5 Tips for a Successful Healthcare Marketing Strategy
With today’s technology, traditional healthcare marketing practices aren’t enough with current trends in the digital age. Websites, search engines, mobile devices, voice-based searches, social media and more are just a few examples of how consumers use technology for their healthcare needs. In fact, approximately 5% of searches on Google are healthcare-related, whether it’s for healthcare providers or symptoms. Digital marketing in the healthcare sector is imperative for brand awareness, patient acquisitions and building patient loyalty, but how can you ensure your organization is on the right track? Here are our top five tips for a successful healthcare digital marketing strategy.
- Optimize your website for ease of use.
Depending on your organization’s target audience, young or old, the design and navigation of your website need to be clean, professional and easy-to-use for a new patient to browse. Contact information and services offered both need to be easily accessible, for example, and web pages shouldn’t be cluttered.
More importantly, your website needs to be mobile-friendly. Smartphones make it easier than ever to search for healthcare providers, but if your website lacks in mobile optimization, mobile users aren’t staying on your site. In a 2018 study, research shows 52% of web use comes from mobile phones, which means a mobile-friendly website may be your ticket to acquiring new patients as more and more people are taking to the web to research healthcare providers. In fact, research shows after reviewing a healthcare provider’s website and contact information, 88% of people will book an appointment by phone call. Audiences today like to be connected and optimizing your website for mobile use gives new patients even more incentive to visit your organization for their healthcare needs.
- Improve your SEO strategy for optimum results.
Search engine optimization, or SEO, can make or break your organization’s presence on search engines. It’s essentially a tool to help get your business seen on search results pages more often than your competition. There are several ways to improve your SEO based on your location, managing website content and staying up-to-date on new SEO trends.
Local SEO, for example, can bring in new patients based on your organization’s location. When an individual searches “cardiologists near me,” the goal is to have your organization on the top of the search results page. In fact, those “near me” searches have shown a 900% increase within the last few years and prove to be a success for brick-and-mortar locations. Local-based searches also account for 72% of users who will visit a location closest to them, which could be yours with the right SEO strategy.
Another way to improve your organization’s SEO is how you deliver your website’s content, such as blogging. Google crawls websites for specific keywords related to a user’s search and it’s important that the content you publish on your website matches those keywords. It’s not as simple as cramming blog posts full of keywords, like, “gastroenterologist” to increase your chances of being in the top results on the search page. Google changes its search rank algorithm 500 to 600 times a year, which impacts how your website ultimately ranks on its search results page.
In addition to local search and content, a new SEO trend has recently emerged in the digital space and should be considered in your healthcare marketing strategy. This new trend is known as voice-search. Rather than typing in the search bar, users speak what they’re searching via mobile or smart speakers, such as Amazon’s Alexa. Voice-search is mostly used for local businesses or organizations in the user’s area, and 27% of people visit a website after using voice-search. Optimizing your SEO strategy to reflect this new trend is significant because it means your organization will be among the top results on the search results page. It’s also projected in 2020 that voice-based search will account for 50% of all searches made.
Voice-search SEO has a different approach than traditional SEO, being that voice-search is more conversational than typing. For example, users who type in, “podiatrist near me”, will ask it differently in voice-search, such as, “Where is the closest podiatrist located?” You’ll want to ensure your organization has both of these keyword types implemented into its SEO strategy. Hiring a digital marketing specialist can take the guesswork out of knowing which keywords rank highest in what patients are searching for on your website.
- Create content that educates, engages and informs.
Another way to have a successful digital healthcare marketing strategy is content marketing. Perhaps your website already provides patients with content on numerous topics, but what are they about? Are they educational? Engaging? Are they in the format of a blog post, infographic or video? These are all important aspects to consider when delivering content. Because humans are highly visual creatures, it makes sense original infographics and illustrations are the most successful with patients visiting your website. Studies show healthcare marketers have more success with visual content incorporated into their content creation. If your organization or practice specializes in skincare, for example, infographics or videos as a how-to guide to maintain skin-related ailments like psoraisis would prove fruitful for patients to learn how to ease their symptoms if it’s after hours.
Blog posts can be just as effective, too, given that you incorporate visuals. Utilizing SEO tactics and constantly updating health-related topics throughout the year, particularly around times illnesses and allergies are at their highest, are effective ways to keep your posts visible in search engines. Always keep your patients in mind, your target audience especially, when creating content on your website. Hiring a marketing agency can help with creating effective infographics, stunning videos, persuasive copywriting and more for your healthcare organization.
- Utilize email marketing to tailor to your patients.
Email marketing is a great way to stay in touch with your patients. You can send them appointment reminders, newsletters, industry articles, blog posts, announcements and more to help educate and inform them. In a healthcare industry study, the average email open rate was 33%. But how do you get patients to open the email to begin with? Part of it is knowing who your audience is and how to tailor specifically to them. For example, maybe your organization specializes in pediatric care and some of your patients are new mothers. You wouldn’t send them an infographic about school immunization services in the area because their child is a newborn.
Once you know who your audience is and who would find your content most useful, crafting the perfect subject line is the next important aspect to consider. If it’s not short, engaging, personalized or eye-catching, it won’t be opened and will more than likely be ignored.
Tailoring an email to different audience segmentations with topics specializing in their interests is imperative for successful email marketing campaigns. For one of our healthcare clients, Orlando Health Heart Institute, we implemented an email marketing campaign with an effective design and content strategy to help build awareness of the program and increase both appointment and information requests at the institute by targeting the right audience. By hiring a marketing agency to find your target audiences, create enticing subject lines and informational content, this will ensure your emails are effectively reaching the right people at the right time.
- Use social media for meaningful connections and growing your audience base.
If your organization is still not on social media, you might want to reconsider. According to Infographics Archive, polls showed 40% of social media users preferred to speak to their doctor and 43% to a hospital on social media. Not only does this social media presence create a great connection with current and new patients, it is instilling trust from the public. Whenever a hospital or doctor directly posts content online, nearly 60% of people trust the source and engage in the post. This creates relationships and in the healthcare industry, nothing is more important than the care of your patients. While there are many social media platforms to choose from, in states like Florida, Facebook, Twitter and 4Square are the most favored by hospitals and health-related organizations. Engaging content, such as videos from your website, infographics, employee highlights, patient success stories and more, are all great to share on your chosen social media channels.
In addition, your healthcare organization may want to consider how social media ads could effect growing your patient base. According to We Are Social, an average Facebook user clicks on eight ads per month. If your healthcare organization wants to be one of those clicks, consider the different Facebook ad types that could potentially increase your patient base.
For one of our healthcare clients, Plasticity® Brain Centers, we implemented one of Facebook’s highly engaging and immersive ad types, the Instant Experience. This Instant Experience campaign, which you can see below, had a click-through-rate 3.7x higher than the industry average and a 4.3x lower cost-per-click than the standard. This goes to show that for this client, the campaign improved lead generation by spiking interest in potential patients who were curious to learn more about what they do and get more information on how they help those with brain injuries and neurofunctional disorders.
With so much to utilize in the digital space, using these five tips are effective ways to ensure your healthcare organization’s marketing strategy is fresh and engaging. It’s important to be in the know with today’s technology and growing trends on search engines, mobile phones and more in order to flush out your organization’s competition. Everyone needs good health and being the top healthcare provider for those patients in your area starts with a solid, purposeful marketing strategy.
Ready to get your healthcare organization to be the best above the rest? Appleton is an award-winning, full-service digital marketing and advertising agency located in Orlando, Florida. Appleton works with local, national and international clients to deliver custom content, persuasive online ads and expertly crafted campaigns. By implementing valuable and shareable digital content strategies, Appleton can create the perfect social and digital marketing experience for your brand and audience. Your Internet advertising goals are worth a conversation: contact us at 407-246-0092 or firstname.lastname@example.org.