If you’re in the business of writing promotional communications for hospitals, there are great resources to help you battle some of the common healthcare marketing challenges you’re probably faced with on a daily basis. Anna Woodlock over at SocialSiteMedia has put together this useful list of challenges and resources for hospital marketers (it first appeared on their blog).
Anna reckons marketers in today’s healthcare industry have plenty of challenges to overcome. Fortunately, hospital marketers are not fighting these battles alone. They have resources available to help them. Here’s her list of ten challenges and corresponding resources for hospital marketers today.
10 Healthcare Marketing Challenges
With the recent changes in healthcare, marketers are not sure which way the industry is moving. Industry magazines like Modern Healthcare Magazine offer timely news on happenings and trends in health care.
- Playing Catch-up
While other businesses have adopted online marketing years ago, many healthcare organizations are just getting started. An audit from a marketing agency can detail where you currently stand and then help bring your organization up to speed.
- Rapid Changes in Healthcare Marketing
Traditional marketing in healthcare is rapidly being pushed aside by inbound marketing tactics like blogging and social media. If you’re on a tight budget, contact your state’s hospital association for free marketing advice.
- Constant Need for New Content
You need fresh content to keep patients coming back and to make search engines happy. When you’re in need for more content, consider outsourcing content writing to professional health content writers.
Among the key healthcare marketing challenges is the issue of hospital content. This is vulnerable to others using it for their own purposes. Protect content from plagiarism by routinely running it through a check engine like Copyscape or Grammarly.
- Targeting the Hospital’s Prime Audience
Buyer personas help healthcare marketers make that critical connection with the hospital’s targeted community. Use this free, online template and instructions for developing these personas to ensure that your efforts are actually meeting the needs of your patients.
- Social Media
More and more hospitals are taking part in social media. You can do it with accounts on Facebook, Twitter and similar platforms. Another option is to use a scheduling or management tool like HootSuite so that you can effectively monitor feedback while gathering pertinent data.
- Social Listening
Social media is a two-way street. Consider using social media monitoring software like Crimson Hexagon or ViralHeat to see what people are saying about your hospital online.
- Online Reviews
Whether positive or negative, online reviews offer powerful persuasion to patients. You need to know what people are saying about your hospital and it’s physicians. You can use tools like Google Alerts, Tweetbeep and Social Mention to monitor the talk and reviews throughout the web. However, don’t forget the sites that are used specifically to review MDs. Claim and monitor all your physician listings on sites like Vitals and HealthGrades.
Health care websites cannot read like a JAMA article. Most experts recommend writing at a sixth grade level so that you connect with a larger pool of people. You can check your site’s readability scores at Readability-Score.com.
The world of healthcare is in the midst of a major transition. Because of this, the world of the healthcare marketing is no different!
With so much uncertainty that can cause shrinking budgets, marketers need to use the resources readily available to stay on course and proactively manage healthcare marketing challenges.
Anna Woodlock is a strategist, marketer, entrepreneur and blogger. She founded SocialSite Media in 2009 and has been eating, sleeping and breathing emerging media ever since. Anna has more than eight years of experience in social media, public relations and marketing. During this time, she has leveraged digital media to produce tangible results for small to medium-sized businesses across the United States. She holds a BA in Public Relations from Texas Tech University. At SocialSite Media, Anna leads the strategic planning process while also helping clients understand and profit from digital media services. It’s not unusual for her to work until 3 AM.