Friday, January 20, 2017

Digital Marketing for Healthcare Providers

For healthcare providers such as hospitals, attracting patients is increasingly competitive and although increasingly transparent, the process of finding and selecting a provider is opaque. Traditionally, healthcare provider marketing was limited to providers developing relationships with referring providers, sending direct mailings, hosting community events, sending information on services and physicians to local newspapers, and advertising on local billboards.

With the prevalence of online reviews, regulatory and non-profit sites posting reviews, sharing healthcare experiences on social media, and healthcare consumerism in general, healthcare providers have been forced to join the rest of industries in incorporating digital marketing into their marketing and growth plans.

Northwell Health's integrated marketing campaign in 2016 is one of the best examples I have seen of a healthcare provider leveraging digital marketing. If you lived in or just visited New York City in 2016, you were very likely to see Northwell's subway ads, bus stop banners, TV ads, paid search ads, or Facebook/Instagram pushes. I received an innovative Instagram video ad in the summer I immediately sent to our marketing team at the hospital company in Boston where I work.

Healthcare is extremely local, and the ability to target local potential patient populations using social media is a huge asset not yet leveraged to its full potential by many traditional providers. In addition, with the wealth of reviews on providers on social media, managing the brand reputation on social media sites is a necessary marketing function many providers are not yet prioritizing to the extent they should.

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