Hospital Marketing Strategies: Essential Digital Marketing Tactics to Drive Patient Growth

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What is Hospital Marketing?

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Hospital marketing refers to the strategies, tactics, and methods used by hospitals to attract new patients, retain existing ones, and establish a strong brand presence in the healthcare market. It involves promoting a hospital’s unique services, strengths, and capabilities across various channels to engage with patients and their families, medical professionals, and the broader community.

What Does Hospital Marketing Strategies Include?

Brand Development and Management

Brand Development and Management play a crucial role in helping users comprehend the essence of a hospital. By engaging in brand development, the hospital can effectively establish its unique selling proposition (USP), mission, vision, core values, and other distinctive elements that set it apart from competitors. These defining factors form the foundation of the hospital’s brand. Brand management, on the other hand, assists in seamlessly integrating the USP into marketing messages targeted at prospective patients. By effectively managing the brand, the hospital can consistently communicate its unique strengths to potential patients.

Patient Acquisition and Retention

Hospital marketing aims to attract new patients and keep existing ones satisfied and loyal. This could be achieved through quality care, excellent patient experience, and patient-centric services.

Online and Digital Marketing

In today’s digital age, a strong online presence is not only necessary, but also crucial. Hospital marketing often includes strategies like SEO (Search Engine Optimization), PPC (Pay Per Click) Advertising, content marketing, social media marketing, email marketing, and online reputation management.

Community Outreach

Hospitals often engage with their local communities through events, health camps, free clinics, health education programs, and more. This not only promotes the hospital’s services but also builds a reputation as a community-focused healthcare provider.

Patient Experience and Satisfaction

Ensuring high levels of patient satisfaction is a key aspect of hospital marketing. This could involve improving service delivery, reducing wait times, ensuring patient comfort and convenience, applying Marketing Automation to scale your business, and gathering feedback for continuous improvement.

Internal Marketing

This involves marketing to the hospital’s own employees, ensuring they understand and align with the hospital’s goals, mission, and values. Happy, engaged employees are more likely to deliver superior patient care, which positively impacts the hospital’s reputation.

Partnerships and Collaborations

Forming partnerships with other healthcare providers, insurance companies, and community organizations can also be part of a hospital’s marketing strategy.

Ultimately, the goal of hospital marketing is to build a strong and positive brand image, attract and retain patients, and drive growth and profitability.

How Do You Create A Hospital Marketing Strategy?

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Creating a hospital marketing strategy involves several steps that help you understand your market, create effective messaging, choose the right marketing channels, and measure your results. Here’s a step-by-step guide to creating your first hospital marketing strategy:

1. Understand Your Target Audience: 

Begin by identifying who your primary patients are or who you want them to be. This includes understanding their demographics, preferences, needs, health concerns, how they make decisions, and which channels they use to seek information.

To gain a deeper insight into your target demographic, you could analyze your existing patient base or utilize reputable statistics websites to gather sufficient data to form an initial marketing strategy. Bear in mind that your perceived target audience might not align with your actual audience. As you roll out your marketing initiatives, you’ll accumulate more data and information about your ideal target demographic. This new information can then be used to fine-tune your hospital marketing strategies.

2. Define Your Hospital Marketing Strategy Goals: 

What is the number one thing you are trying to achieve with your marketing initiatives? Is it to attract new patients, increase patient retention, improve patient satisfaction, or enhance your hospital’s brand image? Your goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART).

3. Identify Your Hospital’s Unique Selling Proposition (USP): 

What makes your hospital different from all the other hospitals? It could be advanced medical technology, specialized services not available elsewhere, highly experienced and certified doctors, or excellent patient care. Your USP should be the central theme of your brand’s messaging.

For larger brands, it’s most beneficial to establish unique selling points (USPs) for distinct services. For instance, a hospital that offers both childbirth services and urgent care should create two different marketing messages for these services, each falling in line with the overall brand. 

4. Choose the Right Marketing Channels To Deliver Your Hospital’s USPs 

Identify where your target audience is most likely to engage with your content. This could include traditional marketing channels like print and TV ads, or digital channels like social media, email marketing, and content marketing.

Remember, a successful hospital marketing strategy is patient-centric, clearly communicates your USP, uses the right mix of marketing channels, and is continuously optimized based on performance.

Top 6 Digital Marketing Strategies That Drive Patient Growth For Hospitals

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The digital revolution has significantly influenced how healthcare providers engage with patients. Today, hospitals need robust digital marketing strategies to meet the evolving expectations of health-conscious consumers. Let’s dive into essential digital marketing strategies for hospitals that can supercharge patient growth.

1. SEO is A Must-Have Hospital Marketing Strategy

SEO has continued to grow significantly in popularity over the years. It’s become an integral part of most businesses’ online marketing strategies due to its effectiveness and cost-efficiency.

The increasing adoption of the internet globally, the growth of mobile device usage, and the shift towards digital channels for information, shopping, and services have all contributed to this rise in popularity of SEO.

According to a report by BrightEdge in 2018, organic search (which is primarily influenced by SEO efforts) was responsible for 53% of all website traffic, making it the largest source of traffic for most websites.

The increased competition for search engine visibility has also spurred the growth and development of the SEO industry. Many businesses have recognized the importance of ranking highly in search engine results pages (SERPs) and are investing more resources in SEO to improve their online visibility.

Google’s constant updates to its search algorithms to provide the best results for its users have made SEO a continuously evolving field, keeping its relevance and popularity high among digital marketers. For the best results for your SEO campaign, it is best to hire a Professional SEO Digital Marketing Agency that specializes in Hospital SEO like Doc Digital SEM.

But What is SEO?

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is a digital marketing strategy that involves optimizing your online content so that it ranks higher on search engine results pages (SERPs). The goal of SEO is to make your website more visible to people who are looking for services or products you offer via search engines like Google, Bing, etc.

SEO involves various aspects, including keyword research (identifying relevant keywords that users type into search engines when looking for the services you offer), on-page optimization (creating high-quality content, using keywords strategically, optimizing page titles and meta descriptions), technical SEO (ensuring your site loads quickly, is mobile-friendly, and is easy for search engines to crawl and index), and off-page SEO (building high-quality backlinks to your site from other reputable sources).

How Can SEO Help Drive Patient Growth for Your Hospital?

In today’s digital age, the first place most people go when looking for a healthcare provider is a search engine. This is why ensuring your brand ranks first is very important to drive patient growth. 

SEO Provides

1. Increased Visibility: The higher your website ranks on SERPs, the more visibility it gets. This increased visibility leads to more clicks, directing more traffic to your site, resulting in a greater number of potential patients.

2. Improved Trust and Credibility: Websites that appear on the first page of search results are often perceived as more trustworthy and credible. By improving your SEO and securing a top spot on SERPs, your hospital can build trust with potential patients, making them more likely to choose your services.

3. Local SEO: SEO also involves optimizing your website for local search results. This is crucial for hospitals as most patients prefer healthcare providers close to home. With local SEO, you can target potential patients in your specific geographic location, helping you attract more local patients.

4. Better User Experience: SEO isn’t just about pleasing search engines. It’s also about delivering a great user experience. A well-optimized website is user-friendly, easy to navigate, and provides valuable information – all of which enhances the user’s experience and increases the chances of them choosing your hospital.

5. Long-term Results: Unlike paid advertising methods, which stop producing results as soon as you stop paying, the benefits of SEO are long-term. With consistent effort and regular updates, your high ranking can be maintained for a long time, providing a steady stream of potential patients.

In summary, SEO can significantly enhance your online presence and make it easier for potential patients to find your hospital, ultimately driving patient growth.

2. Implement A Local Google Ads PPC Strategy For Your Hospital

Google Ads for hospitals is a digital marketing strategy that uses Google’s advertising platform to promote a hospital’s services to people who are using the search engine to find health care information, solutions, or providers. In contrast to Organic SEO, Google Ads allows you to pay money to be placed first on Google’s Search Results.

Different Types Of Google Ad Campaigns You Can Run

With Google Ads, hospitals can set up different types of advertising campaigns depending on their specific goals. Here are a few common types:

Search Ads

These ads appear on Google’s search results pages when people search for keywords that are relevant to the services the hospital provides. For example, a hospital could bid on keywords like “urgent care in [city name]” or “best cardiac hospital near me.”

Display Ads

These ads show up on websites that are part of Google’s Display Network. Hospitals can use these to raise awareness about their brand or a specific service.

Video Ads

These ads appear before or during videos on YouTube. They can be used to share patient testimonials, introduce doctors, or explain complex procedures.

Local Service Ads

These ads are specifically designed to promote local services and appear in search results for service providers in a specific area. When people search for a local healthcare provider, Google may show these ads.

Remarketing Ads

These allow you to show ads to people who have previously visited your website as they browse other parts of the internet. This keeps your hospital at the top of their mind and increases the chance they’ll return.

How Does Google Ads PPC Work?

Google Ads uses a pay-per-click (PPC) model, which means that the hospital only pays when someone clicks on their ad. This makes it a cost-effective way to reach people who are actively searching for healthcare services.

These ads can be targeted based on various factors like location, age, gender, interests, and more, ensuring that the ads are being shown to the most relevant audience. They are a valuable tool for driving more traffic to a hospital’s website, increasing patient appointments, and ultimately growing the hospital’s patient base.

Use Google Ad’s New P-Max Campaigns for Your Hospital Marketing Strategy

Google’s Performance Max (P-Max) for local campaigns is designed to help businesses reach their performance objectives across all Google platforms and networks. 

P-Max Campaigns Provide:

Unified Campaigns: With P-Max, you can run a single campaign across Google’s entire advertising ecosystem, including Search, Display, YouTube, and more. This eliminates the need to manage multiple campaigns across different platforms.

Performance-Oriented: P-Max is designed to help businesses achieve their performance goals. Whether you’re trying to increase appointments, promote a specific service, or build awareness in your local area, P-Max can optimize your ads to reach those objectives.

Broad Reach: Using P-Max can help your ads reach more potential patients by leveraging Google’s extensive network. This can include people who are actively searching for healthcare services, as well as those who may not be actively searching but could still be interested in your services.

Machine Learning: P-Max uses Google’s advanced machine learning algorithms to optimize your ads in real time. This can include adjusting bidding strategies, optimizing ad placements, and more, to maximize your campaign’s performance.

Customizable Goals: With P-Max, you can set specific business goals for your campaign, such as increasing website visits, driving phone calls to your facility, or promoting online appointments. Google’s algorithms will then work to optimize your campaign towards these goals.

NOTE: We recommend running a Local P-Max campaign in conjunction with a search campaign to take advantage of both worlds. This will allow your hospital to manage what keywords you want to show up for on Google, while also utilizing Google’s machine learning algorithm to maximize GMB ads, Youtube Ads, and display network placements! 

In essence, P-Max for local campaigns can be a powerful tool for hospitals looking to maximize their online presence, reach more potential patients, and drive growth. However, like any marketing strategy, it’s important to monitor and adjust your campaigns regularly to ensure they’re delivering the best possible results.

3. Optimize Your Hospital’s Website for Conversions

Your hospital’s website is often a patient’s first impression of your organization. When a website is messy, slow, and not easy to navigate, a user will likely get a poor impression of your business and not initiate contact with you due to a poor user experience on your site. This is why it is imperative to include website optimization as part of your digital marketing strategy plan for your hospital. Here are some tips to ensure your potential patients on your site don’t bounce due to poor user experience:

Ensure Your Website is User-Friendly

Today’s patients appreciate and expect convenient, readily accessible online information and services. A user-friendly website allows them to easily book appointments, access medical records, find important information about healthcare services, and contact healthcare professionals with ease. A website that’s easy to navigate enhances the overall patient experience. This can increase patient satisfaction and loyalty, which in turn can drive patient growth.

Optimize Your Website For Mobile, Tablet, And Desktop

Optimizing a hospital’s website for mobile, tablet, and desktop is essential for several reasons. Today, people use multiple devices to access the internet. They might use a desktop computer at work, a tablet at home, and a smartphone on the go. If your website isn’t optimized for all these devices, you could be excluding a large portion of your potential patients. 

Additionally, mobile internet usage has been growing rapidly and has even surpassed desktop usage in recent years. A mobile-optimized website improves the user experience, increasing the likelihood that visitors will stay on your site, find the information they need, and ultimately choose your hospital for their healthcare needs.

PRO TIP: Google and other search engines prioritize mobile-friendly websites in their search results. That means if your site isn’t optimized for mobile, it could rank lower in search results, making it less likely that potential patients will find your hospital when they’re looking for healthcare services.

Make Navigation Easy

A user should be able to navigate easily on your website. Ensure your footer and menu header have easy navigation features that allow users to go to all the important pages on your site. If a user gets lost on your site, they will likely give up and leave the site. Use organized drop-down menus with your services organized by category. 

Highlight Main Services On Your Homepage

Include your main services on your homepage. This will help users navigate to where they want to go from your homepage easily.

Ensure Conversions Are Prioritized On Every Page

Include click to chat features, horizontal contact forms, click to call widgets, and a contact button on your footer and navigation menu. All of these make it easy for a user to convert without ever having the chance to abandon a page because they could not find a way to contact you! 

4. Focus on Patient Testimonials and Reviews

Positive patient reviews can significantly enhance your hospital’s reputation and attract new patients. Encourage satisfied patients to leave reviews on popular platforms like Google, ZocDoc, and Healthgrades. Also, consider featuring patient testimonials on your website and marketing materials! For Local SEO, having a highly rated hospital will improve your search results locally and add more authority to your brand!

5. Run Social Media Marketing Campaigns For Your Hospital

Establishing a strong social media presence can significantly boost a hospital’s brand visibility. Regularly posting engaging content keeps your hospital at the top of people’s minds and helps attract new patients. A social media marketing plan can help with:

Patient Engagement: Interactive posts, health quizzes, live sessions, and other similar content keep the patients engaged and foster a sense of community.

Reputation Management: With social media, hospitals can monitor what’s being said about them online and respond appropriately. Positive reviews can be highlighted, and any negative comments or concerns can be addressed swiftly and professionally.

Patient Education: Social media can be an effective tool for educating patients about health-related issues, preventative care, new medical procedures or treatments, and more.

Affordable Targeted Advertising: Social media platforms also offer sophisticated targeting options for advertising, enabling hospitals to reach the specific demographics most likely to need their services. 

Viral Video Reels: With many of the social platforms moving towards promoting video content, it is becoming imperative to include video marketing as part of your social media marketing plan. Reels allow you to be discovered by people outside you current follower base. In digital terms, Organic Social is the equivalent of Organic SEO, and Paid Social is the equivalent of Google Ads. Organic Social is an investment into your long-term brand image, and should never be left out of the equation when building your hospital brand.

PRO TIP: Social media advertising is considered top of the funnel marketing, which means it tends to be cheaper than PPC. It is a great tool to create brand awareness for hospitals at a fraction of the cost. 

In summary, social media provides an opportunity to connect with your community, share relevant health information, and humanize your hospital’s brand. Regularly update your profiles, engage with followers, and share patient success stories to create a vibrant online community.

6. Track Your Hospital Marketing Strategy Results and Adjust Accordingly

One of the overlooked strategies in digital advertising is data collection. It’s vital to track the results of your marketing strategies using advanced analytical platforms such as Google Analytics 4 and The Facebook Pixel. This allows you to understand what’s working, what isn’t, and make necessary adjustments to optimize your marketing ROI.

Embracing Digital Marketing

In today’s healthcare landscape, a robust, patient-centric marketing strategy is more important than ever. The digital age has reshaped the landscape of healthcare marketing and in an increasingly connected world, hospital marketing strategies must evolve to meet the needs of tech-savvy patients who seek healthcare services.

By incorporating these 6 digital marketing strategies, your hospital can drive patient growth, improve patient satisfaction, and ensure a strong position in the marketplace. Remember, successful hospital marketing is a continuous, evolving process that requires regular evaluation and adjustment.

Hire Doc Digital SEM To Manage Your Digital Marketing Strategies For Your Hospital!

Doc Digital SEM specializes in Hospital Marketing Strategies that work! We have launched hundreds of campaigns and are at the forefront of the digital marketing evolution. Our Medical Marketing Agency prides itself on delivering cost-effective hospital marketing campaigns that help grow your practice! Give us a call to see how our digital marketing experts can help your Hospital’s Marketing Plan!

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