Archive for June, 2014

Five Ways Online Videos Can Drive Healthcare Traffic

June 25, 2014

There are a myriad of ways that hospitals and physicians can successfully use video to build traffic to websites. At the same time, videos can also create a sense of trust and credibility for the hospital or practice. This provides the opportunity to engage viewers in an interesting and meaningful way and becomes a powerful tool for building brand loyalty.

Physician Promotion

119%One of the most prevalent ways to use videos of physicians is on physician profile pages. Videos can provide a sense of the physician’s emotions and personality which allows viewers to more readily connect with them. A potential patient that experiences a sense of connection is more likely to visit a hospital site than to trust blind luck that the relationship will be a good one. According to research conducted by Google, YouTube traffic to hospital sites has increased 119% year to year. And over 30% of patients who watched an online video booked an appointment.

Service Promotion

Videos also allow a hospital or physician to introduce the key services and treatment options they provide. Patient testimonials are a great way to reinforce this information because they provide believability and proof of successful treatment. While not a promise, it allows health seekers to identify with them and entertain the belief that they might have the same outcome.

Patient Education

Education is a natural fit for video. Information can be communicated in an easily understandable way that resonates with the viewer and can be viewed repeatedly or as needed. This is especially useful for preparations for surgery, after care instructions and information on dealing with specific conditions.

Recruitment

Videos are excellent tools for recruitment for physicians and allied staff. You can essentially provide a “slice of life” to give prospects a sense of what they can expect if they decide to join your hospital or practice. This allows prospects to make an initial decision about whether this would be a good fit for them. If so, it will encourage them to investigate further. This is an especially valuable tool for rural hospitals and practices as they try to garner attention in a very competitive landscape. For a harried physician in a larger market, communicating the benefits of a smaller market can entice them to take a second look at the community as well as the hospital or practice.

Public Relations

Videos are a valuable resource for public relations and for communicating about upcoming events and announcements. On social channels, videos significantly increase engagement which translates to more viewers and clicks – all good PR. In fact, Facebook recently announced that video views doubled in the past six months and that it will now deliver more video to people who have shown an interest in viewing such content. Secondly, sharing interesting/entertaining content in a video format increases the chance of news outlets picking up your information. And last, video allows you to humanize your organization and culture, thereby increasing buy-in from viewers who may want to interact with your hospital or practice or come to work for you.

So, if you aren’t currently using videos for healthcare marketing, try implementing them in one of these ways and see what a difference it can make in engaging patients, physicians and staff, as well as consumers.

Key Points to Help Your Healthcare Marketing Connect with Patients

June 16, 2014

Since we were young we have been taught the importance of sharing. Today that is easier than ever to do with email and multiple social media platforms. And for the healthcare industry, sharing health information is becoming more of the norm. A recent Pew Report stated that 26% of adult internet users have read or watched someone else’s health or medical experience and 16% have gone online to find others who share the same health concerns. One study found that people trust health information shared by hospitals and doctors online 10-15% more than by other patients they know.

Hospitals and physician practices need to consider how key points or stories about their care can be distributed in a way that is compelling and easy for people to share with others. Sharing is about relationships – give and take. Knowing who shares and why is an important first step. A New York Times study found that:

  • 94% of study participants consider how information they share will be useful to the recipient
  • 84% share because it is a way to show support for issues they care about
  • 69% share information because it allows them to feel more involved in the world
  • Only 49% share to inform others of products and try to change opinions

The study found six personas for sharing; altruists, careerists, hipsters, boomerangs, connectors and selectives. Their personas are based on four segments defined by:

  • Emotional motivations
  • Desired presentation of self
  • Role of sharing in life
  • Value of being first to share

One key point to increase sharing is to appeal to consumers’ (patients’) needs to connect with each other and not to a brand. Yet it seems that healthcare marketing is often missing the mark. A Spark Report found that although 41% of respondents said that social media would affect their choice of a medical facility, hospital, or doctor, only 18% of Facebook posts by hospitals are for the public while the rest target employees. Other key points to increase sharing include trust, simplicity, humor and urgency.

The Pew report states “that patients and caregivers have critical health information — about themselves, about each other, about treatments — and they want to share what they know to help other people.” Before your next post or email, check your content based on the above criteria and ask yourself if you are engaging your patients or just sending them information.

 

What is your persona?

  1. Altruist – Helpful, reliable, thoughtful, connected
  2. Careerist – Valuable, intelligent, network
  3. Hipster – Creative, young, popular, cutting-edge
  4. Boomerang – Reaction, validation, empowered
  5. Connector – Creative, relaxed, thoughtful, making plans
  6. Selective – Resourceful, careful, thoughtful, informative

 

Embed from Getty Images

50 beds or 500, your hospital brand is critical to your success.

June 2, 2014

The most powerful companies in the world live and die on their brands.  It has been estimated that at least half of Coca Cola’s market capitalization ($178 billion, May 2014) resides in its brand alone.  The same can be said of Apple, the world’s most valuable company.

I would argue that a hospital’s brand is even more important to its success than it is for these global companies.  Just think about it.  Your hospital’s reputation (brand) is everything to its success.  It’s one thing to trust Coke to taste good or your iPhone to work consistently, but trust in a healthcare environment is something else altogether.

Yet, some hospitals, particularly the smaller ones which have greater brand challenges than anyone, don’t invest a lot of time, effort or thought into building the brand – even though we know from decades of research that brand building pays great dividends.  The fact that brand building is so important is why even the Cleveland Clinic, Johns Hopkins, the Mayo Clinic and MD Anderson devote millions to building their brands annually.

The benefits to building a strong brand are many:

  • Increases consumer confidence
  • Reduces consumer risk
  • Creates customer loyalty
  • Signifies quality
  • Is more memorable
  • Provides differentiation

Building a hospital brand takes dedication.  It’s not a once every other year campaign.  It’s an every day focus.  You start by understanding what the public’s perceptions are of your hospital, then evaluate your strengths and weaknesses and determine not only what you desire to be, but also what you realistically can be in your community.  Once you’ve determined your message, it’s a matter of deciding what’s necessary to convince your community of your vision.

 


%d bloggers like this: