Like in any modern field of services, efficient marketing is equally essential for promoting healthcare offers of any sort. But marketing efficiency here means properly adapting to the specifics of the industry and getting the most out of common approaches at the same time. To make your life easier, here are some pro tips that come from the real practice of our own specialists.
What’s Healthcare Marketing All About?
Healthcare marketing brings together a variety of channels and promotional efforts to provide a seamless experience for patients, physicians, key opinion leaders, and other stakeholders in the healthcare process. Healthcare-focused marketing attempts to inform, educate, and raise awareness while also making the work of healthcare providers simpler and improving patient outcomes.
With that being said, let’s take a look through some of the market’s best practical healthcare marketing trends to watch out for in the next few years and tips on getting ahead of the curve. Many of these strategies are commonly employed in non-pharmaceutical businesses yet can be readily applied to the complicated healthcare marketing landscape with a few tweaks.
Increasing content accumulation
Content – its generation, growth, management, and other related aspects – has become a major marketing aspect for healthcare that swept the whole digital world in the last decade. In particular, having a content-rich website for a positive patient experience has become a must. But it wasn’t until the topic of SEO and traffic came up that healthcare providers grasped the true magnitude of the content management potential lying in front of them.
Ultimately, one should keep in mind that not all types of even the highest-quality content perform equally well. For instance, patients tend to be overburdened with plain text, and they want healthcare providers to step up and supply them with the information they like via a multitude of other channels and platforms.
For one thing, video content demonstrates a heavy influence on both existing and potential patient audiences. It is currently estimated that video accounts for 80% of all web traffic in the healthcare industry. According to statistics, one-third of all patients would view a video online before scheduling an appointment with their doctor, making hi-def videos an excellent medium for healthcare marketing.
Patients don’t appear to be satisfied with a written description of their illness or pathology of interest. Someone looking up cystic fibrosis, for example, is more likely to watch a video than read about the same issue in text in order to get the gist of it.
At the same time, merely producing high-quality content is no longer sufficient in the healthcare market. Many drug businesses make mistakes with their healthcare marketing by focusing too much on scrupulously composing a bunch of targeted content and letting the material sit. As any generalist marketer would tell you, that’s just 20% of the tale; the other 80% is all about marketing.
This implies that, before generating a piece of content, you should make a bigger emphasis on researching and analyzing the target audience (patients, physicians, stakeholders, etc.), the message you seek to express, and promotion channels. Here, keep in mind that patients are more trusting toward corporate websites and social media environments. And on the flip side, if you’re targeting HCPs, you should advertise through emails because that’s their major communication strategy for receiving offers and building firm servicing relations.
The advent of SEO
If you are new to the field of healthcare marketing, especially to its digital plane, you’ve still definitely heard about the essential importance of SEO. The effort of optimizing content so that it ranks higher in search engines like Google is the task of search engine optimization. How exactly does it work with marketing and promotion in the healthcare industry?
While ranking for a phrase like acute lung cancer and appearing as the top result on Google might be exceedingly challenging, there are several other easy triumphs. With such a diverse spectrum of themes, there’s always something fresh to produce — after all, health is the subject of every 20th Google search on the planet. Furthermore, 80 percent of the internet population use the web to look up health-related topics.
When considering SEO for healthcare digital marketing, bear in mind the patients’ search intent. They’ll start by looking for a diagnosis, such as asthma symptoms, and then go on to the next phase. They’ll almost certainly hunt for a remedy and search for a phrase like “find pulmonologist in London”.
Keywords, keywords are everywhere
Healthcare marketing providers that can assist you with SEO will tell you that keywords are the foundation of every SEO healthcare marketing plan. However, it is not as simple as it appears. For one thing, you may target a term like “breast cancer” and optimize your pharma business’s website around it and its variations.
There is but one issue – the same term is also being targeted by numerous other providers in the field. This implies a certain extent of competition with other market players that you have to partake in. Some of them have been optimizing their SEO for years. This factor may make your SEO quite challenging and time-/effort-consuming.
As a pro tip, the best approach here would be to focus on long-tail keywords – e.g., “breast cancer common symptoms”. Such search entries may somewhat lack the impact of short and striking keywords, yet they can help you narrow down the competition and expand search opportunities for patients. Ultimately, it may be more profitable long-term for pharma businesses to focus on employing numerous long-tail keywords rather than overworking one or two short words that are known to deliver traffic to the company website.
Mobile convenience as a must
Until recently, a dedicated mobile website version was a nice yet not specifically necessary thing to have. Today, however, the mobile medium overshadows more traditional devices and channels (like PCs and desktop websites). People are increasingly using smartphones to look up health-related information, so your content should be well-optimized for mobile consumption.
Thus, providing equally high-quality and smooth mobile browsing experience is in your best interest. On top of that, Google and other major search engines tend to favor websites and content that is well streamlined across all mediums and formats, so your overall SEO ranking may also be influenced by the presence and quality of a mobile site.
Even more, websites that are poorly optimized for mobile are even penalized by Google. When optimizing, pay attention to the following major aspects – doctors are frequently on the phone since they are on the go. If your company’s website doesn’t load correctly, has missing images, or takes 20 seconds to open the home page, visitors will most likely leave right away and hunt for the information they need elsewhere.
Updates are paramount
Countless healthcare marketing professionals will be fast to convince you that keeping your pharmaceutical company’s web content up to date is critical. This concerns the relevance of all your text descriptions, availability of useful specialized materials (directories, brochures, etc.), key opinion leader inputs, illness studies, and such.
The challenging thing about this, though, is that keeping up-to-date at all times can be extremely difficult due to the barrage of regulations related to the field of healthcare. Healthcare website content is seldom updated since it must pass through several regulatory processes before being authorized.
The ultimate solution to this is minimizing regulatory cycles and going full-on digital in terms of marketing efforts. You need to do everything to be able to deliver fresh content regularly. This way, you a) get to better engage your target audience and keep patients and/or physicians keep coming back for more relevant info; b) gain the upper hand in terms of search engine optimization – regularly updated websites are more scrupulously targeted by Google’s crawling procedure (crawling web content to register it and display it in search results).
Video content as a marketing tool
Video marketing is the ultimate solution that combines the benefits and impact of content, SEO, and mobile-friendliness. High-quality, in-depth researched videos may considerably aid your healthcare marketing efforts all across the board.
First and foremost, adding eye-grabbing video content to one’s healthcare website, again, acts as a great guiding light for Google search mechanisms. Thus, web pages that feature videos simply rank higher than other, plain pages. More than that, patients spend more time on the website overall when there is something exciting to watch. The major task here is to provide some outstanding material that they would enjoy.
Videos are commonly more engaging and memorable as opposed to text or even audio descriptions. It is already well-known that people recall substantially more material from video than from a conventional page. Ultimately, videos are especially helpful for doctors who wish to show patients films in order to properly explain their ailment, diagnosis, and therapy.
Last but not least, videos can be truly engaging, and there are few other healthcare marketing forms that can drive people to act as effectively as videos. There is a large amount of evidence that films have an impact on physicians’ prescribing behavior.
Studies claim that about 90% of doctors use digital media to connect with their patients. In particular, they use elaborate videos to demonstrate a patient’s diagnosis, illness, and treatment plan in full detail. In the long run, this boosts patients’ health literacy and motivates them to treat their diagnoses with more responsibility (which is the ultimate goal of any doctor).
Digital marketing trends in healthcare are similar to those in any other professional field, but they have their underlying specifics. One certainly has to put a good amount of analysis and practice into digital marketing in order to push the healthcare servicing efficiency forward.
Given pharma’s image for being somewhat sluggish in terms of digital promotion efforts, it’s critical to keep up to date, as people will demand more and more progressive solutions and approaches to stimulating the market demand. So improve and keep up with the times – we’ll help as much as we can.
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