Marketing experts have to be able to learn just about anything, as their job requires them to be able to promote products and services ranging from cookies to spaceships. It’s not easy to convincingly sell something you don’t know much about. While it might be somewhat easier with cookies, it’s a lot harder to do the same with highly specialized products and services. There is no field where this is more obvious than the healthcare field, where people working with medical PR, promotionals, advertising and marketing, usually need to have at least some sort of health-related training or education. This is why we think healthcare marketing is a special kind of marketing, that not every agency is able to do.
What is healthcare marketing?
Quite simply put, It is a series of marketing services directed specifically at healthcare providers.
The healthcare sector is one of the most important marketing spenders in the US, as private companies compete for a share of the world’s biggest healthcare market. According to Reuters, annual healthcare marketing surged from $17.7 billion in 1997 to about $29.9 billion in 2016. While a great part of this surge can be attributed to advertising for over-the-counter drugs and other direct-to-consumer medication ads, it is also due to the increase of healthcare services options that are now available for Americans. From family practices to urgent care clinics, everybody wants to have highly visible healthcare businesses.
Content for healthcare marketing
In health more than any other field, people like to be as informed as possible before making a purchase or taking a healthcare decision. Audiences like to educate themselves on everything health related, from diets to diagnostics options and symptomatology. And this is where the role of the health marketing expert comes into play.
In order for your business to be visible, this expert will need to create relevant content that shows up in Google searches. It’s not only important to have relevant content and hope it ranks higher in time, but it’s also important to promote that content and to cross-promote. Guest posts on popular health related websites could be one way to increase visibility.
Building your content to answer specific questions patients might have is another “trick” we can use when writing for healthcare businesses. The trend for Google queries is for patients to search by formulating questions. For example: “what are the symptoms for hepatitis?” or “is there a vaccine against Japanese encephalitis?” or more location-oriented, like “where can I get a DOT physical in New Jersey?”. The content we create must address these kinds of questions directly. It would be useful to have these questions as sub-headings in your texts.
Online reputation of local physicians
Another specificity of choosing healthcare services is that people usually trust or mistrust a physician or a clinic based on word of mouth. Everyone has a friend of a friend who’s had an experience, good or bad, with one doctor or the other Healthcare decisions are seen as some of the most important by customers. You wouldn’t place your health or your life in the hands of anyone. The medic you choose has to have a good reputation. Like everything else in the digital age, that reputation is built through online reviews. According to a study by Pew Internet, 30% of internet users have consulted online reviews or rankings of health care services or treatments.
This is why, as a healthcare provider, you should strive to have public profiles not only on general review websites, but also on specialized portals such as vitals.com or zocdoc.com.
Akby Digital Marketing specializes in all areas of healthcare marketing. Our team has provided healthcare marketing services to several healthcare providers in the past, from urgent care centers to primary care doctors and medical management services. Members of our team have a background in medical-related domains and know the specifics of working in this type of business area. As we are a full service agency operating in New York and New Jersey, we can offer a variety of services from the creative concept to the execution of print collateral, promotional products, packaging, web design, app design, pay-per-click advertising, search engine optimization etc.
If your company is in the healthcare industry, make sure to contact us for a discussion. We can setup a custom healthcare marketing campaign for you.