The healthcare industry is constantly changing and growing. And while you might provide a wholly unique offering, along with an excellent team and value proposition, you may still be missing the mark in the absence of a data-backed marketing strategy.
That’s why we’re sharing some essential insights, derived from our broad background in marketing for healthcare and medical organizations. Major overhauls to your business model, operations, or marketing budget are likely not necessary. Instead, we suggest small, strategic changes that can ultimately have a significant impact.
It might appear difficult to compete in a world where big brands cater to the customer with a rollup of hundreds of medical services. However, we see smaller, innovative organizations and digital health startups find effective ways to compete with these giants. It takes real expertise, a great offering, and strategic marketing tactics.
To keep your customer pipeline flowing, start by conducting an audit of your products and/or service offerings. Beyond gaining a better understanding of your business, you’ll also get a better sense of the marketing personas —your target audience— that will eventually become the focal point of your marketing activities.
Take a look at your current patients / customers to get a sense of who they are:
- What’s the average age?
- What is the average income level?
- How are they paying us?
- What are their primary concerns?
- What are their life goals?
- How do they consume information?
By answering questions like these, you’ll start building a basis for your marketing strategy to achieve the most return for your marketing investment. For example, if you discover you have a majority millennial audience, you might consider paying for social media marketing and building a mobile-first website. On the contrary, if you’re audience is predominantly Gen X-ers, promoting your brand via search ads in Google and Bing is also a good idea.
Pro Tip: In general, nothing will get new people to you faster than a brilliant website that indicates who you are, what you do, and how they can find you. Prior to booking an appointment, more than 75% of patients use search engines. Your website should clearly communicate your offerings so you begin to rank in search engine result pages.
After gaining a deeper understanding of your target audience, you’ll be able to start developing more narrow segmentation for both advertising campaigns and email marketing. When sales and marketing teams are equipped with detailed intel, they can build better messaging to those who are most likely to make a purchase. The approach should be focused on showing people how your solution will benefit them by using succinct and concise wording.
Additionally, it’s useful to equip your marketing team with demographic data for a deeper level of segmentation. For example, a patient downloads a specific guide on oncology types from a lead magnet, or a user registers for one of your thought leadership webinars – now you can use that information for segmenting purposes.
The road to making a sale to healthcare facilities is often a long, detailed one. Medical professionals expect extensive information and sometimes clinical evidence that demonstrates why your product or service is the right choice. Conversely, when healthcare organizations are selling to consumers, it’s an incredibly personal journey that requires empathy and true value output. Marketers have to be prepared in both situations.
The B2B sales process likely begins with an initial email optimized to capture the attention of a busy medical professional who is likely giving it a quick glance on their mobile device. Messaging and design should tie together, conveying why your particular speciality is worthwhile (i.e. what unique value are you providing?). A quality call to action then encourages a reader to take the next step.
Marketing and sales teams typically achieve results when they have the resources to form strong relationships with healthcare professionals and guide them through this extended purchase path. A data-driven marketing strategy points the way toward better campaigns.
Did you know that thoughtful content is (still) king? Over 20% of users employ ad blockers, so placing a fancy banner or pop-up is not enough to attract new people to your key offerings. In a world filled with promotional noise, it’s never been more difficult to get your value proposition heard. Whether it’s tips and tricks about telemedicine usage, new diagnostics options, or general industry news — every piece of educational content will boost your brand awareness and generate people to your website.
At this stage, with your strategy and audience segmentation in mind, a content marketer can work to get your offerings to the right audience at the right time. For example, if you’re a local clinic in a highly-populated area, common symptoms and long-tail keywords (such as ‘how do I know if I have…’) will be super effective. If your target audience is located in a more complex area, consider focusing on keywords with a high search volume while paying for more specific keyword search ads. For example: you’re a family practice located in Austin, Texas. We’d recommend crafting content and marketing campaigns around keywords like “top family clinics Austin,” “best family practices Texas” or “pediatrician Austin list.”
Pro tip: Each piece of content should go beyond the website and be repurposed for social media platforms, guest posts, and email campaigns.
Note: most people do not convert on the first interaction. Think about the last purchase you made. Unless it was a pack of gum at your local convenience store, you probably put some thought into it. You might have researched your alternatives and complementaries, considered the ROI, debated its necessity. This is true for anyone interested in your offerings. To get in the consideration set of your audience, consider multichannel marketing approaches such as online chatbots, landing page contact forms, social media advertising and group interactions, digital retargeting, email marketing, and your standard offline brand awareness tactics. Anything that offers a consistent user experience and increases customer engagement is key to the success of a healthcare marketing campaign.
Additionally, consider providing your audience with more touchpoint options—from website to mobile app—to enhance their experience and increase engagement rates. Although many people love to contact chatbots, some go straight to Facebook or Google to report issues they have with your business. Keep all options open and show appreciation towards your customers, and the result will pay off.
Pro Tip: Providing contact information on your website, including a phone number, will vastly benefit your SEO rankings and user experience.
It’s helpful to have one of your managers devote a couple of hours weekly to manage your social pages by replying to comments and messages, and sharing announcements. However, that’s likely not enough to turn visitors into customers. We recommend building a social media healthcare marketing plan.
A lot of healthcare professionals get bogged down with paperwork, making social media efforts feel like less of a priority. However, in our opinion, social media remains a vital part of business growth. Let’s look at the facts:
- 42% of customers use social media next to Google to view health-related reviews (PwC)
- 84% of people say that they’re more likely to purchase a product or service by watching a brand’s promo video (Wyzowl)
- 24% of patients look at before and after images of other patients (PwC)
- 70% of millennials trust social media influencers for recommendations and advice (DMI)
That last point explains why more and more healthcare professionals are growing their businesses by becoming thought leaders on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Consider investing in social media thought-leadership activities and building relationships with other influencers who can showcase your offerings and communicate your unique messaging.
At its core, your marketing strategy should identify and understand the drivers of your key audience and personas. That’s how you can effectively make content that meets their needs.
Producing concise educational content—from blog articles to short explainer videos—is a great way to attract new people to your business. But first, start by making sure your website is (1) mobile responsive, (2) clean, and (3) communicates your value proposition with simple and direct language.
Finally, we recommend social media marketing to boost your brand awareness and attract new customers. Review platforms like Facebook and Google should also be considered to control the narrative around what people say about your offerings online. When done correctly, social media marketing campaigns can increase engagement rates for your healthcare product.
Don’t know where to start when it comes to building a comprehensive marketing strategy? Contact one of our marketing experts for a free consultation.