Community marketing is the process of communicating your brand to your local communities through personal connections. Because patients seek excellent service and an authentic human connection with the brand, you begin winning patients' business by treating them like a person, not a number.
The relationships between patients and brands make community-based marketing a crucial component of modern medical and healthcare marketing strategies. Not only can it be very effective, but a small percentage of patients are losing trust in many standard marketing strategies like generic paid advertising.
What is involved with community-based marketing? And what are its benefits? Our guide is crafted to help medical professionals understand the nuances and impact of a community-based marketing strategy, including fundamental concepts and examples.
By utilizing 3-5 of these marketing mediums, you ensure the highest level of success. Community marketing should not be overlooked, although it is often tough to tackle, requiring more creativity, thought, and execution time from the doctor.
As the word describes, community marketing is marketing within your communities. For medical professionals, this will include the area around your practice location that patients are willing to drive. For GPs and primary care physicians, this is a radius around 5 to 8 miles. For specialty doctors, potential patients may be ready to drive 20 miles or more to visit a trusted professional. In rural areas, your communities reach out much further.
Community marketing takes many forms. It can be school sponsorship, event participation, and much more. The ideal course of action is to participate in 3 to 5 regular events each year. Annual participation creates the strongest communication of your business and brand.
Community marketing can be powerful because it taps into human social and emotional needs by creating close associations between a person's identity and a brand. The power communities create with brand advocacy can be very strong. However, making brand advocacy or connecting them with communities can be challenging.
Many specialty medical professionals rely on referrals from general practitioners. Sometimes, your referral source isn't willing, or they are severely enticed by competition in your area. Or, sometimes, print or digital marketing simply isn't gaining as much traction as you thought. Sometimes, it's necessary to target potential patients directly through community marketing efforts as part of your campaign.
Before you begin to think about community marketing, you must consider your messaging. Content Marketing involves the creativity and execution of your message, whether you require signs, banners, posts, brochures, or swag. Content Marketing also involves engagement with social media. A successful healthcare marketing strategy that engages the local community via social media outlets goes the extra mile to build brand identity, trust, and loyalty.
Once a strong brand and message have been created, it's time to get involved with your community. Below are our top 13 ideas to begin your Community-based Marketing campaign:
Choosing 3 to 5 events each year to sponsor or participate in is the recommended first step. The first year of your campaign is often the most challenging, as patient participation is just beginning. The few conversions and supporting patients may seem unproductive in your first year. Hold out for another two years to better understand patient participation. Track results. You cannot make future decisions without proper data. If you require help with data understanding, contact us, as we provide excellent reporting metrics to understand data.
Community marketing is often within the wheelhouse of the practice owner or doctor. Hiring professional help to research and execute great community ideas is often unjustified due to limited potential ROI for small businesses. However, larger practices and multi-office medical practices typically have funds that justify potential ROI.
Our expert marketing professionals are ready to help you place some community marketing ideas in your court. If you require further help to research and execute community campaigns, we are happy to discuss your options. Our healthcare marketing agency is known for using customized approaches to ensure every strategy caters to our client’s niche. For more information about our healthcare marketing services, call (877) 570-9880.