The Power of Testimonials in Healthcare Branding

The Power of Testimonials in Healthcare Branding

If you aren’t already using testimonials in healthcare marketing plans, I hope that this inspires you to do so. Testimonials are a powerful tool that can persuade potential customers to buy or use your services. In fact, testimonials could be one of the most powerful marketing tools you have! People feel more confident engaging in a relationship when they know there are other satisfied customers. Through testimonials, you can give potential patients a reason to believe and a trusted opinion from a third party. Testimonials are effective because they: Build trust. Your customers share the positive experiences they’ve had with your organization’s services. Provide feedback. Asking for testimonials is a great psychological spur to encourage companies to continually strive for their best performances—and allows quick corrections if they begin to drift off course. Aren’t “salesy.” Because they aren’t written in your corporate voice, they stand out as unbiased and authentic. Overcome skepticism. A good testimonial has the power to convince your toughest prospects that your products or services are worth pursuing. A few quick tips: Ask for testimonials at every opportunity and quote the best ones throughout your marketing materials: brochures, website, emails, etc. Customers value different things, so select a range of testimonials that will appeal to all of your customer segments. You can’t have too many glowing customer testimonials! Don’t use family members, friends, or paid actors to do testimonials. Testimonials in healthcare should come from people you’ve selected who genuinely admire your healthcare system. Get written permission from your customers before using their testimonials. Keep your testimonials up-to-date. The information will begin to seem irrelevant if it was posted more than a year ago. Remember that natural conversations are most compelling—not overly-scripted, canned testimonials. Potential obstacles that you may face: Negative feedback can be even more influential than positive. For example, a patient may not have the desired outcome that you anticipated. It’s expected that a testimonial given by a doctor is credible and giving sound advice. If the doctor’s reputation is deceptive or tainted, then this could negatively impact your business. Marketing budgets can blow up quickly! Keep a close eye on your production costs. Things that you can do: Your homework! Fact-check and research the people that you have selected to do testimonials before production begins. Have a “Plan of Action.” This allows you to respond quickly if you encounter a problem and have to pull a testimonial from your marketing materials. Pick your media placement carefully so that you have the option to pull spots quickly, if needed. Contact Springboard if you have any questions on testimonials in healthcare...
Healthcare Brands Can Stop Annoying Their Social Media Audience

Healthcare Brands Can Stop Annoying Their Social Media Audience

When you check your newsfeed of your favorite healthcare social media site, there is always one – okay, many – of your friends, family, or co-workers whose updates are annoying enough to make you cringe. It may be posting a picture of every meal they eat or sharing too many cat videos.  It could be a bad joke or (especially this time of year) their political views. As much as you may “like” this person in real life, their actions have probably left you hovering over the unfriend button more than once. Individuals aren’t the only ones on social media who can be annoying. Brands are right up there. A report from Sprout Social titled, “Turned Off: How Brands Are Annoying Customers on Social,” contains some very interesting insights from a consumer survey centered around this topic. As you may have guessed, there are a number of things brands do to rub their audiences the wrong way. These include posting too many promotions, trying to be funny when they’re not, and not replying to their audience’s messages. Lack of engagement on the brand’s part is particularly a problem in healthcare. Per Sprout Social, healthcare is ranked number one out of 15 major industries in terms of how engaged consumers are with brands on social media. But, it is ranked number 14 in terms of how responsive the industry as a whole is to consumers. It boils down to this, consumers really want to communicate with healthcare brands and healthcare brands really aren’t responding. There is a huge opportunity for hospitals and other brands in the healthcare industry to separate themselves from the competition through appropriate use of social media. To more effectively engage with your healthcare social media audience, keep these points in mind: Be Timely: When someone asks a question they expect an answer in a timely manner. In fact, over 40% expect a response within one hour*. While this may not always be possible, efforts should be made to at least acknowledge the question as soon as possible while you are formulating the answer. Be Relevant: This one seems obvious but it is worth stating.  About 41% of consumers have unfollowed a brand because the information posted is not relevant to their lifestyle, health interests, or daily activities. Those who follow your brand expect relevant content and for you to be reflective of who they are. How well do you know your customer profiles? Be Authentic: Your audience has expectations for how your brand should act and communicate. When responding, stay true to your brand values. Don’t be something you aren’t because you think it is “cool” or trendy. Your audience will see through it and may decide you are not worth following anymore. Use a voice that reflects your unique brand and is aligned with your customer base. There is an immense opportunity out there to engage with your audience, an audience that is hungry for interaction. Making this a social media strategic priority will put you far ahead of your competition. Just try not to annoy them. Contact Springboard Brand and Creative Strategy for more information....
5 Ways to Market Your Senior Living Community

5 Ways to Market Your Senior Living Community

You can call Baby Boomers lots of things: Ambitious. Workaholics. Optimists. Just don’t call them old. As the generation who vowed to never trust anyone over 35 enters retirement, they’ll want to retire their own way — not the way their parents did. Don’t expect the people who went to Woodstock to sit around all day, quilting and eating pea soup. We know the term “senior living communities” runs the gamut: active, independent places to communities with 24/7 care for seniors facing end-of-life diseases. When it comes to marketing your senior living community, you don’t have to be everything to everybody. Just as each senior is looking for something “different,” you don’t have to offer a cookie-cutter approach to care that your competition does. Below are a few trends and examples from senior centers that know how to standout: Focus on Luxury The Clare in downtown Chicago touts their Gold Coast address as a sign of luxury. This independent lifestyle community appeals to an affluent market. It boasts an onsite beautician and vegetarian meal options. In fact, it’s not just selling the community — it’s selling the city of Chicago. It’s a place to retire, but still offers people the glamour of big city living. Caring for Caregivers Some nursing homes concentrate on end-of-life care or caring for elders with long-term health problems. For this type of market, it’s really important to reach out to caregivers. Usually, a family member will pick out a nursing home for their loved one. Are your marketing materials speaking directly to this audience? Are you showing that you’re a trusted partner? And are you providing resources and educational tools? Do you offer caregiver support groups? Put yourself in the shoes of someone who has to make the difficult decision of putting their loved one in this type of home and write copy that appeals to them. Offer Life-Long Learning According to PBS, there are more than 70 retirement communities in the U.S. that are tied to nearby universities. Why? It has become popular for universities to team up with real estate developers to design “university-affiliated” housing for seniors. These types of retirement communities boast many rich, educational experiences for retirees. For example, Oak Hammock at the University of Florida offers lectures and classes for retirees to attend. Even if your center isn’t near a college town, what can you do to bring in educational elements that appeal to someone’s thirst for knowledge? Focus on Fun Transitioning to a retirement or senior living center can be stressful. Some residents might feel like they’ve lost part of their old selves. At Sunrise Senior Living Center, there is an emphasis on defining life with a purpose. It offers programs in artistry, music and life-long learning. Build a Senior Living Community Have you heard of The Villages? It’s a master-planned community in Florida that’s geared for older adults who want to have a good time with other people their age. The Villages offers all kinds of live entertainment, shopping and wellness opportunities. People who live here picked The Villages because they want to feel like they are part of a community — something larger than themselves. Does your senior living center make them feel the same way? For more information on how to market your senior living community, contact Springboard...
After a M&A, What Do You Call Those Urgent Care Centers?

After a M&A, What Do You Call Those Urgent Care Centers?

Everybody is buying somebody. Or somebody is getting sold. So it goes with the latest flurry of activity with hospital Mergers and Acquisitions. With all the Mergers and Acquisitions out there, odds are — your hospital might go through one in the future or may be going through one right now. With a M&A, you might find yourself saddled with a bunch of urgent care centers. Or immediate care clinics. Or walk-in clinics. Or convenient care clinics. Whatever you want to call them, the list of possible names goes on and on. All these names can be confusing for your brand, especially when you’re dealing with an M&A. Since an urgent care clinic can be called and labeled so many different things, your job is to figure out how to simplify the naming process. Here’s how: Pick a retail name “Retail health” is one of the hottest trends in hospital marketing right now. That’s when a hospital tends to think more like a Nordstrom or Starbucks, in terms of servicing and reaching target demographics. For example, MultiCare Health System in Tacoma, WA named its urgent care clinic Indigo Urgent Care, with its own logo and branding. Henry Ford Health System, MI, did something similar when it named its urgent care clinic, QuickCare Clinic. If your hospital is going through an M&A with a former competitor or outside partner, there might be a more neutral, retail-type name that fits your urgent care centers. Make sure you’ve got a solid PR and marketing strategy Urgent care situations happen infrequently. But you want patients to think of you first, when a medical situation pops up. Whatever you decide to name your facility, you want to make sure there’s a strong brand identity behind it. That means drumming up awareness through paid advertising, Google search and social media channels. The name you pick is essential to your brand’s integrity. You want to make sure you allocate the right dollar amount to back it up. Get the right partner  Even if you’re not doing an M&A, you might pick an outside partner to team up with to build your urgent care facility. A partnership for urgent care facilities can help lessen the cost and provide easier access into the market, especially if the partner is already well-established....
Branding A Mid-Size Community Health System.  Who do you think you are?

Branding A Mid-Size Community Health System. Who do you think you are?

Being a mid-sized health system in today’s healthcare marketplace is tough. If you’re busy trying to compete on a grand scale and make claims how your features are just as good as the big hospital the next metro over, it might be time to take a step back and think about what really matters to both you and your community. This is where a solid brand promise can work for branding health systems. While it’s important to know your strengths and your identity – you need to provide value. A unique brand promise becomes an effective shorthand for how you can best meet the needs of your community. Solid, effective branding health systems engages with people at an emotional level. It’s not a logo, a color scheme, or a typeface. Yes, those are visual representations of your brand. But what really matters is your “heartbeat,” what makes you come alive and breathe in the minds of your consumers. It is your distinctive message, your personality. It’s who you are, how you talk to people, and how you present yourself and your organization to the world. And being a mid-size, community health system, you have an advantage over your larger brethren. Your deep roots and long history with your communities give you a personalized connection the big guys don’t have. This becomes even more relevant because reimbursement is transitioning from fee-for-service to value-based. So what’s the best way to hit on your brand promise? First, think about who you are, what you do best, what your customers need from you and how your organization fits in their lives. It may sound simple, but that’s really what your brand represents. To Beebe Healthcare in Lewes DE, this meant taking an active role in creating a healthier Sussex County – a county that was voted as having the least healthy population in the area. Beebe knew they were convenient and accessible to the community through its medical center and outpatient health campuses, but they didn’t have an identity beyond being a single hospital destination. Embracing their vision to lead their community into a healthier future, they promised to help their population achieve the healthiest life possible. Their community needed them to serve. Next, figure out how to build a relationship with people. Remember, your brand is more than who you are—it’s how you engage with your users. It’s the moment of contact and connection. For Beebe, this meant hiring one of the nation’s first Directors of Population Health, a nurse practitioner dedicated solely to improving community health through education and wellness programs. It meant being a founding member of Healthier Sussex County, a community-based coalition working together to help all area residents achieve optimal health. And, it meant launching a marketing campaign that helped the community understand Beebe’s promise to them – Be Well. Once you’ve got it, stay consistent. Whether it’s your web presence, a letter, or a handshake, live your promise. It’s actually easy, because this is who you are. What’s more, the people you serve will appreciate the singular commitment that your brand promise provides. That’s how Beebe did it. When done right, branding health systems is authentic. It’s exactly who you are. It’s everything you’ve made sure that your organization has been since day one. It’s supportive. It’s innovative. And the results? A 7% increase in top of mind awareness and 4% increase in recognition as the most preferred hospital. So who do you think you are? With a consistent brand promise, you—and your users—will know exactly. If you’re interested in finding out how Springboard can help your mid-size community health system grow in today’s healthcare landscape, contact us to learn more about branding health...
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