Combining Traditional and Digital Media in Healthcare Marketing
Hospitals and health systems have long had a strong awareness of the power of traditional marketing. Giant billboards across America reach countless eyes with messages about hospital rankings, fast wait times, exceptional care, etc. and the same goes for television ads, radio spots and more. This method of getting the word out about your services is part of the healthcare marketing ecosystem and has been for nearly half a century. However, not as many healthcare organizations are taking full advantage of the potential of a multifaceted approach of traditional media combined with digital marketing.
Experts report that we are exposed to up to 5,000 ads per day – way more information than the human brain can actually absorb and digest, which creates a problem for marketers. The solution? Combining the power of both traditional and digital media to make sure you are optimizing your healthcare marketing. Here are three ways that you can combine your efforts to boost visibility.
Traditional advertising formats such as billboards, print, radio and TV are perfect ways to get your message out to a wide audience. Viewers and listeners get to see and hear what you are all about and receive information on how to contact you and learn more. However, you don’t have the ability to interact with your audience unless they take a direct action by visiting your website or call a phone number presented. Digital marketing actively engages users, so using the two together is the most effective way to achieve your objectives.
Traditional and digital media can really complement each other by disseminating helpful information in formats like billboards and print ads and using a call-to-action to encourage users to learn more about the hospital online. Once they are online, those in need of healthcare can go from initial awareness of your organization to actively researching what you have to offer. Make sure that the landing page you are directing them to aligns with the original message of your traditional ad so they don’t have to hunt for information.
In order to further boost the power of these two formats, setup retargeting for your site. This helps you put the right ads in front of the right eyes and encourage repeat visitors to your site. You can also think about adding an HIPAA compliant chat to your website as well so that you offer patients more touchpoints to learn about and trust your organization.
Like we mentioned above, individuals are exposed to thousands and thousands of ads every day. It can be extremely difficult for a company to get their message heard with all of the noise out there. On top of that, not everyone consumes information the same way so one type of ad isn’t likely to reach all of your target audiences. Not everyone is influenced by the same media, so a multichannel approach is the best way to put your healthcare marketing dollars to use and boost your ability to speak to more people in ways that make sense to them. Using both traditional and digital media improves the chances of your hospital’s message spreading across many different channels.
The channels that work best for you depends largely on your target audience – but it’s important to have enough variety to keep them engaged. Television, billboards and print ads are great for attracting potential patients while social media channels can help start the conversation. Every healthcare organization should be actively engaged on organic social media channels in order to interact with your audience, but that is also limited to your existing networks. Buying social ads means that you can also use these channels to get your message in front of new individuals who are likely to be interested in your services based on their interests and behaviors.
Radio spots are a great way to advertise and rise above the fold because with streaming services like Pandora and Spotify you can combine a display ad in conjunction with your audio message. A lot of healthcare organizations have invested a lot of marketing spend in TV, which is great for targeting a certain demographic. YouTube takes video content a step further by expanding to a more focused audience that can be refined by demographics, geography, behaviors, context, keywords and devices. These are just a few of the ways that digital targeting can help complement your traditional marketing spend.
You can think of traditional marketing as casting a wide net in order to reach many people at once. Digital marketing works in tandem with it to reach out to specific audiences with a more personalized message. It can help develop deeper and more relevant relationships. For instance, many people use their Facebook News Feed and Twitter Feed to find interesting content. If you’re using these channels right, they can find you while searching for related topics.
Healthcare marketing should be highly personalized – it’s all about what the potential customer cares about, after all. Digital marketing on social media gives you the ability to personalize and humanize your posts in order to give patients a reason to get involved with you, learn more, or share your message with others. With more than one billion people on Facebook, it has become an amazing way to reach new audiences and improve marketing strategies in a way that traditional media alone won’t do.
When it comes to healthcare marketing, it is most effective to think outside the box and take a multichannel approach. The combination of traditional and digital media makes it easier for you to provide audiences with information and also drive engagement, increasing both your awareness and your potential for repeat customers.