Bill Swanston

Trends in Community Hospitals Part 3: Tell Your Story, Digitally
The rise of online resources has turned community healthcare patients into educated consumers. With greater awareness of choices and opportunities than ever before, these knowledgeable consumers have created new challenges for community hospitals. Consumers are now willing to travel farther for care and select well-known, highly-rated providers. Because of this, community hospitals are forced to adapt and find new ways to reach their patients.

Every year, Frederick Swanston surveys hospital marketing managers to determine the hurdles their community hospitals face, and how readdressing their marketing can help resolve these challenges. This is the third and final blog post discussing what we uncovered in our ongoing research.

Digital: A Digital Investment is an Investment in Your Patients
Digital media can be used as a powerful tool to tell stories for your brand. One of the best ways for community hospitals to convey these stories is through video, with mobile devices now accounting for nearly two out of every three minutes spent online.

When we surveyed community hospital executives about their digital marketing spending, sixty-four percent of our respondents reported an increase. From 2017 to 2018 there was an eighteen percent jump in digital marketing spending, up to eighty-two percent. Fifty-four percent of our respondents said they invested in a CRM system, a vehicle that can help hospital marketers deliver customizable messages to consumers based on their individual circumstances. Digital media is a medium community hospitals must embrace, especially with the amount of time consumers spend online.

Dr. James McQuivey, who specializes in digital disruption at Forrester Research, says a picture may paint 1,000 words, but a one-minute video has the value of 1.8 millions words. It was also found that people spend on average 2.6x more time on pages with video than without. Plus, forty-eight percent of people cited a website’s design as a number-one factor in the credibility of a business.

With the amount of time consumers spend with their mobile phones, laptops, desktops and tablets, it’s time for community hospitals to go where all their patients are: online.

As a healthcare marketer, here are some questions to think about as your hospital connects with patients digitally:

  • What digital media do your target markets use?
  • When was the last time your website was updated?
  • What is the most powerful way you can tell your hospital’s story?
  • Do you understand the consumer segments in your market, and are you reaching them with stories targeted specifically to them?
  • Even though it is expensive, is it time to put CRM in the budget?
  • How do I evaluate the best CRM for my hospital?

Frederick Swanston has helped hospitals across the country address digital marketing through strategic, effective processes. To find out how we could help your hospital, send us an email.