It’s hard to believe, but 2015 is coming to a close. From a marketing perspective, this means you should already be thinking about 2016 and your promotions for the first quarter. A new year is a great time to take stock of your business’ marketing practices and determine your focus for the months ahead.

Here are some suggestions as you map out your marketing strategy:

  • First and foremost, remember that the internet is a fluid, fast-changing environment. Focus on specifics for the first quarter; then, map out general goals for the rest of the year. For example, Google changes its search algorithm about 1,200 times a year. You don’t want to work hard in January for a marketing promotion in September and have to redo it because Google changed.
  • Stay up to date. Do inventory to make sure your marketing platforms, including websites, reviews, search engine optimization (SEO), and social media accounts, are up to the latest standards. This means your website needs to be responsive and pass Google’s mobile test.
  • Think mobile. In 2015, Google announced that more searches were conducted on mobile devices than desktop computers. In addition, 68 percent of smartphone users check their phones within 15 minutes of waking up and continue to check them an average of 150 times a day. Make sure your website is not only visible on mobile, but that key information and forms are readily accessible.
  • Don’t be afraid to get help. Online marketing has matured, and some aspects of it, like SEO, are best handled by a person trained in that functionality. Partnering with a marketing provider can bring much-needed expertise to your marketing efforts, and in the long run, make your marketing dollars more effective.
  • Understand what you are buying. When working with a provider, make sure the work that is being done is transparent and request a report on what is provided with each service. With SEO in particular, be sure to understand whether the service is provided for organic search, pay per click, or both.

Marketing is a constant job that needs to be conducted by more than one person in your hospital. Make sure an employee is assigned to manage your marketing and act as a liaison with an outside service provider, if you use one.

Don’t give up because it is overwhelming! Seek help instead. Remember, we offer free webinars every Wednesday to help keep your marketing on track. We are here to help!

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