This is because the goal of advertisingIs connecting with your target audience, building a lasting relationship with them/building brand loyalty, getting them to do something – which in this case is coming to your Health Center and encouraging friends and family to do the same.In the past we relied heavily on paid advertising, also known as “paid media” – gaining publicity by purchasing advertising.Research shows that 86% of consumers tend to trust “real” people rather than marketers (14%). SoWord of mouth is critically imporant – it’s the most trusted and influential type of recommendation. Cost shift – instead of buying ad space, you are paying for the time it takes to get attention of consumers, engage them, build relationship with them, and get them to talk about your Health Center.
To get talked about, you need to do something to get attention. Like I said at the beginning, we can all create a buzz about our health center using word of mouth.
Just as EVERYONE is responsible for word of mouth marketing, EVERYTHING impacts how your customers perceive your Health Center. So think of EVERY moment as a marketing moment.Do they talk to a live person when they call, or do they cut stuck on the automated phone systemAre staff members welcoming when customers come through the door, or do they feel invisible?Is the patient waiting area warm and welcoming – full of informative literature?Is the Health Center clean?FriendlinessHelpfulnessTimlinessYou really careTake an inventory of your Health Center from every perspective to see how it makes your customers “feel” – they will talk about good and bad experiences – customers are 40% more likely to tell about a bad customer service experience than a good oneA happy customer will tell 4-6 people about their positive experience
Create a buzz on your website. Every Michigan Health Center has a website now. But it isn’t enough to just have a websiteThink of your website as the face of your organization - need to continually post fresh content on your website to keep people coming back and to “love your link.”You will lose people’s interest if nothing new is shared – if it’s the same old, same old every time they visitHere are two great examples from right here in Michigan Covenant – one of the things I like most about their site is the patient stories CHASS – continually posted new info to keep people updated on the progress of their new Southwest Center that just opened this weekOther info to include:Datathat shows what your Health Center does, how it makes a difference in the communityAsk other organizations to link to your website from their own websiteAsk your visitors to take action – whether it be to visit your Health Center, donate money
The best time to start using social media is five years agoSocial networking is not a fad – it’s here to stayAs this slide shows, there are a ton of social networking sites/tools to choose from – can’t be everywhere, so choose where your audience isBiggies: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTubeSpend 15 minutes a day building followers (start internally with staff and board), following others (listening is a great way to learn), promoting your Health Center’s activities, sharing and commenting on news of the day“Every piece of news, big or small can potentially become a point of conversation on FB or Twitter”“Every image/videocan potentially become a social object and a point of conversation” – so share images and videos as wellOnce you have a presence in the SN word, add social media icons to your website, email signature, printed materials
This is a great example of a Health Center creating a buzz in the social networking world.Blue Ridge Community Health Services in North Carolina has integrated social networking into their communications/marketing work:Recognize employee achievements such as our monthly Star Performer award winner who demonstrates excellence by going above-and-beyond in customer servicePromote upcoming events and fundraisersPost links to media coverage that shows off their workSpotlight board members work in the communityUse the new timeline to tell the Health Center historyShare the fun stuff, like dressing up at Halloween increases human interest in what we do and tempts folks to look closer at us and hopefully even talk about us over the “water cooler”;Advocacy – point folks toward relevant articles, calls to action, and encouraging them to share issues facing CHCs with their friends
Every event, milestone achieved, new provider who joins your Health Center, grant received should turned into a press releaseFind out who covers health care at your local media outlets and educate him/her about your Health Center – check media outlet’s website or see who wrote a recent story on health issueInvite him/her to have coffee, tour the Health Center, attend an upcoming eventExample of press event at DCHCPitch a story through press/media/news releaseSubmit letter to editor that references a relevant story and draw a connection between that story and your Health Center – example of USA Today article on Health Center qualityNACHC has great online media toolkit for Health Centers at http://nachc.org/media-toolkit-land.cfm.
Share media articles with themSend press releases to themInvite them to eventsEvent them to tour your Health CenterMeet with them in their officesAttend MPCA’s annual legislative ForumAttend NACHC’s Policy & Issues Forum
Chamber of commerce functions, service group meetings, open board meetings, rotary club meetings – meet one new person at each eventHost events – like during National Health Center Week (slide – NHCW 12 poster)Invite legislatorsInvite mediaHost a contestLike NHCW video contest
Google AnalyticsFree website traffic analysisWhen you sign up, you’ll get a snippet of code to put on the pages of your websiteThen log into Google account and you’ll have access to wealth of metrics for your site’s traffic and use – like which pages have most number of clicks, how long people stay on a page, where they come from and go when they leaveFacebook InsightsMetrics of your Facebook activity – total # likes, people who are talking about your posts (an overview of the whole site, and breaks it down by post too)Track Twitter Influence Free services will measure your influence you are among your Twitter followersExample is Klouthttp://klout.com/home or TweetStatshttp://tweetstats.com/Comments on blogMetrics built into WordPressGoogle AlertsTracks online coverage of keywords you choose – you get email updates of latest Google results (e.g. name of your Health Center, event you are hosting, competitor, a news story)Must have a Google email accounthttp://www.google.com/alertsShare how I use itBit.lySite where you can shorten URLs – can customize themhttps://bitly.com/Also tracks traffic and coversations – helps you know what conversations are being talked about, and whenGo right to the source - Ask patients on intake forms where they heard about your Health Center so you can see what’s working/isn’t working – be sure you are putting time and money into the things that are working, and throw those things off the bus that aren’t working
Creating A Buzz with Word of Mouth Marketing
Maximizing Your Connection to theCommunity through AdvertisingCreate a Buzz Using Word of MouthMarketingMay 23, 2012
Advertising Connect with your target audience Build lasting relationships/bran d loyalty EARNED Get target audience to take action MEDIA
Create a buzz byproviding excellentcustomer service
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