The best healthcare marketing strategies, offline, online, traditional and new media all have to work together to reach, motivate, and engage healthcare consumers. In order reach and motivate your target audiences to choose you over another practice, your brand needs a “heartbeat.” A heartbeat creates an emotional statement about your organization. A promise to the marketplace that focuses on the benefits consumers will gain by becoming a patient of your practice.
Whether yours is a large medical practice or small physician office, it’s important to ask yourself the following on a regular basis:
- Does your strategy deliver on your customers’ expectations?
- Is your brand’s messaging delivering on that strategy?
- Is your creative really breaking through?
- What’s the competition up to?
Working to develop your brand’s heartbeat, and a strategy to address all of these things is crucial to creating a creative and compelling message that will engage your specific target audiences.
The next goal of your brand should be to meet your key audiences’ interests, needs and passions, and creating and executing a tactical plan to reach those audiences. Below are some strategies for taking this next step –
Offline marketing, also referred to as traditional marketing, includes such things as radio, television, billboards, print collateral and direct mail, among others. These can be considered antiquated and ineffective but should still be considered as part of an overall, integrated marketing plan. There’s a reason you see so many healthcare/pharmaceutical ads on TV and receive so many special offers via the mail. For the right demographics and with the right strategy behind them, they still work. Especially when combined with the right online tactics.
Increasing numbers of consumers begin their search for healthcare online. Having a website is one of the most important things you can do for your practice. If you don’t have one, get one! Having a website means more than just having a single page with your name, phone number and location. It’s important to be the “go to” source of information for your patients, and more importantly, your potential patients. You need to provide the most relevant and engaging content possible (and have a plan to continue to do so) to rank high in Google search results, attract patients, and to compel them to act (call, click or come in).
- Social Media
Social Media is a great, inexpensive, and fun way to promote your practice, special events, and your activities in the community, as well as for recruiting. Advertising here can be hyper-targeted to your desired potential patient pool. Of course, you must be careful to protect patient privacy and remain HIPAA compliant, so establishing ground rules and a plan to implement your social media strategy is imperative.
According to Google, “People are making decisions faster than ever before, and they expect to be able to act on those decisions instantly.” People are using their mobile phones to search at the exact moment of need and looking for places that can meet their immediate need. In order to capitalize on this “micro moment” trend, you first need to ensure your website is optimized for mobile experiences (visit Test My Site to see how yours measures up), you can then develop a strategy, such as a click-to-call mobile campaign to drive traffic.
While many will say they get too many emails, email marketing can still be one of the most cost-effective ways to keep your patients engaged with your practice. Some important things to consider when embarking on an email marketing campaign include mobile optimization, creative subject lines, personalization, relevant content and clear and concise instructions. Your emails should be engaging, interesting and concise, making the reader feel inspired to take the action you are requesting of them (click, call, share, etc.).
Are you marketing your medical practice? Share your experiences, challenges or success stories with us. We’d love to hear from you