In the digital age of “updates,” “re-tweets,” “shares” and “likes,” healthcare marketers have a unique opportunity to disseminate their message to the masses. Shared media is essentially the new “word of mouth.” This is in part to a growing number of consumers spending more time online communicating via social channels than ever before.
The key to maximizing shared media’s potential, however, is through content audiences find of significant value—so much so, they are compelled to engage with it or share it with their networks.
Here’s a brief look at four ways that, as a healthcare marketer, you can encourage shared media and master this media trend to take your company’s message viral.
Compelling content that is valuable and informational to readers will keep them coming back to your website and landing pages. This may include blogs, eBooks, case studies, infographics or videos. Publishing any of these types of content consistently helps a brand become easier to find through search engines and social channels.
A great example of a healthcare entity taking owned media to a whole new level is The Mayo Clinic. The Minnesota-based hospital has a News blog, a Podcast and a YouTube channel, which has garnered more than 10 million views.
Video is proving particularly successful in the healthcare industry, too. According to a Google study, YouTube traffic to hospital sites has increased 119 percent year to year.
Often regarded as “traditional” media, paid media has become much more than static advertisements due to the use of data. Healthcare marketers can now target channels where potential consumers are spending their time through sponsored updates and tweets and even retargeted ads—thus encouraging potential customers and patients to engage with and share your content.
This is especially important for an industry where research shows 90 percent of respondents said they would trust medical information shared by others on social media networks.
Earned media is one of the toughest to acquire, but it could be one of the most effective. It will likely require having media contacts and strategizing a story that will pique a reporter's interest. But, if done right, it can gain a healthcare company a lot of buzz and trust by the public.
According to Statista, earned media is still one of the most powerful ways to reach an audience. Consider also that news organizations have more outlets in which to distribute their healthcare story; it’s almost like an extension of your content that will likely get shared on social channels.
According to Marketing Charts, the average person spends more than three hours per day on social media channels. By interacting with audiences on Facebook, Twitter, Yelp or other social platforms, marketers are at a direct advantage to shape conversations and handle customer relations, especially in healthcare. In fact, it is reported that 41 percent of people said social media would affect their choice of a specific doctor, hospital or medical facility.
For healthcare companies that want to emphasize their facilities and experts, social channels are a great choice. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, social media users are more likely to trust what they read in posts created by doctors or nurses.
Studies show social media users feel overwhelmed by the amount of content they are faced with constantly. It’s why quality trumps quantity when it comes to online content and messaging put forth by companies.
This is why owned, earned and paid media strategies are not only useful, but necessary for healthcare marketers—especially if you want to capitalize on shared media. Learn more about building owned, earned and paid media outlets for your healthcare organization in this free eBook.
Nancy Zambrano’s natural curiosity led her to pursue a career in TV journalism. She spent almost 10 years producing and reporting for a number of television stations, including Univision and Fox News stations in Austin and Houston. After a non-stop decade of breaking news, she decided it was time to shift her love of communications in another direction—marketing. She has since worked as Content Marketing Manager for ShoreTel, Marketing Consultant for Whole Planet Foundation and continues to be a Contributing Writer for Austin Fit Magazine.