Healthcare marketing strategy is used to support the practices of healthcare providers and telemedicine providers. It facilitates the relationship between doctors and their patients. It also attracts new customers to a practice. In 2021, a healthcare marketing strategy can take many different forms and encompass multiple channels to target the right patients at the right time and in the right way.
Also in 2021, we are in a world still grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic and the healthcare industry will be grappling with the aftermath for some time to come. When it comes to healthcare marketing, it is becoming increasingly important to reassure patients that they are safe in your facilities. Ensuring patients stay informed about vaccines and other preventive measures is another way to communicate with patients that you can leverage. These are points that you should definitely include in all of your doctor's office marketing efforts. Marketing strategies for healthcare organizations that include what steps are being taken to protect patients will help reassure patients and give them confidence in their choice of facility.
In this article, ComboApp will discuss the fundamentals of building a strong medical marketing plan. Online medical marketing is one of the best ways for doctors and medical institutions to communicate important information to their patients. This is why it's so important to have a healthcare marketing consultant who can navigate the complicated landscape of regulations and rules that healthcare professionals must adhere to when seeking out new patients (while retaining existing patients).
Regulations that Healthcare Marketing Strategy must comply with
Healthcare providers must comply with various federal healthcare marketing laws and regulations that affect medical marketing strategy. The most important are:
- HIPAA– A regulation mandating industry-wide standards for the exchange of health information and e-billing services. The goal of HIPAA is to protect patient information.
- GDPR– This is a law that first started in the EU and made its way across the pond to the United States. The law determines7 principlesfor the lawful processing of personal data. It regulates the collection, organization, structuring, modification, query, use, transmission, combination, restriction, deletion and storage of personal data. It protects how doctors, hospitals and marketers can use patient information.
- The CAN-SPAM Law– This law regulates the context of information that healthcare marketers and physicians can transmit via email. It also gives the patient the right to opt-out of receiving emails from their healthcare provider or other medical institutions.
These regulations only increase the need for a comprehensive healthcare marketing strategy. To enjoy a steady supply of patients, providers must master the uniqueness of digital healthcare marketing and stay abreast of the latest healthcare marketing trends.
Why is health marketing important?
A study by Prophet examined the current state of patient experience and uncovered this alarming statistic: 81% of consumers are dissatisfied with their healthcare experience. Additionally, 43% of millennials are likely to switch GPs in the next few yearsResearch by Solutionreach.
Trend 2021 – ReputationsmanagementIn the past, patients usually found doctors through personal recommendations. In the digital age, social media has become an integral part of how patients find healthcare professionals. Online reviews posted by other patients on these networks play a particularly important role in their selection process. Even a few negative reviews can convince Patience to seek help elsewhere, which is why reputation management is a growing priority for all healthcare professionals.
Clearly, patient expectations have evolved significantly over the past decade. They now have more options than ever to get the care they want for themselves and their families. For this reason, healthcare providers should view healthcare marketing not just as a great investment, but as an absolute necessity.
~89%of consumers immediately turn to online search when they want answers to their health questions. When marketing healthcare services, it is important to proceed with a personalized strategy for each market segment, specialty and specific practice.
According toin-depth study by Dr. Paul Stuart Kregor, limited segmentation approaches, an overemphasis on “one size fits all” campaigns, and a lack of real customer insights are among the factors that cause healthcare marketing strategies to fail. The industry needs to shift toward organic, sustainable campaigns that employ core marketing principles and provide unique differentiators to the healthcare customer base. Otherwise, the legitimacy of healthcare marketing will be called into question.
There are a number of core healthcare marketing strategies that a medical marketing agency can employ to market and engage client bases effectively and personally. In this article, we will discuss 12 of the most effective healthcare success strategies for 2021.
Trend 2021 - health apps and telemedicineTheCost of developing a mobile apphas declined tremendously in recent years, and more and more medical providers are adding it to their marketing strategies to communicate important data points about a patient's health to a variety of patient well-being stakeholders. (Including the patient!)(Video) How to Create a Marketing Plan | Step-by-Step Guide
Additionally, patients are embracing the ability to access medical assistance from the comfort of their own homes, and healthcare providers should not miss the opportunity to establish themselves as dominant players in the telemedicine market.
12 Tips for Healthcare Marketing Strategies
Marketing health strategy is an interdisciplinary practice. There are certain techniques that should be used in best practices when marketing health services. But what should a healthcare digital marketing strategy look like and what should it include? Let's take a closer look at 12 healthcare marketing strategy tips that all vendors should at least heavily consider when brainstorming their healthcare marketing plans.
Before we go into detail, here is the summary of what we will cover in this section:
1. Stand out and be consistent
The AKA (Affordable Care Act, 2014) has increased the demand for qualified physicians. And with the advent of telemedicine, it has increasedAccess for patients in remote or marginalized communitieswho previously did not have access to good care.
“The use of telemedicine has been shown to enable better long-term care management and patient satisfaction; It also offers a new way to find health information and communicate with physicians (e.g. via email and interactive chat or video conferencing), increasing patient convenience and reducing potential physician and patient travel." (AJMC, 2017)
That was great for the healthcare industry. However, it has created challenges for creating effective healthcare marketing plans.
From the patient's perspective, most healthcare providers look more or less the same, advertising the same services but wearing the same white coats. If you take the time to find out your patient's specific needs and pain points, you will achieve powerful results. Being able to address these issues in a personalized way will set you apart from the competition.
What sets your practice apart from the competition? It's important to identify what makes your practice different and reflect that uniqueness in your healthcare marketing strategy. There can be many angles that set you apart from the competition. Use these aspects in your healthcare marketing plan. Some ideas to consider to present yourself in the most persuasive way are:
- The way you treat your patients. Do you treat your patients holistically? This personalized approach will appeal to patients who feel their previous providers have not listened or have not taken care of their full-body issues.
- Your friendly staff. One of the major pain points for many patients is that they feel they are being pushed through a system where they are treated coldly and little attention is paid to bedside manners. When you have an extremely empathetic, friendly and dedicated staff - that's a big differentiator to many other practices. This would be an important aspect to emphasize in your healthcare marketing efforts.
- A modern facility. This largely comes down to patients who have not had access to top quality facilities. A clean, modern and attractive looking facility will make a positive impression on many new patients compared to what they are used to. Gone are the days of the dusty doctor's office, in the age of technology people want to see streamlined, airy and bright facilities with the most modern treatments available.
- Hosting von Online-Events. This is a novel way to stand out from the competition. Especially at a time of major health crisis, being able to speak 1:many and answer questions in real-time will have a major impact on the visibility of your organization or practice. When people are concerned about their health, they want to know their doctor is thinking of them, even if they can't see them in person.
Consistently emphasizing what makes you unique will ensure that patients remember you. This is one area where healthcare marketing services can help you the most. They can help you boil your brand promise down to catchy slogans and messages. Healthcare marketing services can also help create a consistent design ethic that you can use across all your communication channels. In addition, many companies can help you create stylish online and mobile products to help you stand out even more from your patients.
Just make sure your efforts are consistent. Confusing and opaque marketing can mean the downfall of any business. Also in healthcare. It's great to constantly re-evaluate and improve on your existing efforts while implementing new ideas. Just make sure you stick to your branding guidelines.
2. Take advantage of paid search ads
In 2021, marketing strategies for healthcare organizations must include programmatic advertising. Search engines have become the first port of call for8 out of 10 peopleSearch for health information. This represents a huge opportunity for healthcare providers. Leveraging paid search ads and incorporating them into your healthcare marketing strategy is critical to your overall success.PPC (Pay-per-Click)Ads can be precisely targeted to reach the specific people who best fit your practice.
Patients are looking for doctors or practices that are between 5 and 7 miles from their homes. PPC ads can be set to be micro-granular in their targeting and only served to local traffic. Generating targeted keywords and key phrases that will grab the attention of local traffic will improve your reach. Because you only pay for clicks and not impressions, your ROI is much higher compared to regular display advertising.
The importance of market analysis in healthcare cannot be overstated. Make sure your team continuously analyzes your targeting. There's nothing wrong with optimizing the campaign to optimize results. The best agencies will recommend you do this with them. If not, raise an eyebrow. You need to A/B test everything to determine which collateral or call-to-action converts best. You also need to do this to determine if your keywords are properly targeted to the audience you're targeting.
3. Focus on how you are helping
When companies do marketing, they often focus on what they are doing because that is where their expertise lies. They describe their technologies, past achievements, important partnerships and future goals. The only problem is that they often forget to mention the most important piece of information: how they help their patients.
Medical marketing strategies and hospital marketing strategies are very different from the marketing practices of other consumer-facing companies. These organizations are in a unique position where they can actually help people. Sometimes in circumstances of life and death. Research shows that in 2021 one of the top trends in marketing will be personalization. Marketing generally lends a megaphone to your brand. Using this amplified voice to express how you can help the community or provide assurance that things will be okay is a powerful way to align your practice or organization to stay on top of things. And that you are there to help. When addressing the needs of your community or addressing a crisis through the voice of your practice/organization, emphasizing your core values will strengthen patient brand loyalty.
Trend 2021 - Wearable TechnologyWearable technology has tremendous potential beyond the fitness market, and healthcare is one of the industries where it can really make a difference and potentially save lives. By leveraging this technology and developing their own wearable products, medical professionals can be with their patients 24/7 and provide proactive healthcare support when an abnormality arises.
When promoting your practice/organization, you should always start with a help-oriented headline. This is a healthcare strategy that comes naturally to healthcare providers.
Using top tips as a selling point is a personal and strategic way to encourage users to learn more about your practice. Specific headlines like “Top 10 Tips for Instant Headache Relief” provide far more ROI than a general headache headline. This suggests a solution to a problem - rather than a medical, shaky, scientific article. Science is great, but not everyone is able to understand the technical aspects of your practice. The difference may not seem important to doctors, but it has a profound impact on patients seeking a solution to their problem.
Taking this a step further, when creating strategies for healthcare organizations, ComboApp recommends making any information you present online accessible to the ordinary person. Whether you're emailing, creating blog posts on specific topics, or promoting your practice on social media, you need to be able to connect and resonate with your audience.
4. Ask for reviews
Consider the following 3 facts:
- 72%of patients in 2019 used online reviews as the first step when looking for a new doctor
- 88%Trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation
- 48%would go out of their insurance network for a doctor with great reviews
The bottom line is clear. At a time when UGC (User Generated Content) is a key personalized way to get recommendations, you need to ask patients for reviews. Then you need to display them prominently on your website and social media.
When you get a review—both negative and positive—act on itwithin 12 hours, maximum. Be polite even if the reviewer is unreasonable. If you listen to their pain points and address them, you have a chance to motivate them to give you a second chance. It will also give other patients or potential patients an insight into how you work with your patients. You can even hire a healthcare marketing consultant to help you craft answers.
5. Partnering with a healthcare marketing agency
Balancing your online medical marketing with your patient care and professional growth isn't easy. To maximize your ROI across the board, be sure to consider partnering with a healthcare marketing agency that can help you connect with patients across all digital platforms. Marketing consulting in healthcare is a very specialized area of communication. There are several areas that you may not have thought of that your healthcare marketing agency can advise you on. Such as:
- Build an app to give your patients an easy way to schedule appointments and answer basic questions
- Create a long tutorial video for your social media that addresses common issues in your practice
- Reach potential patients on more informal platforms and connect with patients via pop culture (like the Dancing Doc on TikTok, we love Dr. Adkins!)
Trend 2021 – Digital FirstIt's probably no surprise that digital marketing channels continue to dominate healthcare marketing in 2021. Potential patients read online reviews, visit social media profiles, and consume many different forms of content.
6. Build a mobile-friendly website
Over60%of people access the internet on their mobile device. Google and other search engines prefer websites that are mobile-friendly.
Trend 2021 – Healthcare Specific WebsitesIt doesn't take many Google searches to realize that the most reliable medical information can be found on a few major websites like WebMD. Knowing this, many patients bypass Google and go straight to these health-related websites, virtually all of which have some form of search functionality implemented. To discourage these visitors from leaving the site, health-related websites should make good use of hyperlinks and intelligently suggest additional content based on the information they gather about their visitors.
What does mobile-friendly mean?
Websites that are optimized for mobile devices automatically adapt to the size of a screen, reduce loading time and improve website speed.
A study by Aberdeen Research Group states that a 1 second delay in your website speed can result in a7%Reduction in conversions. That might not seem like a lot, but that's a potentially huge chunk of potential traffic that you're missing out on.
Are there other reasons why optimized mobile websites are important?
Google has also announced thisMobile-first indexing. This means they are using the mobile version of your websiteIndexAndRangyour site.
- Indexing means that Google bots crawl and search your websitekeywordsrelated to popular search terms.
- Ranking affects where and how your website appears in Google search results. The goal of every business is to be first in ads or last on the first page of Google.
This makes it crucial that youBuild a mobile website.
ComboApp recommends tools likePagespeed Insights von Googleto monitor and improve the speed of your health website on all types of devices. healthcareWebsite designOptimized for both desktop and mobile devices, it may require a larger initial investment, but it's worth it.
Trend 2021 – Zero-Click-SucheIn 2019, marketing analytics firm Jumpshot revealed that 48.96 percent of all Google searches in the United States ended without a click. Seasoned marketers understand the implications of this important finding: people pay attention to the information in featured snippets and the Google Knowledge Graph, and seem to settle for answers no longer than a few sentences.
7. Optimize for search engines
SEO (search engine optimization) remains an essential part of healthcare marketing services. This means marketing medical services via keyword placement both in your content and on your website. Your health marketing agency needs to spend time researching the best target keywords to optimize both your content and website.
Of particular importance are long-tail keywords, which are composed of three and four keyword phrases that are ultra-specific to your business. Instead of using the term “optometry practice,” it's a much better idea to target long-tail keywords like “optometry practice in central London” or “wheelchair accessible optometry practice Chicago.”
While long term keywords get much less traffic than shorter keywords, they are also much easier to rank for.
Trend 2021 – Location-based SEOSmartphones and wearable devices have made ultra-preciseLocation-based SEOone of the most effective tactics healthcare marketers can use to target patients at the right time and place.
Besides keywords, SEO also includes image optimization, sitemaps, backlinks, meta tags, crawl errors and more. Have your marketing team create a highly optimized landing page for your practice. There is absolutely nothing wrong with using an optimized landing page in healthcare marketing.
8. Don't forget to optimize for users too
When optimizing all of the above aspects of your website, it's important not to lose sight of the most important optimization in the first place: the user experience. You don't want to go through all the trouble of getting users to your website only for them to get frustrated with the experience and leave. Make sure your website is easy to navigate and relevant information is easy to find and access to ensure your visitors have a positive experience.
It's just as important as the marketing itself that your healthcare marketing strategies pay off after potential patients visit your website. Some basic tips are to make sure your website simply states who you are and without the patient having to search for it. From there, make sure that the navigation is easy and without many levels so that a potential patient can find the information they are looking for with little effort. An easy to find "Contact Us" link is vital as it makes it easier for them to find out how to direct their questions to your office or arrange an appointment.
AHealthcare digital marketing agencylike ComboApp have experience in building websites that users love and can help you maximize your conversions from patient visits.
9. Social Media and Healthcare Marketing
Consider these facts:
- Two-thirdsof all internet users are active on social media for at least 10-12 minutes a day
- 41%of consumers say content found on social media is likely to influence their choice of hospital or treatment center
Too many healthcare providers refuse to include social media in their doctor's office marketing because they don't think it's appropriate. In fact, social media marketing should be an integral part of any healthcare marketing strategy.
Trend 2021 – Social MediaFor many internet users, especially in emerging markets, social media is synonymous with the internet itself. They visit various social media platforms to connect with friends, read the latest news and get information and advice from professionals they trust. When used for healthcare marketing, social media can deliver excellent ROI, making it an essential part of any healthcare marketing strategy.
How social works in healthcare marketing:
Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube make it easy to target large numbers of users with organic content as well as paid advertising.
Engaging in healthcare social media marketing gives you the opportunity to personally connect with potential patients and build long-term relationships with them. It allows you to be authentic and personal while reaching new audiences.
Createstickyorviral contenton social media will also generate organic ad traffic, the power of which should not be underestimated.
TakeDie Washington PostFor example. When using the new video app TikTok, you have lpopular humor-based contentto reach millions of potential subscribers from Gen X to Gen Z. (That's 229 million potential subscribers!)
The same strategies can work in healthcare social media marketing (the Dancing Doc is a prime example). Make them laugh and they will remember you and your practice/organization.
Social is one of the medical marketing strategies most overlooked by practitioners. Don't fall into this trap.
Trend 2021 – Videomarketing2020 was expected to be the year when 5G mobile connectivity hits the mainstream and it is highly likely that this will lead to an explosion in video consumption among mobile users. Healthcare providers can capitalize on this trend with video marketing on sites like YouTube and Instagram.
10. Don't neglect content marketing
Content marketing is extremely relevant in 2021. This type of marketing includes collateral such as videos, blogs, and social media posts. Sharing this material online builds a brand, attracts a well-defined audience, and improves engagement with existing audiences.
Healthcare content marketing can help medical providers build authority in their field, which is why it's such an important part of healthcare outreach and medical marketing in general. It's a key component of how social marketing in healthcare works.
Here are some examples of healthcare content marketing:
- health tips
- Blog posts on relevant terms
- „Meet the Doctor“-Interviews
- Virtual AMA sessions (ask me anything).
- patient reports
The possibilities are nearly unlimited.
11. Public Relations gets your name out there
One thing that's universal, whether you're in B2B healthcare marketing or medical clinic marketing, is the need for a great PR strategy. A PR team can help get your name out there and tell people how you or your product is helping the community.
- A press release that informs the public about your good work as a doctor can benefit your reputation.
- Being interviewed by the local press about the latest health issues in your community creates a sense of familiarity and trust.
- An article about your product and its benefits can spark the interest of other healthcare professionals.
All of these are just a few ways you can benefit from making public relations a part of your healthcare advertising strategy.
12. Track your healthcare marketing strategy
It is important to keep track of your health marketing strategy. To get the best ROI from your strategy, track its performance with your favorite analytics software solution and tweak it when the data suggests it will perform better in other ways. tools such asGoogle Analyticsare easy to implement and use. Measure with hard metrics. Revenue, CPL (cost per lead), traffic to your website, and landing page conversion rates are the best measure of whether or not you're on track with your campaign. Relying on data points rather than intuition will give you the best results. But you're a doctor or healthcare professional, you already know that.
The healthcare market is becoming increasingly competitive and it's the job of marketers to stay up to date with the latest healthcare marketing trends to know how to convert leads into patients.
Digital marketing in healthcare is evolving as technology continues to advance and create new marketing opportunities. It is important to combine the techniques discussed above in a way that makes you stand out from the crowd. In addition to technical methods (like in-site SEO, building a mobile-friendly website or app), healthcare providers need to be proficient in marketing strategies based on reputation and authenticity. Social and word of mouth marketing through UGC is just as important as technical solutions like wearable technology and location-based SEO. A 360-degree approach to creating a healthcare digital marketing plan will end up giving you the best results.
Ready for your360 Degree Cycle Marketingplan for your practice or organization? Please turn firstname.lastname@example.org let's start brainstorming how we can help you!
Frequently asked questions about healthcare marketing strategies
1. What is health marketing?
Healthcare marketing is a process of outreach and communication aimed at attracting patients, guiding them on their healthcare journey and keeping them in touch with the healthcare provider.
2. How can our practice/organization best stand out in 2021?
To stand out, you need to use personalized solutions that connect you 1:1 with your patients combined with technical optimization that expands your audience. Discoverability is an obstacle every business faces, but if you follow the top tips above, your practice/organization will shine in the crowded marketplace.
3. Does ComboApp offer health marketing services?
ComboApp is a full-cycle digital marketing agency providing marketing services to healthcare organizations, offering comprehensive digital services and mobile marketing solutions to help them plan, develop and execute their products to perfection.
4. Which healthcare marketing trends will matter the most in 2021?
The two most important marketing trends of 2021 are personalization and authenticity. The more consumers are exposed to sales materials delivered on each and every digital device, the more resilient they are to traditional advertising and marketing methods. Because of “ad fatigue” and “influencer fatigue,” consumers are more likely to make decisions when they hear a personal success story or when they get an authentic, empathetic response to their query.