Inbound vs. Outbound Healthcare Marketing Strategies

Inbound vs. Outbound Healthcare Marketing Strategies

An informative piece circulated on Twitter recently caught my attention. The post by Jeff Bullas, Social Media Marketing: 10 Inspiring Infographics shares some good examples of the power and influence social media has on the behaviors and buying patterns of consumers. Jeff also discusses the conversation related to the shift from outbound marketing efforts, or what I like to call “shameless self-promotion”, to more appealing, conversational inbound marketing tactics. This article was of great interest, being I led a discussion on the move to a more educated consumer, new buying behaviors and how social networking is a driving factor behind these shifts during my session at the Practice Management Institute national conference.

 

Healthcare Social media and Inbound vs. Outbound Marketing

With consumerism abound in healthcare, these same shifts in patient decision-making behaviors and choices in physicians/institutions are becoming increasingly difficult to ignore. With this adjustment in action, to be effective at reaching your patient (or referring physician, organization, etc) one must understand the difference between these two approaches to marketing. My friend and colleague Howard Luks, MD, does a great job of outlining these differences in his recent post: Social Media and Healthcare: Inbound vs. Outbound Marketing (be sure to check it out!). In his post he poses the question, “does your marketing professional understand the difference?”

 

How to do Inbound Healthcare Marketing Right

As a marketer in the healthcare field, I have a few additional thoughts and tips to consider in building your organization’s marketing strategy and looking to undertake more inbound concepts verses the “shameless self-promotion” approach I mentioned earlier.

 

1. Don’t put all your marketing eggs in one basket; it’s crucial you STILL diversify your marketing mix! It’s true; there is still room for more traditional forms of marketing such as TV, radio and print. It’s all about your message! You can engage an audience and provide educational content through these traditional mediums; it doesn’t all have to be about solely promoting services or providers. However, for a healthy balanced marketing strategy, you must use these more traditional methods in conjunction with fresh inbound tactics, including social media.

 

2. You’ve got to make it real for your audience! Consistent research shows your patients look to peers for recommendations, not to the advertisements they hear and see. Your patients are now on Facebook, Twitter….and other social networking sites! So, engage in these sites and make it easy for patients to sing your physicians’/institutions’ praises to their peers. Patient testimonials make it REAL for your audience; they can connect with your current patients, their stories and their reasoning behind choosing you. Stories sell. Period.

 

3. Take the time to know your audience! Even with inbound marketing tactics, you can still miss truly interacting with your audience. Take time to find out who you are talking to, who you want to attract, who you want the information to engage and ultimately who you want walking through the doors of your office.  Marketing your practice can be a daunting task, but keep in mind, your goal as a healthcare provider should be to provide educational content to your audience. Continuing to focus on providing educational information and becoming a health resource to patients, potential patients and the community will bring success in reaching and engaging your audience.

 

One must understand, you cannot be everything to everyone, even with the use of social media channels. Stick to your message, engage your audience and produce quality content within your physicians’ or institutions’ realm of expertise.

About the Author

Jamie Verkamp – @jamieverkampJamie Verkamp, is a recognized social media/patient experience speaker throughout the United States and continues to grow her presence throughout the healthcare world. Jamie Verkamp is a featured consultant at Symplur, learn more about Jamie on her healthcare social media consultant page. +

27 Comments
  1. http://www.twitter.com/chrisgomedia
    Chris Tompkins - @http://www.twitter.com/chrisgomedia03-19-2012

    Terrific article Jamie – it really put a smile on my face. The reason? When I read your #1 reason I was besides myself. I think I say this to clients EVERY TIME either me or one of my associates speak to a new healthcare company interested in using social media marketing to promote their company online.

    While social media is a wonderful tool, it is not the golden goose nor the golden egg. What it does effectively do is add heaps of value to your existing marketing strategy. I like to say that it is the oil that helps the cogs and wheels of marketing move more smoothly and quickly.

    It’s nice to see that someone else is spreading this message! Going to tweet your article now :)

Leave a Comment


  1. @tmlfox
    Thomas M. Lee – @tmlfoxJanuary 25th, 2012

    "Inbound vs. Outbound Healthcare Marketing Strategies" http://t.co/TqEQVNcg via @jamieverkamp #hcsm #hcsmca

  2. @jamieverkamp
    jamieverkamp – @jamieverkampJanuary 25th, 2012

    RT @tmlfox: "Inbound vs. Outbound Healthcare Marketing Strategies" http://t.co/iI5OZuNs via @jamieverkamp #hcsm #hcsmca

  3. @hjluks
    Howard Luks – @hjluksJanuary 26th, 2012

    Inbound vs. Outbound Healthcare Marketing Strategies http://t.co/dgL5RheD via @symplur and @jamieverkamp

  4. @blogbrevity
    Angela Dunn – @blogbrevityJanuary 26th, 2012

    "Engage your audience + produce quality content" Nice to see I share ideas w/ new @symplur teammate @jamieverkamp http://t.co/KRhKJASb

  5. @jamieverkamp
    jamieverkamp – @jamieverkampJanuary 26th, 2012

    TY 4 the share! RT @hjluks: Inbound vs. Outbound Healthcare Marketing Strategies http://t.co/KTUFTOE7 via @symplur and @jamieverkamp

  6. @westr
    Robert West PhD – @westrJanuary 30th, 2012

    Congrats @jamieverkamp on your new @symplur gig: http://t.co/eqorL8lw #hcsm #hcmkg

  7. @tmlfox
    Thomas M. Lee – @tmlfoxJanuary 31st, 2012

    "How to do Inbound Healthcare Marketing Right" http://t.co/omo7Cr26 via @jamieverkamp #hcsm #hcmktg

  8. @trnupyourvolume
    Turn Up Your Volume – @trnupyourvolumeJanuary 31st, 2012

    "How to do Inbound Healthcare Marketing Right" http://t.co/omo7Cr26 via @jamieverkamp #hcsm #hcmktg

  9. @tmlfox
    Thomas M. Lee – @tmlfoxJanuary 31st, 2012

    We're so honored to have her :-) RT @westr: Congrats @jamieverkamp on your new @symplur gig: http://t.co/YIh6dy7P #hcsm #hcmkg

  10. @tmlfox
    Thomas M. Lee – @tmlfoxFebruary 4th, 2012

    Inbound vs. Outbound Healthcare Marketing Strategies http://t.co/zUGYzQ3U #hcsm #hcmktg #doctors

  11. @symplur
    Symplur – @symplurFebruary 6th, 2012

    Inbound vs. Outbound Healthcare Marketing Strategies – by @jamieverkamp http://t.co/45p8ogr8 #hcsm #MDchat

  12. @jamieverkamp
    jamieverkamp – @jamieverkampFebruary 7th, 2012

    RT @symplur: Inbound vs. Outbound Healthcare Marketing Strategies – by @jamieverkamp http://t.co/LxwkbVna #hcsm #MDchat

  13. @audvin
    Audun Utengen – @audvinFebruary 9th, 2012

    Inbound vs. Outbound Healthcare Marketing Strategies http://t.co/XtHVAbEC #hcsm #hcsmeu

  14. @angel189
    Angel Gonzalez – @angel189February 9th, 2012

    RT @audvin: Inbound vs. Outbound Healthcare Marketing Strategies http://t.co/W9JeXAkR #hcsm #hcsmeu #hcsmeuES

  15. @drpenzesjanos
    Dr. Pénzes János – @drpenzesjanosFebruary 9th, 2012

    Inbound vs. Outbound Healthcare Marketing Strategies http://t.co/57r6PQfZ RT @audvin #hcmktg #socpharm #epharma

  16. @3v07advertising
    3v07 Advertising – @3v07advertisingFebruary 9th, 2012

    It’s no longer a one-way conversation. RT @drpenzesjanos: Inbound vs. Outbound Healthcare Marketing Strategies http://t.co/wgRZ4v6Q #hcmktg

  17. @aptilon
    Aptilon Inc. – @aptilonFebruary 9th, 2012

    Inbound vs. Outbound Healthcare Marketing Strategies http://t.co/57r6PQfZ RT @audvin #hcmktg #socpharm #epharma

  18. @symplur
    Symplur – @symplurFebruary 9th, 2012

    It’s no longer a one-way conversation. RT @drpenzesjanos: Inbound vs. Outbound Healthcare Marketing Strategies http://t.co/wgRZ4v6Q #hcmktg

  19. @jbbc
    Marie Ennis-O’Connor – @jbbcFebruary 12th, 2012

    RT @drpenzesjanos: Inbound vs. Outbound Healthcare Marketing Strategies http://t.co/c7DTNcbI #hcmktg

  20. @alecobelli
    Alessandro Cobelli – @alecobelliFebruary 15th, 2012

    Inbound vs. Outbound Healthcare Marketing Strategies | http://t.co/NIUU7Sk7

  21. @digmedcom
    MedCom Solutions – @digmedcomFebruary 19th, 2012

    RT @drpenzesjanos: Inbound vs. Outbound Healthcare Marketing Strategies http://t.co/c7DTNcbI #hcmktg

  22. @tmlfox
    Thomas M. Lee – @tmlfoxFebruary 25th, 2012

    Inbound vs. Outbound Healthcare Marketing Strategies http://t.co/SUWL78jp via @jamieverkamp #hcmktg

  23. @gohealthcare
    Go! Healthcare – @gohealthcareMarch 19th, 2012

    Inbound vs. Outbound Healthcare Marketing Strategies http://t.co/pzCquL3t via @symplur

  24. @irpod5
    Dan Ion Oprea – @irpod5March 19th, 2012

    Inbound vs. Outbound Healthcare Marketing Strategies http://t.co/pzCquL3t via @symplur

  25. @sarahbrechon
    Beautifully Said – @sarahbrechonApril 16th, 2012

    Inbound vs. Outbound Healthcare Marketing Strategies – by @jamieverkamp http://t.co/45p8ogr8 #hcsm #MDchat

  26. @tmlfox
    Thomas M. Lee – @tmlfoxAugust 18th, 2012

    Inbound vs. Outbound Healthcare Marketing Strategies http://t.co/xt3mwfzF via @jamieverkamp #hcsm #hcsmeu #hcsmca