July 7, 2017

6 Questions to Ask Before Launching A Hospital Facebook Campaign

I once heard someone say health care has an ‘embarrassment of riches’ when it comes to compelling content. While I couldn’t agree more, we often hear from our clients that stories are hard to capture—and they are. Even though we know those stories are out there, being able to capture them and transform them into a meaningful campaign is challenging.

What’s the best way to share our message? How can I make sure I’m connecting to the right audience? And finally, how can I track and measure campaign engagement? 

While social media can feel intimidating, I can assure you, when done well, a thoughtful and well-executed social media campaign can bring you boundless ROI for your brand—and specific service line initiatives.

We’ve pulled together six crucial questions to ask yourself before launching your next Facebook campaign that will help your brand engage people in an authentic and meaningful way—every time.

1. What’s The Goal?

It sounds obvious, but we’re all guilty of letting our big ideas get the best of us sometimes and can often jump ahead of this very simple question. We’ve seen capable and seasoned healthcare marketing professionals do this across the country. Reminding ourselves—and our stakeholders—of the goal of every campaign initiative allows us to create a clear objective to map back to and create buy-in earlier and more consistently along the way.

Do you want to help share your brand narrative? Are you looking to generate service line volume or promote a specific service? Or is there a community-wide health initiative you need help promoting? Once you identify what you hope to achieve with your campaign, you’ll be able to measure and define success more clearly.

2. Who’s My Audience?

Understand who you’re talking to and more importantly—what they value. Do a little research beforehand on both your audience—and your competition. This will give you a better understanding of how to position your message so it’s clear why your message is unique and different.

What specific age range are you targeting? Geographically, where does that audience fall? Based on your research, what messaging would resonate most and entice your audience to engage with you? What can you assume that demographic knows—or doesn’t know—as you begin to craft your message? A common reason some social media campaigns are unsuccessful is because they fail in reaching the right audience and cast their message too broadly.

3. How Much Will I Need To Spend?

The benefits of launching a campaign on social media, specifically Facebook, are that the cost is relatively low and the reach is usually far greater. Once you identify the size of your audience and the frequency you want your ad shown, set aside an initial budget to allow your ad to reach as many people within that audience as possible.

Facebook makes this easy for users by allowing a spending cap, protecting you from overspending but allowing a brand to share their message with as many people within their audience as possible. After you test a campaign’s initial performance, you can modify accordingly, choosing to communicate to a smaller, more tailored audience.

4. How Can I Measure Success?

There are a few things to keep in mind before you begin analyzing your next Facebook campaign’s metrics. In addition to tracking click-through-rates and impressions throughout a media flight, remember to track landing page traffic, call center volume and overall campaign conversions—like service line appointments or inquiries, if those apply.

It’s easy to be blinded by false expectations when you receive your first media report and it’s glistening with high click-through-rates—but that doesn’t necessarily mean a winning ad—or campaign. Follow that data a few steps further and make sure your message is resonating and your audience is truly engaged and converting—which should be your ultimate goal.

5. Is My Landing Page And/Or Call Center Ready?

In most cases with Facebook campaigns, the goal is to capture your audience’s attention and lead them to a final destination. Depending on the campaign, that could mean a landing page with a vanity URL or a call center through a dynamic, trackable phone number. With all of the work that goes into launching a campaign—don’t let this final step cost you everything.

Here’s a quick checklist to make sure your landing page is ready before you launch:

  • Clean design with engaging imagery
  • Easy navigation with a clear call-to-action
  • Messaging specific to your audience
  • Responsive design: Is your site mobile-ready?

6. How Do I Know What—And When—To A/B Test?

One of the many benefits of digital is that you’re able to test and tweak in real time. Unlike traditional media, your campaign isn’t final once it launches. Most campaigns are able to yield meaningful metrics within 4-6 weeks post-launch. During that initial phase, don’t feel like you’re married to the same set of creative if it’s not resonating with your audience. Allow yourself to play with a variety of messaging based on what’s working and remove the creative that isn’t.

Ad fatigue is real. The smaller your audience, the more often you’ll need to refresh your creative to keep their attention.

What else has you feeling stuck when it comes to social media? If it’s the dreaded ‘social media scarries,’ we’ve got you covered here. But if it’s something else, we’d love to hear about it in the comments below.