Why do some hospital brands resonate with patients and some don’t?
Are GP’s and patients falling over themselves to recommend you?
It is no secret that the healthcare industry is lagging behind in the digital age when it comes to marketing.
However I am glad to report that this is changing. Every year the competition in healthcare gets stiffer and the further behind your hospital is the more chance patients and GP’s won’t know or care who you are.
Most hospitals carry out Marketing just to try and be competitive and very few actually work on their brand.
They will see other hospitals using PPC and believe they should be using it too.
Don’t fall into that trap.
Pay more attention to what you are doing and less attention on your competitors.
What your patients are doing is what is most important, so provide a service that is so good people will love your brand.
I believe your only competition is with yourself.
Be better at what you do now than you were doing six months ago and in six months be better than you are now.
Patients now use the internet to discover which private hospital to use and act on recommendations from family and friends via social media.
77% of patients use search engines for their research and 76% use hospital websites.
Patients are not the only people that are turning to the internet when researching hospitals. GP’s are too.
So when a GP looks to refer a patient to a private hospital and they can’t find you on a search engine they won’t know to refer them to you.
A strong brand starts at the top and flows down to everyone in the business. All staff, from the consultants to the janitors, must share the same beliefs and this is attained through the interaction you have with your patients.
Everyone needs to know what part they play in creating an amazing service.
What is a hospital brand anyway?
I believe that what your brand is, will be decided by your patients and it is what they think that matters. If you talk to your patients and they describe your brand the way you preserve it then you are doing well.
What brands do you love?
Do you love them because of their great advertising? Maybe.
But if the experience you had with them has not been great no amount of advertising can change that.
I love HubSpot so much that Stargazer partners with them. Why?
Their Inbound marketing software is amazing, but so are many others.
Their support is like nothing I have ever experienced, they look after you and actually care about your success.
That to me is a great brand.
“They may forget what you said — but they will never forget how you made them feel.”
Carl W. Buehner
How to create a hospital brand online
To become a great brand your patients have to trust you and when they are researching hospitals online the best way to gain their trust is to help them.
If all your website does is talk about your services then this won’t gain you trust. Giving them impartial advice and help on their problems will.
Learn what their most asked questions are and answer them via your blog. Create helpful videos and share your content on social media.
Offer them more in depth helpful content in exchange for their email address.
This way you will be able to identify who they are and continue to help them until they are ready to use your hospital.
Nurture them, and address their pushbacks and reasons why they won’t use you.
Once a patient has left your hospital keep in contact with them via email (depending on why they visited) ask them how they are, offer some follow up treatments or content that will help them recover.
People will want to know what it is like to use your hospital, what it will be like when they are there and who will be treating them so show this on your website.
Create a patient centric website that talks their language not medical speak that they won’t understand.
Show pictures and bios of your consultants – how long have they been practicing?
People want to see the real you.
This is what I believe builds brands and not fancy television and print advertising that doesn’t build relationships.
Basically it’s all about answering your patient’s questions and creating content that is helpful to them. Create a patient centric website that talks their language and create a service that delights them.
For more in-depth guidance on how to create a hospital brand online, click here to learn about our free eBook: “Digital Healthcare Marketing in a Nutshell”.
Now it’s your turn
I really value your opinion – what are some of your favourite brands and why? Let me know in the comments below.