Healthcare digital marketing can be complicated, which is why the industry often lags behind when it comes to marketing endeavors. The healthcare industry is subject to stricter FDA regulations that change often, putting limitations on what they can and can’t say about their products and services. Healthcare digital marketing strategies and the flexibility they entail is one solution to this problem.
Digital platforms allow you to adapt fast to sudden changes. This means a convenient way to tweak messaging in the face of current events and trends, but for healthcare companies there’s an added benefit. You can adjust messaging quickly in light of new regulations.
Not only that, more and more patients are going online to find doctors, especially with the rise of telehealth and other remote forms of medical care. In fact, a 2020 study indicated a whopping 90% of patients use online reviews to make decisions when selecting a healthcare provider. If you work in healthcare, you need a strong online presence to drive traffic to your website and foster a strong relationship with patients.
Healthcare marketing trends provide a lot of insight on how to embrace digital marketing going into 2021. Below, we’ll offer some of the most effective healthcare digital marketing strategies you can use to gain new patients, build trust, and establish your brand as a source of authority.
Build A Responsive Website
A clunky, unengaging website is a surefire way to get potential patients to click away and look elsewhere. As with any marketing strategy, healthcare digital marketing requires imagining what a potential customer is thinking while they interact with your content. Even for healthy patients, booking doctor’s appointments can be an anxiety-inducing experience. Therefore, building a website that reduces stress rather than increases it is vital.
A responsive website adapts to things like screen size, adjusting as necessary to ensure content is easy to read and navigate. A clean page should have a clearly visible menu which gives customers a breakdown of their options, from booking appointments to scheduling blood tests and more.
With more and more patients booking appointments from their phone, mobile responsiveness is also important. Make sure your website is readable on mobile devices so patients can find the information they need easily on a phone or tablet.
Make Your SEO Strategy Specific And Hyperlocal
Having a solid SEO strategy is obviously one of the best ways to reach new patients and drive traffic to your site. Showing up toward the top of search results will naturally help with your site’s visibility. When it comes to the healthcare industry specifically, developing a hyperlocal strategy using keywords relevant to a very specific audience can help you land patients over a competitor.
What does this mean, exactly? First is the most obvious – you should be using your location as a keyword. This does not just mean ads with terms like “Los Angeles heart surgeon.” Go deeper. For example, try out “Westwood heart surgeon” or “East Los Angeles heart surgeons.”
It’s not just about location either. Find the keywords most relevant in your area. Tools like Ahrefs can help with this. There are a litany of synonyms for varying types of doctors and healthcare professionals, and which words your target audience Googles matter.
Are patients in West Hollywood more likely to search for eye doctors or optometrists? In Brentwood, do people look for heart surgeons or cardiologists?
The more specific your SEO strategy, the better. If you’re one of several providers in an area, you can stand out among competitors by connecting to patients via the terms they’re most likely to search. If the practice three blocks from you focuses on keywords like “pediatricians” in an area where the general population is more likely to Google “children’s doctors,” using the latter term can help you stand apart.
Develop A Content Marketing Strategy
Content marketing and SEO go hand-in-hand. When it comes to healthcare digital marketing, quality content is particularly important. Again, healthcare can be stressful, and patients want to feel like they’re entrusting industry experts with their health. In addition to ensuring your business ranks high, you also need to work on providing genuinely helpful, relevant content to patients.
A good content marketing strategy builds trust. If you are consistently putting out valuable information, patients will come to associate your practice with knowledge and authority. It can also increase leads and conversions. If someone Googling their symptoms stumbles upon one of your blog posts, a call to action toward the bottom of the page could turn them into a patient.
A blog is more or less a must for a healthcare content marketing strategy, but you can go beyond that and get creative. Think about nurturing potential patients from start to finish. A live action chatbot that answers questions 24/7 can be an invaluable tool for a nervous patient. Skimmable, visually engaging material like infographics can distill relevant information for an online audience.
Whatever content you end up creating, make sure to focus on quality. Information should be accurate, relevant, and easily accessible to a wide range of readers.
Embrace Video Marketing
Both a subset of content marketing and its own unique platform, video marketing is one of the fastest growing ways to reach audiences. Internet users are likely to be enticed by quick, well-done video content that provides relevant information.
YouTube and similar platforms like TikTok are no longer primarily for entertainment purposes. Many people use such sites as a search engine to learn about a wide range of topics, including those related to the healthcare business. Many healthcare providers have started putting out video series on topics related to their specialty, allowing patients to glean important information while developing trust in your brand.
Video ads – which can be posted on social media platforms or aired before YouTube videos – are also helpful in connecting with an online audience. Brief ads with engaging visuals and information on your practice can help you land more patients.
Keep in mind, video content has to be high-quality. Blurry videos and poor audio comes off as unprofessional, which could unconsciously cause customers to lose trust in your practice. If you’re not tech-savvy yourself, working with a marketing agency to produce video content can be invaluable.
Get On Social Media
People from all walks of life have social media platforms. While social media was once key to reaching a younger demographic, now patients of all ages are on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Social media pages and ads can help connect you with patients in a very personal way.
You can share all kinds of information with patients via social media. From links to your blog posts and videos to updates on your staff’s careers and accomplishments, having a strong social media presence helps foster trust between you and your patients. If you attach features like a “Book Now” button, this could potentially lead to new business.
You should also work on being responsive on social media. Not every patient has time to make a phone call or even send an email, so having a staff member offer quick replies to posts or private messages can help patients access your services easily.
Provide Multi-channel Touchpoints
More and more customers are omnichannel these days, so your digital marketing strategy needs to account for this. Connect with customers multiple ways, and give them more than one option for appointment bookings and reminders.
You should have traditional touchpoints, like email and a landline number, but make sure customers have more ways to reach out. The aforementioned social media strategy can help. Responding to a Facebook or Twitter message can lead to a patient booking an appointment. You can also look into options like chatbots and text messaging to help patients reach you.
Reminders are also important for patients, so offer more than one option. Some patients may prefer a phone call the day before, while others may prefer receiving reminders via phone or email.
The Bottom Line
Healthcare digital marketing strategies are more important than ever as more and more people are using online platforms to connect with medical professionals. When it comes to the healthcare industry, a marketing strategy should place a lot of focus on empathy and user experience. Remember, people often experience high levels of stress and anxiety when booking tests and appointments. The more user-friendly and accessible your company can be, the better.
Creating an easy-to-navigate website combined with multiple touchpoints lets users get to relevant information quickly. Platforms like blogs and social media build trust, allowing patients to feel more comfortable in potentially vulnerable situations.
Need some help? At BlueLinex, we build data-driven marketing strategies for clients to help them become industry leaders. We have experience working with a diverse range of clients, including those in the medical industry. You can read success stories here and reach out to book a call here to talk. We look forward to hearing from you.