No matter what type of business you run in today’s market, one thing is for sure: Marketing is king. In the health sector, nearly 25 percent of all businesses fail in the first two years and 40 percent by the fifth year.
While the healthcare industry shows slightly better numbers than other companies, the risks are still high. This is why your healthcare marketing strategy is so important to the success of your business.
You have to show people that you exist in their community. They need to know who you are, where you are, and most importantly, what you have to offer.
Keep reading for some useful information on healthcare marketing. Learn how to make an impact and get your name out there in the community.
1. Make your website user-friendly
First of all, you need to embrace the digital world of marketing. You may not know where to start, but it is vital for your operation.
People are very careful about who they trust for their health. They will conduct hours of independent research before deciding which facility to use as a primary care center. If you don’t have an online presence, they’ll never even know you exist.
Start by creating a user-friendly, clean, and visually appealing website. It also needs to run smoothly and quickly – people are used to instant gratification when it comes to the internet and will expect nothing less from your website. Finally, make sure it’s intuitive and easy to navigate, while being optimized for mobile devices.
If you don’t know how to build a website, hire the job. This is an area where you absolutely need to invest some development money because the website will be the virtual face of your business.
2. Perfect your SEO strategy
One of the most important healthcare marketing strategies directly related to your website is SEO marketing. SEO or search engine optimization refers to the algorithm used by various search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo!) to find relevant information based on a user’s keyword search. The quality of your SEO determines how quickly and easily a user will find your website.
You can increase your SEO score by including a blog on your site full of informative and relevant articles. You should also use keywords in these articles that users would use to search. Include internal links to other pages on your website as well as external links to source pages for statistics and other data.
Then make sure that all the different forms of media (headers, images, videos, photos) are embedded with metadata. And finally, make sure your contact details and address are in at least one location on your site.
3. Team up with a local charity
Another healthcare marketing tactic is to get involved in your community for the greater good (with the added bonus of advertising your business).
Connect with a local charity and plan a fundraising event for it. It could be a 5 km run, silent auction, art gala, concert, etc.
Contact other local businesses to gather sponsors to increase funds for the event. These funds can be used for entertainment, food, room expenses, etc.
Then start building hype around the event months in advance via social media, radio, newspapers, etc. Make sure the charity and other sponsors do the same. You want to involve as many people as possible in the community.
4. Make your name known to the community
However, there are other ways to get your name out there in the community besides organizing charity events. Brand recognition and familiarity is the key to success. Your business should be well known in your city.
This healthcare marketing technique requires the use of good, old-fashioned advertising. Take out newspaper ads, pay for airtime on local radio stations, create a TV ad, and send out flyers using a direct mail company.
The more people hear, see and read your name, the more your healthcare business will become a staple in the community.
5. Post reviews and testimonials
As we suggested above, people do extensive research when it comes to choosing a healthcare provider. This is of course a good thing for the patient. However, you can also use it to your advantage.
On your website, social media accounts, and through review entities (Yelp, Google), post reviews and testimonials from former patients and / or customers. Let their positive experiences advertise for you. Not only is this ad free, it’s also incredibly compelling.
Reviews and testimonials are huge for your business.
6. Maintain an active presence on social media
Social media is a major component of our modern existence. With billions of users around the world, it’s also a great platform for marketing. You can use social media to follow up, advertise, post information, etc.
However, you can’t just create an account, let it sit, and expect it to generate business for you. You must have an active presence.
Post engaging content (articles, photos, videos, memes). Give people a reason to follow you and participate in your posts by liking, sharing, commenting, etc. Plus, think outside the box by hosting contests, raffles, and giveaways that encourage people to spread your name and bring you more followers.
7. Build affiliate relationships with local businesses
Finally, as a healthcare provider, you are in a unique position which offers you a wide world of affiliate partnerships. Reach out to other local businesses that you think you can build mutually beneficial relationships with. It could be a natural supplement company, a fitness center, or an insurance company that you give health insurance tracks.
The key is to find companies that deal with similar aspects of consumption. You send businesses as they please and vice versa. You can offer a business commission for any clients you get or advertise for them in your establishment, etc.
Want to learn more about healthcare marketing?
The world of healthcare marketing is large and diverse. There is not necessarily a right or wrong method of advertising. It ultimately depends on your business, your target audience, and the skills you bring to the table.