Medical marketing in a digital era takes planning, strategy and coordination. Engaging patients on social media and via blog posts is only a piece of the puzzle.
The National Institutes of Health reports that one-third of adults self-diagnose. Self-diagnosis takes place when patients search the internet for answers to health problems. Your practice has to be found in moments of “self-diagnosis” to compete in healthcare today. Your medical marketing strategy must inspire action among the noise.
To develop a winning medical marketing strategy, begin with identifying your goals. Next, determine the best ways to connect with patients during their micro moments. Lastly, put your medical marketing strategy to work.
How to Identify Your Medical Marketing Goals
Do you know what it takes to build relationships with your patients outside of the office? You have mastered posting links to your blog posts on Facebook, but how often do you send a newsletter? Connecting with patients is the foundation of a winning medical marketing strategy today.
Patients continue to scour medical websites and healthcare sources such as WebMD and MedicineNet for answers. Consider what your practice offers and identify the most common ailments your patients face. Avoid general branding campaigns. Instead, create marketing goals that improve sales for a select service the consumer is searching for. If you are a dental practice, create campaigns that feature invisible braces, fixes for a tooth, or teeth whitening. If you are a veterinarian, identify goals that promote wellness exams and routine healthcare services such as vaccines, dental cleaning, and nail grinding for the life stages of pets.
Identifying a relevant goal that features a tangible service to patients is key. The best way to identify or develop a medical marketing goal is to use the T.O.U.C.H. approach. Consider these questions to determine if your medical marketing goals are relevant to patients today.
T – Tangible. Is your offering tangible? Can your patients see, feel or experience it and gain immediate relief?
O – Outreach. Are you positioned to provide your service to patients during their time of need? For example, are you able to run flu ads during the fall and winter?
U – Unique. Is your approach unique and trustworthy? Have you developed supporting blog posts and collateral to build your credibility?
C – Crisis. Does your service to patients address their needs and pain points? Can you prove it with statistics? Is your service relevant and can you identify why?
H – Hope. As a medical practice, you should always balance sickness and wellness. Ensure that your offer includes hope and peace of mind alongside the pain or ailment.
Understanding Your Patients’ Micro Moments
Patients are self-diagnosing on every device from desktops to smartphones. Google defines micro-moments as a “right now, in the moment” opportunity where the consumer is going to grab whatever device is within reach to fulfill their desire or need. Micro-moments are intent-driven moments of decision-making and preference. Your medical marketing strategy must position your practice to influence these decisions.
The best way to guide and influence healthcare decisions is to offer immediate help. In micro-moments you must identify what patients are looking for. Then provide answers via chat, emails, posts or banner ads. Start by building a content strategy that speaks to the needs of your patients rather than your services. Consider launching an inbound marketing campaign to connect with your patients and build relationships.
Understanding micro-moments means giving your patients the information they seek when they are looking. Within these moments you must engage them and inspire action.
Implementing Your Strategy
The most important part of implementing a medical marketing strategy in a digital era is coordination and planning. Aside from identifying your T.O.U.C.H. goals, you must roll out your strategy in phases.
For example, launching an inbound marketing campaign is contingent upon a successful content strategy. Engaging Facebook posts depend on relevant and trending healthcare topics covered in your blog. Blog posts must live on a modern medical website.
In this digital era, all parts of your strategy are interconnected. Focus on one area or platform too much and you risk the loss of patients. Instead, develop your winning medical marketing strategy to encompass a variety of approaches.
Begin by identifying your T.O.U.C.H. goals and considering patients’ micro-moments. Create a strategy that addresses the self-diagnosis phenomenon and cultivates relationships with your patients. Remember that your strategy should promote a particular service and position your practice as an authority.