The healthcare industry is no longer as it was. With the rising costs of running a highly tangible and staff-based organisation, changing dynamics of both patient profiles and players, plus with the increasing number of clinics, the industry is facing severe competition. At the same time, patients are becoming more involved in decision making. Raising more knowledge about healthcare services with the detailed consideration of alternative providers lead patients to have more informed decisions.
With increasing importance to stand out amongst other players, reach patients and stay connected with the community, the pressure sits on management’s shoulders to correctly allocate resources to a proper digital marketing strategy. With the COVID-19 health crisis, the need for digital marketing will gain even more importance with the rising health concerns and increasing preference of patients to initiate their search through online.
Marketing strategies in healthcare apply to providers, insurers, medical suppliers, and advocacy groups. Given the legal restrictions on advertising certain services and the pricing in some countries and regions, healthcare marketing has left with a limited playground. On the other hand, legal barriers led healthcare marketing to become more innovative with high-quality content. Four main digital marketing strategies have emerged in recent years and continue their importance in 2020.
1. Pairing SEO Strategy with Powerful Content
Based on the report of the Pew Research Centre, 77% of patients use search engines prior to their appointment to find out more about their health concerns and centers available.
SEO is all about increasing the visibility, making the business appear at the top of search results. This attracts more traffic by creating quality content that answers the visitor’s needs. The more the content answers the visitors’ questions, the higher position would be awarded by the search engine. Therefore, good content creation is one of the most effective marketing techniques in healthcare, enabling SEO success at the same time.
Given the nature of the services, trust is key in healthcare. Patients do online searches not only to find a cure but also to understand the health problem and the steps for recovery. Using long forms such as articles and before-after photos of previous patients will share the expertise and build confidence.
Businesses have to make sure to keep the content simple, as overly complicated medical jargon can come across as intimidating and scary. Short explanatory videos can be used as a tool to create trust with patients.
2- Digitalise the Power of Traditional Word of Mouth Through Social Media Marketing Strategy
Word of mouth has been one of the most widely used way of choosing healthcare services. Patients are more likely to book an appointment based on a comment or recommendation. With the increasing use of social media, feedback for a given healthcare organisation has become publicly available rather than staying in a private conversation with friends, spreading to a broader audience. 84% of consumers consider and trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations based on Bright Local’s survey (Inc, 2019).
Social media strategy provides a platform for patients to participate with their reviews and double up the effect of the content. Simply asking existing patients to share their journey would also accumulate more feedback on social media and fuel engagement with potential patients.
Influencer marketing is underutilised in healthcare. Businesses may wish to adopt influencer marketing and partnerships to promote their services and offers. Using genuine posts will increase engagement with the target audience. Although influencer marketing may seem risky, if a strong synergy between the values of the influencer and the healthcare service is found, the influencer marketing may generate high ROI in a short period.
3- Empower the CRM with Marketing Analytics
Having a powerful CRM in healthcare is a big differentiator not only to acquire new patients but also to build satisfaction in their whole journey. Given the sensitivity of patients and the vital nature of the services, delivering a smooth experience based on trust is crucial in healthcare. Keeping all relevant information from past conversations fresh is key for an undisrupted relationship.
Life of a Lead’ analytics will give information about the channels and stages the patient moved in the communication with the healthcare organisation. ‘Lead Score’ analytics will also help businesses to see which patients consider the service in more detail and have the potential to move forward.
Marketing analytics gives a birdseye view on campaigns to analyse which marketing channel beats the most ROI and configures the future digital marketing strategy to be adopted in the future.
4- Build Better Digital Marketing Strategy
To reach the right audience in healthcare, it is important to understand the pain points of the patients, digital channels they use the most alongside their distinct characteristics. The age focus, income level, profession, and living area of patients will be the base resource while designing contents. On top of that, it is critical to discover how patients search for services for their problems. Knowing all these will enable the business to come up with strategic content. Last but not least, businesses need to decide which channels would be most adequate to reach the target audience. Understanding what digital channels patients use the most will shape a strong digital marketing strategy.
If you are in the healthcare sector and want to find out how WSI can help your business to build a tailored Digital Marketing Strategy, get in touch with us.
We’re happy to have a no-obligation chat with you.
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