Digital marketing can help hospitals reduce costs while bringing in new patients and promoting high-performing service lines.
A recent report by the Advisory Board reveals that cutting costs is at the top of hospital CEOs’ minds. As hospitals focus on trimming the fat and zero in on strategies that work, they need to balance responsible cost reduction with sustained revenue growth.
Digital marketing can help hospitals cut costs while continuing to generate revenue. As one of the most effective ways to reach diverse audiences, digital advertising is especially useful as a platform to promote and expand specific service lines. By executing targeted online marketing campaigns like search and social ads, hospitals can attract new patients without going over budget.
Hospitals Have New Concerns
The Advisory Board survey shows that many hospitals are dealing with the challenges of rising labor and supply costs as well as cuts in funding. Recently, both Tenet Healthcare and Lahey Health reported that they would be laying off employees in order to reduce costs.
In response to financial pressures, 62% of C-suite hospital executives reported that preparing their organization for sustainable cost control was a top concern. The next highest topic of interest — chosen by 56% of CEOs — was developing innovative approaches to expense reduction, tied with exploring diversified, innovative revenue streams.
“Health system CEOs recognize that any effective growth or financial sustainability strategy must be built on competitive cost structure in order for their enterprises to deliver high-quality, cost-effective care to the patients they serve,” Christopher Kerns, executive director for research at Advisory Board, said in a statement.
As Kerns recognizes, hospitals are tasked with the challenge of reducing costs while developing a system for future growth.
Digital Marketing Can Increase Efficiency
Patients are becoming increasingly comfortable using technology to research their own conditions. As patients spend more time online, hospitals need to meet them where they’re already seeking treatment. Search and social advertising can therefore help medical marketers attract patients and grow their most profitable service lines.
Hospitals can use Google Ads (formerly Google AdWords) to target particular audiences through keyword planning. Long tail keywords like “rotator cuff surgery Little Rock” are especially effective, given their specificity and high chance of conversion.
Social ads, which can be shown only to interested audiences (such as those who belong to a relevant support group), can also generate valuable traffic. By focusing only on potential patients who are likely to convert, hospitals can optimize cost efficiency.
Since 83% of patients visit a hospital’s website before booking an appointment, it’s essential for marketers to build user-friendly websites and microsites. All pages should be error-free, mobile-friendly, and easy to navigate. The messaging should complement that of relevant ad campaigns in order to provide a consistent experience and reduce bounce rates.
To maximize ROI, hospitals should prioritize careful curation of their digital media campaigns as well. That means staying up-to-date on keyword trends, auditing campaigns to avoid duplicate keywords, and regularly monitoring click through rates to redirect poor performing ads. By doing their due diligence and relying on digital media insights, medical marketers can focus on growing important service lines and generating new revenue without ballooning costs.