Healthcare Marketing is establishing itself as a fundamental tool in the business strategies of the realities of the healthcare sector.
Today, healthcare structures operate in a competitive context and need marketing techniques to establish themselves in healthcare marketing and implement their growth.
On the one hand, the digital revolution has led to a significant improvement in care and treatments; on the other hand, the increase in the use of the Internet and digital tools by users to research therapies, diagnoses, and devices has made the development of marketing and health communication strategies to meet the ever-changing needs of patients even more essential.
What is health marketing?
Although associating the words marketing and health still makes some people turn their noses. Fortunately, more and more realities have understood the real meaning of health marketing.
Healthcare marketing applies the techniques and tools of traditional marketing to the public and private health sectors to promote and protect health.
As a result of technological innovation, we are witnessing an ever greater development of healthcare marketing strategies, especially in response to the needs of modern patients (millennials, generation Y, generation Z, much more demanding and constantly looking for updated information.
Today’s patients extensively use the Internet and new media to learn about therapies and drugs and often make self-diagnoses. They do not limit themselves to consulting with their doctor but investigate independently, often making mistakes.
Therefore, to respond to the growing need for health, healthcare realities must equip themselves with marketing and professionals in the sector in their structure, basing the relationship with patients on mutual trust. In this sense, a Healthcare Marketing Strategies is not the commodification of health but a business approach to communicating, promoting, and informing about health.
Here are 5 “Best Practices” to follow to improve your Healthcare Marketing strategy
Build a solid reputation
In a sector based on Trust – Trust – such as healthcare, online reputation (web reputation) and reviews are aspects of fundamental importance. Given that real credibility is acquired offline when a healthcare facility provides quality services and products, we must not neglect the online identity, which must, in the same way, convey authority and trust.
Healthcare facilities need to invest in building trust and fortifying their reputation. In this sense, Healthcare Marketing conveys the total reliability of the services offered and makes the patient aware of their validity.
One of the primary objectives of the Healthcare Marketing Strategies is precisely the patient’s satisfaction and his / her voluntary willingness to recommend the structure and services he has used to his social network. Positive word of mouth triggers a virtuous circle of visibility and credibility.
Create quality Content Marketing
Reputation is valid and credible only based on quality content and services. Today, users look for information online before going to the doctor. If it is impossible to avoid this behavior, one can work to spread authentic content against so-called fake news.
Modern patients are looking for answers and questioning the Web about their health, generally looking for symptoms and information on possible diagnoses and treatments.
The Content Marketing activity must focus on creating authoritative content that answers users’ questions, intercepting possible search keywords.
Many structures use the blog to share information, insights, and news. A curated blog section is a great way to show yourself prepared and always up to date.
Do not underestimate the images and especially the videos: about 40% of potential customers make an appointment after seeing a video from the site. To make the most of their potential, it is good to consider some precautions, such as quality and ” tone of voice “: the message must show empathy and convey positive emotions. Doing so will establish a more intimate and direct relationship with potential users.
Finally, the purpose of any content is to educate. Therefore, the Content Marketing activity must aim to educate patients, making the subject understand with an accessible language and teaching them to distinguish authentic content from poor one.
Health Communication must focus on the logic of simplicity and clarity because, in most cases, potential patients looking for a health service need only understanding and reassurance.
Create Engagement with social media
The new media have revolutionized the doctor-patient relationship, creating a direct and two-way relationship that favors a Patient-Centered approach.
More and more healthcare facilities regularly use digital channels, particularly social media, as a tool for Healthcare Marketing strategies.
Through communication on social media in healthcare marketing, it is possible to exponentially increase the visibility of one’s center and thus acquire new potential patients. You can advertise your services, get instant feedback and improve overall center efficiency. The dissemination of information takes place directly and immediately; in this sense, social media becomes an ideal means for sharing quality content and fighting the fight against fake news circulating on the Web.
Therefore, on the one hand, they are an educational tool; on the other, they satisfy the patient’s need to feel actively involved in his healing process: the interactive nature of social media allows the patient to dialogue without intermediaries with the structures and feel more and more involved in the safeguard, of their well-being.
Other engagement tools are forums and e-chats. In the forums, patients can communicate with each other, feeling part of the same community that shares problems and moods.
Through e-chats or instant messaging services such as Whatsapp Business or apps, the patient can actively communicate with healthcare professionals, improving the overall experience, both concerning the greater simplicity of the process and the outcome of the treatments.
All these means transform the doctor-patient relationship, creating a sort of ” conversational health, “which increases patient satisfaction and generates a positive return on the healthcare facility regarding reliability and expense.
Be visible on the Web
The website of the health facility must always be maintained and updated. Above all, it must have an agile and intuitive architecture, making navigation easy.
Users are looking for answers, information, and insights, so the site must respond to the search intent and be understandable in its consultation. Healthcare SEO Services optimization is used to make yourself immediately recognizable in search engines.
Interestingly, we are seeing a shift in search trends now zero-click: users ask Google questions and are satisfied with the answers they read in the snippets. So even if they can evade the click on the site, the snippets are certainly elements of great value, and for this, you have to optimize the pages to be rewarded by Google and be shown in the first results.
Generally, users looking for a health service are more willing to investigate, as they look for the symptoms, not the diagnosis. The presence of an articulated and exhaustive FAQ section can be very useful for this purpose.
For a healthcare facility, it is important to optimize its site locally through local SEO techniques. Then, in your Google My Business card, you can insert links to the site and call to action.
Again, this zero-click trend is useful for those looking for contact information and contact details. Therefore, the importance of the GMB profile lies not only in the presentation of the structure in the first results but also in facilitating the interaction with one’s site, providing a preferential channel.
For example, you can generate new leads and strengthen existing contacts through the newsletter. Newsletters with thematic or current news, updates, or information on services, promotions, and offers are excellent web marketing tools if correctly thought out and minimally invasive.
Invest in digital tools
Patients are looking for increasingly personalized and performing experiences made possible by technological development. Ultra-intelligent systems have recently crossed the threshold of healthcare, opening up to unimaginable solutions.
The digitalization of healthcare leads to benefits in organizational management, but above all, in patient care.
With telemedicine, remote assistance can be provided, generating a more satisfying experience for the patient:
- A direct relationship with the healthcare professional is developed.
- The treatments are personalized.
- The clinical responses are better due to the greater simplicity of the whole process.
It can also be useful for streamlining bureaucratic practices and facilitating payments, which is always a delicate issue regarding health.
However, it is necessary to invest in the basic tools and understand that these initial expenses will be savings in the long term. It is then necessary to adequately train all health personnel so that everyone knows how to use new technologies.
Finally, but certainly not least, it is necessary to invest in healthcare marketing professionals who, with their skills, support and complement the facility’s staff.
Digital marketing strategies have also become necessary in the healthcare sector. Each facility must accept the responsibility of using marketing and health communication tools to educate users on prevention and well-being, improving the quality of its services.
Healthcare must think of Healthcare Marketing Strategies as a business strategy that acts in a constantly evolving market and responds to the changing needs of patients.
Ultimately, healthcare marketing strategies substantially contribute to efficiency and satisfaction and see digital as the preferred channel for expressing all its potential. It meets the objectives of communication, promotion, and health information, as long as it is recognized, respected, and institutionalized by the healthcare sector.
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