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4 Ideas for Your 2016 Hospital Marketing Plan

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More people than ever before are looking to the Internet for answers to their health-related questions. In fact, according to Pew Research Center, 72% of Internet users say they looked online for health information within the past year. This opens up a huge opportunity for digital marketers in the health care industry. If your organizaton can provide the right online content to the right people at the right time, the payoff can be huge. Here are a handful of things to keep in mind as you lay out your hospital marketing plan for 2016.

Targeted Content

Health care issues are often specific to certain demographics. The elderly deal with arthritis and osteoporosis. Women face concerns over reproductive health. This makes creating targeted content really important.

That said, be mindful of the fact that people don't always make health care decisions for themselves. Children depend a great deal on their parents (oftentimes their mothers) for their health care issues. Middle-aged people often make health decisions on behalf of their aging parents. 

Focus on creating content that illustrates your organization's knowledge of a particular ailment or type of care, but always think twice about who is the ultimate decision-maker.

Transparent Communication

Historically, hospitals have done a poor job of being specific about their offerings. There are a number of reasons for this:

  • They offer many services to many different types of people
  • People are often very private about their health, making it a difficult subject to talk about
  • Cost is often high and can be difficult to understand with insurance companies involved
  • The health care conversation can often turn political, which turns people off

Because there are so many stakeholders involved (hospitals, insurance companies, employers, family members, etc.), communicating effectively is a huge challenge for hospitals. But it also means that there is huge opportunity for some hospitals to stick out from the rest. 

Don't be afraid to use honest messaging that addresses things like your organization's pricing structure, insurance partners, expertise, and appointment processes.

Valuable Offers

Hospital customers are highly valuable for two reasons. Number one, health care is – generally speaking–  a big-ticket item. Second, because people value their health and survival as much as anything, they tend to become loyal to a clinic once they've found one they trust. 

This means that hospitals shouldn't be afraid to spend a little more on customer acquisition. Whether it's free family check-ups for first-time visitors or premium online content that's expensive to produce, the payoff is huge when it comes to bringing in new patients with quality marketing.

Education

Exhibiting your organization's expertise is a huge opportunity for hospitals. Because people are vulnerable to so many health issues (many of which are undetectable before they become serious) hospitals have the ability to educate prospects about the types of issues they should be looking out for. 

This is especially true for digital marketers in today's world, where people are increasingly health-conscious and are looking for answers online. Creating high-quantity and high-quality online content can be an expensive and labor-intensive strategy, but addressing potential patients' concerns can make you stand out in a huge way. 

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For more information on developing a content strategy for your hospital, contact us today.

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