Editor's Note: The marketing concepts discussed in this article-authored by Healthcare Success for ImagingBiz-also apply to many professional, medical and healthcare marketing situations. ImagingBiz is a unique industry publication that delivers business intelligence for hospitals, imaging centers and radiology practices. This education and information portal offers a wealth of expertise on the rapidly changing world of medical imaging.
Many, if not most, of the top imaging business websites fall short on their revenue building potential—far short. And they waste precious marketing resources in the process.
In our survey of the websites of the 60 top imaging centers and radiology practices in the US, Healthcare Success Senior Consultant Steve Smith reports good news and bad news from a marketing perspective.
We could rate only a couple of these websites as "excellent" and a few others as "good." Overall, there's much room for improvement, but the bad news continues.
Most sites offered no video content, which is one of the most effective new tools to boost website impact and payback. Only two of the websites surveyed—a fraction of one percent—included video content of any kind.
And while that's a failing for these no-video-content facilities, it's an open opportunity for the imaging center that wants to move ahead of the competition. A refreshed and engaging website with video also addresses other key marketing issues.
In general, our snapshot survey also tells us that, although most imaging centers have a website, this slice of their marketing budget likely fails to produce a decent Return-on-Investment (ROI). Who can afford to waste money when most facilities are doing daily battle with rising costs, shrinking reimbursements and relentless competition?
Perhaps you can relate to the most common pitfalls that we spotted-a failure to differentiate, and target audience miscalculation.
- DIFFERENTIATION is a branding issue, which we wrote about in our previous article. When physicians and patients don't recognize a distinction between or among centers they have no reason to choose you. You're not a brand...you're just bland.
- OFF TARGET MESSAGE or targeting only professional referral sources ignores the prospective, self-referred public. This also misses the opportunity to grow your brand and to build your reputation. Imaging facility websites about the "technology arms race" (and clinically written for the physician reader) neglect important benefits to the patient.
But there is good news here...
Using video content online and leveraged in other applications is a chance to assume a commanding leadership position while the competition sleeps. Here are seven more reasons why using video content makes good business sense right now.
- Video is no longer difficult or expensive. Broadband Internet is now mainstream, but more importantly, advances in digital technology—from the camera to the website—have dramatically reduced production costs and accelerated the creative cycle. Once "out of reach," video is fast becoming a standard element for websites.
- Video is persuasive and effective. We live in a visual world. And just as television commands a higher level of attention than radio, online video content communicates more effectively and with a deeper level of understanding than text alone. Testimonials, as just one example, are highly personal and compelling in video.
- Video communicates your branding message. Imaging centers are not an everyone's-the-same commodity. A video visitor immediately sees and understands how your facility is high tech, leading edge and distinctive. They have a vivid picture of your facility while everyone else is, at best, vaguely imagined.
- Video is highly cost-effective. Leverage—creating video once and using it in many places and in many ways—is a unique advantage that is both budget stretching and ROI inspiring. In addition to using video on your website, outreach possibilities include using video with newsletters, news releases and video search pages.
- Videos are versatile, educational and they immediately demystify. Consider how clinical or technical video messages for physicians, benefit-laden or informative videos for patients, sales support material for practice representatives and/or video training tools for staff replace the unknown with awareness, acceptance and action.
- Video helps boost search rank/position. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for healthcare is a complex process, but video content, when properly used, contributes to a higher visibility with search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Bing and many others. Video helps more people find you online.
- Video is underutilized. In spite of its surprising affordability, technological availability, relative ease of use and strong marketing and branding benefits, video content is seriously underutilized by healthcare organizations, doctors and hospitals. The imaging center or radiology practice that is first to grab the video ring can quickly differentiate itself and communicate more effectively with referring physicians and prospective patients.
You might say that we're sort of video evangelist. We believe that video belongs in everyone's healthcare marketing plan.
What's more, we practice what we preach, and recently produced a free six-part instructional series of videos about video titled Healthcare Video Marketing Secrets. You're welcome to watch them all on our website at
Imaging centers in particular are poised to use video to move ahead of the still-sleeping competition. You'll find that video is a powerful marketing tool, and it is far easier and less expensive than you might think.