Healthcare is a unique industry with a distinctive subset of challenges. This industry is in the midst of an upheaval the likes of which have not been seen before. With increased competition for the healthcare dollar, hospitals and groups are turning to digital marketing to improve their awareness and lead generation. Building a digital campaign focused on growing awareness and lead generation can make an immense difference to both hospitals and healthcare groups.

Healthcare organizations must nurture relationships with current and prospective patients by educating them about their specialties and by  offering them with general health and wellness information. This will increasing your brand awareness by keep your brand top of mind when a patient or prospect needs something health-related.

In today’s digital world, it’s crucial for marketers in any industry to develop a multichannel approach that reaches consumers on the channels they prefer to use. Coming to healthcare digital marketer’s task it is to obtain personalized messaging across all channels which support patient engagement and a healthier society.

Make Your Website Work for You

Your website is the hub of your digital efforts. It’s where you want to drive your leads because it’s the primary spot where you’ll turn your leads into customers or your patients.

You want your site to be optimized for search keywords, usability, and content. Doing so will help your website appear further up in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) for the services you offer, and help increase the possibility that users will remain on your site and get to know you better.

The content you deliver should be in a way that your audience would wants it. Being able to click to call or make an appointment provides easy response mechanisms. In addition, you can bring in strong call tracking tools to help you measure your success.

Develop a Combined Progression for the Marketing Team

Given the wealth of patient data offered to today’s healthcare marketers, it’s important to not solely integrate multiple information sources in a healthcare CRM however it is required to line up marketing efforts with different departments like sales, contact center, etc. across the organization. A really combined marketing program needs a cross-disciplinary method that leverages patient insights from across departments and guarantees a coordinated effort and reliability.

Optimize for Mobile Search and Usability

If you’ve ever been in a hospital, clinic, or other medical facilities, do yourself a favor and look around the waiting room. In the era of smartphones and tablets, hospitals have become environments of mobile browsing, and tablets are now the go-to device for improving patient satisfaction and comfort. Pointless to say, it would be out of place on a hospital’s website to not fulfill with mobile usability standards. When optimizing pages and designing a website, mobile should always be taken into account. Most important, making a strong effort to increase website speed whenever possible, and making sure navigation and ease of access is seamless for mobile devices.

Map the Patient Journey to the Content of Email

Understanding the diagnosis, treatment options, and how patients inform themselves about their recent diagnosis helps align your content strategy. By doing so, you share the most relevant content to the right person at the right time and place. It does not help to share discharge and recovery information about the surgical procedure before they even know what their treatment options are. Ensuring the content flows with the patient journey through a specific diagnosis or disease helps patients stay informed and gain appropriate information when needed.

The Power of Remarketing for Healthcare

Remarketing is a powerful tool for targeting your audience. It lets you reach the people who have already visited your site by showing display or social media ads while they browse the web. It reminds them that your practice is out there.

Note: It’s important to set the frequency cap to limit impressions – you don’t want to overrun your audience and risk turning them off your brand.

Consider Conversion Rate Optimization

Increasing visibility, traffic, and exposure is only one piece of the puzzle. While it’s always beneficial to increase traffic, increasing the conversion rate can often provide a higher return-on-investment (ROI) than an increase in traffic would provide. An especially important consideration for conversion rate optimization is that it can have a direct impact on service lines that depend more on medical referrals for patient acquisition, whereas an increase in traffic and visibility for these service lines may not be particularly useful for acquiring new patients.

Suggestions for Improving Conversion Rate

  • Consider A/B testing and heat-mapping pages that square measure important for changing new patients.
  • Analyze the consistency, location, and visual attractiveness of calls to action (CTAs). Are CTAs quickly visible on top of the fold? Do they stand out and take hold of visitors’ attention easily? Do CTAs give a simple path to convert visitors?
  • Do most pages feature relevant visual assets? Websites that observe the use of images on the complete have higher engagement metrics, convert higher, and rank higher in organic search. To boot, adding quality, human-focused pictures will improve the feel of compassion that is critically vital for care-based organizations.

Combine New Ideas and Channels

A cross-disciplinary tactic can’t just be added on top of current marketing infrastructure. Though, in order to make the most of the marketing effectiveness, it’s vital to keep current with the ever-changing healthcare landscape, combining new ideas and channels into the program as required.

More than 80% of customers now want the possibility of using their smartphones to interact with their healthcare providers. What this means for digital marketers is that the consumer public has gone mobile – and digital marketers must tailor programs and messaging consequently.

Be Hyper-Targeted and Sensitive with Content

Health information is a very sensitive subject, so when sharing and educating, you want to be extra careful that you focus the right audience and not accidentally scare or impart fear in anyone. As a best practice, use a gated asset that someone needs to opt-in for information about a particular disease or diagnosis. This way, you know for sure they are interested in receiving additional info about procedures or treatment options. Also share wider information about treatment options or health and wellness tips that help with a disease, not specific medications/remedies or diagnoses that a doctor or medical expert would provide.

Convey Compassion

Healthcare site visitors are looking for answers and relief from their ailment. When individuals are seeking information, they are usually already experiencing symptoms or have a loved one who is suffering. It is very rare for people to search out a physician without having an existing issue. Knowing this about the visitor means that healthcare sites need to be empathic of what the visitor is experiencing. Having a key message that conveys compassion will help establish trust in the visitor’s mind.

Leverage Competitor Intelligence

As so many healthcare industries continue to grow, competition among healthcare organizations will become gradually important. Positive healthcare marketers understand this and keep existing on what their competitors are doing to inform their own digital marketing tactics and keep on top of mind with customers.

Specific marketing strategies will differ among marketers, but examples of how to control competitor intelligence may consist of competitive auditing or simply observing competitors’ social media profiles. The end result is understanding the competition and getting actionable digital marketing strategies based on the analysis.

Leverage Social Media

The major focus for many organizations’ social media programs is advertising and communications. Social media is moving people away from a reliance on advertising in creating and getting decisions, customers are relying more on the data they notice online. For healthcare, this becomes progressively relevant because the public has access to quality and value ratings.

Customers are also using the views and ideas they notice online to tell their purchases. Companies are using social media to plug their messages and encourage their customers to push their merchandise and services. Healthcare organizations that provide a venue for patients to share their positive experiences and private stories will send a strong message to customers who are deciding wherever to get their healthcare services.

Establish Expertise

Many healthcare providers neglect to form their expertise on their website homepage. A healthcare website must first create relevancy with the first-time site visitor, then follow with reliability. This is the best practice that ensures that visitors know the physician or surgeon is well experienced to treat them. Make sure to specify information such as the surgeries performed, the number of years in the field, patients and/or success rate.

Look Toward the Future and Stay Focused

From time to time the nature of digital marketing is to be constantly growing, active healthcare marketers make it an importance to be aware of shifts in regulation, innovation, technology, etc. Simultaneously, digital marketers may also need to take a wait and see approach in some areas.

As mentioned above, we have already seen the power of newer communication channels such as mobile search and usability and leverage social media in the healthcare industry which develop relationships, establish connections, and build trust all through a digital experience.

Final Thoughts

Creating a digital marketing campaign for healthcare is best served by a holistic approach. The above guidelines represent a few of the ways healthcare digital marketers can leverage their messaging to inspire, motivate, educate, and engage customers to the extent that they become actively involved in their own care and healthier over the long term.