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Top 10 Strategies for Healthcare Digital Marketing

July 22, 2020

Contents:
1. What Is Healthcare Marketing
2. Strategies for Healthcare Marketing
2.1. Create a Wholesome Patient Experience on Your Website
2.2. Employ a Responsive Web Design
2.3. Branding Matters
2.4. Provide Blog Content That Is Optimized for SEO
2.5. Supplement Blogs with Video Content
2.6. Take Advantage of Paid Advertising
2.7. Leverage Social Media
2.8. Set up an Email Strategy
2.9. Follow-up with Patient Reviews and Feedback
2.10. Track Your Strategies
3. Trends in Healthcare Marketing


1. What Is Healthcare Marketing

Healthcare marketing is a comparatively new field in the marketing space and is in a constant state of evolution. However, this does not mean that patterns having proven success rates have not emerged.

According to the CDC, “Health Marketing involves creating, communicating, and delivering health information and interventions using customer-centered and science-based strategies to protect and promote the health of diverse populations.“

The benefits of providing those who need vital healthcare information the ease of access to the information they so desperately need are boundless. If you are able to harness this power for your services, you can guide consumers throughout their healthcare journey, making them feel thoroughly safe in your hands while keeping them informed.

2. Strategies for Healthcare Marketing

There are many strategies you can draw from traditional marketing to use beneficially in healthcare, but here are the top 10 strategies that can help you ensure success:

2.1. Create a Wholesome Patient Experience on Your Website

Crafting a patient-focused website is key to creating a seamless experience for visitors. While it is important to create a website that you can optimize for search engines, it is also crucial to simplify the process for first-time as well as repeat visitors. Use a conversational tone so that patients don’t feel like they are being bombarded with medical jargon.

Take a look at Mayo Clinic’s homepage. Patient needs like online scheduling, specialist lookup, and contact information are easily available, while secondary information for those who would like to explore more before they make an appointment is below.

2.2. Employ a Responsive Web Design

With more people leaving the confines of PCs to use the web, ensuring that your website is responsive to various types of devices is paramount. This applies more so to mobile devices because Google is introducing mobile-first indexing from September 2020.

2.3. Branding Matters

If you want to use digital media efficiently you have to identify what your organization as a brand can give patients. Even if it is healthcare, where target markets and organizational priorities are almost similar, patients need differentiating factors for each healthcare provider. If you don’t want a patient to be lost in the sea of white coats, figuring out what is special about what you can offer is crucial. Make sure your organizational goals and marketing goals are in sync to avoid unnecessary expenditure. Analyze your competition and let that assist you in shaping the path that your digital marketing strategy will take. You can often learn a lot from a competitor’s mistakes.

2.4. Provide Blog Content That Is Optimized for SEO

Symptom-related searches constitute 1% of all searches, that’s millions, on Google. Use this information to your benefit when planning your editorial calendar for blogs. While you plan around national health observances, you can integrate long-tail keywords, provide links to reputed health sites and articles within your website, and invest in local healthcare SEO. The four to five listings that show on the top of Google’s organic search results page are called the local pack—this part is vital for mobile users because it is all the screen can display before the user scrolls down. If you haven’t already, you should claim your healthcare website on Google My Business and keep it updated. Apart from this, healthcare content marketing plans need to be optimized for healthcare-specific SEO keywords.

2.5. Supplement Blogs with Video Content

With more algorithms prioritizing video content, you don’t want to be left behind without any good video content. In the healthcare industry, you have the added benefit of adding to your physician’s credibility if you create edutainment videos telling patients about their area of expertise. Video marketing can help you leverage the physicians in your organization that are authorities in their respective fields of medicine. Long and scary procedures being described by certified physicians is often reassuring for patients. Similarly, patient testimonials can pay this comforting reassurance forward, resulting in building a good reputation for your organization.

2.6. Take Advantage of Paid Advertising

After you’ve created all this carefully crafted content that is optimized for SEO, you can’t just let it sit only on your website. Sometimes even if you maintain up-to-date business listings, Google’s local pack is overshadowed by ads. You have to promote it on search engines and social media platforms through PPC search, targeted, and display ads. Call-only campaigns and other ad extensions can be used to promote the services you offer as well.

2.7. Leverage Social Media

While organic social media campaigns are great, they can only get you so far. Using it as your only social media strategy can only give you subpar results compared to paid social campaigns. A paid social media plan is more than just clicking on ‘boost’, you have to create a strategy that suits your goals, targets the audience you need, and budgets for a specific ROI. You can create highly personalized campaigns without wasting your budget and reaching the patients who are most likely to find your posts useful. It can be quite advantageous if you use healthcare social media marketing to your benefit while being tasteful in what you post.

2.8. Set up an Email Strategy

In healthcare, there are a few types of emails you can take advantage of, like reminders for appointments and annual physicals, seasonal tips for flu season, and announcements about new technology being used in your organization. Letting opportunities like these slip by are lost chances to keep patients engaged with your services and your patients also lose out on information that potentially could have been useful to them. A well-planned email marketing strategy will prevent patients from marking your email as spam and give you good open rates. Setting up free subscription-based newsletters like Johns Hopkins Medicine allows you to prevent unnecessary unsubscribes as well.

2.9. Follow-up with Patient Reviews and Feedback

Word-of-mouth referrals have and always will be a part of healthcare marketing and digital marketing can help you evaluate the quality of the referrals you are getting. Patient success stories often inspire and evoke emotional responses from people, apart from serving as a form of showing others the quality of the healthcare services you provide.

2.10. Track Your Strategies

After you’ve put all this effort into creating strategies for email, social, and video you have to analyze where your budget is being spent the most, and whether it is reaping you the kind of benefits you are expecting. Understanding and capitalizing on patient micro-moments allows you to position your brand appropriately so that you are there when they need your services. Measuring and studying your conversion metrics is highly beneficial when it comes to using your resources to serve your needs best.

In fact, it doesn’t hurt to track all the mediums you’re using to communicate with patients including calls that are made to your front desk. Analyzing this data can help you understand the blockers that lie in the path between a patient and doctor. A laggy scheduling system, long call-hold times, and patient misinformation are just some of the revelations this analysis can bring to light.

3. Trends in Healthcare Marketing

Healthcare marketing plans were almost non-existent, but they slowly developed to include traditional marketing like print, direct mail, television, and radio. The limitations of these media can now be overcome with digital healthcare marketing.

Doctor reviews, patient discussion forums, and physician certifications and availability are now an online search away for most patients. On-demand healthcare is becoming increasingly popular, and big data is playing a pivotal role in decreasing errors via patient record analyses and creating preventative plans for recurring emergency room patients.

The future even holds possibilities for telesurgeries, telemedicine continues to grow, and virtual patient treatment and other emerging technologies are changing the landscape of marketing for healthcare. High-risk patients are being aided by heart rate sensors, oximeters, and exercise trackers paving the way for increased investment in medical devices that can be worn. These devices give people a sense of agency when it comes to their health while creating room for gamification and considerable changes in healthcare insurance. Even with all these innovative changes, for healthcare marketers, one aspect will remain primary and this is the patient. As Global Head of Employee Communication for Novartis Pharmaceuticals, Heather Swedin has said, “As the marketing world gets more complex and fragmented, providing a consistent, customer-centric message across channels is critical.”

Gone are the days when healthcare costs were affordable and patients were not proactive in researching which healthcare provider to choose. The modern patient has to be prudent in selecting the person responsible for improving their health, and it is your responsibility as a marketer to show them why your organization is the best. Stay updated with the latest healthcare marketing trends with webinars as the times are changing faster than ever.