Goals of Healthcare Marketing
When you’re working on a healthcare marketing strategy, it’s important to determine what your goals are before making decisions on how to achieve them. The following are some of the most common goals in healthcare marketing strategies along with the tactics healthcare organizations can utilize to achieve them.
Attract New Patients or Customers
Bringing in new business can be a challenge in a crowded healthcare marketplace. One of the most important steps in healthcare marketing is defining your target audience and figuring out how to best reach out to them. For example, if your market is young, tech-savvy men and women, you might find that advertising on social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook is the most effective form of outreach.
On the other hand, medical practices or customer-oriented healthcare services which primarily serve senior or elderly individuals may find that a digital marketing strategy may be more successful with a different approach. For example, they may find that fewer individuals in their target audience use social media, but that email marketing makes it easier to reach out to prospective patients. Additionally, strategies like radio or print advertising may prove to be more effective for this type of target audience.
Healthcare is incredibly personal, which is why it’s especially important to understand your audience in healthcare marketing.
Retain Patients and Customers
Fewer patients are staying with the same medical practices for decades. Instead, they may be tempted to try out new healthcare practices that are competing for the same target audience.
Many medical practices and services in the healthcare industry have a solid patient or customer base, but they’re worried about those consumers being siphoned off by competing businesses. For these healthcare providers, it can help to center their medical marketing strategy on patient retention.
Achieving patient loyalty in the healthcare industry often involves different tactics than those traditionally utilized for customer loyalty. A person’s health journey is always going to be very personal and individual, and simply offering a discount every now and then isn’t enough to sway their decisions in most cases.
Instead, healthcare practices and wellness businesses need to connect with patients in a real way. It’s important to find out what values are most essential to them and deliver valuable content and resources that help them come to fully trust you when it comes to their health needs. A solid healthcare marketing strategy is needed to make sure your patients and customers stick around for the long haul.
Increase Brand Awareness
In the healthcare industry, it’s important to be viewed as a leader and innovator. Patients want to feel that they are getting the best of the best when it comes to their health, which is why many medical practices and health-related businesses focus on improving brand awareness and reputation as a part of their healthcare marketing strategy.
If you want to be seen as a top healthcare provider or wellness service, you need to get your name out there. The crowded marketplace can make it tough to stand out, but there are a number of useful strategies that can be employed to elevate your brand awareness, such as:
- Asking customers and patients to leave online reviews
- Creating a user-friendly medical website
- Advertising your business on social media platforms
- Securing media placements in top newspapers, magazines, and more
- Developing a content marketing plan that attracts prospective patients through inbound marketing
Developing Digital Healthcare Marketing Strategies
One of the challenges many wellness and healthcare services face in marketing their business is figuring out how to position their brand online. This is undoubtedly the most important facet of healthcare marketing today. Consider these digital marketing statistics:
- Health issues are some of the most widely searched online. About 5% of all searches on Google are health-related.
- Before scheduling an appointment, consumers typically use a search engine to conduct research. In fact, 71% of healthcare consumers ran a search online before making an appointment with a physician or surgeon.
- Online feedback is critical, with 94% of patients checking online reviews when considering a healthcare provider.
It’s clear that you need a solid digital marketing strategy in order to reach health and wellness customers. Think about the following factors when you’re putting together your online healthcare marketing plan.
Showing up in the top results on Google is harder than it looks. However, this can be one of the biggest factors in helping prospective patients find you online.
In order to rank highly in the search results, you’ll need to invest in a search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. It’s important to narrow down which keywords are most closely associated with your healthcare services or products. Then, you need to make sure you employ those keywords in a variety of ways, including on your website and through content marketing, in order to boost your ranking on search engines like Google.
Today’s consumers expect to find an informative, easy-to-navigate site online for any product or service they plan to use. If your website contains outdated information, poor formatting, or a lack of SEO keywords, you’re probably missing out on potential business every day.
Having a good healthcare website is essential in today’s tech-savvy world. From securing the right website URL to creating a mobile responsive website to selecting photos and copy that will engage prospective patients, there are numerous factors to consider in your website design and development. Some healthcare organizations also need to integrate ecommerce options or set up online appointment scheduling. Most healthcare providers and wellness businesses today use an outside marketing team with experience in web development to make sure their site looks sleek and professional online and helps to secure new patients or customers.
While word of mouth is still one of the key marketing strategies in the healthcare industry, most of it is now taking place online. Prospective patients often check online reviews for medical practices, individual healthcare providers, and health and wellness products before they make a decision. Both positive and negative reviews can have a major impact on what they end up choosing.
In addition, Google places a high value on customer reviews. Your online reputation is heavily based on the ratings in your Google reviews and directly affects how prominently your website shows up in search engine rankings. It’s critical for today’s businesses to encourage feedback from their patients to help boost those rankings on their Google My Business account. In addition, you’ll need a reputation management strategy in place to take action quickly to address concerns that are raised in negative reviews.
No healthcare marketing strategy is complete these days without a serious plan for social media. But it’s important to understand that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution that will work across the healthcare industry.
Instead, you’ll need to zero in on how your target audience uses social media, including which platforms they use and how to best reach out to them. Maybe you need to strategically place social media ads in their feeds. If your current and prospective patients mainly use Instagram, you can use Instagram Stories for an interactive effect. Twitter hashtags provide an opportunity to weigh in on medical trends and answer prospective patient questions. There are even a number of physicians who have amassed huge audiences through creative TikTok videos! It’s all about understanding what your patients or customers like and how they want to interact with your brand online.
Benefits of Working with a Healthcare Marketing Agency
If all of this sounds a little overwhelming, you’re not alone. The typical medical practice doesn’t have an in-house marketing team with the experience to develop such a detailed healthcare marketing strategy.
For that reason, the smartest way to approach marketing in the healthcare industry is to partner with a professional marketing agency. You don’t just want any marketing firm, however. To get the best results, you’ll need to work with an agency that has proven success in the field of health and wellness.
A healthcare marketing agency will be able to manage all of the various facets of promotion and advertising in this competitive market. Besides getting your name out online and developing clear, consistent messaging and powerful branding, there are some other unique factors about medical marketing that an experienced agency will be able to handle. For example, they’ll know the ins and outs of creating a HIPAA-compliant website and making sure product claims won’t open you up to potential legal issues.
Trying to develop a healthcare marketing plan all on your own can be costly, and unless you’re willing to put top marketing talent on your own staff, it’s unlikely to be as effective as you’d like. A professional agency will already have a talented marketing team on hand to tackle everything from consumer research to data tracking for your marketing campaigns. They’ll help you find potential patients, create a great reputation for your medical practice, and make sure you stand out among the many healthcare businesses out there today.