05 Dec Healthcare Marketing in the Digital Age: 2 Tips
It’s a fact of the times: healthcare marketing has evolved to rely heavily on having a solid, multi-dimensional, and user-friendly presence online. When we want to learn something new, we generally hop onto Google and use it to find relevant contact information, addresses, and the material we need to make decisions about where we take our business. This applies to the healthcare industry, too — many patients have plenty of choices among healthcare providers, and that choice can be impacted by things like reviews, great Facebook pages, and website presentation.
This doesn’t mean you have to completely uproot your healthcare marketing plan to hop on Pinterest. Instead, it means that your office should adjust its approach to address the changing needs of current and prospective patients. Here, we’ve compiled 2 tips to best market your facility in the digital age. Read on, consider your practice’s own approach to marketing and outreach, and look for those necessary spots for improvement.
1. Use social media — intelligently.
Okay, yes, maybe you should start a Pinterest account for your office. Or a Twitter. Or a Facebook. Or maybe all three. Social media is a wonderful and exciting way to interact with your audience in new ways; it’s the perfect venue for casual conversations, photos of your staff, and information that you feel will matter to your patients. With this in mind, though, it is important to note that not all social media profiles are created equally. The material you would post on Twitter is very different from what you would post on Pinterest.
We’ve written about this idea in the past, but here’s the short version: Twitter is best for frequent and short-form updates, and you should employ hashtags and multimedia (like photos and URLs) whenever possible. Pinterest is ideal for images and infographics that link back to your website, or websites you trust as resources for patients. Facebook is for less frequent posts and long-form updates, as well as all the multimedia photos, URLs, videos, and infographics you’d find on Twitter and Pinterest. You should individualize your healthcare marketing approach to these social media websites, and if you’re stumped for content ideas, look at some other popular accounts within your industry to see what works for them.
What matters is this: Your social media profile should represent your practice. Period. You don’t have to post things because you think it’ll make your audience like you; in fact, empty posts will not feel genuine, and can actually discourage people from following your feed. Instead, post what you think represents the mission and intent of your practice; address frequently asked questions, post photo albums of your staff at community events, and list reminders and healthy living tips once every few weeks. Healthcare marketing should carry your brand, not the other way around.
2. Create opportunities for positive, memorable interactions with your audience.
On a similar note, every move you make online should seek to create a positive memory in the mind of your patients. Your website should be easy to navigate, and should feature easily accessible contact information if someone is just looking for a person to speak with. You should respond to comments, questions, and replies on your social media profiles whenever appropriate, and use those interactions as opportunities to represent the personality and brand you want your patients to remember.
Brand recognition is a vital part of an effective healthcare marketing plan, and it can be carried by giving your patients a chance to remember the way you answered their questions online, or the consistency with which you hold things like “FAQ Fridays” on Twitter. These interactions combine to create brand loyalty, which can motivate patients to remain with your practice and share their appreciation via word of mouth and online engagement.
For more information about healthcare marketing in the digital age, contact the Healthcare Marketing Group today.