The Growth Channel

Opening a new facility? Use these 5 digital strategies to stand out.

by Sharareh Afshani and Emily Heuser

The final blueprints have been completed, investment capital allocated, and now, your new facility is ready to open its doors. But beyond cutting the ribbon, your new facility's grand opening should engage the community you are joining (or rejoining) and help promote your new location and services.

An essential first step in your new opening strategy is building a strong digital front door. Below are five tactics you can use before and after your facility's opening to excite the community and position your system for success.

1. Show others in the community welcoming your new facility

For its opening campaign, St. Anthony Hospital spearheaded a people-focused, homegrown concept that featured actual residents with signs welcoming the hospital to the community. The hospital led its opening campaign with the message: "You've welcomed us to your community. Now it's our turn to welcome you." By showcasing members of the community, from high school students to the city mayor, this approach gave local residents a stronger sense of connection with their new hospital.

2. Target prospects before they need care

Geo-targeting and geo-fencing allow strategists to selectively, yet effectively, reach out to prospective patients, cultivating stronger relationships and brand awareness. For example, Memorial Healthcare employed a geo-targeting strategy to promote its new, free online cardiac risk assessment tool. By using Pandora's online radio platform to push messaging in local areas, Memorial's campaign drove an impressive 500% increase in mobile traffic to its online risk tool and generated 37,000 qualified clicks toward inquiries into its cardiac services.

Check out the full case profile on Memorial Healthcare here

3. Enhance your digital footprint to help potential patients find you

To attract consumers and position your facility favorably prior to opening, consider adopting digital strategies that will optimize visibility for searchers. You can do this through search engine marketing, symptom searchers, and search engine optimization (SEO). Consumer-oriented content such as a blog feature or Twitter Q&A can also educate your community while improving SEO, driving long-term website traffic, and establishing your system as the expert in the region.

4. Improve your market reach with native advertising

The growing use of ad blockers has made it increasingly difficult to reach online audiences. As a result, the use of native advertising has skyrocketed in recent years as another successful avenue for capturing consumer interest with carefully curated and positioned content. With a new direct-to-consumer campaign for your new facility, consider incorporating native ads in your marketing arsenal to better relay your message to its target audience.

5. Lead with emotion

To craft a successful message and stay top-of-mind in your market, Forbes stresses the importance of appealing to and engaging with your audience's emotions. Consider including doctors and nurses in your promotional messaging, illustrating your system's core values, and presenting a compassionate, human face to the new institution.

How consumers’ health care preferences vary by age

Millennials, Gen X, Baby Boomers, the Silent Generation—what exactly do each of these groups want from their health care?

We surveyed thousands of consumers across the United States to find out. Download this infographic to learn how to tailor your messages and target your investments to each generation.

Get the Infographic