The key is to be patient and be proactive. Watch your analytics, stick to your goals, and don’t be afraid to experiment when needed.
Social media can be hard to navigate, to improve your chances of succeeding, allow TotalCom to help you.