Practice Marketing

Marketing Strategies for Hospitals: Is It Possible?

Marketing Strategies for Hospitals: Is It Possible?

Marketing is a part of any successful business or workplace and the healthcare system is no exception. Whether it’s a private practice or a hospital, it’s going to need to be marketed in order to bring in more sick people who need help. Some might consider a healthcare provider marketing their workplace as shameful or embarrassing but it’s really not. First of all, a hospital or practice needs to bring in clients to stay open. If a hospital isn’t making enough money, then it’s going to end up shutting down. This is going to have an impact on the members of the community it serves, not just the hospital staff members who will become unemployed. It may not be the most popular or profitable hospital in the area, but it still served a respectable amount of people and needs to stay open for them.

It’s also important for doctors to market their practice to bring in more clients. Apart from doctors being people who need income in order to survive, they could be marketing for the benefit of the people. If you’re good at something, wouldn’t you want to do it more and spread the news? If a doctor can help more people, then why shouldn’t they?

Marketing is much easier for individual physicians than it is for something as large as a hospital. As a doctor, one way to go would be social media. So many doctors nowadays have social media pages that are strictly medical. The page can either be used for one way communication where a doctor regularly posts medical updates and important facts relative to his or her community, or it can be used for two-way communication, between a doctor and his patients. This happens if a doctor is interactive with the page's visitors. People can message the page asking medical questions or even by posting them in the comments. A doctor can then reply to these messages and comments. This will definitely increase his or her popularity in the community, as people will start to realize that he or she actually cares about their wellbeing and takes the time to post medical information and respond to their questions which don’t warrant a visit to the office.

FindaTopDoc is a very valuable tool that can allow doctors to market themselves and become more attractive to the people of a given community. One of the ways FindaTopDoc does this is through the section that allows patients to ask medical questions for doctors to answer. This is done completely free of charge, as patients don’t pay to post a question and doctors aren't paid to answer. A doctor can respond to a concerned mother’s question about her baby’s condition by either reassuring her or telling her that she should visit a hospital or pediatrician. This tool will boost a doctor’s reputation through the most obvious way: by answering questions. Another way it does this is by listing nearby doctors in the specialty relevant to the question on the side bar to the right. In the example we’re using, it would list the nearest pediatricians on the right so the person viewing the question can access the nearest physician available. For a fee, a doctor’s name can appear further up the list as being sponsored by FindaTopDoc.

Things can be a bit more complicated when it comes to marketing an entity as large as a hospital. It’s not as simple as an individual physician making their way across social media websites and spreading the word. One of the most important things a hospital should pay attention to is its website. If the website is outdated, that clearly means the hospital isn’t paying much attention to it, and in this day and age not paying attention to your website is just lazy. This could put off patients from visiting that hospital. Another important issue to take care is making the website responsive and easy to navigate. People shouldn't have to spend 30 minutes browsing the site in order to find what they’re looking for. Make it easy to use and always include information people will find useful. The best info to include would relate to preventive medicine. Show people that you’re concerned about preventing them from getting sick.

Since it’s all about the internet these days, using social media is a must. Hospitals such as MayoClinic, Cleveland Clinic, and Johns Hopkins, for example, have a very strong presence on the internet. They’re followed by most people and regularly post useful health tips that people find beneficial. They also post advanced medical info for doctors in order to keep them updated on all that’s new in the world of medicine. Sure, these hospitals are very well known, but having a social media presence is definitely doing them a lot of good.

It’s not all about social media though, as word of mouth goes a long way. Make sure that your employees are saying good things about the hospital. This shouldn’t be done by force, but rather make sure their experience working for you is pleasant and satisfactory. That way, they’re going to speak well about where they work without even having to be told to do so. As your employees spread the word about your hospital, those close to them will automatically think of it when they’re in need of medical assistance.

However when it comes to word of mouth, employees are not the main people you should be concerned about. Nothing tops what a patient has to say about you to other people. Employees might be considered a little biased to their workplace, but patients having nothing to gain by praising you and people will always trust what they have to say. The only way to make sure patients say great things about your hospital is to make sure that they have as great an experience as possible and nothing bad to tell in the future. You’re simply going to have to make your hospital as amazing and flawless as possible. Monitor your staff and doctors to make sure they take as much care of patients as possible in order to reduce complaints and complications.

Finally, talk about your hospital and its achievements. Every once in a while you could ask a patient to record themselves as they talk about their experience in the hospital and post that video to the hospital’s website. You should also post about any innovations accomplished at the hospital. Posting discoveries in medicine will demonstrate that your hospital isn’t just interested in simply doing its job, but also taking it to the next level and leading the way forward in medicine. Make sure that the website and social media accounts are all linked and constantly updated to ensure people see the things you post and share.

Marketing a hospital is very different than marketing a practice or individual doctor. It’s not as simple, but at the same time the complexity allows you more options. A hospital definitely has more resources and a larger marketing budget than an individual doctor. This allows it to spread across further platforms to reach more people. It’s noteworthy that there’s no limit to the marketing a hospital can or should do, unless of course it reaches full occupancy. As a private practitioner, there’s going to be a limit to the amount of patients you see per day and eventually the total amount of patients you have, but that doesn’t exist in a hospital. More patients coming in will mean more business and probably hiring more doctors.

There’s no trick to simply getting more patients. Administrators need to realize that even if they spend all the money in the world on marketing, the flow of people won’t increase if the service provided isn’t up to standard. So make sure that your hospital is the best place to be for sick people and their loved ones.

Key Takeaways

  • Marketing a hospital and marketing an individual doctor are two very different things.
  • Ensure your patients have the best experience possible so they have good things to say about your practice to others.
  • Use social media to ameliorate your practice through interactive Q&A options.