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Healthy Success: How to Create a Winning Healthcare Marketing Strategy

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Are you seeking ways to gain an edge in the healthcare industry?

Many healthcare professionals assume that they don’t need to rely on traditional marketing efforts. After all, medical care will always be in demand!

Yet that is precisely why medical organizations need marketing. Populations are growing and health insurance plans are changing

Healthcare companies need more than just word of mouth to keep those patients coming through their doors. 

The key to any marketing effort lies in an effective strategy. In this post, we discuss how you can create a winning healthcare marketing strategy.

What is a Marketing Strategy?

A marketing strategy functions much like a road map for any advertising campaign. Without it, it can be difficult to reach your goals and measure your results.

No advertising effort is too small for a strategy.

Most marketers will rely on an overarching strategy for all of their campaigns. They will then craft sub-strategies for different types of campaigns. 

For example, a company may rely on a generic marketing strategy for reaching key sales goals. They may then take a more specific strategic approach when it comes to their digital marketing efforts, such as search engine optimization.

Most marketing strategies outline measurable goals.

Examples of great goals include generating a certain amount of new leads per quarter or boosting site traffic by a specific percentage. You can easily track the progress of these goals.

Strategies should also include the tools and resources you will use to reach those goals. These include staff member hours, software, and materials.

Lastly, an effective marketing strategy is grounded in a timeline. You should know when you’re implementing certain steps and when you’re measuring results.

Crafting a Winning Healthcare Marketing Strategy

So how do you craft an effective healthcare marketing strategy? 

It’s important to keep in mind that no two marketing strategies are the same. This is especially the case when it comes to advertising efforts for different industries.

A healthcare marketing strategy will be very different than a construction industry strategy, for example.

Here are some tips for building the healthcare marketing strategy that will help your advertising campaign soar!

1. Know Your Industry Niche

The healthcare industry is vast and it’s growing. It’s essential for you to know your industry niche before you start crafting an advertising strategy.

This may feel obvious. After all, if you’re a pediatrician, isn’t that your niche?

Yes and no. That is your general niche, but specificity is key when it comes to marketing.

Your industry niche is where you fit into the landscape of medical needs. You may be a pediatrician, for example, who specifically serves disadvantaged urban children.

You may be a dental hygienist who specializes in root canals. You may be a medical professional who offers in-home care. Find more info about this here.

When identifying your industry niche, think about what your organization specializes in and who you aim to serve. Thinking about your ideal client (outlined in the next step) can help in this regard.

Another way to think more about your niche is to identify your competitors. Knowing who your competition is can actually help guide your marketing brainstorming more effectively. 

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2. Identify Your Ideal Patient

If you haven’t done so already, now is the time to think about your ideal patient.

Who do you confidently serve on a daily basis? Who do you want to see walk through your front doors more frequently?

In marketing language, this means identifying your “buyer persona.” A buyer persona emerges from market analysis and close study of consumer behaviors.

Knowing your ideal patient also means knowing their needs, desires, and beliefs. You don’t have to pinpoint everything, but you should pinpoint what you can.

In fact, if you do anything, figure out what your ideal patient needs. The heart of marketing lies in identifying customer needs and finding ways to meet them.

For example, your ideal patient may need highly personalized care. He or she may look for practitioners who go out of their way to treat every patient as the fellow human being they are.  

An ideal patient could also be one with a lot of anxiety about terminal illness. Or your ideal patient may be a middle-aged woman at risk for ovarian cancer.

Be as specific as possible when identifying your ideal patient. These details will help you build a healthcare marketing strategy that will directly target this patient market.

3. Establish SMART Goals

The most successful marketing strategies are built on a network of solid goals. We’re not just talking any goals, however.

It’s important to craft SMART goals – those that are specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, and timely.

Specific goals are as detailed as possible. An example of a specific goal is acquiring 4,000 new leads per month.

Measurable goals are ones that you can actually measure. It’s hard to track a goal’s progress if you can’t feasibly identify results!

The example of acquiring 4,000 new leads is also measurable. You can count leads and measure them through general analytics.

Actionable goals are those that you can actually implement. You can come up with clear tasks for reaching these goals. For example, you may set a goal to acquire those 4,000 new leads by investing in responsive web design and SEO services.

Lastly, your goals should be realistic and timely. Build a timeline you can stick to and make sure you have the capacity to reach those goals!

4. Pick Your Tools

There are so many kinds of advertising available to healthcare professionals.

There’s search engine optimization, web design, email marketing, and social media advertising – and these are just the start of digital marketing options!

The medium of advertising you choose and who you choose to implement your campaigns will depend on your ideal patient, your budget, and your resources.

If you haven’t done so already, take the time to identify your advertising budget.

How much has your company allotted for marketing efforts? How much can you devote to a single campaign? Multiple campaigns?

Be realistic about this step. Many marketers go awry by allocating too much too soon (or not enough).

Now is also the time to identify your resources for reaching your marketing goals. Do you have a staff marketing professional? Will you need to handle advertising yourself or do you intend to outsource efforts? 

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Some digital marketing efforts can be handled in-house without the need for fancy software. It is possible to tackle SEO yourself and even build an effective web design on your own.

However, time is also a resource! Given the timeline you have outlined for your strategy, determine how much time your strategy will take to implement.

5. Choose Your Type of Advertising

Most healthcare organizations will benefit from forms of digital advertising. This is because many of your patients will be accustomed to using online platforms when handling their medical affairs.

In fact, many of your patients will likely use Google search to find information about medical services near them. They may even prefer to book appointments online, making a professional website essential.

Keep this in mind as you choose the type of advertising that will work for your strategy. At the very least, aim to incorporate an effective website in your marketing strategy.

You will likely also want to explore SEO. Even a basic SEO campaign can make your website more visible in Google search results.

Healthcare professionals catering to internet-savvy patients may also wish to use pay-per-click advertising. PPC advertising enables marketers to launch digital ads that surface in relevant searches. You can also implement PPC on social media platforms.

Whatever the case, the type of advertising you choose will depend on your ideal patient’s needs. If your ideal patients aren’t likely to use the internet to find information, you may need to explore non-digital means of advertising, such as radio or print.

Lastly, keep in mind that advertising content is just as important as the channel. Make sure you have a plan for developing compelling content likely to attract (and retain) interest.

6. Plan to Track Results

Remember the ‘M’ in SMART goals? It’s very important to construct a marketing strategy based on measurable goals. 

Create a plan now for tracking the results of your marketing strategy. If you are outsourcing marketing services, make sure these professionals can deliver timely and comprehensive reports of progress. 

If you are handling advertising yourself, figure out how you will track your goals. You will likely need to rely on Google Analytics and Google Search Console, for example, to track SEO and other digital marketing results.

Also, identify how you will use these results. Just capturing them isn’t sufficient. Develop a strategy for analyzing results and then adapt your plan accordingly.

Your Healthcare Marketing Strategy

The healthcare industry is a competitive one. As the demand for high-quality medical services increases, it’s important for you to take charge of your patient base.

Developing an effective healthcare marketing strategy is a great place to start. With a solid strategy in place, you can ensure your favorite clients keep returning and new ones keep arriving.

Identify your ideal patient and industry niche when building your strategy. Outline a budget and resources list before you choose the type of advertising most likely to suit your patients.

Don’t forget to track results, either!

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