Healthcare marketing has evolved and grown to be a sophisticated process of finding creative ways to engage with patients where they are on the patient care continuum.
Patients are more than ever interested in taking back their healthcare journey and educating themselves on what you do and how you do it.
That is why it is critical to developing an effective healthcare marketing system to reach and educate new and existing patients.
Why is Healthcare Marketing important?
Healthcare marketing is the development and execution of marketing strategies geared toward engaging and educating patients on their healthcare journey through SEO, digital advertising, website, content marketing, and more.
The most effective healthcare marketing is patient-centric, meaning it focuses on who the patient is, what information they care about, and building a know, like, and trust relationship.
The healthcare industry is always changing, and patient education and information are fastly becoming the forefront of focus.
The healthcare world is competitive, and as local competition grows and large hospital systems come into the mix, the more difficult it can be to stand out and promote your medical services.
Healthcare marketing allows you to increase your visibility from your competitors on local search engines and social media platforms. Another benefit is that an effective healthcare marketing strategy can provide the ability to reach potential patients and position you as a thought leader in your specialty.
The Benefits of Healthcare Marketing…
1. Will Increase the Patient Base of the Practice
That is what this is all about, right? Attracting and retaining patients and improve patient engagement. Effective healthcare marketing services should do just that.
2. Increase Local Physician Referrals to the Practice
Increasing the local reach of your brand should and will result in an increase in new patient referrals to the practice from other local primary care and specialty physicians.
3. Make Your Physicians Thought Leaders in Healthcare
Getting your physicians involved in the marketing initiatives through storytelling and video is a powerful way to allow them to develop thought leadership in their field of expertise.
This will make them a trusted advisor in the eyes of patients and increase the likelihood of a patient choose them over a local competitor.
4. Promote Important Medical Services
Healthcare marketing systems like social media marketing, website, content marketing, and digital advertising are fantastic tools to let physicians feature and promote their medical services and capabilities.
5. Enhance The Patient Experience at the Practice
Now with the use of healthcare marketing strategies, patients receive not only the top quality medical care but can have an overall fantastic experience, with the availability of continuing education resources, patient portals, reviews, and much more!
Patients are also able to quickly and efficiently communicate with the medical practice and send and receive valuable information to their care.
6. Scale the Reach of The Healthcare Organization
Healthcare marketing has created new avenues to reach patients, share patient journeys, educate the public and patient base, and so much more.
Physicians can now reach the masses with patient education and feature themselves and their brand as an industry thought leaders. As more patients turn to online resources for healthcare, the more ability you have to capture new leads than ever before.
In addition to attracting new patients, healthcare marketing implements tracking and analytics. Tracking and analytics reports can give you a full 360-degree view on where your marketing efforts are most profitable and what you need to do moving forward to scale.
Top Healthcare Marketing Tips to Reach Patients
Now that we more closely understand the importance and benefits of healthcare marketing services, it is time to take a look at the most effective tips that you should be leveraging in your practice to reach and convert new patients.
Marketing in healthcare can seem overwhelming as to what to do and where to get started, which is why we laid out these tips with examples and case studies as well.
These are tested and proved healthcare marketing tips that we leverage with our clients day in and day out.
1. Local SEO Starts with Your Google My Business
A large part of any healthcare marketing strategy is super local by nature.
Why? Because patients are generally only willing to travel so far for patient care.
Therefore, it is critical to winning in your local search environment for whatever specialty or conditions you treat.
About 80% of patients do an online search before booking an appointment with a provider.
And when it comes to winning medical SEO searches, Google My Business is king.
What is a Google My Business listing, you may ask?
Google My Business is a free tool provided for physicians and businesses to manage their online presence for Google.
You run into it nearly every time you search, and it looks like the screenshot below.
When it comes to optimizing your Google My Business, there are a few things that matter the most.
- Make sure you pick the most accurate category possible (ex. Hand Surgeon in the photo above)
- Make sure to include where you are and what you are in the first sentence of your business description, i.e., John Smith MD is a hand surgeon in Phoenix, Arizona.
- Fill out all of your contact info completely
2. Your Reputation Matters, Invest in Patient Reviews
Reviews have quickly become one of the most critical components of healthcare marketing strategies.
This is for several different reasons.
The top reason being is that consumerism has arrived in healthcare.
Meaning (whether we like it or not) patients shop for medical services and physicians similar to how they shop for products on Amazon, they do research, and they read reviews.
92.4% of consumers read online reviews. That is a staggering number. And reputation matters most in healthcare decisions or any other industry.
In addition to that, one of the top local ranking factors for your Google My Business that we mentioned above is….reviews.
That’s right, now that you know how important Google My Business is too good marketing in healthcare, the best way to move yourself to the top of rankings it by generating positive reviews consistently.
The top recommendation for getting started is to find a good workflow to ask patients for reviews.
The easiest way to achieve success is to automate as much of the process as possible by leveraging a healthcare review generation software.
Check out this podcast on Why Google Reviews Matter for more info.
3. On-Page SEO Starts With Great Content
One of my favorite personal quotes that I tell to providers is, “If you want to rank for it, you need a page for it.”
In simplified terms, that means that if you want to show up high in local search rankings for your focus specialties and procedures, you need excellent, well-structured content on your website for it.
For example, say you are an orthopedic practice that wants to rank #1 in your local market for your Spine Surgery department.
We would recommend that you have an extremely in-depth page on spinal surgery on your website, complete with who, what, why, and common FAQs.
Just take a look at the screenshot below on a search for ‘knee surgery knoxville.’ The results speak volumes.
The #1 ranking SERP result is a client of ours with a super detailed treatment page about what they offer for Knee Surgery solutions.
Keep this simple rule in mind when thinking about your website’s role in your healthcare marketing plan that you need to make sure you have content as a top priority.
If you want some more specific tips about how to structure the content pages on your website to perform well in search results, check out the video below.
4. Digital Advertising is Extremely Targeted Now
Data has made paid digital advertising a powerful way to connect and drive new patient leads no matter what type of patient you seek or practice you are.
With so many options available to choose from Google Ads, Display Ads, Youtube Ads, Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads, Programmatic Ads, Native Ads, you should be able to get the right blend to reach your ideal patient.
Developing a great digital ads strategy as part of your health care marketing starts with excellent planning.
Answer questions like:
Who is my ideal patient? Create a patient profile on each of these
Where do they go online to spend time?
How much website traffic do I currently have for retargeting?
What assets do I have for advertising? Videos? Graphics?
These questions are essential to find out which platforms will be ideal for you to start advertising on.
For instance, we have a women’s health facility that offers menopause and bioidentical hormone replacement services.
Their primary target audience is women over 45 years old in a 20-mile radius of their location.
So we came up with a menopause quiz to get potential patients into an email automation sequence.
The results? Nearly 350 targeted new patient leads in the first 30 days!
5. Patient Email Address as Still Extremely Valuable
Email is still not only a viable but powerful marketing for healthcare tools that you should be leveraging.
Whether it’s new patient funnels, remarketing to existing patients, or disseminating critical information during times like COVID, email is a vital line of communication between you and your patients.
Investing resources into developing a healthy email marketing program will yield a steady stream of new and returning patients through for doors (physical or virtual).
A few great tips for growing your list include:
- Hosting a webinar
- Paid advertising funnels like quizzes and assessments
- Downloads and ebooks
- Exclusive subscriber content
6. Telemedicine and Online Appointment Book are a Must
Telemedicine and online appointment booking was a nice to have healthcare marketing component before COVID.
Now, it is an absolute essential to doing business.
The problem is there is still a lot of confusion about getting started and getting patients using telemedicine.
First and foremost, you need to get emails out communicating to your existing patients about your process for telehealth (this goes back to why email is so important).
Then get landing pages on your website and announcements on social media regarding your telehealth solution.
When it comes to online booking, you need to have this option available and accessible on your website. It is expected from patients now.
On top of that, it is essential to track your paid advertising campaigns for new appointment bookings effectively.
7. Physicians Listings and Critical for Local SEO
Patients go about finding local practices, providers, and procedures in a few different ways.
They generally either search or practice types “dermatology practice near me.”
Or they search for procedures “mole removal near me.”
Or they search for a specific type of provider by name “dermatologist near me” or “john smith md.”
Winning this last search at the provider level is critical for marketing in healthcare.
It starts with making sure your provider’s Google My Business and other listings are correct, unified, and stay up to date.
Other listings are Healthgrades, Vitals, CareDash, etc.
Google leverages these other third-party platforms to match and verify against their search algorithm that your information is correct, and they can return your physician high in search rankings.
The problem is??? Physicians can be journeymen by nature.
Think about where you have been from residency, fellowship, first practice position, on and on.
Your listen could be all over the place and delivering lousy information to your patients and Google. A double whammy.
Get started by claiming and verify each of your physician’s top listings and make sure they are all “speaking the same language” in terms of contact information.
8. Analytics and Tracking are Key to Health care Marketing Success
Now that we have looked at several of the best health care marketing tips, it all comes down to one thing…
How do you know what is working and where the opportunities for improvement lie?
By keeping a close eye on your marketing analytics and making sure you are tracking campaigns accurately.
The best healthcare marketing is rooted in data.
To improve, you have to know what is working and be able to attribute success and failure accordingly to be continually improving.
This starts by investing in analytics.
You can start with the essentials like Google Analytics and Google Search Console, to name a few.
When you a ready to see if all in one place, then marketing analytics dashboards are right for you.
Here at Intrepy, we put the utmost importance on data visualization, and it’s why all of our clients get access to analytics dashboards at all times.
Wrapping Up the Best Healthcare Marketing Tips
Marketing for healthcare is an ever-changing world but has endless possibilities for healthcare professionals to reach the audience they need, grow their patient base, educate patients, feature physicians, and scale their practice.
When beginning your healthcare marketing strategy, choose a partner that understands the space, and only focuses on healthcare marketing. A healthcare marketing agency understands the patient experience and industry and can use tested and proven methods to get you where you want to be!