- The healthcare industry is becoming increasingly competitive. How can you differentiate and distinguish your practice from others?
- Identifying your target audience, defining your brand, investing in SEO and social media marketing are just a few ways you can improve your brand awareness, drive website traffic and attract more patients.
- In this article, we delve into four marketing strategies that can help you not only get more patients, but add more value to your patients’ experience.
In the competitive healthcare industry, it’s critical to stay innovative, authentic and strategic to stand out from your competition. One of the most effective ways to do this is with a solid marketing strategy.
What Is Healthcare Marketing?
Healthcare marketing is a powerful business strategy that meets patients on the first step of their medical journey. It not only draws in new customers, but also facilitates the relationship between doctors and their patients, increases brand awareness and builds credibility.
Healthcare marketing uses various tactics to market the services of a medical provider or organisation, and helps keep patients engaged to lead happier and healthier lives.
For those on the fence about investing in healthcare marketing or don’t know where to start, we’ve outlined four of the most effective healthcare marketing strategies and how to achieve successful results.
Healthcare Marketing Best Practices
The basic framework to promote your medical practice, build brand awareness and attract new patients is to:
- Identify your target audience
- Use consistent branding
- Invest in SEO and online advertising
- Develop strategic communications and leverage social media
1. Identify Your Target Audience
To cut through the noise, you need to create marketing campaigns for a specific, well-defined group of people. Analysing the demographics of your target market will help you tailor your key messages and execution tactics.
For example, if your practice is located in a suburban area you might see mostly middle-to-upper class patients. In this case, perhaps promoting yourself in your local newspaper or magazine would reach your target audience more so than social media.
2. Use Consistent Branding
You may feel that your expertise sets you apart from your competition, but let’s face it — to a patient, your white coat looks just like every other doctor. Defining your brand is part of your story.
But how do you define your brand? You can begin by asking questions such as:
- What is unique about your practice?
- Is it the way you treat patients, your office environment, the practice location?
- What distinguishes you from your competitors?
Everything from your logo to the color and font of your brand should represent your unique professional profile.
3. Invest in SEO and Online Advertising
SEO is a complex yet powerful healthcare marketing tool. The simple definition of search engine optimisation (SEO) is optimising your website strategically so that it appears in search engine results.
Think about what your audience would Google if they needed your services. Including “healthcare practice” 500 times on your website does not mean it will rank #1 in search results — it doesn’t work that way. SEO factors in the quality of the content on your website, backlinks, keywords, and tags.
There are also paid search advertising opportunities where you can pay to have your ad appear at the top of search engines above organic results, or in social media feeds. PPC advertising has an advantage over SEO as you can start getting traffic to your website and leads immediately. You can use targeting options to target people in specific locations, age, gender, consumer behaviour and more.
4. Develop Strategic Communications and Leverage Social Media
A successful social media strategy should combine organic social media posts and paid advertising. Organic social media is posting photos, videos and updates on social media without putting any money behind them. Organic posting is a good social strategy, but it’s not going to achieve the best results alone.
Paid social advertising includes “boosting” posts. These posts appear in front of your target audience. They increase views, engagement, brand awareness and website clicks, ultimately leading to more patients.
Posts that show real people like the doctors, patients and staff at your practice generally perform better and receive more views and engagement than posting that it’s “National Doughnut Day.”
Earned media coverage is another way to raise brand awareness, increase credibility and drive patients to your practice. And the best part? It’s free! Pitching your story, events and newsworthy updates to the local news is a valuable strategy. It’s more influential to hear about your brand on the news than it is to see it in an ad.
The goal of healthcare marketing is to provide true value to your practice and your patients’ lives. The healthcare marketing strategies discussed in this article are designed to improve your brand awareness, reputation, website traffic and ultimately drive more patients to your practice.
Have you implemented a marketing strategy to promote and grow your healthcare practice? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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