THE IMPORTANCE OF A COHESIVE INTERNET STRATEGY (KEY TAKEAWAYS FROM HCIC 2016)
The healthcare industry continues to evolve and adapt to emerging digital trends. This year’s Healthcare Internet Conference was an insightful opportunity to learn what practices are garnering the best results for healthcare marketers across the United States.
The key takeaway this year was the importance of having a cohesive Internet strategy. Every hospital needs a strategy that encompasses four key components:1. Infrastructure
In order to have a successful Internet strategy, first you need the infrastructure in place to make it happen. Consider how your website is built and how it can be edited. Using the back-end of your website should not require an advanced degree in web development; it should be relatively easy to add new articles, upload videos, and edit content. For the front-end of your website, consider the end user. For example, nineteen percent of Americans rely on their smartphone to access the internet. Your website needs to be responsive – meaning it should be optimized for viewing on computer, tablet, and mobile screens.2. Content Strategy
Once the structure of the website is ready, the next step is filling in with content. People visit your website because they are looking for information. Thirty-five percent of U.S. adults have looked online for medical information. The target audience of your website wants to learn more about their condition, research diagnostic procedures, find where out you’re located, and make appointments. Create and license content that will meet these needs. Healthcare content should be engaging and easy to understand.3. Marketing & Engagement Strategy
Content and marketing go hand-in-hand. Once you have educational, engaging content on your website, you’ll need to drive people to it through marketing. There are a few basic things you should always do: optimize your content for search engines by using key words and metadata; promote your content across multiple social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram; and invest in targeted, paid online advertising.4. Insights & Performance Metrics
Measuring the results of your marketing efforts will help you determine which methods are earning the best results – and which should be dropped. Metrics need to go deeper than “number of website sessions” and “number of Facebook likes”. Statistics on the number of visits and followers are important, but the metrics you should be most interested in are the ones related to engagement. We’ve discussed vital social media metrics in a past blog post. For your website, use Google Analytics to track traffic sources and conversions (such as setting an appointment).