Have you heard about healthcare marketing a lot recently? Do you want to get a better understanding of it?
Then you have come to the right place. In this article, I am going to shed light on what this term means, why it is vital, and the strategies you can use to get it to work at its best.
What Is Healthcare Marketing?
Healthcare marketing can be defined as a wide range of marketing tactics that hospitals, clinics, insurance agencies, medical suppliers, doctors, and other medical professionals use. And they do so to get the word out about their services and attract new patients.
The tactics they use can be formulated into a well-planned strategy, or they could just be a bunch of relatively simple things that they try and do here and there and hope for the best to come out of it. And those that do the former one tend to see better results.
Why Is Healthcare Marketing Important?
You might be the most skilled and professional doctor ever, or you might own a clinic or a hospital with both the best doctors and equipment ever. But no one is going to find out about what you do or how good you are at it if you do not promote it.
Most of the top companies in this industry understand this. And this is why they are expected to spend $35.7 billion on ads this year alone.
This budget is the amount they have solely reserved for ads. It doesn’t include funds they have set aside for other organic online marketing and offline marketing methods.
This is why you will miss out on your patients if you also don’t have time and money set aside for healthcare marketing.
Especially in these trying times or post the COVID lockdown atmosphere, where people are and will be more concerned about their health and will always be on the lookout for the best healthcare services online. That’s because they will be spending less time outdoors.
So, it is crucial to develop a good marketing strategy that includes both online and offline healthcare marketing methods, but we should always emphasize on online marketing.
7 Medical Marketing Tactics That Should Be A Part Of Your Strategy
Set Up A Good Website:
The basic requirement for any healthcare service is a website. It is the first place where you need to drive people and keep them engaged from all your other marketing media.
You can start by choosing an easy website builder like Wix or Squarespace and selecting a healthcare design template. Remember, the website has to be designed in such a manner that it will easily convince people that you are the right person (or the right place) that can assess their health and help them recover.
You need to have two kinds of pages for your website. First, the ones that are optimized for a general audience who aren’t yet sure what medical assistance they require from your end and secondly, the ones that are optimized for a very specific audience.
To reach a general audience, the pages best suited for them are similar to the homepage and contact page. For example, below is the homepage of the Cleveland Clinic.
You will find that the design and the copy on the homepage have been optimized to speak to a very general audience and guide them in the right direction.
But they also have inner service pages like this one for Heart and Vascular disorders that has been created for a very specific audience.
The homepage basically does the job of directing people to the service page, while the service page will help convert those visitors to patients.
You can get this right if you conduct a lot of top-quality research and find out what exactly your audience needs. You can then create the medical services they require and present it to them with the right copy and design.
Optimize It For Conversion
The other pages of your website, along with the landing pages, will only do the job of converting visitors to patients if you have a clear call-to-action. For example, if you look at the image of the service page shown below from Cleveland Clinic, you will notice that they have several call-to-actions.
It includes a phone number, details about appointments, and they even offer the option to chat with a nurse. The people who need a doctor immediately will take advantage of this and make the call or have a chat.
Many of the visitors might be on the fence about the clinic’s credibility, and they will need some time to make a decision. In fact, according to a Google study, 48% of people took over 2 weeks to research before booking an appointment.
That is why if you scroll down the page you will notice that their hospital marketing team features case studies like these ones to get people who are on the fence to see that the clinic is the real deal.
Information like this will reduce the amount of time people take to decide on the right hospital.
Optimize It For SEO
If your service page and homepage aren’t optimized for search engines, then you are missing out on a lot of traffic as 77% of people use online search before booking an appointment.
As you can see on the graph, as shown above, search engines, along with your hospital site, can play a very strong role together in helping you attract patients.
Make sure you optimize your homepage and service pages with keywords and then build quality backlinks that will get it to jump up the search rankings.
You should also write blog posts that are optimized for search engines and work on getting them to rank. Since it is far easier to build backlinks to non-promotional blog posts than to service pages, bloggers would be more than willing to link back to those pages.
Build An Organic Social Presence
There are over 3.80 billion active social media users.
This number has shot up further recently, as people are spending more time indoors instead of going out due to the coronavirus situation.
57% of people decide where to go for treatment based on the healthcare provider’s social media presence.
That is why if you want to reach out to more people and convince them to check out your clinic or hospital instead of your competitors, you need to build a strong social media presence.
It should include social networks like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.
You mainly want to build your presence with images and videos as these two formats tend to drive maximum engagement on most of the networks. Also, just as you know, there are networks like Instagram and Pinterest, where you can only post visuals.
As this study shows, videos drive the highest engagement on Instagram, any day.
They also do well on other social media networks like Facebook.
Video is just a highly preferred form of content. It is one of the reasons why it is predicted that video will make up 82% of all internet traffic.
For some ideas on how to use video for healthcare marketing, you should check out the Mayo Clinic’s YouTube channel.
They share a lot of videos like the one, as shown above, that teaches people how to care for themselves better. This way of delivering value even before offering a service can boost trust and establish your clinic as one of the best places.
Supplement Organic Methods With A Healthcare Advertising Strategy
The above mentioned organic methods work great for building a long term presence. But in the short term, they aren’t the best option.
For example, let’s say I want to rank for a keyword like ‘Eczema Skin’ as it has a search volume of 5,400 as shown by SEMRush.
It would be a good strategy because someone who has eczema on their skin is likely going to look this up, and they probably need the help of a good doctor.
But the screenshot above shows it is also ‘very hard’ to rank for this keyword. That’s because most of the sites competing for this keyword already have high authority and have built a lot of backlinks.
It will take you a while to rank organically for this keyword, especially if you have a new domain. Usually, it takes 3 to 6 months for SEO to work.
The same problems apply to organic social media marketing as well. It will take a long time to gain followers, build a trustworthy relationship, and convince them to work with you.
So, how do you gain customers in the meantime?
The answer is through ads. Through ads, you can jump in front of the queue on both search engines, social media, and several other sites and reach your target audience immediately.
Ads can be extremely effective if you have built a well-optimized funnel. This is why businesses in the health care niche spend $35.7 billion annually on ads.
So, make sure you supplement your organic methods with healthcare advertisements at the beginning. They can also come in handy after the organic methods begin to work as ads can help you scale quicker than organic methods. You don’t have to spend extra time and money, creating new content. Instead, you can reach out to more people by investing in ads.
An example of companies taking advantage of medical advertisement tactics to beat the competition can be seen in the results that appear when I search ‘eczema skincare.’
All the top 4 results are ads. They will generate more traffic than organic results.
Get The Doctors And Other Staff Involved
Another tactic you can use to strengthen your medical practice marketing strategy is to get the doctors involved. If doctors at your clinic get involved, and they take part in your social media updates, and build their own presence, it will help you reach out to more people.
And the doctors don’t have to only share serious medical-related content. They can also share more popular content as the Mayo Clinic did here, as shown below.
View this post on Instagram
"Getting through this will be hard, but one thing is certain…the only way we will get through this is together, as one." In the midst of the concern and uncertainty many are facing @doctor.elvis.francois and Dr. @w_a_robinson bring a message of peace and hope with their rendition of "Imagine." #MayoClinicMN #WeAreMayoClinic
It’s a video of two doctors at their clinic paying a piano and singing. And the two doctors in the video have built their own presence on Instagram.
And they regularly tag Mayo Clinic in their Instagram posts. This helps the clinic reach out to a lot more people than usual. So, spend some time with the doctors and other employees at your workplace and help them create content that promotes themselves and your services better.
It can also boost the culture and make your employees feel closer.
Continue To Invest In Offline Medical Marketing Methods
Online healthcare marketing methods work tremendously well right now. But this doesn’t mean that you should only stick to them. More and more hospitals and clinics are reserving their budget for online marketing and slashing offline marketing tactics.
It will make offline marketing less competitive and cheaper. So, don’t abandon them completely. Instead, keep an eye out for methods that will work for you. And check if you can combine offline marketing with online marketing to get even better results.
For example, you can use brochures and pamphlets that tease a little information and get people to check out your website or social media pages for the rest of the information.
The main thing you need to do is keep an eye out for tactics that people aren’t investing in anymore and experiment with them for your business.
This is a complete guide to using healthcare marketing to promote your medical products and services. If you implement all of the above tactics to promote, your practice will thrive in the healthcare market.
You might find it a bit overwhelming as I have shared a lot of tactics and strategies. But don’t worry about it too much. You don’t have to implement all of them immediately. You can start with one or two at the beginning and slowly incorporate the rest in the months to come.
Which of the above healthcare marketing tactics have you used? Did I forget to share anything important? Please leave your comments below.