What is Your Hospital Marketing Strategy Around Micro-Influencers?

All health care is local and is shaped by events nationally,
regionally and locally. Changes in healthcare policy and reimbursement such as
the Affordable Care Act, state regulatory action, and new or experimental payment methodologies change the game on a
regular basis. 

But in the end, it still comes down to medical care delivered in
the physician’s office, the local hospital and other alternative and nearby ambulatory
care settings that may or may not be hospital-based. Places of care where the
healthcare consumer forms opinions and then shares in a variety of ways.

Even with all the market uncertainty, growing healthcare consumerism,
data transparency driven by third parties along price and outcomes, retail
innovation and non-traditional competition, health care is still a game of
influence.  

Many hospitals and health systems are turning
to macro-influencers to promote the brand in pithy clever campaigns. Then you
see the same macro-influencers in the same market promoting other non-healthcare
brands.  One must ask if they are really influencing
the hospital brand in the market or just causing confusion? And what happens
when the macro-influencers go bad?
The time had come for
creating a brand strategy around the micro-influencer.
Instead of macro influencers
like celebrities which have a limited lifespan
and are fraught with their endorsement dangers from ill-advised behavior or
comments in social media on a much larger
scale, it’s time for a better influencer
strategy.
The age of impactful micro-influencers
is here.
Micro-influencers are based in the community in the local hospital
market and carry more significant weight with the brand endorsements than many
realize. Think of it this way, what is of more value to the hospital in swaying
the healthcare consumer? The celebrity with millions of followers all over the world,
tweeting or blogging about the hospital, or the micro-local influencer with several
thousand followers who is blogging about
the hospital in the community?
Since most of the healthcare
consumer searching for hospital and physician services are online, then the value of using local micro-influencers in the
hospital service area increases exponentially.
Micro-influencers are
the new word-of-mouth influencers for the hospital and physician.
So how can a hospital or health system influence the
influencers?
What it is about is identifying who the micro-influencers
are in your local market and building long-term
relationships. It’s like making a friend. Would one make a friend just by
tweeting or commenting on a Facebook post
or reading a blog? No magic bag of tricks here. 
It takes hard work, but the micro-influencer of choice payoff for you is
brand growth and revenue. Now, who doesn’t
want that?
Since influencing the influencers is all about relationship
building, it’s about getting them to an event, getting them on the phone,
writing a personal email.  Influencing
the influencers is traditional stuff that healthcare marketer’s use to do and
still do to a certain extent, but instead, chase the shiny new channel or
technique. Its old-fashioned relationship-building applied to a new way of
reaching people.
Micro-influencers can assist in recommending insurance plans
one is a provider member of in the exchanges. Influencers can recommend
hospital friendly physicians. 
Influencers can make a great difference and speed up the brand and
reputation recover efforts after a major public relations or media disaster. Micro-influencers
work and live in the community and our friends,
family members, community leaders, and local
radio personalities, etc.
The more things change, the
more they stay the same. Adding an influence, the micro- influencer’s component
into your integrated marketing has the potential to pay some very large long-term
brand, reputation and revenue impacts.
Why isn’t a micro-influencing strategy part of your hospital
marketing?
Michael is a healthcare business, marketing,
communications strategist and thought-leader.  As an internationally followed healthcare strategy blogger, his blog,
Healthcare Marketing Matters is read in  52
countries and listed on the
100 Top Healthcare Marketing
Blogs, and Websites
ranked at No. 3 on the list by
Feedspot.com. Michael is a Fellow, American College of Healthcare Executives,
Professional Certified Marketer, American Marketing Association.
As an expert in digital
marketing & social media with a Klout score of 64, Michael is in the top 10
percent of social media experts nationwide.
 Michael is an established influencer and inquires for strategic
consulting engagements can be made by calling  
815-351-0671. Opinions expressed are my own.

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