The healthcare industry is evolving fast. With so much information available, patients have more options than ever before. The reality is that patients are no longer compelled to visit the healthcare provider closest to them.
A study by Think with Google reveals that 84% of patients use offline and online sources for hospital research. In another study, 66% of internet users check online for information about a medical problem or disease.
Without marketing, you may struggle to attract patients. Even your most loyal patients may drop off if you don’t engage them.
Healthcare marketing has the potential to boost your reach, increase the influx of patients and keep your brand at the top of their minds.
Not sure how to market your healthcare practice in a hyper-competitive industry? This practical guide is just what you need to do it right.
We’ll teach you everything you need to know about healthcare marketing. You’ll also learn how to create and execute your healthcare marketing strategy, with templates to get you started.
Let’s get to it.
Table of Contents
What is Healthcare Marketing?
Healthcare marketing is the process of attracting and engaging patients, delivering health information and interventions and guiding them through their healthcare journey.
It also refers to the tools and techniques used to increase brand awareness, attract patients and keep them engaged. The objective of healthcare marketing is to:
- Deploy marketing strategies that will draw attention to your brand
- Deliver valuable resources and content to patients
- Protect and promote the health of patients
- Improve their healthcare experience
- Increase satisfaction and build loyalty
Health care marketing cuts across the care continuum. It doesn’t matter if you’re a doctor, caregiver, hospital, healthcare provider, or marketer. Investing in strategic healthcare marketing helps you stand out in a competitive niche.
And there’s more. It helps you drive engagement, rev business growth and achieve a positive ROI.
Achieving success in healthcare marketing requires using multiple marketing tactics and channels, including:
- Social media
- Paid advertising
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Email marketing
- Video marketing
- Content marketing
By utilizing both traditional and digital marketing strategies, you can reach more patients and convert them into paying customers.
Why is Healthcare Marketing Important?
The healthcare industry has become a more competitive niche than people realize. That’s because patients are exposed to a myriad of healthcare options. They can’t be trapped with whatever hospital, plan or practitioner they’re using.
What was previously a volume-based industry has become a value-based industry centered around delivering quality healthcare. Hence the need to constantly communicate value through omnichannel marketing efforts.
Let’s go over the overarching reasons you should invest in healthcare marketing.
1. Expand and Scale Healthcare Organization Reach
Gone are the days when patients had to rely solely on word of mouth or trust their physician. Nowadays, more people turn to the internet for healthcare solutions.
At the comfort of their homes and offices, they can read online reviews, explore social media and other platforms to get the help they need.
The stats say it all.
- According to a study done by the Pew Research Center, 77% of patients begin their search for medical information and solutions on search engines.
- About 41% of patients say social media impacts their choice of healthcare service provider and facility.
Although you need to go above and beyond to improve your services, you should also prioritize your healthcare advertising.
Health marketing offers a golden opportunity for you to reach a wider audience across multiple channels.
First, you’ll need a robust online presence to attract prospective patients, educate and turn them into customers.
For example, Mayo Clinic is a top healthcare brand that has taken marketing to a whole new level. The company has a massive and impressive online presence on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Also, their blog contains in-depth and insightful posts about different aspects of healthcare.
2. Set Your Healthcare Business Apart
The competition is heating up in the healthcare industry. Currently, there are 784,626 companies in the US healthcare sector and the number continues to grow.
Without strategic marketing efforts, your healthcare business will struggle to survive and eventually die. So how do you stand out in an increasingly competitive market? The simple answer is that you must prioritize strategic healthcare marketing.
Effective healthcare marketing involves researching customers’ needs and addressing them. Providing value-based healthcare and share-worthy experiences puts your brand steps ahead of your competition.
But that’s not all. Healthcare marketing increases your strategic advantage to attract more patients and grow your business.
Keep in mind that global healthcare spending is expected to surpass $10 trillion by 2022. So if patients want to see a doctor or subscribe to healthcare services, why not you?
It all starts from marketing campaigns that communicate your promise of value and what differentiates you from competitors.
3. Establish Thought leadership in the Healthcare Industry
Establishing thought leadership attracts new opportunities to advance your business. It positions you as an authority, showing you’re ahead of the curve and among the best in your niche.
However, you don’t become a thought-leader overnight. It requires a consistent series of marketing and PR efforts that presents your brand as a trusted advisor and shapes people’s perceptions about it.
Although thought leadership may appear to be a lofty concept, it is pretty simple in practice. Here are a few ways to become a thought leader in the healthcare industry.
- Create, share and promote valuable and health-related content consistently.
- Share insights on your website, blogs, social media channels to gain traction
- Host and participate in events, seminars, and research communities.
- Engage with your community by reading and responding to comments on your content.
- Forge strategic partnerships with other leaders in the healthcare space.
Thought leadership amps up the visibility and credibility of your healthcare brand. The best part? It increases the likelihood of a patient choosing your brand over other competitors.
4. Boost Patient Engagement and Long Term Relationships
Staying healthy is a lifetime practice requiring active care and frequent health checkups. However, if you don’t engage with your patients, they’ll only see you once and never return.
The thing is, healthcare is often intertwined with emotions. And marketing has become more and more personalized, just like healthcare.
So you’ll need to deploy marketing strategies that increase engagement and build deeper relationships with patients.
By engaging your patient via content, email, telephone and other marketing channels, you can:
- Share health advice and information relevant to their symptoms and conditions.
- Encourage patients to live healthy lifestyles that promote their overall well-being.
- Remind them to schedule visits at regular intervals for their health maintenance.
Also, online surveys and reviews let you learn more about patient needs and improve their experience.
What’s in it for you? Well-executed healthcare marketing strategies help you increase patient retention, build trust and earn long-term loyalty.
For example, United Healthcare launched an award-winning “We Dare You” Campaign to connect and engage with its audience.
The campaign challenged people to make small changes to live healthier and share one photo of them performing that dare. This campaign was aimed at
- Promoting healthy habits
- Helping people improve their quality of life
- Increasing audience engagement
- Fostering key relationships
Beyond earning several awards, United Healthcare saw an increase in reach and social engagement.
How to Create a Healthcare Marketing Strategy
Now that you know why healthcare marketing is essential, how do you use it to your advantage? First, you need an effective healthcare marketing strategy to achieve meaningful results.
A marketing strategy is a holistic plan of how you’re going to reach prospective patients and turn them into repeat customers.
In this next chapter, we’ll look at how to create a healthcare marketing strategy that amplifies your reach and drives growth.
1. Define Your Target Audience and Understand Them
Customers are the heart of your business and marketing strategy. In fact, your business exists to meet their needs. So you should understand their pain points and values and how they think.
Before choosing marketing tactics and channels, you must first learn about the people who genuinely require your product or service. This activity will enable you:
- Identify the best channels to reach them.
- Craft messages that resonate with them and drive action.
- Deliver experiences that keep them coming back for more.
Understanding your customer base is not a one-time event. Instead, it should be viewed as an evolving process of gaining valuable insight over time.
How do you identify who your customers are? There are several ways to achieve this.
- Create a survey to collect demographic, psychographic, geographic and behavioral data from patients.
- Talk to your healthcare support team. They have valuable insight from ongoing conversations with patients.
- Analyze website data to understand the interests of your visitors.
- Create and validate buyer personas. Buyer personas are character representations or descriptions of your ideal or average customer.
Read this article to learn more about creating buyer personas for your business.
Use this attractive template to visualize the traits of your ideal customer.
2. Analyze Your Market
Once you’re sold on who your ideal customers are, the next step is to analyze your market. One way to get a feel of the current market conditions is to conduct a SWOT analysis using the template below.
SWOT analysis is a marketing technique that enables you to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats related to the healthcare industry.
You can pinpoint factors that will make or break your success in achieving your marketing goal.
The good news is that there’s always something to learn from this assessment. Having a clear understanding of the market can help you to:
- Profile your competitors and identify what makes them stand out
- Spot growth opportunities within your industry
- Position your business to stay ahead of the competition
- Understand the needs of your target patients and serve them better
In a nutshell, it reveals what you’re doing well and where you are missing it.
For example, you can assess your overall business and marketing tactics to see how they stack up against your competitors. These assessments could reveal gaps in your marketing tactics and how to improve performance.
For instance, educational content could be an excellent opportunity to reel in more leads into your funnel. But without this assessment, you won’t know if your content is hitting the mark.
Make sure to build on your strengths while addressing your weaknesses. Then, look out for low-hanging marketing opportunities and take advantage of them.
3. Set Realistic Healthcare Marketing Goals
Before you invest resources into marketing your brand, you need to set your goals.
Why does it matter? Goal setting gives you a clear roadmap to achieving success.
Essentially, you want to answer these questions:
- What are you looking to achieve?
- Why is it critical for you to achieve these goals?
- How do you track progress and measure success?
Are you looking to increase awareness of your brand? Do you want to acquire more leads? Are you interested in driving traffic to your website? Do you want to increase the number of new patients or retain more patients?
It’s not enough to have a list of goals. Your goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound (SMART). In addition, each goal should have a key performance indicator to help gauge your performance.
Don’t make the mistake of setting goals that aren’t tied to positive business outcomes. Unfortunately, many health companies fall into this trap. Rather be sure your marketing goals are in sync with your overall business goals.
For instance, let’s say your goal is to increase brand awareness or sales. You can deploy multiple marketing strategies such as paid ads and SEO to drive traffic to your site.
However, you’re going to have to:
- Track site visits and clickthrough rates to see how people engage with your ads.
- Monitor your sales funnel to know how many visitors become leads and customers.
- Identify how your marketing efforts contribute to revenue and overall business growth.
List your goals in writing and share them with your team. This will enable you to track your KPIs, stay organized and ensure goals are met.
Create SMART goals and keep tabs on them using the beautiful template below.
4. Create Valuable Marketing Content
In this era of information overload and shrinking attention span, creating relevant content is more than ever.
At this point, you’ve gathered enough information about your target audience. Now, it’s time to make it count. Statistics show that 72% of consumers say they’ll only engage with marketing outreach tailored to their specific interests.
So what can we learn from this? Your content marketing strategy should focus on creating content that resonates with your audience. Not only will this endear them to your brand, but it will also increase your engagement and online visibility.
Start by identifying their triggers and addressing their frustrations in your content. It will make them feel special and inspire trust in your brand.
Be sure to communicate how your practice will address their unique needs and change their lives.
Reiterate what sets you apart from other healthcare solutions. Feel free to throw in social proof to pique their interest and swing their purchase decision in your favor.
Content production doesn’t have to be a hassle. Samandishe makes it super-easy for you to develop marketing materials in line with your content production schedule.
Once you’ve created a core marketing message and content production schedule, map your content into each stage of the buyer journey.
In the awareness stage, you can create educational content that helps patients understand common health problems.
You can create in-depth guides and industry reports about specific health conditions at the interest phase. Or another angle could be to share how patients can navigate healthcare treatment journeys.
The decision phase should feature content that positions you as the perfect healthcare provider to help solve their health challenges. As your patients prepare to make decisions, case studies, testimonials and reviews can tip the scales in your favor.
Finally, make sure to create a content creation plan and stick to it. Your plan should highlight goals, topic clusters, format, channel and schedule for each piece of content. Also, it should explain the problems your content is solving for your buyer persona.
5. Evaluate the Best Channels to Market Your Business
With your content sorted, you need to determine how you will get it in front of the right prospects. Finding the best channels for your message and staying consistent with engagement are critical components of modern healthcare marketing.
Let’s go over the best channels for marketing your healthcare brand.
Social media is the perfect avenue for healthcare marketers to engage with patients and a large online community.
You can share reviews, educational guides, tips, case studies and more on multiple social media channels. By posting helpful content, you build credibility – a critical factor in patient acquisition and retention.
However, organic social media isn’t enough, considering the number of content shared on social platforms daily. Although it’s a valid marketing strategy, it can be daunting to reach a wide audience without paid promotions. And that brings us to the next point -paid ads.
Since social media algorithms have made it harder to reach audiences organically, paid ads give you the extra push. Ads tend to provide better brand visibility and deliver higher marketing ROI.
Unlike SEO or local search, which takes a long time to deliver results, paid ads offer instant results. You can create paid advertisements on Google, Facebook, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
The beautiful thing with paid ads is that you can set a budget and pay when a user takes a desired action. However, the platform you’ll use depends on where your audience is. If you’re targeting professionals, LinkedIn advertising is your best bet.
Facebook ads attract the attention of over 2.9 billion monthly users. Google ads increase your rankings on search engines and drive people to your site. YouTube is the largest platform dedicated to video, with over 2 billion monthly users.
We recommend using multiple offline and online marketing channels. Omnichannel marketing increases your chances of reaching as many prospects as possible.
Optimize for SEO
You may wonder why you should use SEO when you’ve already got a good PPC campaign strategy. SEO and PPC work together to make your healthcare marketing strategies effective
Organic search results are a top traffic source for most local healthcare businesses.
Patients generally find local providers, practices and healthcare services in several ways.
They generally search for practice types like “dental practice near me.” Or search for a specific healthcare provider like “dentist near me. They could also search for procedures like “teeth fillings, extractions and cleaning.”
Implementing SEO strategies can enable you to take advantage of prime real estate in:
- Organic search results.
- Local SEO results located under the ads, including maps, business listings and review rankings.
Optimizing your website and content for search is the ticket to ranking high in organic search results. It also maximizes your reach to prospective patients searching locally for a doctor.
Here’s how to make your website rise to the top of search engine results
- Publish relevant and authoritative content.
- Keep your website and content up to date.
- Make your website optimized for any device-be it mobile, tablet or desktop.
- Use descriptive file names and relevant keywords in title, meta description and content.
- Have a referral-worthy website. Encourage online reviews and have people mention your site in news sites and top-ranked resources.
- Ensure your online listings like Google MyBusiness, Healthgrades, Vitals, CareDash and others are correct and updated.
Use the SEO marketing report template below to track your SEO performance and identify areas for improvement.
As a marketer, having a functional app website is critical to your success.
Why does it matter? Your website houses key customer touchpoints such as:
- Contact forms
- Appointment forms
- Patient portals
Build mobile-responsive healthcare websites that provide seamless user experiences. Google cares about user experience and will tilt towards websites that offer better experiences.
Remember to test your website for speed. People are less willing to put up with slow loading sites than ever before.
Email is not dead. It’s the marketers’ playground in every industry, including healthcare. Email marketing is a powerful way to reach new patients and support existing ones.
According to a MailChimp’s email benchmark report, the average email open rate for health and fitness-related emails is 21.48%, with an impressive click rate of 2.69%.
No matter your niche, you can automate email campaigns to engage, build and nurture relationships with patients.
For example, you can share educational content, personalized health reminders and tips. Or you can automate appointment reminders or send personalized emails based on their health status, medical history or interest.
The goal is to keep up communication with patients even when they don’t need your medical services at the time. By making them feel valued, they’ll surely stick around, rave about your brand and recommend you to other people.
Reviews and Testimonials
Reviews and testimonials are feedback patients leave to show how they truly feel about your service. It can play a big role in acquiring new leads and moving prospects along the healthcare marketing funnel.
According to research from Software Advice, 71% of patients start their search for a new doctor by reading online reviews.
What could this possibly mean for your healthcare brand? When these social proofs are positive, they could:
- Portray you as a credible and trustworthy healthcare service provider
- Amplify your organic reach
- Create an emotional appeal for your service
If you want to garner positive reviews, you’ll have to make conscious efforts to:
- Provide channels for customers to leave reviews
- Thank patients for their patronage
- Frequently follow up with them to show you care
- Respond and try to resolve negative reviews
Reviews don’t belong in your inbox or private repositories. Be sure to place them on your website, social media channels, marketing materials and wherever your people can see them.
If you’re looking to produce timely, relevant, consistent marketing materials that reel in excellent results, Samandishe has everything you need. We’ve got a comprehensive library of templates, tools and design elements to make your content shine.
You can create marketing content from scratch or leverage our professionally designed templates to jumpstart your creativity.
6. Assign a Budget
No matter how unique your strategy is, it will be impossible to execute it without a budget. Unfortunately, most healthcare institutions allocate more of their budget to operations. Yet, only little goes to marketing.
Paid campaigns in online and traditional advertising channels often add up quickly. But when integrated, they help you maximize ROI.
To achieve meaningful results, you need to allocate enough funds to execute your marketing plans. How much money you will spend depends on your marketing goals, channels and target audience. You can assign a percentage of your revenue to sales and marketing. Or tie it directly to the sales goals you want to achieve.
In any case, you want to be sure you’re getting a good return on your investment. And the answer lies in tracking your marketing spend and results on different channels.
Track and share a balanced marketing budget with your team using the stunning and customizable template below.
7. Measure Your Healthcare Marketing Efforts
Your healthcare strategy isn’t complete without detailed tactics to measure success. Tracking your marketing performance helps you identify what’s working and areas that need improvement.
Google Analytics is effective for analyzing website traffic and performance. Tools like Crazy Egg and Hotjar help you track “attention hotspots” and visitor behaviors on your site.
Customer relationship management (CRM) tools like HubSpot help you monitor how patients interact with your business. You’ll also get reports on your sales activity, productivity and overall pipeline.
Google Adwords is perfect for tracking your pay-per-click ads and results. And if you want to track how people engage with your content, SEMRush and BuzzSumo are valuable tools.
With marketing reports, you can bring your marketing data together. Using the template below can help you track marketing activities, spending and results across different channels.
8. Create a Healthcare Marketing Plan
You’ve probably spent a significant amount of time developing a marketing strategy. Now you’re wondering if you need a marketing plan. And the answer is yes.
Your marketing strategy highlights the approach and resources you’ll need to achieve your business goals. But your marketing plan defines the specific actions you’ll take to execute your strategy. It contains a detailed rundown of marketing activities, including:
- Marketing channels you’ll use
- The specific action you’ll take and those responsible for each activity
- When you will implement these marketing activities
- What it will cost to execute your strategy
- How you will monitor your performance and success
An intuitive marketing plan template can assist you in creating a roadmap for executing your healthcare marketing strategy. Furthermore, it will link everything back to your practice, keeping you on track with the overall business goals.
Watch the video below to learn more about creating a marketing plan that keeps your team in sync and drives results.
10 Essential Healthcare Marketing Templates
At this point, you’re probably buzzing to get to work.
Here’s what you should know. Thriving in a constantly evolving healthcare industry requires bringing your A-game. You need to supercharge your practice with stunning healthcare marketing materials that give you an edge over your competitors.
Samandishe offers a variety of healthcare marketing templates to scale your brand and take your marketing to the next level.
Here are some of the best health marketing templates to ignite your creative spark.
Template #1: Healthcare Marketing Plan
Do you want to keep your marketing strategy organized and execute it effectively? Then this marketing plan template is a perfect fit.
This document visualizes your marketing activities across multiple channels, execution timelines and anticipated outcomes.
You can tweak this template to track your marketing efforts from a high-level view and keep your team in sync. Feel free to change the colors, fonts and other elements to suit your taste.
Template #2: Cancer Disease Awareness Infographic
Patient education is a big deal in healthcare marketing. It’s necessary to influence patient behavior and improve health.
Best of all, educating patients shows that you care. This can help you build trust and increase patient retention. The infographic template below is a useful tool for raising awareness about health conditions.
The template features icons, graphs and legends for easy data interpretation. It also has a call to donate at the bottom to drive emotional appeal.
With a few clicks, you can change color themes and fonts, and add interactive elements like links, animation, and pop-ups.
Template 3#: Vaccine Comparison Infographic
Reliable information about vaccines could save someone’s life. But from a marketing point of view, you have the chance to position your brand as a thought leader.
Gone are the days when you had to blow your budget to create consistently helpful content. This neat and stunning Samandishe infographic template is easy to customize.
The rich jade background drives visual appeal and makes your information pop. You can customize the color scheme to match the tone you want to convey. Choose trendy fonts from Samandishe’s contemporary collection to enhance your message.
Template #4: Medical Case Study
There’s no better way to convince patients that you can solve a problem than by creating case studies. It positions you as an authority in your niche and attracts patients to your practice.
This easy-to-use case study template is perfect for
- Nudging prospects along your marketing funnel
- Providing deeper insights into specific health and
- Highlight the effectiveness of your treatment regimen.
Feel free to tweak the fonts, color and use visual aids to make your document eye-catching and readable.
Template #5: Dentist Video Testimonial
Did you know that more than 50% of Americans report patient testimonials and reviews are critical when choosing a physician? Yes, you read that right.
This beautiful video testimonial template is a perfect addition to your marketing arsenal.
Use this template to give prospects a feel of other satisfied patients’ experiences with your service. And then watch patients’ purchase decisions swing in your favor.
You can incorporate adjustable shapes, icons and bright colors into the overall design for that extra dose of details.
Template #6: Healthcare Marketing Report
You’ve invested your time, efforts and money in marketing. Great job! Now it’s time to know if your efforts are paying off.
The template below is designed to help you track marketing performance for your optometry practice. It covers key aspects of your marketing, including strategy, metrics and future considerations.
Communicate key marketing metrics like web analytics, campaigns, social media engagement using Samandishe’s visualization tools like:
- Bar graphs
- Pie charts
- Interactive maps
Template #7: Medical White Paper
A white paper is mid-funnel marketing content that showcases your expertise. It can enhance your reputation and stimulate your patient’s interest in your brand.
The template below is well-crafted to set you apart as a thought leader in your niche, make your brand visible and drive collaborations. Plus, you can use it to educate your audience and promote your health care practice.
The template is fully customizable. You can modify the content, fonts, logo, colors and other visual elements to make it your own.
Template #8: Medical Marketing Booklet
Market your hospital and medical services using this stunning booklet template below.
This template features a bright blue color that creates a strong visual appeal. You can highlight your services, promise of value and what differentiates you from other competitors.
Each image, font and design element blends perfectly and creates a cohesive theme, making your message and visuals stand out.
The best part? Samandishe’s online drag and drop tool makes it simple to customize this template without prior design know-how.
Template #9: Wellness Webinar Presentation
If you’re looking for an effective way to position your services in a patient’s mind or drive leads into your sales pipeline, webinars fit the bill.
Webinars put your brand in front of more people and help you convert leads faster. They’re a proven marketing tool for communicating with your audience, both on-demand and real-time.
However, you need to craft a visually-appealing presentation that engages your audience from start to finish. Else you’ll lose audience attention and potential sales opportunities.
Use this eye-catching webinar presentation template to attract, engage, educate and convert patients.
Template #10: Social Media Post
Nowadays, everyone is online. Sharing social posts and online ads can help you meet patients right where they are. Be it on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and so on.
Using eye-catching and powerful imagery, text, colors, GIFs and animations like the one in the template below can make a huge visual impact. You’re sure to command the audience’s attention and convey your message seamlessly.
For example, the social media post template is ideal for promoting vaccination services. Notice how the high-quality image blends nicely and complements the message.
Not sure how to ads and social media posts like this one? You don’t need to blow your budget on hiring a professional designer. Instead, you can customize this template to meet your needs. Or use Samandishe’s design tool to create attractive marketing materials from scratch.
Upgrade Your Healthcare Marketing Strategy With Samandishe
Healthcare marketing is an ever-changing world with limitless possibilities. It offers ample opportunities to expand your reach and scale your practice.
But if you want to see meaningful results, you need various marketing materials to power your strategy. Samandishe is the perfect tool to get you where you want to be.
With Samandishe, you can easily create marketing assets and materials within a few seconds. Be it logos, business cards, white papers, surveys, flyers, reports, videos and much more — just name it.
To help healthcare professionals like you create better marketing materials without having to learn design, we put together a rich library of templates, visual aids, and design elements.
Check out our article on Infographic Design 101 For Healthcare Professionals to learn how to make your healthcare subject matter stand out.