- Posted by Nigel Edelshain
- On May 27, 2015
- Custom publishing
Hospital marketing may not have been much like rocket science twenty years ago, but with new technologies, stricter regulations, and evolving corporate structures rocking the industry, it probably feels like you’re alone in NASA Mission Control trying to get a rocket off the ground all by yourself.
If you’re looking to continue your success and set your hospital apart from its competition, you’ve got to make the most of your time and use the most efficient tools possible.
Even in this age of email, blogs, and social networks, some of the best marketing tools around are still the ones you have to send off to a professional printer when you’re done with them instead of publishing with a single click of your mouse. Sure, print costs more—but it also drives real results.
One of those print marketing tools is a service line piece, a mini magazine that can fuel your hospital’s growth long after liftoff. With a much tighter focus than a full-size magazine, a service line piece—or a series of them—offers flexibility in an easily accessible format. Here are five ways such a piece or series can fuel service line growth at your hospital.
Service line pieces are highly targeted marketing tools
Part of the difficulty of producing a full-size magazine is creating content for a diverse audience. Focus on any one area and you risk losing the interest of many of your readers. A service line piece, by contrast, offers no such dilemma—leaving you free to fill its pages with stories and information that are highly relevant to its target audience.
How your divide your audience is entirely up to you—take a look at Westchester Medical Center’s award-winning Advances in Medicine series below for a great example. Divided into pieces for men, women, and seniors, the series ensures that every time someone opens up an issue, they’re greeted with content designed specifically for them.
And if your hospital already produces a print magazine or newsletter, it’s easy to bundle it together with a service line piece and mail it to a segment of your mailing list.
Service line pieces are flexible
Flexibility is an important trait for any marketing tool, and service line pieces feature it in spades. Everything from the number of pages to the distribution to the format itself is customizable to fit your hospital’s needs. You can even feature multiple service lines in one piece. And just because it’s a print piece doesn’t mean you can’t share it online as well—digital editions are great for embedding on your website or sharing on your social media accounts.
Service line pieces drive reader action
Providing great content for your readers can only do so much if it doesn’t urge them to take action when they’re done reading. With a magazine designed for a larger audience, it’s entirely possible that someone might read an issue from cover to cover without finding a call-to-action that compels them to do more. A service line mitigates that risk with a range of content for every reader. Specific calls-to-action like the ones in Monmouth Medical Center’s Advances in Surgery piece below attract attention and provide you with a means of tracking each piece’s success.
Service line pieces illustrate the breadth and depth of your services
Service line pieces have freedom to delve into complex topics that other marketing pieces simply don’t have. Instead of forcing readers to follow up or do their own research after reading about a topic of particular interest, it’s easy to offer it to them with no more effort than turning the page. Showcase all of the different ways the service line has made an impact in your local community then zoom in one particular area, or give an overview of a topic followed by a more complex exploration for those who want to learn more—the choice is yours.
Service line pieces are designed for all kinds of readers
Different people read in different ways. Much has been made in recent years of the way people skim content online, but skimming didn’t start with Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. Print offers virtually limitless options for designing and laying out your content so it attracts the attention of everyone no matter how they read. Attractive styling and effective call-out boxes ensure that your message is received loud and clear whether or not your readers actually read every word.