Digital marketing for health care is crucial for the modern patient journey, which usually starts online with search, blogs, social media and other digital channels and supports the patient right up to their encounter with your organization.
With 1 in 20 searches related to health care and nearly 7 in 10 consumers searching for a provider before scheduling an appointment, it’s critical to connect with consumers and physicians at the right time during their online journey and deliver content that positions your organization as the trusted provider of choice.
At True North Custom, we’re proud to leverage 30 years of experience in partnering with hospitals and health systems around three pillars of digital marketing:
- Building brand awareness and preference
- Driving service line growth
- Optimizing marketing technology
Here’s how we create effective healthcare digital marketing strategies in each area.
Building Your Brand Presence Online
Healthcare organizations are facing more competition than ever, both from traditional care providers as well as new entrants like CVS. At the same time, today’s consumers are increasingly taking a retail approach to health care by comparing options and choosing where they or their loved ones receive care based on convenience, cost and reputation.
These shifting market dynamics require healthcare organizations to align their marketing to consumer demands while clearly differentiating their brands to build awareness, loyalty and trust. To accomplish this, a digital marketing strategy is a must-have in the modern toolkit.
- Thirty-nine percent of consumers say reputation is one of the most important factors when searching for a healthcare provider.
- Consumers are adopting online health information at higher rates than provider reviews, wearables and other digital health tools.
- The 73 million U.S. millennials—the nation’s largest generation—prefer retail clinics and urgent care facilities to office-based settings and 45% have no primary care provider.
Image source: Deloitte
Image source: Rock Health
We understand how to engage consumers, physicians and other stakeholders. Our proven approach to healthcare digital marketing is designed to build awareness, shift perception and enhance positioning to create patient loyalty and increase customer lifetime value.
Paid Digital Media Strategy—If your marketing goals involve driving awareness and/or conversions of qualified leads for service lines or new system initiatives, paid digital media is one of the most effective methods.
We’re helping clients find and target their ideal patients and prospects with precision based on what they are searching for, as well as their demographics, interests and other attributes that reflect an increased propensity to seek specific healthcare services. We leverage tools like Google Ads, Facebook Business Manager, native advertising platforms, along with other tools to produce the best digital strategy and channel mix.
This paid digital media approach can accelerate lead generation while complementing a longer-term strategy that integrates with your owned and earned media strategies.
SEO Content Strategy—Engage and convert your ideal patients and prospects with content that meets them where they are in the healthcare decision cycle. We create, organize and optimize content around high-value keywords and topics in order to help improve the site’s visibility within the major search engines while also improving site engagement by enhancing how users consume the content. By combining this data-driven approach with our award-winning custom content, we’re delivering strong results for some of the nation’s leading healthcare brands.
Our full-service approach to an SEO content strategy involves the following steps that can be integrated or developed as modular components to supporting an existing consumer or physician engagement strategy.
- Analysis—keyword research to increase search visibility for key service lines
- Content Audit —evaluating the user experience to boost engagement and conversion
- Content Development—search optimized content for discoverability and increased engagement
- Reporting—automated reporting to track weekly progress and visibility growth and guide content optimization
Digital Engagement Strategies—Content hubs are an ideal way to engage with healthcare audiences online. By building out a custom site where consumers can experience a wide variety of content formats and sources, free from medically specific content and tech limitations within their CMS, clients are significantly increasing online engagement with their target audiences.
True North Custom's content hubs are custom built for the unique needs of our clients, are ADA compliant and feature a wide variety of features like social sharing, e-news integrations and more.
In the absence of a content hub, True North Custom can also support the creation of blog content, social media content, editorial calendars, deployment strategy and more.
Email Newsletters—Deliver relevant health and wellness content featuring expert perspective from your physicians and other clinical leaders to build awareness and reputation for your organization and key service lines. Sharing insights on critical topics of interest will differentiate your brand for healthcare consumers and engage targeted physicians to support U.S. News and World Report strategies.
Generating Revenue Growth
In today’s increasingly complex and competitive environment, healthcare marketers are under tremendous pressure to deliver ROI. This can range from a measurable shift in awareness and perception among healthcare providers to increased market share, patient volume and revenue for key service lines. As marketing priorities and budgets shift from increasing reach to delivering results, healthcare digital marketing strategies are emerging as the most effective way to drive growth.
- Revenue growth is the No. 1 priority for hospital and health system CEOs.
- Three out of four hospitals or health systems consider themselves to be in an extremely or very competitive environment.
- Increased new patient recruitment and delivering a positive ROI are among the top goals for digital marketing efforts in the next 12 months.
Image source: Geonetric + eHealthcare Strategy & Trends
Our integrated service line campaigns are composed of the following solutions:
Service-Line Marketing Campaigns—Our service-line marketing strategies leverage sophisticated digital and direct mail targeting combined with custom content to engage consumers with effective messaging and calls to action at the right point in their healthcare journey. Unlike “set it and forget it” approaches to lead generation, we tailor a strategy that is unique for each client and service line that identifies, engages and drives the ideal audience to service line revenue in a cost-effective way.
True North Custom can execute the full continuum of service line growth strategies, or we can support existing initiatives with content, email nurturing, direct mail support and other value-added components like conversion-focused landing pages, downloadable guides and other assets.
Physician Marketing—As a leader in physician marketing solutions, we target physicians with email marketing strategies designed to promote clinical excellence and brand awareness to drive referral volumes.
Email Nurturing Campaigns—We’ve developed trigger and drip email campaigns designed to nurture early stage leads through to conversion and support customers with what to expect next in their patient experience. All of this can be enabled through your existing CRM or marketing automation system.
Optimizing Marketing Technology Investments
Healthcare organizations are increasingly taking a data-driven approach to marketing by adopting customer relationship management (CRM) systems, marketing automation platforms (MAPs) and other digital tools; however, these technologies must be connected to well-designed campaigns and content to maximize the investments.
In addition, healthcare organizations are consolidating at unprecedented levels and this often requires merging websites and other digital properties from disparate content management systems (CMSs).
- Nearly six in ten (60%) healthcare organizations have a customer relationship management (CRM) system, but only 12% report that their CRM and website(s) are well integrated.
- Almost 50% are planning to redesign their website in 2019, nearly a quarter said they are planning to change their CMS platform and over 20% said they are planning to change their CRM.
- 75% of those who conduct a search will never scroll past the first page of Google results.
- The Google search index contains hundreds of billions of web pages—yet 91% of content gets no organic traffic from Google.
Image source: Klein & Partners and Greystone.net
Healthcare organizations are taking a data-driven approach to marketing by adopting tools like customer relationship management (CRM) platforms, marketing automation platforms (MAPs), sophisticated content management systems (CMS), online scheduling and more. These tools are only as effective as the messages delivered to consumers through them and the conversions they drive. Our data-driven content and campaign strategies help clients seamlessly connect their MarTech stack to drive growth and simultaneously optimize and utilize the investments made in tech solutions.
Digital Content Strategies—As our clients invest in sophisticated CMS platforms, merge with other health systems and continuously add and update web content, they often lose sight of the value of an effective content strategy to go behind it. Our work in the SEO space effectively brings more consumers from Google search through to goal conversion and can add significant value, particularly for clients faced with increasing market competition. True North Custom can be a partner for full-service SEO strategy, or we can come alongside existing analytics resources to develop content strategy and create effective online experiences for consumers.
Email Marketing—Our ability to build consumer journeys and create content to plug into MAP solutions allows our clients to engage target audiences with content appropriate for where they are in the healthcare journey. Automated trigger and drip campaigns increase our clients’ conversion rates by nurturing early stage leads effectively through to conversion while cross-promoting other relevant services, events and health content.
If your marketing plan involves brand priorities, revenue growth and/or optimizing marketing technology investment, we’re here to help!