If you run a healthcare clinic, be it a physical therapy practice, a dentistry office, or a clinic for holistic medicine, there’s one measurable by which you will ultimately judge the success of any marketing effort: the number of new patients in the door.
So conceivably, all aspects of a healthcare marketing strategy should be measured by the number of new patients it produces.
Well, not exactly.
Like any other marketing strategy, healthcare marketing is made up of a wide array of tools and tactics that, when working together, will ultimately lead patients to your clinic. Few of these individual efforts are meant to work successfully on their own, yet each must serve as a valuable cog within the patient-generating machine that is your strategy.
As such, each aspect of a healthcare marketing strategy maintains its own sets of goals meant to lead prospective patients toward your clinic or brand. These particular targets are what set healthcare marketing apart from other types of marketing.
What is Healthcare Marketing?
As outlined above, healthcare marketing is the merging of tools and strategies that help health care providers connect and engage with key demographics, with the ultimate goal of converting people into patients or clients.
This includes tapping into many of the usual elements of marketing that have become commonplace in a digital world: a website, email marketing, social media, ads, etc.
But, in an era of personal empowerment when it comes to healthcare – a time when people are freer than ever to choose their wellness journeys as well as providers – the most successful healthcare marketing strategies take on much greater responsibilities such as:
- Increasing awareness of your services and where they fit in the broader healthcare narrative.
- Educating consumers about how your services can help them live better, healthier, happier, and longer lives.
- Establishing personal and brand credibility within an industry saturated with confusing and questionable messaging.
- Creating loyalty around your brand by doing all of the above.
In other words, the most successful healthcare marketing strategies strive to empower wellness consumers by helping them cut through the online noise, giving them options, educating them, and, hopefully, pointing them toward your clinic for solutions.
These efforts set healthcare marketing apart from other types of marketing strategies.
Sustainable Trends in Healthcare Marketing
Achieving these goals while pointing patients toward your brand takes time and a lot of consistency. But, such efforts (unlike paid digital marketing options) are generally sustainable and build more significant momentum the longer you do them.
Some examples of efforts and tactics that one should include in a modern healthcare marketing strategy include:
When it comes to increasing awareness, establishing credibility, connecting with specific audiences, and developing a level of brand loyalty, content is truly king. Regular, unique content on your website provides valuable SEO benefits, plus it establishes a link around which you can promote yourself using various channels, like email and social media.
Social Media Marketing
According to the PwC’s Health Research Center, about 75 percent of Americans use social media to research their health symptoms. This fact alone makes it apparent that no healthcare marketing strategy is complete without a solid social media element.
We all carry quality video cameras (our phones) in our pockets these days, making it easy to shoot short educational and demonstration videos for use on websites and social media. It’s increasingly proven that videos receive the best engagement (and the best opportunities for building trust and awareness) than other posts.
According to Pew Research, 47 percent of internet users search for info about health professionals online before engaging with a clinic or scheduling an appointment. Currently, this includes online bios as well as ratings on Google, Yelp, etc. So, encouraging positive reviews is popular right now in the wellness field.
Modernize Your Website
According to Google, more than 60 percent of healthcare consumers run an online search before scheduling an appointment. This means your brand had better show up in these searches! It just so happens that keeping your website active, updated, and modernized for a mobile-friendly world will contribute to ensuring this happens.
Calls to Action Everywhere
Marketing strategies that point people to a single contact page or form are antiquated. Today’s health care consumers are “omnichannel,” which means they’re just as likely to reach out to you through a contact link as they are from a Facebook page. So, consumers must be able to contact you no matter where they find you easily.
Selecting a Healthcare Marketing Partner
The key to selecting an agency or partner to help with your healthcare marketing is making sure they understand the nuances (above) that make wellness-based marketing so unique in the US. Choosing someone who understands the world of healthcare and the unique journeys potential patients/clients take when selecting providers is essential.
To gage this, consider the following:
- What are the core beliefs of the agency/organization when it comes to healthcare marketing? What are their core competencies?
- What other clients does the agency serve? Are they also healthcare clients? Can you call them for a reference?
- What are the online/digital capabilities of the agency? Do they provide website development/hosting? Do they offer social media, content marketing, video, online ads, etc.?
- What metrics do they use to measure success, both lead and lag measures? What is the expected short- and long-term ROI?
To learn more about healthcare marketing and what sets it apart from other marketing strategies or discuss your goals and vision for marketing, contact us at MindStream Creative, and we’d be happy to chat!