As I was perusing various blogs throughout the week, I came across one on SocialMediaToday titled, “Content Marketing: The New Frontier in Hospital Marketing” written by Jonathan Catley, an online marketing manager. Not only was I drawn to this article out of my curiosity for the term “Content Marketing” , but also due to my personal interest in the healthcare sector as an employee of the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.
Content Marketing is a vastly growing, cost-effective marketing tool that is proven to work, no matter what business your company is operating.This article summarizes how hospitals in particular, should utilize content marketing as an important part of their marketing strategy. The content can take many forms, but the most popular tend to be:
1. Social Media
3. News Articles
More and more people are looking to the internet for imformation about products, business, and services.
According to research by Demand Metric, content marketing costs 62% less than traditional advertising and yields three times as many leads on a per-dollar basis. The same survey suggested that 70% of people would rather learn about a company or its products through articles rather than traditional advertising. Another survey found that 78% of U.S. Internet users searched for information about products or services before buying.
This information is extremely important for hospitals. In the past, many marketing strategies relied on word of mouth referrals and traditional advertising but with more and more patients seeking ratings and information about various hospitals online, content marketing will and should become more popular in a hospital’s marketing strategy. With that being said, it is interesting to see how our marketing department is aligning to promote Neurosurgery here at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Now more than ever, we are placing an emphasis on demonstrating our world-renowned care through the use of patient videos, ad campaigns through local radio stations, and various other measures to name a few.
As mentioned previously, Blogs are one way that hospitals can incorporate custom content in their marketing strategy. Departments can produce blogs directly on their own websites that are patient-centric and target specific words and topics that patients are likely to search for. Similarly, Social Media is also emerging as one of the most efficient and engaging ways to utilize content marketing.
“Many hospitals have found success in developing a following on social media. The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, for example, has amassed more that 1 millions followers on Twitter by sharing relevant news and stories. The Cleveland Clinic has achieved similar success on Facebook using a similar strategy.”
The question that emerges after reading this article is how hospitals can manage these platforms in a way that is protective of the privacy of the patient population. Is content marketing utilized on a hospital-wide level or can invididual Departments be granted the freedom and wherewithal to market on their own. If granted that access, how can Departments be monitored to make sure they are protecting the privacy of all patients?
Content marketing is an effective and affordable way to boost the visibility of an organization. It not only provides an affordable marketing strategy for the Hospital, but provides a valuable service to patients seeking information in a timely manner.