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Did you know that in 2019, 7% of Google’s daily searches were health related? Considering that since 2019 we’ve all been facing the COVID-19 pandemic and the consequences of the global economic crisis—which also definitely harmed health—now this figure is close to 10 percent. 

This means that for healthcare industry representatives, a period of both increased demand and tougher competition has come. Of course, the quality of services does matter, but without an attractive package, it can be difficult for organizations to interest their target audience. This is where digital marketing services come to the rescue. Below, we’ll tell you about the specifics of marketing for healthcare, share best practices, and use examples to explain ethical problems and ways to overcome them.

What is Healthcare Marketing?

Healthcare marketing is a process of strategic outreach and communications with target audiences used to attract, guide them through a sales funnel, and retain them through the healthcare journey within the framework of your organization. The result of correct marketing for healthcare is consistently successful engagement of healthcare consumers, encouraging them to become your clients and maintain their loyalty.

Along with this, it’s essential to understand that healthcare marketing, like any other type of marketing, is a constant process that must change and adapt to general market trends and a particular consumer. To achieve this agility, organizations must test at least a couple of multichannel marketing tools with proper segmentation and targeting. Thanks to this approach, they can achieve high performance indicators and competent distribution of their marketing budget.

Benefits of Healthcare Marketing

Unlike marketing for other business sectors, the just-to-sell-more creed doesn’t work here. However, using specific techniques according to context will help you achieve certain business goals. Below we’ll look at them in detail.

What is healthcare marketing?

Building Brand Awareness 

Your new and old clients may need to be aware of all your organization’s services. In turn, thanks to marketing in healthcare—digital or otherwise—you’ll be able to present everything that your organization has to offer in detail and in a favorable light. This can be filling the organization’s website with content describing your services and external advertising on the internet, social networks, TV, and billboards.

Demonstration of Expertise and Reliability

By using content marketing as part of your overall marketing strategy for healthcare, you can demonstrate to your customers the expertise you have. For example, you can start a blog on your website where you’ll share specific cases from the history of your medical personnel. You can also regularly update your professional social networks with new publications and communicate with your audience informally. 

Finally, you can benefit from less obvious marketing measures. These include proactive reputation management—that is, the formation of an image on the internet that would become the key to positive feedback from your audience—local SEO, as well as the analysis and processing of reviews. Thus, you’ll form a favorable image for your organization and be able to stimulate new sales.

Encouraging Consumers to Choose You

The healthcare sector implies the competence of the specialists who work in it. That’s why healthcare organizations must do a lot more work than only partnering with influencers and launching attractive ads to promote a particular service. A competent marketing strategy for healthcare will help you present your high-tech developments and services as well as explain in detail why they’re much better than services proven over the years.

A well-thought-out marketing strategy for healthcare can help your consumers get complete information about whether they need specific assistance and why they should choose you. This way, they’ll be able to make informed decisions when they contact you.

Reputation Improvement

Your reputation is extremely important for customers especially when it comes to healthcare services. Online positioning and reputation affects whether people will contact your organization or not. In turn, negative reviews can reduce the demand for your services. To prevent this from happening, you can use healthcare marketing techniques that include feedback processing from your customers. In particular, responding to negative comments and helping to fix existing problems will help you restore your reputation if something goes wrong. 

Hit the Mark with Your Target Audience

Using AI-based marketing tools can provide you with more information about your customers than they are willing to provide in polls and surveys. In particular, targeted advertising, advanced analytics, multichannel tools and so on will help you analyze user behavior on your website or in-app, coming to sometimes non-obvious conclusions about the preferences of a particular person. This way, you can make personalized offers that address their pain points and needs and win them as customers.

Increasing Customer Loyalty

Customer loyalty in the healthcare sector is ensured through end-to-end interaction with them at all sales funnel stages. Usually, this is achieved in multichannel and omnichannel marketing tools, which allows you to not lose a client on the way to buying services. As for interacting with existing customers, retention marketing will come to the rescue.

Boosting Sales

When it comes to increasing sales, this is one of the main goals of any type of marketing in healthcare. However, in the case of the healthcare sector, blind aiming at financial benefits of your product or service may go against accepted ethical norms. Therefore, marketing for healthcare in this context has its own specifics (culture fit, patient data protection, informing patients about possible risks, not imposing unnecessary services, etc.), which should be followed. In this case, by ensuring compliance with these rules, you’ll gain loyal customers who recommend you to others and return to receive your services.

Building a Consistent Lead Pipeline 

Healthcare marketing aims to smoothly move your customers through the sales funnel. In particular, your web resource or application and related promotional measures can become a kind of calling card for your business and will be able to attract even those customers who live far from your offline premises, if any.

Better Conversion Rates

A well-built marketing strategy is always aimed at improving the key performance indicators of digital resources that represent your organization. One of these metrics is conversion rate, showing how prospects move through the sales pipeline and convert from new coming users to leads and clients. Strong marketing strategies allow you to achieve your goals faster and for smart investments.

Tips for Successful Healthcare Marketing Strategy

Now we suggest that you move from general words about what types of marketing in healthcare can help you promote your business to specific recommendations. However, you need to understand that for a more significant result, you’ll need the help of real pros because, in this case, you won’t waste your time and money on techniques that are ineffective in your specific situation. You can learn how to choose a marketing agency here.

What is healthcare marketing?

Stand Out and be Consistent

Although the healthcare industry has strict standards regarding the type and format of services provided, and even has its own protocols, you still need to find something that sets you apart from the competition. This feature is called Unique Selling Proposition (USP). In essence, it’s the characteristics of your organization and services that differentiate you from your competitors and are valuable to your target audience.

Since it will most likely be difficult to distinguish USP from the features of your services (as they should be standard under current legislation), you can focus on pricing, quality of service, products/equipment used, or expertise of specialists who work with you. You can also emphasize that this is your family business with a long history or that you involve the best specialists from other countries.

The main thing is to take your time choosing a USP, as changing your positioning in the market can provoke the loss of your former customers.

Show Your Authority

Because healthcare doesn’t tolerate a lack of expertise, you must demonstrate to your customers that you work with the best specialists.

To do this, as part of your healthcare marketing strategy, you should engage the media, participate in relevant threads on professional online platforms like LinkedIn, as well as try to be interviewed on websites like Help a Reporter Out (HARO). As an option, you can also promote your specialists taking part in side projects for using this as your strong point in the future.

Ask for Reviews and Process Them

You should be open with your customers and handle their dissatisfaction with your service if it arises. This can be done in two ways: create a questionnaire they can complete after the visit (however, you’ll need to motivate them for this) and monitor reviews on third-party websites and social networks. This way, you’ll keep even dissatisfied customers with a good or at least neutral impression of your organization.

Build a Responsive and User-Friendly Website or Mobile App

If you don’t have an app or at least a website representing your hospital yet, think about its development—this might be the thing that will help you significantly expand your audience. Indeed, having your own web resource for business today provides potential customers with brand awareness and also creates some trust even before the first contact.

Take Advantage of PPC Ads

Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is a great way to quickly drive traffic, increase conversions, and win more customers. Compared to SEO, results of PPC activities don’t make you wait months for organic traffic to grow, as your ads will start showing instantly right after you launch ad campaigns. Digital tools allow you to connect with the right audience, personalize ads, analyze results in-depth, and achieve set goals quickly: collecting leads’ contact data and bringing conversions and sales. 

Work on SEO and ASO

In addition to fast-acting paid advertising, you can also start implementing a long-term search engine optimization (SEO) healthcare marketing strategy that will help your website get top positions in search results for relevant user queries. The advantage of SEO is that it makes your website visible to your target audience and increases chances they will choose your products and services.

Of course, SEO activities also involve some investment. Specifically, you’ll need to regularly update your website with new relevant text and media content, optimize tags and URLs, publish guest articles on third-party web resources, optimize existing content and website maps, insert internal links where necessary, complete a Google Business profile, etc. All these tasks are better delegated to pros (whether your in-house specialists or outsourced ones)—thus, you’ll receive the best results. 

As for app store optimization (ASO), you’ll need it for your app promotion. With the right ASO strategy, you can ensure that your application is seen and downloaded by target users. Conversely, without it, you run the risk of leaving your application unnoticed, which will negatively affect sales and business development in general. Of course, this type of optimization is also best entrusted to experts.

Maintain Your Social Media Profiles

Some organizations neglect social media and don’t see it as part of their marketing strategy in healthcare. However, here you have the opportunity to instantly interact with your customers in a reasonably favorable environment, regularly reminding them of your existence with new posts and polls, as well as demonstrating to them your expertise and experience. Also, in your business profile, as we wrote earlier, you can process negative reviews and complaints to create a kind of halo of transparency for your services. But please note that social networks shouldn’t be the only marketing tool you use in your healthcare marketing strategy and can complement those you’ve mastered before.

Check Your Marketing Strategy Indicators Regularly

Earlier, we said that marketing in healthcare is an ongoing process that requires constant optimization and adaptation to changing market conditions. To be most effective in monitoring the results of your current healthcare marketing efforts, you’ll need special tracking tools that will automatically measure the necessary KPIs and provide the required analytics. The most popular and convenient tool is Google Analytics, but other similar solutions also exist.

Adapt Your Digital Products and Services for All User Groups

Websites and applications often contain a lot of information and features, but not all users may use digital products to the fullest due to their specific physical or mental abilities. As a healthcare business you should follow practices to achieve inclusiveness, which in the 21st century is a key ethical factor and a mandatory requirement in some cases.

Making digital products and services easy to understand, operate, and perceive, you ensure a high level of its usability. Make digital accessibility an integral part of your marketing strategy in healthcare. This way, you’ll reach the maximum target audience, get loyal users, and provide them with all the information they need to choose you.

What are the Ethical Issues in Healthcare Marketing?

We’ve already said above that the provision of useless or even incorrect services to customers in the field of healthcare can have more serious ethical consequences than it can in any other area. Let’s look at them in more detail.

What is healthcare marketing?

Selling Products to Customers Who Don’t Need Them 

Selling a new model of a smartphone that differs from the previous one only in the button design is one thing, and quite another is to sell people medical services that they don’t need or, moreover, can expose them to unjustified risks (for example, in the case of plastic surgery). That’s why you must be conscientious with your customers and not insist on services that will be useless for a particular patient.

Lack of Transparency

Your organization needs to be transparent in its chosen digital marketing strategy in healthcare, which means making your customers aware of potential risks when necessary. In general, this aspect is usually regulated at the legislative level. However, you must also be responsible to yourself so that you don’t mislead anyone or encourage them to make wrong decisions.

Touching on Emotionally Sensitive Topics

Organizations active in the health sector should avoid making negative statements about politics, religion, race, and other social issues. Neglecting this rule is contrary to ethical standards and negatively affects their reputation and further sales.

Culture Fit

If your organization operates internationally, understand that you must differentiate some scenarios of your overall healthcare marketing strategy depending on the specific region. In this way, you’ll achieve cultural conformity and not violate topics that may not be acceptable in a particular country.

Interaction with Vulnerable Groups

Along with other digital marketing tools, you should look into what is known as ethical targeting. In a nutshell, such targeting means excluding vulnerable groups who tend to make hasty decisions due to their cognitive and physical characteristics. These include aged people, children, and people with certain mental illnesses.

Misleading Claims and Messaging

The healthcare sector is usually governed by laws that are more stringent than, for example, retail or logistics. This suggests that all complaints from your customers, especially concerning negative health consequences, should be considered and resolved.

Misusing Consumer Data

Also remember that all data about your customers you collect to provide them with healthcare services should be used only with their consent. In addition, they must be able to request the deletion of personal information and receive the satisfaction of their request within a specified period. Indeed, before the advent of standards such as HIPAA and GDPR, some companies misused personal data for their business needs. However, today, violating these ethics can lead organizations to serious legal problems.

Healthcare Marketing Examples to Inspire You

Along with theoretical materials, we’d like to share real-life examples of successful marketing for healthcare. Perhaps they’ll inspire you to create your win-win promotion strategy.

What is healthcare marketing?

The Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic, which serves patients in 150 countries worldwide, promotes the treatment stories of their patients, as well as their family members and staff, in their blog. In this way, the company demonstrates compassion and adherence to family values. The company also has its own Mayo Clinic Connect online community where members can ask questions, receive and provide support, and share experiences.

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital

As for NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, this organization has used video marketing. With the help of videos, the company’s content makers show the patients’ feedback and how the organization managed to solve their health problems. Thus, the hospital formed evidence of the effectiveness of its services.


UnitedHealthcare’s “We Dare You” marketing campaign has won multiple awards and has become a blueprint for other healthcare companies. United Healthcare regularly featured quizzes, surveys, and giveaways on its website. At the same time, participation needed to be confirmed through the corresponding publication in the patient’s social networks. This approach allowed patients to acquire new healthy habits. As for the company, it significantly expanded the reach of its target audience.

Dana-Farber Brigham & Women’s Cancer Center

Another great campaign from an organization specializing in women’s cancer treatment included credible videos with patients and medical professionals explaining to viewers what can cause them to come to the center and how follow-up treatment will take place if the test results are positive.

Note that this technique was used in conjunction with traditional marketing tools. Thus, this cancer center managed to win the loyalty and trust of its audience.

Tufts Medical Center

Another remarkable marketing technique was implemented by the online community. It focuses on supporting mothers whose children are patients of the Tufts Medical Center. In this way, they managed to bring together people with similar interests and pain points, thus demonstrating their reliability behind the scenes.

Final Thoughts

The healthcare industry has changed radically in recent years. Today, consumers are more actively involved in choosing health and medical services and products than ever before: they try to make informed decisions that could previously be entrusted only to their doctors. The key to this awareness is the internet. That’s why, if you’re in the healthcare sector, you should pay attention to internet marketing tools to attract and retain your target audience. 

You can ask NIX, as seasoned digital marketing experts, to form a comprehensive healthcare marketing strategy for your organization. Moreover, we can provide you with all the necessary means to digitize your company processes, including web and mobile development, if needed, to ensure the long-term sustainability of your business. Feel free to contact us to discuss your business goals in detail and decide on solutions to achieve them.

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