One of the many factors you must consider when developing your hospital’s marketing strategy is whether to make your focus local or national. Your choice will have a big influence on what your overall inbound marketing strategy looks like. While there may be some overlap in the type of tactics you’d use for local and national marketing strategies, on the whole, each approach involves a different focus and distinct efforts.
If most of your patients are local, it may seem like an easy choice. But any hospital that’s gained national attention due to an award or a “best of” list has seen how much national recognition can pay off. People will travel for good medical care.
A national marketing approach won’t be practical for every medical practice or hospital, but it might make sense for you if:
In other words, ask yourself if your hospital has something to offer that would be worth traveling for. If the answer is “yes,” and you have the marketing resources to pull off a national approach (which does require more work than a local one), then structure your marketing plan with the larger market in mind.
Even if you have the utmost respect for the expertise of your doctors and feel they could compete with any other hospital, a local marketing approach might be the best fit for you if:
Many patients are likely to value a local approach. The idea of knowing your doctor well and potentially running into them at the grocery store or local park may be ideal for many of your patients. You can tap into that market more successfully by keeping your focus small.
When you’re talking about health, many issues are universal, so lots of the topics you’d cover for local and national content marketing are the same. But there are a few ways to localize your content effectively.
If you’re taking a national approach, one of the biggest differences is one of scale. To keep up and compete with the other hospitals involved in national content marketing, you need to produce a steady stream of high-quality content.
You don’t necessarily have to choose between the two options. If you have the bandwidth to pursue national marketing, while also developing local relationships and content, by all means, do! Most health care practices will have an easier time focusing on one or the other, though.
For a marketing plan to be successful, it has to be sustainable. Carefully consider your marketing goals and the resources available to you—a good healthcare marketing strategy requires finding the right balance between the two.