When consumers seek a place to call home when it comes to their healthcare needs, most will gravitate toward a hospital or clinic that places an emphasis on community. Positioning your brand as the friendly, reliable neighborhood option can make for a much stronger patient-recruitment strategy.
Here are three ways that community-focused healthcare marketing works for your brand.
Whether you're a clinic with a singular office or a hospital system with locations in multiple states, personalization and localization is powerful for your marketing efforts. Potential patients want to identify with the brand that's offering them assistance when they're most in need. If you feel too corporate it adds distance between you and your consumers. Make our marketing specific to your key markets, and show your dedication by speaking personally about the communities your serve in your communications. Do your homework, and endear yourself as "the local choice."
Put it in Practice: As a hospital or clinic, you probably do a considerable amount of print and outdoor advertising. So you have mailing addresses—and you have billboards placed in specific neighborhoods, right? Use this knowledge to customize your language to your areas in question (i.e., "Train Commutes = Back Pain, Eh Blue Line Travelers?" is more relatable as train station signage than "We Offer Back Pain Therapy.").
One of the most powerful tools at your disposal when it comes to inbound marketing for your healthcare brand is user-generated content. Not only does it relieve some of the content creation efforts from your marketing team, but it also has proven to be an effective way to get buy-in from your younger consumers. According to a study from ReadyPulse, 92 percent of young consumers put more stock in peer recommendations than in those of an corporation or brand.
Put it in Practice: Think about the power of a web presence like WebMD—it's built a following on its forums through user-submitted questions and user-submitted answers. Imagine how powerful something like that could be as both a patient-recruiter and an SEO keyword machine if your own health professionals and medical staff could chime in with recommendations, responses and next steps?
Just like any other consumer-facing brand, healthcare institutions rely heavily on repeat business—that brand loyalty that keeps a patient coming back and considering your their "primary care" location. Community-focused marketing can be critical to your retention efforts in this regard. Building out your communication and marketing strategies to existing patients can not only help you maintain your patient base, but it can also make your regulars into promoters. More than 30 percent of consumers select a care provider based on the recommendation of friends or family—don't miss out on this opportunity by forgetting about your patient leads once they've entered your doors.
Put it in Practice: Make sure that your marketing strategy identifies retention efforts. Check in with your regular patients—set up automated communications based on their specific needs, interests or ailments. Send valuable content and insights to keep yourself top of mind when said patients see the need for a follow-up. This could take the form of a regular email newsletter, a digital video series or an engaging piece of physical mail.