For many — if not most — healthcare practices, the hard truth is that their community doesn't know their name. This is because attracting patients to your healthcare practice is much more challenging in a saturated profession, further emphasizing the importance of marketing in the healthcare industry to remain competitive.
Eighteen Ventures research reported that there are about 230,187 healthcare practices in the United States, with certain communities holding most businesses in one area. Busting through the clutter and reaching your target audience is nearly impossible when everyone is fighting tooth and nail to do the same thing.
So, why is marketing important in healthcare? Simply put, prospective patients have a lot of options. Marketing helps you stand out, increase brand awareness, and improve patient acquisition. Now, where do you start?
We have the scoop! Here are the best ways to market health services with an effective healthcare marketing strategy.
1. Create a Memorable Reputation
Your practice must create an impressive reputation, keeping your healthcare marketing goals in mind. Although it is not something you can do overnight, it is something you can work towards starting now.
Some essential steps in this process will include the following:
- Establish a reputation that resonates with people
- Define your healthcare identity
- Keep all branding and marketing synonymous with your practice's core values and mission
- Create trust
- Create consistency
- Tell the same brand story across all channels
According to recent research, it often takes 5 to 7 impressions of your practice for a patient to remember and recognize it. Staying true to these steps and making your practice more memorable will help speed up the process for many patients.
2. Expand Your Online Presence
Patients research online when looking for a new provider. Although some people may ask friends and family for a referral, most people search online to make a decision. One study found that 93% of people go to the internet first to explore locally. Another study added that 94% of healthcare patients also use the internet to look up providers and assess their ratings and reviews. Be sure you have a strong online presence for this reason.
- A Strong Website — include lots of info about your practice and the professionals that work there, a list of services, contact info, etc.
- A Social Media Presence — post regularly and always interact and engage with your followers in comments, relevant posts, and messages.
- A Local SEO strategy — To rank high for relevant and local searches on any search engine, you must implement a local SEO strategy that optimizes keywords, loading speeds, mobile capabilities, geo-specific details, etc.
- Google My Business Profile — Connects you with patients looking for your healthcare services in the area. It provides them with essential details they need to contact your practice like phone number, address, website, reviews, service details, hours of operation, etc.
3. Strategically Target Your Local Ideal Audience
An online presence is only half of the potential available online for healthcare practices. To maximize your healthcare marketing opportunities, you must strategically target your local audience through paid advertising. These three notable strategies have been an incredible competitive advantage for healthcare practices:
- Paid search — paid search like SEM, or search engine marketing, gets your business on the top of search engine pages of relevant queries. SEM for healthcare consists of creating and delivering a digital ad that directs searchers to your practice's website to take action. Take, for instance, the first spot in the results of Google. You pay to rank there, but research found that in that spot, you benefit from getting 27.6% of all clicks and 25.1 clicks per query. Furthermore, the top 3 Google results acquire 54.4% of all clicks.
- Display Ads are graphic advertisements that are much more visually appealing and memorable. Studies have even revealed an average conversion rate of 55%, with Google's Display Ad Network reaching as much as 90% of users worldwide.
- Social Media Ads — while organic posts help build meaningful relationships with current and potential patients, social media ads allow you to attract the right people to your page, website, brick-n-mortar location, etc. Essentially, it gets your name out there, makes users aware of your message, and makes them more inclined to check you out.
Success rates will vary from platform to platform, but statistics show there is a vast audience on each to consider when determining which is best for you:
- Facebook: 1.96 billion daily active users
- Twitter: 229 million daily active users
- LinkedIn: more than 830 million active users
- YouTube: generates more than 1.7 billion unique monthly visitors
- TikTok: 1 billion monthly active users
- Instagram: 2 billion active users
Partner With McClatchy to Win Healthcare Marketing Campaigns
Looking for the best healthcare promotional strategies for today's marketing environment? Then you'll want to partner with McClatchy's experts. To win healthcare marketing campaigns, you need to know your audience to reach and resonate with them on channels they're most frequently active on. McClatchy’s experts are experienced in driving advertising results for practices in the healthcare industry.