What is Healthcare Marketing?
Healthcare marketing refers to the marketing strategies healthcare providers, insurers, suppliers and advocacy groups use to attract new patients and increase awareness of their healthcare business.
Whether you run a solo practice or a small clinic with less than 100 employees, your services are the product you’re trying to sell. Word of mouth advertising can only take you so far. You’ll eventually reach a standstill and growth will slow down.
Benefits of Healthcare Marketing?
- Find prospective patients with business objectives in mind
- Drive more qualified leads, generate revenue with healthy margins
- Keep patients engaged with relevant, personalized, timely outreach throughout their journeys
- Retain patients long-term and improve loyalty in your healthcare community
- Increase strategic advantage to attract patients in a hypercompetitive landscape
- Connect with patients across multiple channels
Healthcare Marketing Strategies
Know your Patients
- Knowing your buyer personas can make or break your marketing efforts. Be sure to define them in your plan. Do your homework. Talk to your existing customers.
- Develop Patient Persona. You can ask yourself these questions,
- Who are my patients?
- How old are they?
- How much do they make?
- What jobs they have?
- What makes them choose my practice to solve their health problems?
- How are they paying for my services?
- This knowledge will empower you to create a marketing strategy that truly resonates with your audience and gets the most return for your marketing budget.
Create Impressive Website
- Your website serves as your first impression for new patients.
- The goal of your website is to give new and potential patients the information they need and to address their questions before they even enter your office.
- Internet users aren’t hesitant to use the Web when they want answers to health-related questions. And rather than dedicated health sites, the vast majority of them begin their research at a search engine.
- Nothing will get new patients through your door faster than a beautiful website that clearly indicates who you are, what you can do for your patients and where can they find you. When patients click on your website, they should immediately be able to see your organization’s assets.
- Make sure that your site looks professional and gives the correct advice when possible. Be sure to highlight the benefits you offer but that your competitors don’t.
- The website should be mobile responsive.
- Provide multiple touchpoints on the website in the form of chat options, phone numbers, contact forms, CTA buttons etc.
- Include high-quality photos of your laboratories and patient rooms, list all industry awards received and professional memberships.
- Marketers who study user behaviors online have proven that patients today are less willing to put up with slow loading times than ever before. It only takes 5 seconds to lose a prospective patient who decides to navigate elsewhere thanks to your slow site.
- Optimise your healthcare website for search engines. Make use of right keywords at right places and gain backlinks from reputable sites.
48% of people cited a website’s design as the number one factor in deciding the credibility of a business, and once your page loads, users form an opinion in .05 seconds.
- Use content marketing to turn prospects into patients. It does more than sell for you; it builds trust.
- These days people turn to the internet for answers about their symptoms, diagnosis and treatment plans. They read articles and watch videos before and after stepping into a physician’s office. They scan your website for patient stories, details about surgical procedures or post recovery tips.
- You can create amazing content and get your brand in front of the right audience at the right time.
- Share preventative healthcare tips to educate patients.
- This content can come in the form of a blog on “how to choose the right healthcare provider” or a longer, more in-depth eBook on a certain condition that your practice specializes in
- It allows your practice to educate potential patients through engaging, relevant, and informational content.
- Content marketing is also an effective way to establish your practice as a leader in your industry. By creating content about the latest advances in your field or the most up-to-date information helps demonstrate your practice’s knowledge, training, and expertise.
- Publishing blog posts and other content about topics that are important to your target audience helps guide the lead nurturing process. If your ultimate goal is to have the person book an appointment online, an informative piece of content that helps them better understand their challenges may be just what they need to finally take action and make an appointment.
- To expand reach, try to share that content on other social media platforms and content platforms like medium.
- For example, Northwell Health, the largest health system in New York, has recently launched their health and wellness website, The Well, last year, Northwell has turned into a health content hub. In an era where publicly available health information is unreliable, unhelpful and/or unreadable, The Well is committed to connecting directly with its audience to provide actionable medical and wellness information as well as a platform for the community to share their own stories.
47% of Internet users search for information about doctors or other health professionals before engaging with a health business.
- Video can personalize your health brand and make it more approachable in an industry where people are often intimidated by doctors and medical equipment
Orlando Health has a great series of videos on YouTube where doctors, nurses, and nurse practitioners talk about who they are, their work experiences, but also how different medical conditions are treated. They’re a fabulous example of health video marketing done right.
Online Reputation Management
- Trust is the single most important factor when it comes to getting new customers for your health business. With so many users searching for health providers online, you need to make sure that your brand is one that can be trusted.
- Every time one of your doctors receives a negative review on websites like Yelp, gets bad press coverage, or worse, gets sued over medical negligence, your hospital’s reputation will also suffer.
- Your healthcare online reputation is imperative for the overall success of your business. Even if you’ve got the best product around, if your company has a less than stellar reputation online – you’re unlikely to keep an audience or create conversions.
A single negative article on the first page of search results can cost your company a whopping 22% of business.
Use healthcare social media to build your brand online
- Create — and stick to — a social media healthcare marketing plan by having a consistent posting schedule, sharing original and visually appealing posts, replying to reviews, getting patient feedback via live Q&A, as well as teaming up with influencers.
- Patients are not only looking for providers on social media channels but also searching for other health related information and sharing their experiences.
- Social media marketing is not only an effective way to acquire new patients but also increase patient retention
75% of Americans use social media to research their health symptoms
- Using social media, connect with other local businesses and do cross-promotion. Many healthcare practices refer patients to other businesses for relevant services, such as chiropractors, optometrists and massage therapists. Most healthcare professionals do this by word of mouth, but it can be simpler using automated social media posts. Promote the other business on your social media pages and have them do the same for your practice on their pages. This keeps local business in the community as well as increasing exposure.
- More and more doctors use social media to drive patient engagement, grow their practice and become thought leaders in their field.
- Facebook: Important tool for effectively targeting local audiences.
- LinkedIn: Effective for positioning yourself as an industry expert or for sharing research with colleagues.
- Instagram: If you are a plastic surgeon, dentist or dermatologist, Instagram’s visual focus makes it ideal for posting “Before and After” images.
- Pinterest: With an 80% female audience, it’s more suitable for pediatricians, OB-GYN and nutritionists.
- Local SEO: Creating content that is location-specific is a great way to get targeted users to come to your website or mobile app
- Facebook: Run area specific ads
- Instagram: Geotagging locations
- Claim your Google business listing online
Start your PPC medical marketing with paid search ads.
- People look for more than just consumer products online. Often, if they need to find a new healthcare provider or medical facility, they’ll take to the search engines to find a practice near their location. If you want to bring those potential patients to your facility, you’ll need to increase visibility on the search engines.
- One way to get more immediate results on search engines like Google is by including pay-per-click or PPC ads as part of your healthcare marketing strategy. These ads appear at the top of the search engine results page (SERP) when people type in search terms relevant to your practice. Unlike SEO, which can take some time to work its magic, PPC medical ads generate instant results
Deals and Giveaways
- Creating content that helps your ideal customers live better and healthier lives is a great way to make an impact in your niche. For example, Blue Cross Blue Shield recently made the news when it announced they would be providing Fitbit wristbands at a discount to each of its members.
- Offer a chance to win a healthcare service. The prize could be a free service such as teeth whitening. Contests are a very effective marketing strategy to increase engagement and interest. Advertise the contest through social media, email and text messages. Encourage patients to share, like and comment to increase exposure.
Develop engaging healthcare email marketing to keep your patients up-to-date
- Email is an excellent digital marketing channel for sending informative newsletters, industry news, appointment reminders, and more.
- With marketing emails, you can work to build trust with potential patients as well as current customers. By providing your email subscribers with valuable information about their health and your facility, you can work to create and foster positive and long-lasting patient relationships.
Invest in Healthcare SEO
- To rank well organically in the search results (whether it’s Bing, Google, or Yahoo), you must establish and promote yourself as the medical authority in your market as well as produce optimized, highly relevant content.
- You need content driven by your patients’ wants and needs.
- You need to target the right healthcare industry keywords.
According to Pew Study Research, 77 Percent Of Online Health Seekers Start at Search Engines.
Invest time in physical marketing
- Ask for reviews from your patients.
- Follow up with any patient feedback and show that you are working on the problem. Sites like Yelp allow you to respond to patient feedback directly. With the right follow-up, patients may be motivated to update their review to let others know the problem was resolved in a timely fashion.
- Follow up with patients after an appointment or procedure to see how they’re doing. Ask about their families, or send out birthday cards with a personalized touch. Send emails and mail reminders for follow-up appointments, and do whatever you can to maintain a relationship.
- Train your front desk staff properly to make patients comfortable.
Is your Healthcare Marketing Campaign HIPAA Compliant?
- Make sure that your paid ad campaign is HIPAA compliant and you are not collecting any personal information ( known as protected health information (PHI) ) that could reveal the identity of patients.
- HIPAA provisions for digital marketing are designed to protect patient confidentiality and HIPAA marketing standards should form the backbone of any healthcare marketing effort.
- Don’t create ads or posts using patient information or PHI of any kind (including names, photos, or treatment information) without obtaining explicit permission from the patients involved.
- Don’t allow staff members to take photos within the practice if there is the potential that PHI (such as documents, fax sheets, print-outs, or computer screens) will be visible.
- Create policies and procedures for social media use by employees, capturing the necessary regulatory standards, with limitations on what they can and cannot post.
- Any data gathered on a website must be encrypted. This includes web forms and appointment requests, in addition to any contact forms.
These are just a few marketing strategies that you can use for healthcare marketing. With an all-in-one healthcare marketing automation solution you can easily automate these strategies and many more. Contact our our experts to learn more about how marketing automation can help your healthcare marketing and communication.
A team of Digital Marketing experts led by Vijay Sood.