Gone are the days when healthcare practitioners could rely on referrals and traditional advertising methods to acquire new patients. With the industry’s pivotal shift towards patient-centricity, patients are more informed and empowered to make decisions about their health. Thus, they tend to be more discerning when choosing healthcare providers and don’t automatically go with their local health systems.
As a result, the healthcare market is more competitive than ever. Consumers have no shortage of options now, and they will research and compare services and prices before making decisions. In such a saturated space, you need all the help you can get to make your practice stand out. This is where healthcare business marketing comes into play.
Below, we explore the fundamental principles and strategies for a successful healthcare marketing campaign.
1. Hone In On Your Target Audience
Before you start spreading the word about your healthcare business, figure out your target audience. Who are they? What are their needs, preferences, and pain points? For healthcare businesses, this could range from patients looking for specific treatments to doctors looking for advanced medical equipment. By knowing your target audience, you can craft a marketing message that speaks to them.
Crafting Patient Personas
One proven strategy to determine your target audience is crafting patient personas. A patient persona (or buyer or customer persona in other industries) is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal patient based on in-depth market research and accurate data about your existing patients.
Creating a patient persona is like painting a detailed picture of your ideal patient, including demographics, behavior patterns, motivations, challenges, and goals. This complete picture lets you know exactly who you want to reach, enabling a more targeted and effective marketing approach.
2. Provide an Optimized Online Experience
Did you know that about 7% of all daily Google searches are health-related? This equates to a billion searches every day. This stat highlights the importance of optimizing your digital touchpoints (i.e., website) to ensure they provide the best user experience possible. Without an optimized digital patient experience, you risk losing your patients’ trust, diminishing your reputation, missing out on referrals, and negatively impacting patient satisfaction and loyalty.
Build a User-Friendly Healthcare Website
You can’t hope to offer an excellent online experience without a user-friendly and mobile-responsive website. This means you have to address the following web design standards:
- Website UX: User experience (UX) refers to the practices centered around understanding and catering to the user’s needs and overall experience. It is crucial in designing digital platforms like websites, patient portals, apps, and more. When UX is done right, it results in user-friendly digital experiences.
- Page Load Speeds: Slow-loading pages signal bad web design and frustrate users. A 2017 Google study showed that as page load time goes from 1 to 3 seconds, the bounce rate jumps by 32%. Use a tool like Google’s Page Speed Insights to evaluate your website page speed.
- Mobile Responsiveness: A non-mobile-friendly healthcare website can lead to issues on mobile devices, such as a distorted interface, hard-to-read text, and slow load times. Conversely, a responsive healthcare website ensures consistent and accurate display across all devices.
3. Foster Trust Through Content Marketing
Content marketing, especially in the healthcare sector, is an invaluable tool. Your valuable, relevant content will not only educate patients but it can help foster trust and loyalty toward your brand. In a consumer-centric healthcare industry, content marketing can help self-directed patients find the answers they want concerning their health, establishing your healthcare brand as a trusted resource — not to mention the SEO benefits.
Strategies for Engaging Healthcare Content
Below are proven strategies tailored for healthcare businesses:
- Blog Posts: The bread and butter of any content plan. Write high-quality articles that address common health concerns, explain medical procedures, or debunk health myths. Blogs and articles educate the audience and position your organization as an authority in your practice.
- Short-Form Videos: With the ongoing popularity of video platforms like TikTok, Instagram Reels, and YouTube Shorts, it’s clear that short-form videos are here to stay. Utilize short-form videos to showcase facility tours, patient testimonials, and quick health tips.
- Podcasts: Unlike short-form content, podcasts allow for in-depth healthcare discussions. Feel free to invite experts on your podcasts to highlight specific topics.
- Email Newsletters: It’s hard to go wrong with the good old email newsletters. Regularly send curated content, news, and updates to your mail subscribers. Newsletters help you maintain consistency, keep your audience engaged, and remind them of your services.
4. Boost Local Search Presence With Local SEO
At its core, healthcare is a local business. Most healthcare professionals rely on attracting clients from their geographical area, while patients want providers with reasonable proximity to their location. As such, you’ll want your organization to appear at the top of the search results when patients search for localized keywords such as “urgent dental care in [neighborhood].” This highlights the importance of optimizing for local SEO in healthcare.
Ways to Optimize Local SEO for Healthcare
The following are several best practices for local healthcare SEO:
- Geo-Optimized Landing Pages: Develop distinct landing pages for each medical service or specialty you offer in specific locations. Ensure each landing page prompts visitors with clear call-to-actions (CTAs), such as scheduling a consultation or signing up for newsletters or webinars.
- Google Business Profile (GBP): If you haven’t already, claim your healthcare facility’s Google Business Profile or GBP. Ensure all information like address, contact numbers, and operational hours are correct and up-to-date.
- Citations and Listings: Register your healthcare business on reputable medical directories and platforms like Healthgrades, Zocdoc, WebMD, Vitals, and local healthcare directories.
- Localized keywords: Identify keywords or groups that patients in your area might use to search for medical services. Generally, these are keywords with geographical identifiers such as “cardiologist in [city name]” or “orthopedic clinic in [neighborhood].”
Effective healthcare business marketing goes beyond traditional advertising. It’s about putting the patient front and center, which means understanding their needs, gaining their trust, and offering genuine value. By integrating the principles and tactics above, you’ll be in a better place to attract new patients and take your business to a new level.
Do you find healthcare marketing to be tricky and challenging? Cardinal Healthcare Marketing Agency specializes in crafting scalable healthcare marketing campaigns to supercharge your growth.