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Jane Crosby
EVP Strategy & Business Development
True North Custom
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The Secrets to Creating Successful Women’s Health Campaigns

As the key decision-makers in most households, women comprise a popular audience for companies selling everything from strollers to incontinence products. As a healthcare brand, it can be difficult to compete with all the noise they hear every day.

However, it is worth the effort. Women often make or influence healthcare decisions for everyone in their families—children, partners, aging parents, extended family and friends. Healthcare marketers are uniquely positioned to guide these decisions with the authority only a trusted healthcare brand can offer. Combine your expertise with seamless access to care, and you’re making the process easy for busy women every step of the way. 

A successful digital campaign strategy can play a valuable role in helping women connect the dots between your expertise and the services you provide. At True North Custom, we focus on a few key opportunities to connect with women at each stage of their healthcare decision-making journey. Using the right content strategies can help you build relationships that ultimately convert women into patients and customers.

Women’s Engagement Is Not a One-Size-Fits-All Strategy

The focus of many women’s health campaigns should be on driving patient volumes. Women, however, fall into diverse categories with different needs at each stage of life. 

In our experience, we have found targeting three principal audiences to be the most efficient and cost-effective strategy:

  • Women ages 25 to 40. These general health campaigns encourage women to establish a relationship with a dedicated women’s health provider. This age group’s concerns range from general wellness to concerns about infertility, birth control and sexual health.
  • Women who want or need maternity care. Capturing birth volumes is key to establishing loyalty with women, and promoting maternity care not only gives you a birth center patient but often a customer who turns to you for every health need she or her family needs going forward.
  • Women over 40. These general health campaigns target women who may no longer need childbirth, birth control or fertility care but have concerns focused on preventing cancer, addressing gynecologic issues and managing menopause.

Of course, there are a wide range of micro-audiences within these three categories. For example, there’s pre-menopause, post-menopause, women having children, women struggling to have children and more. Connecting with each appropriate group requires thoughtful strategy designs, precision messaging development at each touchpoint and efficiency in paid media placements. 

We’ll drill down into a few key women’s health categories throughout this article, but of course, contact us for a no-strings-attached strategy chat

Example: Drilling Down on the OB Space

The demographics of new mothers have changed drastically in the past few decades. The average age of first-time mothers has risen in recent years, while the rate of teen births has declined. Some marketers have chosen to focus on professional, college-educated women who are having their first child at age 30. However, many women are starting families late in their 30s after struggling for many years to have a child and may face health concerns your younger audiences may not. And, in many markets, there’s still a high prevalence of young mothers or those with poor health habits and a low likelihood to follow the right pregnancy care journey.

The way women engage with OB services is also changing in general. Throughout the journey, cycle tracking apps, baby gear,  formula brands and more are being looked to as a key source of health information. Further, alternative birth options are growing in popularity. Staying in front of the market as a resource for your potential OB audience requires strong content and highly engaging campaigns. We believe that with maternity care, success depends on knowing what women need from you, rather than what you need from them to drive revenue. The right communication tactics will build better relationships—and better leads.

Starting at the Top of the Funnel

When we think generally about what women are going through at different stages of life, we want to break up how we engage with them at each stage from a campaign strategy perspective. At the top of the funnel, our goal is to establish brand awareness, build loyalty and educate women on a wide variety of topics that will help them make better decisions for themselves and their families.

One of the most helpful ways to start building that relationship is with thoughtful blog content. Start with a content strategy that allows you to identify which topics your targeted audience is searching for. Avoid fluffy content that raises more questions than it answers and focus on content that meets women where they are. 

  • For the younger demographic, you may want topics that address diet and fitness, fertility, sexual health, and birth control. 
  • In the maternity space, consider content that educates women about having a healthy pregnancy, complications such as preeclampsia, breastfeeding and postpartum depression. It can be hard for new mothers to find trustworthy information about what’s going on with their bodies, and health systems have a unique opportunity to be that authority. 
  • When it comes to the older audience, topics can include urogynecological issues, bone density, menopause, health screenings and ongoing wellness. There are a wide variety of topics that serve that audience and allow you to help them get the support they need. 

The most important thing with your blog content is to think first about the topics your readers are interested in rather than simply setting a quota for a certain number of monthly posts. 

Mid-Funnel Content Strategies

As we get toward the middle of the funnel, you’re continuing to build relationships but focusing more on turning those relationships into action. You can serve as a helpful partner through strategic digital content strategies that involve engaging assets, such as downloadable guides and quizzes, that appeal to your target audience. As with top-of-funnel strategies, you should still focus on serving your customers engaging content that answers their questions but find ways to use that content in ways that continue to drive them toward your desired action. 

For instance:

  • A quiz about birth control aimed at younger women could help them realize the benefits of birth control options they may not know about. While on the surface this might not seem the highest value use of your marketing dollars, establishing a strong relationship with these consumers now can help them continue to choose you for services throughout life.
  • A downloadable maternity guide can help women choose your birth center. Instead of providing general pregnancy information that women may have already gotten from their provider, focus on helping them make the decision about where to deliver. Women may not have the time or inclination to attend classes or take in-person tours, so making those resources available online is critical. Your guide should serve as a robust resource for all the resources and amenities your facility offers and can be bolstered with testimonials.
  • For older women, breast cancer quizzes can prompt women to start thinking about having a mammogram. Recent consumer research has shown that a shocking number of women do not know when or why they should start getting their annual mammograms. A quiz can clarify the confusion and encourage women to start annual screenings. 
  • A comprehensive menopause guide is another good resource that helps women navigate a phase of life that can be challenging and confusing. Additionally, webinars and in-person seminars allow your providers to answer questions about menopause symptoms—and provide a valuable one-on-one connection that could turn into a new patient acquisition. 

There are many other ways to engage those three key audiences mid-funnel based on what they need, what they’re most likely to connect with and what services your health system offers.

Converting Engagement Into Care

At the bottom of the funnel, you want to focus on two things: paid media strategies that connect with consumers through precise targeting and facilitating access to care through frictionless consumer conversion journeys.

Paid media strategies allow you to target those consumers who are ready to make a decision but still need help connecting to the resource they need. Direct mail is still a high-performing channel for specific uses, such as mammography. This can be a great campaign to run because it establishes relationships with women when they’re just starting to have more complex healthcare needs. Driving volumes for new locations and providers across pediatrics, primary care, and women’s health is also a great tactic and works well. And make sure to audit all your paid media efforts to optimize the value of each channel that you’re leveraging.

The key is creating seamless paths for conversion. We have seen repeatedly that women tend to opt for phone calls over online forms. If a mom is on the way to soccer practice pickup and just needs to make an appointment, she wants to call and get it scheduled easily without jumping through hoops online. As you’re building your engagement strategies, consider operations workflows and ensure your scheduling personnel and call centers can make the appointment process easy.

Build a Lifelong Relationship

Overall, the way women engage and build relationships with healthcare brands is changing. There are thousands of ways for women to find information. Women are going to gravitate toward the brands that make it engaging and interactive.

It may take a lot for a healthcare system to break out of the care-only mold and become a health partner and wellness partner too. But when you work to create a successful women’s health campaign—targeting the right audience in the right channel with the right message—you can truly connect with women as they make healthcare decisions for their entire family.

Let’s Discuss Social Media

A strong social media strategy is crucial for your top and some mid-funnel marketing. Instagram and TikTok are great ways to reach your younger audience and your maternity audience, and Facebook can help you reach an older audience. That’s where people are going to passively engage with you. If you’re helpful and provide information that makes an impact on their day-to-day life and the decisions they make for them and their families, you’re going to build relationships that drive better outcomes within the search engine efforts that you’re doing.

It’s worth noting that what we’re seeing in social media display advertising, the basic stock photo and text is just not going to work. For high engagement, you need custom graphics. Even low-budget video assets, such as provider interviews shot with a smartphone with text overlays, can be easy to create and elevate what you’re doing. They make your campaigns more engaging, personal and authentic. Your content can also be replicated and used across other platforms as well.

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