The medical library is crucial to the success of the hospital, and you are a trusted member of the organization. While clinicians and researchers may think a simple web search will provide the right answer for their questions, we know it does not provide the trusted evidence they need. You are the expert in finding and sourcing the right information and training to maximize tools and resources.
However, marketing and promoting yourself and your resources can be time-consuming. Here are four fundamental tips to help medical librarians make sense of promoting and marketing their institution’s information resources and services.
1. Start with Strategy
An overall marketing strategy will help you to stay on course with your marketing activity. An effective strategy should include campaigns, taking into consideration a targeted audience, basic message, tactics, timing information and a goal or goals. Organize your campaign information in a central document for you to refer back to. Remember, your strategies should aim to promote the medical library and the resources you provide. Let the hospital’s clinicians and researchers know your value.
2. Recruit and Retain
Make sure that your strategy has a focus to “retain” current clinicians and researchers and “recruit” new ones. You’ll also want to consider where and when promotions make the most sense. For example, if your aim is to recruit new users of the medical library’s resources, you might want to work your promotion into the hospital’s new employee orientation.
3. Tell a Story with Content
When it comes to messaging, crafting a story and providing a benefits-driven message is key. Take your marketing to the next level by using content to communicate your message. This is also known as content marketing. Effective content marketing tactics include infographics, videos, success stories and webinars. Consider telling the story of how one of your resources has alleviated a pain point for a particular department. Ask those individuals to provide a brief testimonial of their success with the resource.
The Key Performance Indicator (KPI) is a qualitative way to help you measure and analyze the success of a campaign or tactic. For example, your goal might be to create awareness of a resource. Your KPI could be a 10% increase in usage of that resource as the qualitative goal. Once you have completed your project, review what worked and what didn’t. Use what you’ve learned and apply it to your next medical library marketing campaign.