The right marketing strategy for your healthcare company can greatly boost its presence and grow its customer base. A strategy built on solid principles and executed properly can generate a huge return on investment. Even if you plan to hire a professional marketing team for your business, understanding what a strong strategy looks like and how it works can help you communicate what you want and set realistic expectations for what you can achieve.
In the following article, our healthcare marketing experts go over what healthcare marketing is and why it’s essential for your business. We also look at five of the most important elements of an effective healthcare marketing strategy.
What Is Healthcare Marketing?
Healthcare marketing is using one or more tactics to reach out to potential customers or draw them in organically. While it employs the same channels and ideas as marketing for other industries, healthcare has unique features that marketers must be aware of to maximize effectiveness.
Types of Healthcare Marketing
Marketing for healthcare companies tends to fall under two main categories: outreach and inbound marketing. An ideal marketing strategy will utilize tactics in both categories.
Outreach Marketing for Healthcare
Outreach marketing is a type of marketing in which companies deliver advertisements and other messaging to potential customers in the hopes of reaching them. Types of outreach marketing include:
- Digital advertisements: Whether in the form of banner ads or pay-per-click (PPC) marketing, digital advertising puts messages from a company in front of web users to try to get them to click and visit its website.
- Social media marketing: Companies and advertisers can also outreach through social media channels, whether through posts on the account or with social media advertisements.
- Physical advertising: Billboards and other advertisements in the real world are another form of outreach marketing.
- Email marketing: Healthcare businesses can also reach customers by sending ads and other messages through email.
- Direct mail: Businesses can still send advertisements directly to potential customers directly through the mail, which remains an effective way to reach them.
Inbound Marketing for Healthcare
Inbound marketing is a term for marketing practices that try to draw potential customers to a website or social media account through search engine results and other pathways. Types of inbound marketing include:
- Content marketing: Blogs and other digital content can appear in search engine results and inspire users to click on links that take them to a business’ website or social media account.
- Search engine optimization (SEO): The term “SEO” refers to practices that make a website and its content more attractive to search algorithms and increase the likelihood that they appear high up in search engine results.
Why Is Healthcare Marketing Important?
Marketing is important to the success of any business, healthcare companies included. It enables companies to find new patients and build presence in their market. Without marketing, it can be very difficult for a business to become well-known in its area, especially in competitive markets such as healthcare.
Keys To a Successful Healthcare Marketing Strategy
The tactics used in a healthcare marketing strategy can differ depending on the market, the goals of the company, and the strengths of the marketer. However, regardless of which tactics are used, successful marketing strategies for healthcare companies abide by a few key principles.
1. Clear and Consistent Messaging
Marketing is, in part, about ensuring that potential customers get the impression of your business that you want them to. The key to making that happen is to make certain your messaging is both easy to understand and consistent enough to resonate with people.
In practice, this means developing a simple message that clearly communicates the main selling points of your brand. For an urgent care center, for example, that may be that your practice sees patients quickly and accepts most insurance. You can reinforce this branding by consistently using these as the key points of your outreach or inbound marketing across multiple messages and platforms.
2. Thoughtful Keyword and Customer Targeting
Targeting is an essential practice in marketing. When it comes to inbound marketing, such as using a blog to draw in traffic from search engine results, you can target the keywords that are most closely associated with what people are looking for in a business like yours. Using our example of an urgent care center, this would mean targeting keywords related to the services you offer and your location.
When it comes to outreach marketing, keyword targeting is still part of a strong healthcare marketing strategy, but you also want to target the people who are most likely to be your customers. One of the main ways to do this is by using demographic information. For a local, in-person business like an urgent care center, this mostly means finding people who are close to your practice.
You can also target potential customers by their internet usage. For example, you can choose to send PPC ads to internet users who are searching for terms like “urgent care center near me” to find people who are looking for a business like yours.
3. Multi-Channel Presence
Brand familiarity is a major component of successful healthcare or hospital marketing strategy. The more people see your business and the more places they see it, the more familiar and therefore comfortable people will become with your brand. For that reason, marketing your business through a single channel, such as social media or PPC ads, won’t yield the best results.
Instead, you’ll want to share your message across multiple channels to build a familiar presence. If you are already marketing through social media, for example, you can also improve your website’s SEO to make sure you appear higher in search results. It may also be a good idea to invest in physical advertising so potential customers see your business’ name both online and in the real world.
4. Simple, Accessible Patient Experience
With so much of the customer decision based on online activity, an easy and fast customer experience is a critical part of marketing your healthcare business. Given the choice between a company that requires a phone call to establish care and one that offers online registration and appointment scheduling, most people will choose the business that allows them to engage without having to call someone or even leave their computer.
You can highlight this facet of your business in your ads and content to create a consistent message about the ease of getting into your practice. It’s also a good idea to encourage current patients to mention this in their online reviews to reinforce this message.
5. Considered Ad Spending
Advertising comes with a more immediate and often bigger price tag than other marketing tactics, but it also generates a more predictable return on investment in most cases. With PPC ads in particular, a skilled marketer can estimate how much business you can get based on what you spend on ads. This becomes more accurate over time after running these ads.
Targeting becomes especially important when getting the best value for your ad spend. The more precisely you target the people who are most likely to engage, when you deliver your ads, and the message you deliver, the more cost-effective your ad campaign will be. Finding the ideal balance of reach and precision helps you waste as little money and effort on ads that don’t convert as possible and maximizes the revenue you make from your investment.
Healthcare Marketing Strategy: Conclusion
There are countless ways to market a healthcare business, but not all of them will yield the results you want for the budget you have. With the right healthcare marketing strategy, you can grow your presence and build your customer base in a way that gets the most value for your money. Staying true to the key principles outlined above can help you form a marketing plan that works.
There are some forms of healthcare marketing that you may be able to implement yourself or with your employees. However, a professional marketing team can generate the kind of results you want with far less wasted time and resources. Healthcare marketing is an investment, and a professional can help you maximize what you get out of that investment.