Chiara Ferragni was recently named to Forbes’ 30 under 30 list. She’s on track to take in $8 million in revenues this year alone. Chiara is the creator of The Blonde Salad, which started as a fashion blog but has become so much more. Along with other prominent bloggers, Chiara is part of a fashion blogger phenomenon. This new market emerging in the blogosphere can teach healthcare marketers a thing or two about branding themselves and connecting with patients via social media.
Have a unique voice
Bloggers are a living brand; their brand is their personality and their personality is their brand. Followers appreciate their opinions, which are validated after they discover an amazing new beauty product, or find the perfect pair of winter boots. While your brand may not be alive per se, it can have vivacious qualities. These could be real patient testimonials, physician behind-the-scenes videos, anything that allows patients “backstage” access to familiarize themselves with the hospital.
In addition, it truly helps to find a Chiara Ferragni of your own to blog for your hospital brand. Some of our clients have star physicians who love to blog, offering unique voices and putting a trusted face on the brand as they educate prospective patients about a range of germane topics from medical innovations to preventive care.
Build a community and connect with your community frequently
Through blog posts and social media, bloggers are constantly communicating and connecting with their followers. They rely on feedback from their viewers to know what to post and what to leave out. In this sense, bloggers are constantly evolving for and with their audience. They receive a plethora of opinions in the comment section of each post with equates to blogger gold.
For healthcare marketers, these invaluable opinions come in the form of patient surveys, website feedback, word of mouth, etc. By listening to the voice of your healthcare consumer, you are ultimately creating a line of communication through which you can tailor your services and ultimately, your brand.
Bloggers often utilize a sleek, user-friendly interface and push content as many as 2-3 times a day. They not only reach their audience frequently, but they so do with a variety of content: photos, videos, tweets, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest. They understand the power of numbers and each interaction with their followers helps strengthen their brand. By connecting frequently, you are only reinforcing their decision in you and your health system.
Value relationships & listen to feedback
Bloggers and fashion brands are symbiotic; brands see significant return on investment because of a blogger’s vast following. Bloggers collaborate with various brands (i.e. clients) and go beyond basic banner ads on their homepages; they attend publicity events, integrate products into their posts, and even design lines with the brands. Brands essentially hire them to leverage their followers while simultaneously promoting their own name.
In healthcare, too, the patients’ relationship with the hospital should be synergetic. The hospital should go above and beyond basic care to provide an all-inclusive experience. Listen to your patients. What are they telling you about the hospital? Do you need to add valet parking? Did the nurse caring for their elderly father make his stay that much easier? Just stop and listen, because if you check, they are telling you. By listening and implementing a stellar customer service initiative, you will be able to leverage the power of your patients and in turn, promote your own name.
Healthcare marketing can be complex but with the implementation of these key takeaways, your healthcare consumer will be more familiar and have a deeper connection with your brand while also feeling validated and heard.