Developing a medical marketing strategy for your medical business can seem like a big task. With countless marketing and advertising channels to choose from, and several articles listing the pros and cons for each, you probably don’t know where to start.
The last thing you need is to choose the wrong channel or spend a lot of time, money and resources only to find that the investment has proven to be ineffective at growing your healthcare business.
We’ve tried and tested it all for you and have used the results to put together this blog post together for you.
Here are 9 medical marketing strategies for 2020 that you can use:
1. Lead Generation
The online industry is a hugely competitive marketplace. With low barriers to entry, new medical businesses can easily set up a website and build their presence online – grabbing the attention of your patients.
The best way to attract and retain patients is to drive leads to your website and convert them into new patients. Lead generation requires a venture into the digital advertising space, through channels like Facebook Advertising and Google Adwords. Google AdWords enables you to boost traffic to your website and increases your conversions. It is also an efficient way to build your brand’s awareness.
Facebook advertising gives you the ability to reach your exact audience. Facebook is the most targeted form of advertising. You can advertise to people by age, interests, behaviour, and location. If you really know your patients, you can use Facebook advertising to engage them.
Both PPC and Facebook advertising provides you with an opportunity to customise ads to reach your target audience. Through tracking and analytics, you can gain insights into the success of your advertising, as well as the ability to monitor the ROI of those ads. From the results, you can improve on the ads to improve on your conversion rate.
Through your ads, your potential patients can engage with your business making it easier for you to capture their contact information that you will use to nurture the lead through to conversion. Ultimately, Google Adwords and Facebook advertising are great vehicles to drive new patients to your website, your practice thus, increasing your revenue.
2. Claim Your Business Listings
Did you know that business listings have a significant impact on local medical SEO? You do now.
From Google my Business, to Yelp and Facebook, it’s very important that you claim, verify and optimise your business listings across all platforms.
Google looks for consistency in listings, so be sure to display the information about your medical company accurately. The more directories and reviews sites that contain the same business information, the higher Google’s confidence will have of your business and online reputation, positively affecting your local search engine optimisation.
Once you have claimed and updated your listings, be sure to monitor them for duplication or errors that may arise
3. Have A Fully Responsive Medical Website Design
As the growth of online searches continues to skyrocket, it’s become more important than ever before to ensure that the user experience of your website is spot on.
Improving the user experience on your website will positively impact on the number of leads you generate. To facilitate this, you need to have a fast loading website, that’s responsive and interactive. Here’s why:
- Having a responsive medical website design is crucial as most searches are performed on a mobile smartphone or a tablet device.
- Your website must be built for all browsers (Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, Internet Explorer etc) to capture the maximum number of visitors that are not limited to one browsing experience.
- The reason why many visitors leave a website (high bounce rate) is the speed that the webpage loads. Slow websites will irritate your visitors forcing them to move on to another website to find the answers, products and/or services that they are looking for.
- Having an interactive website will positively impact on the user experience. If your website is hard to navigate through will only give your visitors a negative experience, and possibly a bad impression of your medical business.
It is critical to develop a website design plan that encompasses the above so that you lower bounce rates, improve user experience and increase lead conversions.
Read more: 3 Top Tips for Healthcare Website Design
4. Develop a Content Marketing Strategy
Research has found that 63% of businesses don’t have a content marketing strategy, which is an incredibly high percentage considering content is king when it comes to increasing organic traffic and generating leads.
So it’s not a surprise that companies that have a content strategy are more likely to see results from their content marketing efforts.
If you do not have a strategy in place, your success (or failure) will be down to the luck of the draw – if you want to guarantee success and build your brand’s authority in your space, you need to start delivering content. And this starts with the development of a content marketing strategy.
Follow the steps below to get started:
1. Set Your Goals and Mission
A great place to start when developing your content marketing strategy is to set up your mission statement. This is a statement that you will use to determine what’s important, and what isn’t important, in creating your content. Without this, you are more likely to lose sight of your vision.
Your mission statement needs to include:
- Who: your target audience
- What: the type of content you will be creating to reach them
- How: the benefit your target audience will get from consuming your content.
To give you an example. here’s our missions statement:
Digital Beanstalk provides healthcare providers with digital healthcare marketing resource to help them develop strong marketing campaigns that will help to attract and retain patients – we want to positively impact your bottom line by generating revenue through digital marketing.
Use this template to create yours:
[Your company] provides [your target audience] with [the type of content] to help them [the benefit].
Once you have written and locked down your mission statement, you will need to set goals for your content. Example goals include:
- Increasing revenue as a result of your content marketing strategy
- Generating more sales and getting more high-quality leads to meet revenue goals.
- To improve on the website’s SEO;
- Increasing traffic to the website
- Improving your company’s authority in the space by being positioned as a thought leader.
These are just some examples, you may have more. Once you have set your goals for content marketing, you will then need to move on to stage 2.
2. Set Your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
To achieve your goals, they need to be S.M.A.R.T. By this we mean Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely. This will help you know when your have achieved your goals by providing key stages that you can tick off your list. Your KPIs will help you plan your goals in terms of SEO, traffic, sales, revenue and all other aspects of digital marketing that you are tracking.
Let’s look at a list of example KPIs that we use to better explain the reason why they are so important:
- We want to hit a revenue target – typically we set revenue targets per quarter. You may want to set yours per month, or even annually.
- We want to get X more email subscribers – we encourage signups or subscribers through the downloading of a lead magnet. Our lead magnets tend to be high-value pieces in the form of a guide that generates high-quality leads into our email nurture funnel.
- We want to increase our traffic by X% – not only do we want to increase traffic to our website, we also want to increase engagement. Therefore we track and monitor metrics such as bounce rate, dwell time, click-through-rate (CTR) and so on.
- We want to improve our search ranking – we focus on specific pages and blog articles to try to rank for specific keywords which will help to boost traffic to our website.
- We want to increase our backlinks and social shares – when writing content, we monitor the number of shares or mentions we get for our content on social media. We also monitor backlinks to specific blog articles and the linking website.
- We want to keep our costs per acquisition down – marketing requires investment. That’s the bottom line, but we want to positively impact on our bottom-line by making sure that we monitor our marketing expenditure and tracking our spend on our campaigns. Ultimately, we want to see a positive ROI.
3. Determine Your Audience
For your content marketing strategy to be a success, you’ll need to determine your target audience to create the right form of content to reach them.
Step 1: Collect Demographic Data
Start by collecting demographics on your site visitors, social media follows and your email subscriber list. You can do this by looking at your website’s analytics, social media anayltics and your email tool’s nalytics.
The data you need to gather should cover their:
Step 2: Create Patient Personas
Once you have collected the demographic data, you’ll need to create your patient personas. Patient personas act as your fictional characters that describe your ideal patient. You’ll use this to create content that is relevant and highly-targeted to them.
To ensure that you develop an effective persona(s) , you need to include information on your patient’s values, pain points, challenges, where they go to find information and motivations.
Once you have this, you’ll be able to determine the type of content that you need to create that resonates with your target audience and the benefits your content piece offers.
Patient Personas are not only essential for your content marketing strategy, but also important for a successful medical marketing strategy as they influence all of your marketing decisions.
Final Step: Identify The Content Gaps
The final step is to identify where the gaps are in your niche.
- Start by looking at the keywords related to your niche that you are currently not targeting.
- Review the questions that your target audience is asking that you are not answering. We use AnswerThePublic for this as it gives you a great breakdown of the questions that people are asking.
- Identify the pieces of content that need to be optimised to improve it’s ranking.
4. Determine The Right Content Channels
Use your Patient Personas to understand where your target audience is going to find information and build your presence there.
For example, if your audience is active and engaging in forums, be sure to involve yourself in the conversation by offering value. Depending on forum rules, you may be able to share a link to the article that addresses their concerns.
5. Choose Your Content Types
Now you need to think about the content types that you need to develop.
Your content marketing strategy should have content that’s published on your website, which you will repurpose into different content formats. Therefore blog posts are imperative and should be a mandatory feature in your content marketing mix as they deliver great results when increasing traffic to site, and improving your SEO rankings.
Your blog posts need to be actionable, sharable and more importantly, valuable.
6. Allocate Resource To Produce Your Content
So, you have identified the type of content that you need to create to attract and retain patients, and where you plan to distribute the content. Now, you need to determine how your content is going to be produced and managed.
Start by deciding who your content will be created by, the tools and resources you need to create it. Then create the workflow to ensure a constant flow of content, and lastly, setup the schedule for the delivery of your content.
7. Create a Content Calendar
As well as creating a schedule to develop your content, you will need a schedule to publish your content on the platforms that you have identified. This is known as a content marketing calendar or an editorial calendar.
It’s essential to have a content marketing calendar so that you have full visibility of the content pieces that are being created. You can use Google Sheets to create your content calendar, or even Google Calendar, although it’s not suitable if you intend to publish a lot of content.
Our go-to tool for content management is CoSchedule which enables you to plan a comprehensive editorial schedule.
8. Finally, Create Your Content
We don’t want to overwhelm you by sharing the steps that need to be taken before creating your first piece of content. We belive that these steps are crucial and therefore unavoidable if you want to create successful pieces of content.
So, you’re ready to create your content piece. In this article, we are going to look at creating a blog post (although what we will go through can be applied to other pieces of content).
Take the research that you have done to get an idea of the type of blog post that you are going to write.
9. The Skyscraper Technique
Now that you are ready to write you piece of content, you’ll need to first look at what is already out there. Then, you’ll need to figure out how your new piece of content will add more value for your target audience.
You can do this by performing a Google search and reading the top 4 pieces of content for your chosen topic and see how you can improve on it. This is knows as the skyscraper technique.
Make sure you include the search terms found from your keyword research to optimise your content piece for SEO and search ranking.
10. Distribute and Promote Your Content
Now that your piece of content is live, you need to distribute it across your social channels. Without this crucial step, you won’t get the results that you want.
To help, set up a content schedule for social media. You can use tools like Meet Edgar for this as it enables you to schedule content for all your social channels and organise them into categories like ‘blog posts’, ‘general’ or ‘promotional’. Then you can set the time that you want the content to be shared on social media.
If you have email subscribers, be sure to send weekly or monthly newsletters with your latest blog articles.
11. Track and Measure Your Results
To assess the success of your content marketing strategy, you need to track and measure your content campaign. Refer to the KPIs that you set at the start of the campaign and monitor whether you are hitting your targets.
You can do this by:
- Analysing the performance on Google Analytics.
- Monitor your social sharing activity using tools like Buzzsumo and SEMrush
- Monitor mentions through Google Alerts
- Track email signups through your email marketing software’s analytics panel
Tracking your progress will enable you to tweak your content strategy when necessary, keeping you ahead of your competitors.
So there you have it! You now have a content marketing strategy built to facilitate a successful medical marketing strategy.
5. Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is an essential part of your medical marketing strategy as it will be used to share content and engage with your potential patients and existing patient base.
It will help your medical brand tackle its medical marketing goals with purpose. We’ve broken down this section into the key steps that you should take to identify your social media marketing goals, how you can engage your audience and the best way that you can optimise your results.
1. Set Your Goals To Address Your Challenges
To start, you need to figure out the purpose of having a presence on social media will serve your business.
Perhaps you want a bigger share of authority in your industry, or you would like to attract more patients. Whatever your goals may be, social media planning is a process with no shortcuts at all.
You should strive to set goals that are S.M.A.R.T (much like the goals we set for the content marketing strategy).
Goals like “a million followers on Instagram in 2020” isn’t realistic. Tackle smaller, realistic goals that are attainable, reasonable and affordable.
Your goals will influence your decision making from your budget to the social networks you’ll have a presence on.
We’ve listed some example actionable goals that you can use:
- We want to increase our brand awareness. Social media can help to increase your brand’s awareness through content that emphasises your internal culture, personality and values. For this to be authentic, we recommend avoiding only publishing promotional messages.
- We want to generate a higher quality of leads. You can use social media to generate high-quality leads through the monitoring and listening of social conversations going on between your followers and wider audience. Look out for specific mention of keywords, phrases or hashtags. This will give you an idea of what topics are important to them. Get involved in those conversations by providing value to those conversations, encouraging engagement from users, ultimately building your brand’s authority in that topic.
- We want to improve our ROI. You cannot generate positive social media ROI through luck. Take the time to audit your social channels to keep the cost of resource, ads and creatives development down.
- We want to build a community Does your brand promote user-generated content? Do your followers react positively without any sort of initiation? Your patients can be your best advocates and great sources of fresh content, but you’ll need to encourage them to post on your behalf – if your business allows for it.
2. Research your audience
We are dead against making marketing decisions based on assumptions, especially when there isn’t a need. There is a great wealth of data and social media analytics tools that we have access to give us information that we need to better understand our audience.
We are big fans of Sprout Social’s analytics dashboard as it gives us access to audience demographics and highlights the social networks that are seeing the most activity, which will help to determine exactly which social network we should be spending most of our time on.
3. Establish your performance metrics
Success on social media requires being data-driven.
This means focusing on the right social media metrics. ‘Likes’, ‘shares’ and ‘followers’ are great to have, but they are ultimately vanity metrics as they don’t result in conversions or sales.
Don’t get us wrong, engagement metrics are good to build meaningful relationships with your audience, and they give you a good indication of the content that they like to see more of, however, below we list metrics that you need to monitor:
- Reach. Post reach is the number of unique users that saw your post. Is your content reaching the user’s feeds?
- Clicks. Tracking link clicks is critical in understanding how your users are moving through your marketing funnel. Doing this helps you understand what encourages your users to convert into patients.
- Engagement. Your engagement rate is calculated by dividing the number of social interactions by the number of impressions generated. This will shed light on how well your audience perceives your brand and their willingness to engage with your content.
- Hashtag performance. Tracking hashtag performance allows you to monitor which hashtags create the most engagement.
- Sentiment. Sentiment monitoring enables you to see how users are reacting to your content. For example, what type of sentiment are your audience associating with your brand and campaigns?
An effective social media marketing strategy relies on analysing your numbers. The results need to be set against your social media goals.
4. Monitor what your competitors are doing
Before you start sharing content on social media, you should look at what your competitors are currently doing.
You can analyse their performance by looking through their channels at face-value, or you can use competitor analysis tools to look into your competitors’ numbers.
Analysing your competition’s presence will help to inform your social media strategy. You don’t want to copy or steal their ideas, you just want to determine what is working for them and how you can adapt your campaigns to outperform them.
5. Create engaging social content
Your social media marketing strategy is centred around your content. You should have a good idea of what to publish based on your goals. From creating the right creatives to finding the balance between self-promotion and brand personality, there’s a lot to consider.
Research has found that 46% of users say they’ll unfollow a brand that shares content that’s too promotional. Additionally, 41% of users say they’d unfollow a brand that shares content that isn’t deemed to be relevant.
So what should you share on social media?
Video, Video, Video. The need for brands to produce video content for social media is growing. Video content is fast becoming the most viewed content on social media. Channels like Facebook and Instagram are prioritising video content over images.
There are a lot of options for videos that you can create. From informative videos, animations and how-to’s, there isn’t a shortage of options that your business can produce, even with a small budget.
6. Review what’s working and what isn’t working and how you can improve
So, now that you have your social media marketing strategy developed and in play, you need to analyse your efforts to understand whether it is successful.
Without continuously analysing your efforts, you’ll never know how well a campaign performed over another. Having an overview of your social media activity will help you put things into perspective.
Start by looking at your top-performing content and adapt your campaigns accordingly.
Monitoring the metrics behind your campaigns in real-time allows you to make small changes to your strategy rather than completely overhauling it every so often. This approach to social media marketing is absolutely necessary as social media is constantly evolving.
So there you have it, you social media marketing strategy is complete.
6. Email Marketing
Email as part of your medical marketing strategy is a great way to reach new patients that have expressed an interest in a particular service or treatment. It is also a great way to nurture leads through your marketing funnel until they convert into patients, which is what we will focus on in this article.
Generating Leads With Email Marketing
When we talk about generating leads with email marketing it’s important that we first define what a lead is. A lead is someone that fills out a form on your website or downloads your e-book/guide.
However, and this is a big however, the harsh reality is that an individual that downloaded your guide may have just been interested in reading its contents. They may, or may not, have any interest in your product and/or service.
Your job is to take their curiosity and nurture them over a period of time until it evolves into an interest in your product and/or services. The way to successfully accomplish this is through email marketing.
So, how do you engage with thousands of individuals who are at different stages of the buying cycle? Additionally, how do you deliver these individuals relevant content in a non-invasive and timely manner? The most efficient way to accomplish this is through the use of marketing automation software.
How Marketing Automation Software Can Nurture Your Leads
Marketing automation software enables you to build email marketing “tracks”, A track is a collection of emails that are delivered over time for a specific type of user based on their distinct area of interest.
For example, if you are a fertility consultant, you can build marketing tracks for your chosen topics like the IVF process, the difference between donor sperm and IUI etc.
You are able to create and schedule emails in advance when using marketing automation software, giving you the opportunity to create cohesive communication that is highly valuable to your audience.
Once you have developed your marketing tracks, you can place users into these streams through their user behaviour triggers.
Marketing automation allows you to build credibility and trust while nurturing your leads. It keeps your business at the top of the lead’s mind for then they are ready to make a decision.
Designing Your Email For Lead Generation
When developing your email marketing tracks, there a few elements that you need to be mindful of:
- The Subject Line: The subject line is how your leads will determine if they are going to open your email. Test different subject lines and track which ones receive the most open rates. You can create subject lines that address your lead’s problems, or you can personalise the subject lines but including their first name.
- Succinct: Your leads’ inboxes are constantly bombarded with a lot of emails on a daily basis. So keep your emails concise, relevant and engaging.
- Use of Imagery: The brain comprehends images 60,000 times faster than text. So use images that reinforce your copy to quickly deliver your content.
- Social Integration: Incorporating social media sharing links into your emails to encourage your readers to share the email.
- Call To Action (CTA): To effectively move leads further into the sales funnel you need to educate them on your products and/or services. The best way to educate them is through your content, therefore you need to effectively display your call to action (CTA). Use action words like download, learn more, book now etc. ,
Email marketing is one of the most effective channel for nurturing your leads through the sales funnel. If you manage a large database of leads at all different stages of the sales cycle, implementing marketing automation is truly beneficial for your business. Email marketing is only successful is you develop marketing tracks that encourage engagement in relevant conversations.
Implement these tactics to see your lead engagement skyrocket!
7. Review Generation
Patient reviews are one of the most important local SEO factors when it comes to local search rankings. Research has shown that 91% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
So, what does this mean for you? Patient reviews are a great way to convert potential patients into actual patients. It is also a great way to build your medical practice’s reputation online. Therefore, generating positive patient reviews needs to be at the top of the list!
8. Video Marketing for a Practice
The rise of medical videos on YouTube proves just how popular they have become. Patients like getting information from experts, and they like getting to know providers before they decide who to trust with their healthcare.
The good news is that video marketing on YouTube, and other video platforms, is easier than you may think. No professional video marketing equipment is needed.
Letting patients see the real you isn’t just a benefit of video marketing on YouTube — it’s the point. Videos (and social media in general) are the perfect medium to share your personality and practice philosophy.
Viewers can see videos of you working, watch videos of you interact with patients, get to know your staff through behind-the-scenes videos, and hear you provide helpful tips or information about timely topics. These videos help patients connect with you emotionally before setting foot in your office or picking up the phone.
Video marketing can also help you establish or reinforce a brand: how you want patients to see you and your practice. Are you a knowledgeable specialist with all of the answers? Is your office bright and welcoming and your staff friendly? These are things that can set you apart from other doctors, and things that show clearly in videos.
So what’s your thing, and how do you use video marketing to show it off? A knowledgeable expert might do an explainer video or even a live procedure. Your marketing video strategy is up to you.
9. Tracking Medical Marketing Campaigns and Optimising Successes
Understanding the medical marketing efforts that are most effective for your medical practice requires continuous monitoring and reviewing of your analytics reports.
Analytics will give you a fully comprehensive report on the progress of the marketing for your medical business.
With analytics, you can manage, optimise and re-invest in the marketing campaigns that have been proven to be successful.
Establishing benchmarks and goals for your healthcare marketing strategy will help you measure campaign progress and your return on investment.
Your Medical Marketing Strategy Is Complete… almost
Now that you have digested the 9 medical marketing strategies that we have shared in this article, you should have the confidence to develop a plan to implement or update your existing healthcare marketing strategy.
We use the above to develop our medical marketing plans for our clients and they produce results, time and time again. You too can experience incredible results in the form of a growing patient base and an increase in revenue.
Remember to test, test, test and retest again to make sure that you are properly optimising all elements of the campaign. Don’t just set it and forget it.