Organisations in the health industry are in a bit of a pickle. It’s hard to make people aware of you as a healthcare provider through standard marketing practices. Brand awareness is a huge stumbling block, as people generally only look for you, or take notice of what you’re saying, when your services are desperately needed.
No one takes the “no running with scissors” sign seriously in primary school until little Darren cops a pair through the calf while he’s trying to cut little Debbie’s ponytail off. It’s just human nature.
Judging by his actions, I wouldn’t have picked Darren for a sign-reading type anyway.
So if you are from the health sector, and are looking at how best to engage people when they don’t have a foreign body sticking out of their person, what are some strategies to get people aware of your existence?
How do you make your marketing message both easily digestible and relevant to the most A1, yoga-panted, food-pyramid worshipping health nut?
Humanise Your Organisation
You wouldn’t believe it, but healthcare is a very personal thing. Healthcare organisations prod and poke our bodies, and are entrusted to hold the deepest and darkest secrets of our often disgusting selves.
The client is looking for someone they can trust. They want their dealings to be as personal as they are discreet. If you want your audience to relate to your organisation in that sort of way, you need to take steps in your marketing to humanise yourself.
The great thing about humanising is you just need to find some humans to do it, and unless we’re actually in the Matrix, your staff should be just the ticket!
Putting up a video or a captioned photo on your website of your actual staff plying their trade will help customers feel more comfortable with making you their preferred option. Obviously choosing the correct face (or faces) of your organisation is key, as a moody black and white shot of grumpy Greg the janitor isn’t going to get the turnstiles humming.
Answer Everyday Health Questions
A great way to gain a healthy reputation is to deliver advice to the public for free by giving answers to oft-asked questions.
A bit of research will go a long way here, as finding out the sort of enquiries your audience often has will be key to getting your message to spread. A quick patient survey at your clinic; asking your staff about the common questions they receive; by getting a good feel for the content you need to produce, you’ll save yourself a lot of work when compared to a more scatter-gun approach.
You’ll need to be careful delivering health advice to the masses though, as you could find yourself in a bind if you haven’t thoroughly fact-checked and referenced.
Sticking with basic advice – “What does a melanoma look like?”, “How to clear up acne” – will allow you to both maximise your exposure and minimise your risks with nice general advice. And giving the opportunity to book an appointment at the bottom of your post can mean extra clientele are gathered directly from your super-fresh content.
Make Content That Is Shareable Across Platforms
Kids these days, with their mobiles phones and world wide web. And adults. And Alzheimic octogenarians. Everyone’s got a Pinterest account or WordPress blog. Don’t let your organisation fall behind.
Having a strong presence across social media is unbelievably important in getting your message to pretty much anyone these days. And making content that fits each platform’s mould will really make your message pop.
Make a nice, simple infographic for Instagram. Allow people into your office by creating a story on SnapChat. Keep your more detailed posts to your website’s blog, and then provide links to it via Facebook and Google+. All these things will help get your name out there, and any one of them could take off. (I’d say go viral but, y’know, health).
And it’s also important to remember that your website needs to be easily consumed on laptop, tablet and phone. People will often be looking you up on-the-run, maybe with two sprained wrists, so making the information easily accessible across all devices is vital.
Healthcare organisations may face slightly different challenges to other industries when it comes to their marketing, but by taking a pragmatic, well-rounded and clever approach, the results can be no less effective.