Ideally, all healthcare organizations
would always have a robust marketing budget to consistently generate leads and
grow patient volume. However, many healthcare facilities operate on tight
margins in today's market. Often, marketing budgets are among the first to get
cut when revenue is down.
Content marketing drives
prospective health consumers to your owned media assets where you can then
convert them into appointments and active patients. You have numerous owned channels at
your disposal that cost relatively little to leverage. Utilizing blogs, videos,
infographics, and downloadable resources to share valuable public health
information and patient stories establishes expertise and credibility.
Additionally, you can distribute your content widely via your social media
Speaking of social media, connecting with audiences through
social media platforms is another cost-effective way to reach your prospective
consumers. Many social media platforms enable targeted advertising to ensure
you're reaching the most applicable audience. Another way to leverage social
media to your advantage is to encourage and highlight positive patient
interactions and reviews on various platforms.
with local businesses, community centers, and schools costs no money and can help
local residents (i.e., prospective patients) become better acquainted with your
brand and services.
Building and maintaining an effective
email list of potential consumers and/or referrers is also a low-cost method to
target the most likely consumers of your services. With a carefully curated
list, you can then send newsletters with updates, health tips, and service
information to the right people at opportune times. Seasonal health initiatives
and promotions are also great topics to highlight via direct email marketing.
Properly optimizing your content for
search will boost your content marketing efforts. Optimize your website for key search
terms so that more web users will find you online vs. competing health
organizations. Local SEO strategies improve visibility in the community;
therefore, you should optimize for your specific location and general health
Satisfied patients can market your
health services for you at no charge. Encourage these patients to refer friends and family. To increase
referrals, implement an incentive plan or promotion for patient referral
programs with incentives for both existing and newly referred patients.
In addition to personal referrals,
patients can also advocate for your practice online. Always actively monitor your online
presence, and be sure to manage and respond to online reviews regularly. Encourage
positive reviews from satisfied patients, and then promote and highlight
reviews for added credibility and engagement.
User-generated content (UGC) is
another low-cost/no-cost way to market your health services successfully. Encourage patients to share success
stories and testimonials. Feature user-generated content on websites and social
media for authenticity as part of your content marketing and social media
Partner with local fitness centers,
pharmacies, or wellness stores that provide services and products that align
well with your services without competing for consumers. Collaborative cross-promotions
and events with other health-related businesses can expand your reach to new
local consumers who may not already know your services.
You don't necessarily need an
expensive PR consultant to generate some local buzz and media coverage. Your
team can likely earn local coverage by establishing relationships with local
media members, especially those covering health-related topics.
Just because you're on a tight budget
doesn't mean you need to forego paid advertising. That said, you will likely
need to get a bit creative in how you approach it.
While marketing within a budget can be
tough, it is very feasible. It often requires some additional creativity and
collaboration, but there are many resources at your fingertips, which are key
marketing tools such as your digital assets, existing patients, and community