So, you’ve got a solid marketing strategy backed by a host of “tried and true” tactics. Print advertisements, billboards, television, social media, SEO. The works. There are plans in place to build awareness of your hospital brand and services.
Everything is going off without a hitch, but where are the conversions?
According to Dave Chlastosz, EVP and Partner at LIFT, healthcare marketers locked into “traditional” methods are focusing on the wrong things.
“Your content must empower the consumer and support your organization’s business goals across the entire marketing journey. So many times, healthcare content and marketing agencies focus primarily on awareness and acquisition, missing crucial opportunities to nurture consumers and maximize their long term value. They’re missing the bigger picture, and many do not realize this fact until they find themselves lagging far behind their more savvy competitors.”
Content for the journey
When Dave talks about awareness and acquisition, he’s referring to stages of the consumer marketing journey. The marketing journey is a great tool for understanding the process for converting an information seeker into a paying care seeker.
Here it is, broken down into five sections: Awareness, Engagement, Activation, Acquisition, and Retention.
These five sections map out the different stages of interaction between your organization and your audience. People with little interaction start on the left and through marketing (and care seeking) move to the right.
Traditional healthcare content and marketing agencies focus primarily on awareness and acquisition. They spend money and time focusing on building their brand, getting the word out, and bringing people in.
Doing it this way, however, you end up missing crucial opportunities to nurture consumers.
Here is where making a few changes can improve conversion of information seekers to care seekers. Your audience needs something to transition them from simple information seeking to care seeking.
That something is content. Content that engages, content that activates, and content that retains your audience.
Custom content that engage, activate, and retain
Your audience is hungry.
Feed that hunger with valuable patient-facing content. This content needs to solve their problems, make your audience feel valued, and, most importantly, be consistent.
Hospitals across the country are turning to magazines as a way to provide content that supplement the rest of their healthcare marketing strategy.
Many of them, like the Beebe Healthcare’s Beacon and Tift Healthcare's On Health, contain very little self-promotional material. Instead, they are filled with helpful information on wellness and disease management that their audience (who all happen to be potential healthcare consumers) can use. Each piece of content calls attention to an aspect of the hospital’s services, and positions the hospital as a trusted advisor with an authentic, clarifying voice.
Each time someone reads one of these magazines is a point of interaction. These touchpoints scaffold your audience's experience and give them small steps to shift their behavior. Over time, information seekers will seek you out when they need care.
Meet your audience where they are
All of that being said, custom content should live where your audience lives.
Magazines are a great and often overlooked vehicle, but they’re just one piece of the puzzle. That’s why it’s critical that you leverage all your marketing channels—video, digital, social media, etc.—to make the maximum impact.
Remember, our patients want to live their life. Give them the kind of content that meet their need.