Hospitals are now facing increased competition. Marketing their services is a necessity if they want to remain the leader in their community, so patients will choose them at the appropriate time. No longer do people go to “the hospital” whenever they need medical care. In many medium to large cities, there are several hospitals to choose from.
Some hospitals, like the Mayo Clinic — which was recently named the best hospital in the nation by US News and World Report — have a great social media and outreach strategy. However, hospitals often fall down on their marketing, especially online. This is especially true with event marketing. They either forget to market the events, or the calendar is outdated and difficult to find, which means only the true hospital and health devotees know about onsite health-related events.
Events should be an important part of a hospital marketing strategy. Here is how hospitals can use event marketing to improve their reach in their community.
1. Be a thought leader in your community
Hospitals are one of the most frequent event organizers when it comes to educating the public and promoting personal health. Whether you’re holding a seminar on heart disease prevention, or conducting a blood drive, the goal is the same. Drive awareness and position the organization as a thought leader. Consumers will assume that if a hospital is holding so many informational events about a particular area, they must be knowledgeable about it. Promote those events, so you can increase attendance and position the hospital as a leader in the field.
2. Connect with current and future patients
Hold special open houses and community events. Offer maternity tours for expectant parents, hold special community days in the parking lot, and host Facebook chats between physicians and potential patients. (Of course you have to be careful of HIPAA, and make certain disclaimers, but you can hold general, educational chats online.) The goal is to connect with potential patients and have them see you as a potential partner.
3. Advertise new service lines
Organize special events to unveil a new piece of equipment, such as a new surgical robot, a new wing, or even a new service offering. Hold a press conference-type event for your patients, letting them ask questions as the press would. And of course, invite the local media to attend as well. Use this opportunity to educate attendees on the benefits this new equipment, wing, or service will bring.
A patient’s choice of hospital is no longer dictated by physicians. Hospitals are fighting tooth and nail to win patients, and most of them only focus on traditional advertising. However, people have learned to tune out those ads, and instead find their information online, especially the search engines. Marketing your special events on your website with the right event marketing calendar can help increase attendance and improve your overall name recognition.
See how Localist can help you market your events and increase your brand awareness at our website.