8 Marketing Options for Increasing ASC Patient Volume
It's also an important way for providers to make sure they're providing valuable services and educating patients about what they have to offer, according to Stacey Hansen, creative services manager at Laser Spine Institute.
At the 20th Annual Ambulatory Surgery Centers Conference in Chicago on Oct. 25, Ms. Hansen discussed some strategies ASCs can use to increase their visibility and attract patients.
"Typically, your media is going to be layered," she said. "You're going to use a few different options."
1. Print. ASCs can promote themselves through print publications such as magazines, newspapers and newsletters to raise national and regional brand awareness, as well as deliver a cost-efficient call that will lead to surgery conversion, Ms. Hansen said.
She suggested surgery centers should look for advertorial opportunities and should focus on healthcare-focused publications. They should also work with local print outlets to target specific geographic markets.
2. Direct response television. Another option is direct response television, which asks consumers to respond directly to the company by calling or visiting its website. Ms. Hansen said a cost-efficient way to approach this media channel would be to work with a local cable network rather than a national one.
3. Out of home. ASCs can reach patients outside of the realm of traditional media through "out-of-home" promotions, which people will typically see while they're out shopping or commuting.
These outlets include billboards, transportation signage, outdoor displays and interactive kiosks.
4. Radio. Providers can choose to conduct a national or local marketing campaign through radio, which is best for raising awareness rather than prompting direct responses, Ms. Hansen said.
"Endorsements by on-air personalities are also a great way to get your brand out there and raise awareness because they're integrated with the consumer's daily life," she said.
5. Online. Having an online presence is crucial for ASCs looking to reach a broad audience, inform patients, improve customer service and brand their companies, according to Ms. Hansen.
Search engine optimization factors into online marketing. She advised surgery centers to identify keywords and work to work them into online materials so that people searching for those terms will land on the ASC site.
6. Public relations. Public relations efforts are key to shaping a surgery center's public image, Ms. Hansen said. This avenue of marketing involves reaching out to media targets such as medical trade publications and consumer publications.
Another component involves participating in local corporate events. She also advised working with charities.
"It's about message consistency," she said. "Make sure you're talking the talk and walking the walk."
7. Social media. Social media provides a unique opportunity for patient feedback and can facilitate peer-to-peer recommendations. Monitoring social media accounts and responding to patient questions and comments will also make people view providers more favorably, Ms. Hansen said.
"It really shows transparency and helps to build trust," she said.
8. Patient advocacy. People generally trust what their peers say, so ASCs should seek to give a voice to patients who have had a great experience to draw others in. Providers should encourage pleased patients to provide feedback on social media channels and to tell their friends and family, according to Ms. Hansen.
"There's no better advocate than a patient who's had a great experience with you," she said.
More Articles on ASC Marketing:
ASC Marketing: Understanding Paid Search
3 Things Every ASC Brand Should Have
5 Secrets to Build a Powerhouse Surgery Center Marketing Strategy
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