Healthcare Marketing Strategy in 2019: 10 Actionable Tips
Healthcare marketing applies traditional marketing principles and tactics to facilitate relationships between healthcare providers and their patients. In 2019, a healthcare marketing strategy can take many different forms and span multiple channels to target the right patients at the right time and in the right way.
Compared with businesses operating in many other industries, healthcare providers must comply with various federal health marketing laws and regulations, which only increases the need for a comprehensive healthcare marketing strategy. To enjoy a steady supply of patients, providers need to master the unique nature of healthcare digital marketing and stay on top of the latest healthcare marketing trends.
What Is Healthcare Marketing and Why It Matters So Much?
A study by Prophet explored the current state of the patient experience and uncovered this alarming statistic: 81 percent of consumers are unsatisfied with their healthcare experience. What’s more, 43 percent of Millennials are likely to switch primary care providers in the next few years, according to research by Solutionreach.
Clearly, patient expectations have evolved considerably over the past decade, and they now have more options than ever before to get the care they want from themselves and their families. For this reason, healthcare providers should see healthcare marketing not just as a great investment but as an absolute necessity.
With over 89 percent of consumers immediately turning to an online search engine when they’re looking to solve their healthcare queries, not marketing healthcare services on the internet is akin to self-sabotage.
10 Healthcare Marketing Strategy Tips
But how should a healthcare digital marketing strategy look like and what it should include? Let’s take a closer look at 10 healthcare marketing strategy tips that all providers should at the very least strongly consider when brainstorming their healthcare marketing plans.
1. Stand Out in a Consistent Way
From the patients’ point of view, most healthcare providers look more or less the same, advertising the same services while wearing the same white coats. That’s why it’s critically important to figure out what makes you unique and reflect this uniqueness in your healthcare marketing strategy. It can be the way you treat patients, your friendly staff, or your modern facility.
Regardless of what makes you unique, make sure to market it in a consistent way so that patients can remember you and understand what makes you different from all the other providers. Of course, you don’t have to stop implementing new healthcare marketing ideas and improving existing ones. Just make sure that your marketing doesn’t become confusing.
2. Take Advantage of Paid Search Ads
Search engines have become the first stop for 8 out of 10 people seeking health information, which creates a huge opportunity for healthcare providers to take advantage of paid search ads and include them as part of their healthcare marketing strategy. One important benefit of pay-per-click or PPC ads is that they can be precisely targeted to reach only those individuals who are likely to be a good fit for your practice.
Because patients typically come from 5 to 7 miles from their home, PPC ads can be used to generate local traffic by targeting keywords and key phrases that include the city or area of your practice. Since you only pay for clicks and not impressions, the return on investment tends to be much higher compared with display advertising.
3. Focus on How You Help
When businesses engage in marketing, they often focus on what they do because that’s where their expertise lies. They describe their technologies, past results, important partnerships, and future goals. The only problem is that they often forget to mention the most important piece of information: how they help.
As a healthcare provider, you should advertise with headlines that say, “Get instant relief from headache with these 10 tips,” instead of headlines that say something like, “The effect of B-complex supplementation on headache.” The difference may not seem important to healthcare professionals, but it has a profound effect on patients seeking solutions for their problems.
4. Ask for Reviews
Consider the following three facts: First, 72 percent of patients in 2019 use online reviews as their first step in finding a new doctor. Second, 88 percent trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. Third, 48 percent would go out of their insurance network for a doctor with great reviews. The conclusion is clear: you need to ask patients for reviews and display them prominently on your website and social media.
When you receive a review—both negative and positive—respond to it as quickly as you possibly can and always be polite, even if the reviewer is being unreasonable. A negative review may feel discouraging, but it gives you a great opportunity to show potential patients how you handle worst-case situations.
5. Partner with a Digital Marketing Agency
As a healthcare organization, you need to balance online medical marketing with patient care and professional growth, which is no easy feat. To excel in all areas, you should strongly consider partnering with a digital marketing agency capable of helping you connect with patients across modern digital platforms.
ComboApp is a full-cycle digital marketing agency that provides marketing services to healthcare organizations, offering comprehensive digital services and mobile marketing solutions to help them plan, build, and execute their products to perfection.
6. Build a Mobile-Ready Website
In 2019, over 60 percent of people access the internet from their mobile devices. All major search engines are favoring websites that are mobile-ready, which means they automatically adjust to the size of a screen and are mindful of performance.
According to studies from Aberdeen Research Group, a 1-second delay in your site speed can result in a 7 percent reduction in conversions. Fortunately, tools like Google’s Pagespeed Insights can be used to monitor and improve the speed of your healthcare website across all types of devices. Healthcare website design that’s optimized for both desktop and mobile devices may require a larger initial investment, but such an investment is well worth it because it pays off quickly.
7. Optimize for Search Engines
Search engine optimization (SEO) remains an important part of marketing medical services. You should spend some time researching your target keywords, especially long-tail keywords, three and four keyword phrases which are ultra-relevant to your business. Instead of using the term “optometry practice,” it’s a much better idea to target long-tail keywords such as “optometry practice in central London” or “wheelchair accessible optometry practice Chicago.”
While long-term keywords see much less traffic than shorter keywords, they are also much easier to rank. In addition to keywords, SEO also involves image optimization, sitemaps, backlinks, meta tags, crawl errors, and more. Most marketers today create highly optimized landing pages, and there’s no reason not to use them in marketing for healthcare.
8. Be Social
Two-thirds of all internet users are active on social media, and 41 percent of consumers say that content found on social media will likely impact their choice of hospital or treatment center. Too many healthcare providers refuse to include social media in medical practice marketing because they don’t consider it to be a good fit for them. In reality, social media marketing should be an integral part of every healthcare marketing strategy.
Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube make it easy to engage a large number of users with organic content as well as paid advertising. They provide an opportunity to engage with potential customers in a more personal manner and build long-lasting relationships with them.
9. Don’t Neglect Content Marketing
Content marketing is a type of marketing that involves the creation and sharing of various online material, such as videos, blogs, and social media posts to promote a brand and attract and retain a clearly-defined audience. Healthcare content marketing can help medical providers build authority in their field, which is why it’s such an important part of healthcare public relations and medical marketing in general.
Healthcare content marketing may involve anything from health tips to blog posts on relevant health conditions to “meet the doctor” interviews to patient testimonials and personal stories. The opportunities are virtually endless.
10. Track Your Healthcare Marketing Strategy
Regardless of which healthcare marketing ideas you decide to incorporate in your healthcare marketing strategy, you should always track its performance with your preferred analytics software solution, such as Google Analytics. Hard metrics, such as revenue, cost per lead, website traffic, landing page conversion rates, or return on investment are always better indicators that something works than your marketing intuition.
Healthcare Marketing Trends 2020
The healthcare market is becoming increasingly competitive, and it’s the job of marketers to stay on top of the latest healthcare marketing trends to know how to convert leads into patients. Here are the top 5 biggest healthcare marketing trends for 2020:
- Digital first: It probably doesn’t come as a surprise that digital marketing channels will continue to dominate healthcare marketing in 2020. Potential patients will be reading online reviews, visiting social media profiles, and consuming many different forms of content.
- Location-based SEO: Smartphones and wearable devices have made ultra-precise location-based SEO one of the most effective tactics healthcare marketers can use to target patients at the right time and in the right place.
- Video marketing: The year 2020 is expected to be the year when 5G mobile connectivity hits mainstream, and it’s very likely that it will lead to the explosion of video consumption among mobile users. Healthcare providers can capitalize on this trend with video marketing on sites like YouTube and Instagram.
- Healthcare apps: The cost of developing a mobile app has decreased tremendously in recent years, and more and more medical providers are adding them to their marketing strategies as another way how to communicate with patients.
- Telemedicine: Patients welcome the option to get access to medical assistance from the comfort of their home, and healthcare providers shouldn’t miss out on the opportunity to establish themselves as dominant players in the telehealth market.
Healthcare digital marketing continues to evolve as technology keeps on advancing and creating new marketing opportunities. In 2020, healthcare providers won’t be able to rely on word of mouth anymore to attract patients. Just like companies in other industries, they must master the craft of digital marketing and present themselves in a way that makes them stand out. For many, this will be a difficult challenge that won’t be possible to overcome without help from a full-cycle digital marketing agency like ComboApp.
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