Top Healthcare Marketing Strategies
Imagine this. You wake up one morning with a nagging pain in your chest. Concerned, you pick up your smartphone and search for nearby hospitals. Within seconds, you're presented with a list of options, complete with reviews and ratings. You scroll through the options, weighing the credibility and expertise of each provider. How did you form these opinions so quickly? Healthcare marketing strategies were at play, ensuring that these hospitals caught your attention, built trust, and ultimately influenced your decision-making process. In an era where consumers are more empowered and discerning than ever, healthcare providers are increasingly turning to innovative marketing strategies to connect with patients and thrive in a competitive market.
With 7% of all daily Google searches pertaining to health and 70,000 healthcare searches being performed every minute, healthcare organizations need to be on their A-game in their healthcare marketing strategies.
What is Healthcare Marketing?
Healthcare marketing encompasses a diverse range of disciplines, integrating traditional marketing concepts with scientific principles to effectively convey healthcare information.
Within the healthcare industry, clear and captivating marketing efforts play a crucial role in attracting new patients, enhancing the patient experience, fostering patient loyalty and referrals, and mitigating appointment cancellations.
Potential patients today seek more than just an inviting office environment; they also prioritize the availability of telehealth options, appointment reminders via text messaging, e-newsletters, online scheduling, and a robust social media presence. By incorporating various marketing and creative elements into these communication channels, healthcare professionals can establish trust and instill a sense of comfort in potential patients long before any face-to-face interaction occurs.
Why is it important to have a healthcare marketing strategy?
What makes healthcare marketing important is that it helps healthcare professionals to create, communicate, and provide value to their target market. It is imperative for healthcare marketers to prioritize the establishment of enduring relationships with healthcare consumers, placing greater emphasis on the cultivation of sustainable connections over mere transactional interactions.
The healthcare world is competitive, making it challenging to stand out among your competition. Healthcare marketing plays a crucial role in enhancing your online presence in comparison to your competitors on popular search engines and social media platforms. Moreover, it enables you to effectively engage with existing and potential healthcare patients while positioning your brand as a trusted authority within your specific field of expertise.
Due to the importance of hospital marketing strategies and healthcare reputation management, it is important:
• To set your practice apart from other healthcare providers: Increase the reach of your brand and patient referrals to your practice from other local healthcare services.
• To establish thought leadership: Involve your medical team in marketing efforts in a powerful way to develop thought leadership in your field of expertise.
• To nurture patient relationships: Healthcare marketing will provide communication to build trust with healthcare consumers, increasing the likelihood of patients to choose you over local competitors.
Top Healthcare Marketing Strategies to Reach Patients
Use consistent healthcare branding
Build a strong and recognizable brand and promote awareness of it. At least one thing makes your health system and medical team unique, and that helps patients remember your healthcare organization’s name. Promotions or accolades can exponentially build trust in your brand, which can help attract healthcare consumers to trust you with their treatments.
While it may take time to determine what works best for your brand, a sound healthcare marketing strategy with consistent branding and marketing materials will eventually come together and represent your brand in the best possible light. Creatives On Call can assist in creating a marketing strategy with the execution of creative materials to reach the attention of your target potential patients.
Evaluate the online patient experience
Enhancing consumer engagement has become a multifaceted challenge in the evolving healthcare industry, particularly with the growing adoption of virtual care experiences such as telehealth and remote monitoring. Given that your website often serves as patients' initial introduction to your healthcare practice, optimizing its content and functionality becomes crucial in showcasing the utmost excellence of your services.
Aside from ensuring your site has accurate and easily accessible contact information, it is important to encourage better engagement, valuable patient experiences, easy access to information, timely appointments, and high-quality communication with patients. It must be baked into every experience they have with your brand, intentional or not.
When it comes to website design, it is imperative to prioritize the overall online patient experience rather than just the aesthetics of the website. Small, immediate improvements can drive more business, such as positioning the “Contact Us” button so that it is easily visible. Positive experiences also involve analyzing healthcare consumers' seamless engagement with you on their preferred platforms, such as social media, ads, and other modes of communication.
By tracking all patient actions through your medical marketing strategy you can better understand their needs and what can trigger patient conversions. For these actions, Creatives On Call has UX UI developers, copywriters, graphic designers, videographers, and more to seamlessly help bring this process to life for you.
Build a responsive healthcare website
A responsive website is designed to dynamically adapt to various screen sizes, ensuring a consistent user experience regardless of the device it is accessed from. This feature, while essential for seamless design, also plays a critical role in search engine rankings as search algorithms prioritize websites with responsive layouts.
Covering user experience, Google is committed to a mobile-first index of all websites, meaning it ranks responsive sites higher than non-responsive sites. However, even if your site is responsive, it’s important to confirm that your content and imagery load properly and promptly across all mobile device types.
Test influencer marketing
Influencer marketing is a huge trend for brands to increase validation for products or services. Influencers traditionally build up a community or audience based on their brand with influencer marketing also returning an average of $6.50 for every $1 invested. Many medical influencers use hashtags which can spread awareness and reach out to patients. It is important to be creative and inventive with your healthcare marketing campaign to help influence potential patients to buy into your service.
Furthermore, influencer marketing is strategically structured around the expertise and personal experience of individuals with specific conditions. These influencers possess niche audiences that either share similar experiences or have direct connections to individuals facing specific illnesses or diagnoses. At Creatives On Call, we are dedicated to assisting you in forming partnerships with influencers, enabling you to effectively showcase content and introduce innovative treatment concepts to a vast target audience.
Create content for niche communities
In healthcare marketing, it is important to prioritize the personal nature of healthcare services, as this effectively engages online readers. To ensure success, targeted marketing strategies should be tailored to specific issues within niche communities. For instance, this may include the development of an online landing page, a symptom checklist, a short discussion on condition management, or a podcast intended for medical specialists.
Experimenting with various mediums in a particular niche community will help identify the most effective ones, which can then be expanded to other groups and areas. It is essential to ensure that the content provided is highly relevant to the community in order to encourage its utilization and sharing.
Use social media
Beyond reviews and simple word of mouth, social media for healthcare offers a great opportunity for building trust with prospective patients. Your organization’s business page provides a close look at your general approach to care. Social media followers can join a virtual community of patients while receiving regular updates on the businesses they follow.
They can comment on or share posts to increase awareness of your service. They can also provide reviews directly on your business page to let potential patients know about their experience within your facilities. Business pages provide powerful starting points for social media campaigns, but your reach will extend much further if you implement paid social media ads.
On popular social media platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn, healthcare professionals are provided with efficient means of communication and connection to a vast pool of potential patients. Leveraging the diverse range of advertisement options and social media tools available on these platforms, professionals can effectively engage with prospective patients, establishing trust and presenting a comprehensive profile that includes existing reviews.
While many healthcare organizations primarily opt for a strategy built around strong SEO, there are great short-term gains from pay-per-click advertising (PPC). It takes time to build a well-rounded email list or social media presence, but PPC can improve brand awareness quickly. Healthcare offers immense concern among search engine users, with Google data revealing that about 5% of searches involve health-related queries. While PPC presents unique challenges such as restrictions related to HIPAA and remarketing, the exposure provided via paid strategies can make all the difference for organizations struggling to break through in a competitive online environment.
Marketing campaigns commonly draw on the power of word of mouth, with this classic tactic proving to be particularly effective for attracting patients. A strong sense of trust is key and is often most easily established by discussing options with friends, family members, or healthcare professionals.
This is the power of a strong referral program, in which word of mouth takes on a more purposeful approach. While often effective, patient referral programs involve some element of risk, as local regulations or supervisory boards may restrict incentive-based marketing. When implemented within the scope of this guidance, however, referrals can deliver qualified leads with help from incentives such as discounts for patients.
One of the most essential digital marketing tactics of any healthcare marketing campaign, email marketing provides powerful connections with patients and many other important individuals. Regular updates offer insight into recent developments for email recipients, while also highlighting your organization’s status as an industry authority. This facilitates name recognition, which can be powerful when patients need to make prompt decisions about healthcare providers.
Let Creatives On Call assist you in crafting successful healthcare email marketing campaigns that prioritize mobile-friendly content, captivating headlines, and patient-centric messages to deliver value to your recipients. We steer clear of overly sales-focused language, instead focusing on providing useful information and incorporating effective calls-to-action to naturally increase conversions. Whether it's email coding and development, design, or copywriting, our team is fully equipped to handle all aspects of the marketing process for you.
When looking for healthcare providers, many patients first use Google. Google Business Profile allows you to edit the listings that patients find through search, including details such as business hours, contact information, and even telehealth services. Starting here, patients can book online appointments or find directions to your facility. This serves as an effective call to action, quickly converting online seekers to active patients eager to move forward in their healthcare journey.
Healthcare marketing strategies are local by nature because patients only want to travel so far for patient care. Therefore, it is critical to win in the local search environment for whatever specialty or conditions you treat. About 80% of patients search online before booking an appointment, and when it comes to winning these medical SEO searches, Google My Business helps. Google My Business is a free tool provided to manage your online presence for Google. When it comes to optimizing your profile in Google My Business, there are a few things that matter the most:
Make sure you pick the most accurate category possible.
Make sure to include your location and what you are in the first sentence of your business description.
Fill out all of your contact info completely.
Patients employ various methods to search for local practices, providers, and procedures. These methods may involve searching for specialists located in close proximity ("near me") or searching for a specific physician by name. Effectively optimizing local search engine optimization (SEO) is vital for your healthcare marketing plan.
The optimization process for doctors' SEO begins by ensuring that correct, consistent, and up-to-date information is present on your provider's Google My Business and other listings. Google utilizes these external platforms to cross-reference and verify the accuracy of your information against their search algorithm, thereby increasing the likelihood of your physician appearing prominently in search rankings.
Ask for reviews
Healthcare consumers look for others’ favorable experiences before scheduling their visits. Online reviews continue to gain credibility for potential and current patients. Many consumers build their trust from these reviews as much as personal recommendations to help find reliable healthcare services when choosing a new physician.
Typically, healthcare consumers only leave reviews when motivated to do so, and this motivation often comes from your proactive communication to request such. Keep up with the post of consumer feedback by incorporating automated, HIPAA-compliant review platforms into your healthcare marketing strategy, and you’ll be able to easily feature positive consumer feedback to stand out in online searches.
Partner with a healthcare marketing organization
Rapid changes in healthcare today require agility and focus in your marketing strategy. You may need to hire a marketing agency and allow for a larger budget and more time than you have in the past. However, ultimately, you will attain greater peace of mind as your investment returns and patient base expand more rapidly and seamlessly than ever before.
In the dynamic landscape of healthcare marketing, there are a multitude of avenues for healthcare professionals to effectively engage with their target audience. By harnessing these opportunities, your organization can expand its patient base, provide patient education, highlight esteemed physicians, and enhance overall practice performance.
This imperative first step of your healthcare marketing strategy demands the expertise of a healthcare marketing partner who comprehends your plan and is dedicated solely to marketing within the healthcare industry. A healthcare marketing agency possesses a deep understanding of patient experiences and leverages tried-and-tested methodologies to help you achieve your desired outcomes.
The experts at Creatives on Call can help to pair you up with marketing professionals who specialize in healthcare and are experienced in healthcare campaigns. We use advanced tools and search programs to help find your organization the perfect marketing partners to help spread your message to the target audience and make the most of today’s technology and digital marketing functions.
For more information and to connect with Creatives On Call, see more about available marketing firms and agencies here.