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Healthcare Marketing Guide

Everything You Need to Know About Healthcare Marketing

Today, it is crucial for healthcare businesses to keep up with the latest media and marketing trends, retain existing patients, and educate and reach out to new ones. Healthcare marketing helps you stand out and flourish as competition grows.

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1. What is Healthcare Marketing?

Healthcare marketing is an approach used by healthcare practices to retain existing patients, attract new patients, and keep patients informed about their products and services. Healthcare businesses use communication strategies, channels, and offline/online tactics to provide timely information to the public, drive engagement, and increase overall growth and profits. Metrics like marketing‘s return on investment (ROI) and key performance indicators (KPIs) measure the success of a good healthcare marketing strategy.

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2. Why is Healthcare Marketing Important?

The healthcare industry is undergoing a transformation. Unlike traditional times, patients are more involved in their care than ever before. Earlier, healthcare providers made major key decisions. These days, patients have a larger role to play in decision-making along their healthcare journey. With the changing dynamics of the healthcare industry, ensuring timely delivery of information to patients and keeping them informed has become the focus.

With the rise of the internet, everyone relies on search engines like Google to find answers to all their health-related inquiries. That is why healthcare practices need to have strong healthcare marketing strategies to cater to this ever-changing health industry and offer customers the right information. With the competitive nature of the healthcare industry, marketing in healthcare helps your health system increase its visibility on social media platforms and search engines. This not only gives you a better position in the industry but also allows customers to connect and engage with your system. It also helps in making sure your existing patients keep returning to you.

3. Benefits of Healthcare Marketing

With the help of healthcare marketing, healthcare services can create and execute personalized marketing strategies or campaigns for their target patients based on actions, behavior, location, and online interests. There are a variety of analytic tools available that make these campaigns trackable. You can study the results and optimize your ROI accordingly to scale your practice. Here are some great ways healthcare practices can benefit from healthcare marketing:

  • Grow Your Patient Base – With the help of online and offline strategies, marketing in healthcare helps attract new patients and convert them into potential leads. Healthcare marketing also helps drive potential customers by targeting demographics, gender, age, area of interest, and more.
  • Increased Visibility – Healthcare marketing has come a long way since the days when advertising was done via coupon mailers or word of mouth. With the rise of the internet and social media, all this has changed. Today, most marketing is done via online channels. Search engines and social media platforms are where people spend most of their time, including potential patients looking for healthcare services. Healthcare marketing uses strategies to increase your visibility on search engines and social media to reach out to more people.
  • Promotion of Products and Services – With the help of strategies like social media, email marketing, content marketing, SEO, video marketing, and digital ads, healthcare services can feature and promote all their products and services to a diverse group of audiences.
  • Enhanced Patient Experience and Patient Retention – In the current digital age, healthcare marketing proves to be effective in building a relationship with patients and keeping them engaged with timely and personalized outreach. Strengthening patient portals, efficient patient journey mapping, reviews and referrals, and social media campaigns are all extremely useful in enhancing the patient’s journey with your practice and ensuring they keep returning for your services.

4. Digital Marketing vs. Traditional Healthcare Marketing

In recent years, digital marketing has become much cheaper and more effective than traditional marketing tactics like print marketing. Here are some ways that digital marketing differs from traditional healthcare marketing:

  • Cost – Digital marketing is more cost-effective as compared to traditional marketing. Social media platforms are free - all you need to do is maintain and monitor each social media channel. Online tools for services like SEO, email marketing, analytics, CRM, etc. are also reasonably priced and are lucrative in the long run.
  • Tracking and analytics – The best thing about digital marketing is that every campaign you run can be individually tracked, measured, and analyzed. Different analytic tools allow you to monitor all aspects of your campaign, from the number of visitors on your website to the number of converted leads. This helps you understand customer behavior and measure your results. This ease of tracking results is what is missing in traditional marketing.
  • Wider reach –Digital marketing helps you reach out to a wider audience, going beyond a local or regional audience. You can create customized campaigns catered to a specific location, age group, gender, areas of interest, or even a particular treatment or symptom.
  • Higher Customer Engagement – Using social media platforms, you can socialize and engage with your patients – news ones and existing ones. Whether it is via social media posts and comments, stories, or emailers, you can use various channels to connect with your target audience and build a long-lasting relationship with them.
  • Builds reputation – Word on the internet spreads faster than word of mouth! With the help of online marketing, you can enhance your online reputation in the form of positive reviews and referrals, thereby increasing your patient base, and carving a niche in the industry.

Understanding HIPAA Compliance and Healthcare Marketing

For all healthcare practices, it is crucial to have a good understanding of the HIPAA legislation. Passed by the U.S Congress in 1966, HIPAA (Health Information Portability and Accountability Act) “provides data privacy and security provisions for safeguarding medical information.”

This act aims to protect patient information, such as photos, names, addresses, and IP addresses. As per HIPAA, hospitals and healthcare providers require written authorization by a patient before they can market their services or products outside of a patient’s treatment. Healthcare marketers must ensure compliance with HIPAA when using any information on websites, social media platforms, digital assets, patient testimonials, etc.

Essential Healthcare Marketing FAQs

There are four main technology platforms that healthcare services need. Firstly, an HCRM (Healthcare Customer Relationship Management) platform to collate patient data from different sources, which helps personalize marketing outreach, and optimizes and tracks multichannel healthcare campaigns. A Content Management System (CMS) platform to market healthcare content. Thirdly, marketing automation software to analyze leads and campaign performances, and lastly, an Engagement Center for efficient inbound and outbound calling.

Potential barriers in healthcare marketing include outdated technology, outdated strategies, and inadequate budget. The key is for marketers to keep evolving with the changing times and remain updated on the latest digital trends and channels.

Every marketing campaign has potential risks. The key to reducing risks is to plan a marketing strategy based on tactics that efficiently utilize factors like strengths and weaknesses, geography, and specialty. Analyze the marketing outcomes of other healthcare organizations and learn from them. Track and monitor all your campaigns carefully and avoid putting a huge amount of money into any campaign without prior testing.

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