4 Proven Healthcare Marketing Strategies
Written by LaFleur
Healthcare marketing isn’t just for massive hospital networks with exorbitant budgets. It’s more than massive billboards, glossy television ads, and lucrative sponsorships with professional sports franchises and glamorous concert venues.
In fact, local doctor’s offices, urgent cares, and insurance agencies comprise the majority of the healthcare marketing we see every day. So, regardless of your budget, you should be promoting your brand, driving interest in your services, and securing more leads, more members, and more revenue through sound marketing strategies.
That said, the competition is fierce. There are a lot of healthcare organizations out there, and each one is unique in its own way. So if you want to experience real return on your investment (in both the short- and long-term), you should implement the five following healthcare marketing strategies.
1) Perform an Honest SWOT Analysis of Your Healthcare Marketing
Healthcare marketing success depends on thorough planning. And the most important aspect of that planning begins at the outset with an honest SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis. Many marketers are hesitant to perform a SWOT analysis because it feels so overwhelming, but it’s an essential exercise that will help you diagnose your current efforts and implement sound strategies for consistent improvement.
First, you’ll want to separate the four elements of the analysis into distinct quadrants. Next, you’ll begin listing line items for each.
- Strengths: What are the internal processes or tactics that are driving results and how can you leverage them to capitalize on your current success? Healthcare marketing strengths might include:
- Products, policies, and services
- Community connections
- A strong reputation with proven performance
- Weaknesses: What are the internal processes or tactics that aren’t working or should be eliminated entirely? Where are your biggest needs for improvement and how should you prioritize them? Healthcare marketing weaknesses might include:
- Poor or limited reputation
- Lacking innovation or technology
- Products, policies, and services gaps
- Opportunities: What are the external areas for improvement that would give your organization a boost? Healthcare marketing opportunities might include:
- New technologies or innovation
- Weak or fading competitors
- Changes in healthcare consumer needs
- Threats: What are the external areas that constitute potential obstacles to your organization’s success and how can you minimize or overcome these challenges? Healthcare marketing threats might include:
- Economic shifts
- Competitor improvement or innovation
- Increased compliance measures or regulations
As you can see, a good SWOT analysis is all about getting it all down on paper. It’s about taking accountability and tracking your current state for future improvement. Be specific and deliberate with how you define each element and leverage the data wherever possible to remain objective. Carefully analyze your competition and involve stakeholders from across the organization to get the big picture.
Once you’ve completed your SWOT analysis and have a high-level view of your healthcare organization, you can begin planning strategies, tactics, campaigns, and content.
2) Great Healthcare Content Drives Great Demand
You’ve probably heard that content is the lifeblood of any good marketing plan, but maybe you think that doesn’t apply to healthcare. Or, maybe you think you just don’t have the resources to execute sound marketing tactics. Another maybe: you’re already creating and distributing content, but you aren’t seeing any results.
Regardless of where you’re at, you need a holistic content marketing plan executed across all of your marketing channels. Why? Because 80% of consumers prefer to learn about a company through customer content, which empowers you to control the narrative.
Here are a few best practices that are guaranteed to increase awareness and drive demand.
- Create an Editorial Calendar: As part of your holistic marketing strategy, your content needs to be calculated and coordinated. It should be informed by and inform your marketing tactics across the board. This means you need to develop a sharable editorial calendar that clearly outlines your past, current, and upcoming content efforts.
Create a spreadsheet with tabs for each content type — blogs, whitepapers, datasheets, webinars, video, etc. Include the draft, edit, and post dates for each asset. Also include columns for relevant keywords, the meta-description to include on the search engine results page (SERP), and a link to the live URL, PDF, or gated landing page for the respective content asset.
Conduct thorough keyword research using Moz or SEMRush, looking for high-volume root keywords and low-volume long-tail keywords to capitalize on diverse search queries. Lastly, maintain a good balance of evergreen and topical content; this will help you remain relevant in your specific industry while also ensuring long-term SEO success.
- Leverage Content Across Multiple Channels: Your blogs shouldn’t be limited to your website. Your whitepapers shouldn’t be limited to your paid search campaigns. And your videos shouldn’t be limited to your social media channels.
Instead, you should be utilizing your content across all of your digital campaigns and properties. Consider content syndication for your blogs. Provide health or insurance policies as a free gift to incentivize webinar sign-ups. Place video on your landing pages to encourage conversions. Leverage whitepapers in your lead nurturing campaigns (see below).
Get creative. Not just with how you’re planning and creating your content, but with how you’re using that content across your entire holistic marketing strategy. Your audience craves content, so give them what they want. When you do, we guarantee you’ll see a spike in traffic, leads, and revenue.
- Review the Metrics for Consistent Improvement: Creating and distributing content isn’t enough, especially if you don’t know if that content is actually driving results. You need to understand what’s working and what’s not so that you can leverage your strengths, identify opportunities, and sunset existing efforts that aren’t resonating.
Take the time to learn how to use Google Analytics and Google Search Console so that you can understand where your traffic is coming from and which key phrases are driving new and repeat users to your site. Even a basic understanding of these free tools will help you uncover distinct patterns, which you can then use to optimize and augment your content marketing strategy.
Here are just a few key metrics you should keep an eye on:
- Organic traffic (especially to high-value pages)
- Organic conversions
- Organic conversion rate
- Time on page
- Bounce rate
- Overall and unique pageviews
- Keyword positioning
By researching the right topics, sticking to a consistent schedule, and uncovering opportunities for distribution, your content marketing efforts can increase site traffic while positioning your organization as the go-to source for compelling and educational healthcare information.
3) Follow-Up With Targeted Lead Nurturing Campaigns
Website tracking, remarketing, and conversion optimization helps you gather the critical demographic and behavioral information you need to keep the conversation going and make a great impression on your audience through effective lead nurturing tactics.
Once you’ve captured a lead or patient’s contact information, you can begin grouping your audiences to deliver more targeted email drip campaigns. Use these campaigns to elicit reviews, deliver surveys, welcome new patients or policyholders, send appointment reminders, and provide useful content to increate retention and advocacy.
For best results, be sure to track program engagement. By understanding how, why, and on what channels your audience is engaging (or not) with your lead nurturing efforts, you can begin mapping user behavior for more targeted and personalized messaging and campaigns in the future. Segment these leads, patients, and policyholders based on their interest and behavior to provide the messaging they need and drive the results you want.
4) Prove Your Value to the Community
Community involvement is a critical aspect of a good healthcare marketing campaign. Not only does this tactic improve brand awareness, but it’s also a major public relations opportunity for your organization. Actions speak louder than words, so consider getting involved in one, several, or all of the following ways.
- Local Sponsorships: One way to prove your value to the community is through your organization’s coffers. Set aside a quarterly budget to help promote local businesses, non-profits, charities, and athletics. Pledging your name, your logo, and your dollars to community institutions binds you to your neighborhoods and shows that you care about more than your bottom line.
- Hosting Events: There’s more to a community than commerce. Successful organizations know how to have a little fun. Consider hosting a summer jazz and blues music series at a popular park. Or, you can work with the city to turn a municipal parking lot into a venue for a basketball tournament. You could also put on a small carnival with face-painting, healthy food vendors, games, or even a card tournament.
- Volunteer Opportunities: For healthcare organizations, volunteering goes both ways. Let local schools and institutions know when you’re looking for volunteers to help coordinate fundraisers, visit with our sick children and senior populations, or donate blood or plasma. Similarly, post outside volunteering opportunities on your website and in high-traffic areas of your hospital, clinic, or office — and encourage your employees to participate.
- Free Clinics and Education: Host monthly health clinics for poor and underserved populations in your community. Not everyone has equal access to healthcare, so you can make a major difference by dedicating 1-2 days each month to free healthcare and education. By treating immediate medical needs and offering useful advice and expertise, you improve healthcare outcomes and increase healthcare literacy throughout the community.
Healthcare organizations are dedicated to the mental, emotional, and physical safety of their communities, but that commitment needs to go beyond your front door and into your local neighborhoods. Explore opportunities to make a difference with your friends and neighbors to build goodwill, encourage healthier habits, and promote better healthcare literacy.
Contact LaFleur for Brilliant Healthcare Marketing Strategies
At LaFleur, we have helped healthcare organizations of all shapes and sizes drive great results with fresh campaigns. Whether you work for a local physician’s office or a nationwide healthcare network, we have the skill and experience you need to plan, create, and execute great healthcare marketing strategies that inspire trust, drive revenue, and improve your community.
Please complete this brief form or call (888) 222-1512 today for a free consultation. We’d love to hear more about your current healthcare marketing strategies and begin a conversation on how we can help you improve.