Is your hospital or clinic providing excellent content on the web and in social media to patients and the community? Content is what drives a marketing strategy. It is one of the most effective ways to make an impact on potential customers and stir up interest. Community hospitals and clinics are uniquely positioned because they have huge scope to provide good quality content.
Hospitals and clinics that take advantage of that opportunity establish a reputation as a source of information and build trust for their services and staff. Trust and reputation are two of the two most important factors patients consider when choosing one hospital or clinic over another. This is especially true for small and rural hospitals, which don’t always have the fanciest equipment or multi-million dollar advertising campaigns. By demonstrating that they understand the needs of the community, they build trust with patients in a way that larger facilities cannot.
What is content?
Content is more than just words on paper. It takes many different forms, especially with the growing influence of online media. It can be articles, photos, snippets of information, or promotional material. Anything that adds value to the customer experience can be considered content.
Social media offers opportunities
Social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter are great platforms for quickly and effectively distributing content. This can be as easy as sharing useful and relevant articles about health trends and news, or posting photos of new facilities and community events. These sites have made it easier than ever to keep patients and the people who live in the areas served engaged with hospitals and clinics.
Social media also provides an opportunity to start a dialogue. Answering questions and responding to concerns online is the beginning of a conversation. A great way of providing valuable content is responding directly to concerns. Patients often ask questions that might otherwise go overlooked. Let your patients become a source of content!
Keeping the community informed
Hospitals have found success in increasing outreach by working on becoming authoritative sources of information about health and care. Surveys show that more and more people are going online to find information their health concerns and care options. As we know, there is a lot of bad information out there. Hospitals have an opportunity to guide patients in the right direction and provide timely, accurate information about health and healthcare. Doing so promotes trust and name recognition. After all, a hospital that can show it is knowledgeable is more likely to have physicians who are experienced and trustworthy.
Some hospitals and clinics have found it useful to create blogs. A blog is a great way to share information and keep the community informed. Blogs are easy enough that anyone can write and flexible enough to be used for a variety of purposes, including discussing health trends, writing about developments and new procedures at a facility, and promoting community events.
Leverage traditional PR tactics
The web offers a lot of new and exciting ways to provide content, but traditional outlets of communication should not be dismissed. It can be as simple as a press release. Most people still get their information about what is happening in their communities by reading the newspaper. Writing press releases that get noticed by newspaper editors is a great and cost-effective way of spreading information. Don’t be afraid to seek coverage. Local newspapers are often happy to cover events and write about what is happening in hospitals and clinics. After all, hospitals and clinics are an integral part of the community, and there is a public interest in keeping everyone informed about what their healthcare providers are up to.
If your facility is struggling with content marketing or looking to refine its communications strategy, call SRJ Marketing Communications at 214-528-5775 to schedule a consultation. Founder and CEO, Steven R. Jolly, has over 25 years of experience working with hospitals to develop effective marketing and communications strategies.