9 Ways To Improve Your Healthcare Marketing Strategy
9 Ways To Improve Your Healthcare Marketing Strategy
Content marketing is a natural fit for healthcare providers. One in every 20 searches on Google is related to health, and blogs and social media posts are the ideal way to answer these queries. The key to capturing as many searches as possible and increase conversion rates is to create a smart healthcare marketing strategy. Here are nine tips for improving the way you market to patients.
1. Know Your Target Audience
The first step, and quite possibly the most important part of successful healthcare marketing, is to know who you’re marketing to. Are you trying to reach female patients between the ages of 18 and 35? Does your practice center around healthcare services for families with kids? The answers to questions like these are important because they make sure your site’s content appeals naturally to the right people. After all, your goal is to speak directly to potential customers.
Here are some additional questions that can help you identify your target audience:
- Who are your competitors targeting?
- What group of people can benefit the most from your services?
- What kind of customer is most likely to make an appointment?
The great news for healthcare providers is that they often have a large amount of data available to draw on, such as the age, gender and social status of their patients. Market analysis can also help you to establish content creation priorities.
2. Pay Attention to SEO in Content
When potential clients perform searches on Google, your medical practice isn’t going to show up by magic. Ranking high on web searches takes hard work. It means building media with search engine optimization in mind, making good use of keywords and high-quality content.
The effort you put into SEO is absolutely worth it. The top three page one results on Google get around 40 percent of the total click-throughs for that search term. So when a potential client asks Siri or Alexa about diabetes symptoms, for example, content that features keywords such as “common diabetes symptoms,” “diabetes treatment options” and “how to tell if you have diabetes” has a higher chance of appearing.
3. Answer the Health Questions That Your Audience Cares About
Two-thirds of people looking for content about a health problem search for information online. In fact, 75 percent of women, caregivers and people who have chronic diseases turn to the internet in search of help. If you can anticipate which questions readers are asking, your website can grab their attention immediately. Writing rich content about these keyword search terms also increases your page rankings, so it’s a win-win situation for click-through rates.
Determining what topics your target audience is most worried about is closely related to your overall healthcare marketing strategy. Here are a few types of healthcare questions that visitors often have in mind:
- What do the symptoms that I have mean?
- Should I be worried about this condition?
- How can I deal with this disease?
- Are there any treatment options available?
- What tips can help me feel better or make my life better?
Parents are interested in themes such as how to keep their kids safe, happy and healthy. They may enjoy content that shows how to get children to eat certain foods or tips for building a strong immune system. In areas where business professionals have long commutes, popular topics may revolve around nutrition on the go or ways that busy people can make time for exercise.
4. Take Advantage of Social Media Channels To Connect With Patients
Social media is valuable for private practices and large healthcare brands alike. Approximately 70 percent of adults use social media, making it an exceptional tool for connecting with a large audience simultaneously. Four out of five individuals in the 30–49 age bracket have a social media account, and roughly two-thirds of older adults in the 50–64 age range use sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
One advantage of social media is the ability to reach out to new clients on a more intimate level. With insightful snippets, humorous anecdotes and easy-to-remember tips, healthcare marketing on social media can show off its friendly, approachable side. Here’s a great example from Mayo Clinic:
Posts can be short reminders, such as telling readers to drink enough water that day. Colorful content can also introduce groundbreaking treatments or short-but-sweet health tips that are easy to retweet to family members. None of these messages seem like marketing to readers; they feel more like helpful messages you’re sending to a group of friends.
Building a relationship of trust is especially important between healthcare providers and patients, since patients are more likely to stick with doctors they feel comfortable with. Loyalty isn’t strictly related to customer satisfaction, but instead to emotional experiences like feeling cared for.
5. Help Readers Discover Your Solutions Automatically
Knowing how to promote your products and services in content can be a tricky aspect of healthcare marketing. On one hand, you don’t want to come off as pushy or self-centered. Potential customers need to feel that you care about them and their wellbeing, not their money. At the same time, successful healthcare content marketing means that readers should be motivated to learn more about your services or to schedule an appointment. How can you find the right balance?
One way to drive engagement is to direct people naturally using links within the content. Every piece should have two or three links that connect readers to informative pages detailing your services. Good links flow well with the surrounding content and appear at points where readers naturally want to learn more, such as within questions or tied to striking statements.
6. Keep It Simple
Modern consumers value independence. They want healthcare professionals to play the role of trusted advisor, not someone who orders them to do something. This means explaining information using everyday terms.
Applying this reasoning to your content can make a huge difference in attracting readers. Plus, even Google likes simple answers. Adding a clear explanation with a few bullet points is a great way to get your post featured in a Google snippet on the first page of search results.
To see whether your current blog content for healthcare topics is reader-friendly, scan through it in 45 seconds or less. Were you able to pick up on the main points? Did the article show you clearly what to do? If not, it’s probably time to change the style of your content.
Why should you scan your content in under a minute? Well, most readers spend only 37 seconds looking through a blog post, according to NewsCred Insights. If you can’t capture your audience’s attention quickly, they may be gone for good.
Clear content is attractive. It engages people, drawing them in and keeping them reading. To make your blog posts and tweets like this, follow these suggestions:
- Use bullet points
- Create how-to articles
- Focus on practical tips
- Give examples or use pictures when talking about complex ideas
- Explain concepts or terms your target audience probably won’t understand
Notice the way that this blog post from AayuClinics stays professional but explains the information in a concise, easy-to-follow way:
7. Be Authoritative but Honest
Readers expect content that is well-researched and specific. This is especially true when it comes to medical topics. Blogs need to be written in a way that makes site visitors say, “This is something I can trust.” Information that inspires confidence immediately is more likely to be shared with friends, coworkers and relatives, increasing brand exposure via word-of-mouth recommendations.
Positioning yourself as an expert in the field isn’t about overwhelming readers with a ton of complicated statistics. Instead, being authoritative means truly understanding the information and explaining it clearly and enthusiastically.
A common mistake some websites make when dealing with health topics is overpromising. To make sure your visitors — and Google — hold your content in high esteem, be honest even when you’re focusing on positives. For example, instead of saying that antioxidants in vitamin C “prevent cancer,” it’s better to explain that some studies suggest that these antioxidants may reduce your chances of getting cancer, and that more research is needed.
8. Use a Human Touch
Speak directly to your audience. When people read healthcare blog articles, they should feel like they’re talking with an expert who cares about them. Professionalism is important, but your voice needs to come across as helpful, approachable and honest. In other words, each piece of content should feel warm and friendly, not cold or formal.
Showing visitors that you understand them and can help them is an important part of increasing conversion rates and customer loyalty. This can lead to added revenue, since a 5 percent increase in retention has the power to boost profits by anywhere from 25 to 95 percent, according to Harvard Business Review.
9. Have a Regular Content Release Schedule
To keep new patients and loyal customers engaged over the long term, a solid content release schedule is vital. Having a regular flow of interesting topics drives page views, and up-to-date issues are great for attracting attention. Without new posts, readers can lose interest and Google may choose to feature a competitor’s content instead.
How often should you place a new article on your website or social media feed? Data from Google Analytics suggests you should aim for one to two social media posts a day. Dual daily posts lead to an average of 16 sessions, compared to the 0.3 visit ratio of companies posting once a month. With blogs, the ideal is to create 16 posts or more each month.
Obviously, keeping up with this type of schedule can be a challenge. So is balancing the interests of readers with content that’s also practical, friendly, authoritative and SEO-driven. That’s probably why many healthcare organizations and other companies choose to outsource their content creation.
Working with professionals that know how to use SEO best practices has a positive effect on customer engagement and loyalty. At the same time, a clear healthcare marketing strategy allows you to produce content that reflects your brand identity closely.
Wondering where to start when it comes to your online marketing strategy? Let us take some of the pressure by handling any or all of your content needs.
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