Healthcare Marketing: What Is It? Some Advice for Putting Your Practice’s Brand in Place

The digital age is upon us. This fact was highlighted in the healthcare industry by the coronavirus epidemic, as many physicians started using new applications, online scheduling, and virtual appointments. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports that since the start of the epidemic, telehealth use has increased by an estimated 63 times.

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Marketing for healthcare is more crucial than ever. According to a 2020 Accenture survey, 64% of American patients anticipate changing healthcare providers if their present one falls short of their expectations for handling COVID-19-related problems. Virtual appointments and telemedicine are in increasing demand as part of these new expectations.

Among other things, a lot of healthcare providers are figuring out how to best advertise the availability of virtual healthcare delivery. When it comes to patient experience and convenience, a provider with a strong brand and a well-established digital presence will distinguish themselves from the competition. In addition to a friendly office setting, patients want digital experiences like SMS confirmations and easy online booking.

One way to find out more about healthcare marketing and how it relates to public health concerns is to investigate related degree programs, like a Master of Health Administration program.

What Makes Healthcare Marketing Crucial?

When choosing a doctor, most individuals go online, according to PatientPop. Providers who wish to expand must stand out from the competition and have an easily navigable website since patients seem to have an infinite number of possibilities. Here’s where marketing for healthcare services comes in.

Healthcare marketing is a crucial tool for clinics looking to attract new patients and keep their existing ones. It includes everything from search engine optimization and consistent branding to social media, advertisements, and a responsive website.

Additionally, marketing can assist patients stay informed about critical facts. Many hospitals and healthcare facilities used email campaigns and social media to inform their patients about the availability of the first batch of COVID-19 vaccinations. Furthermore, a lot of healthcare websites have launched new sections dedicated to COVID-19 news and details.

During this procedure, federal rules and regulations pertaining to health marketing must be adhered to. Some dos and don’ts for healthcare marketing are outlined by HIPAA, GDPR, and the CAN-SPAM Act:

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA, upholds requirements for information exchange and computerized billing.

The General Data Protection Regulation of the European Union (GDPR) governs the processing of personal data and safeguards the use of patient information by physicians, hospitals, and marketers.

The Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act of 2003, or CAN-SPAM Act, governs emails, including what can be included in them and how patients can choose not to receive them.

Healthcare Marketing Advantages

From a commercial standpoint as well as a means of fostering better patient-provider connections, healthcare marketing offers several advantages. The principal advantages consist of:

expanding a hospital’s or healthcare facility’s reach

Providing patients with real-time access to the most recent news and information

bringing in new patients to a medical center or hospital

Maintaining patient engagement as a retention strategy

Driving higher-quality leads through digital marketing

A Guide to Formulating a Healthcare Marketing Plan

Healthcare businesses can use a variety of marketing methods to maximize their effect.

1. Create a Reliable Branding

The first stage in every marketing endeavor is to develop a genuine and recognizable brand. A brand is an identity or the audience’s perception of a firm that is applied to all marketing initiatives.

A plethora of healthcare alternatives are available to most individuals, most of which have a similar appearance: white coats, smiling physicians, and shining buildings. Finding your audience’s demands and focusing on them might be the first steps in developing a brand. This will form the basis of the brand that faces the outside world. It will also contribute to the organization’s humane appearance.

It is also possible to engage in branding outside of private practices. Hospital branding is crucial and may both attract and keep current patients.

The company’s identity, distinctive qualities, and patient care philosophy should all be emphasized in the branding. Examples of elements that make up a brand identity are the traits of the employees, the office setting, and the patient experience. This enables the brand to be converted into catchphrases and brand mantras, enabling consistent messaging across all marketing initiatives.

2. Construct Adaptable Webpages

Now that a brand has been established, it’s time to put it into practice. Redesigning the website is a good place to start because it’s a crucial component of healthcare marketing.

Most patients, as was already noted, look for their healthcare provider online. This emphasizes how crucial it is to have an accessible, responsive website. When a website is responsive, it has been made mobile-friendly by adjusting its layout and size to match the screen of a smartphone. The user experience is impacted by this.

The way a person engages with a website and the way that website reacts are both included in the user experience. It covers elements like the ease of use, usefulness, language and design tone, loading speed, and the user’s capacity to complete tasks (like making an appointment). A functional website will increase user retention and increase the likelihood that the healthcare organization will acquire the user as a patient.

3. Employ Pay-Per-Ad Search

The majority of customers look for healthcare information via search engines like Google. Reaching a sizable patient base is possible when promoting a business through sponsored search advertisements. You may target a certain audience with pay-per-click advertisements. Ads, for instance, may be sorted based on keywords and region. This helps elevate the company to the top of the search results by limiting the audience to local individuals.

4. Request Reviews

Looking for reviews is a crucial marketing tactic and a part of developing a brand. In order to gauge a healthcare provider’s quality, patients look for ratings and read reviews left by previous clients. Based on their reputation, healthcare providers are more likely to be able to attract new patients if their ratings are positive.

Requesting reviews from patients will increase the organization’s legitimacy. A website should make these reviews easily accessible, and it should also keep an eye on them. Best practices advise being quick to react, empathetic, and encouraging the patient to get in touch with the clinic directly so that the negative review may be taken offline. This demonstrates to the general public that the company is concerned about the experiences of its patients and is committed to improving them. This practice, sometimes referred to as healthcare reputation management, aids in keeping a favorable online business image.

5. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

All hospitals want to show up as the first choice when a local patient searches online for a hospital. But this is no simple task. For instance, a website has to be thoroughly optimized, consistently publish original material, and carefully employ keywords and phrases that are pertinent to patient queries in order to rank highly with Google.

For example, a very competitive search keyword is “COVID vaccination near me.” Hospitals and other healthcare institutions who make the effort to optimize their websites to the fullest extent feasible benefit from naturally ranking highly in search results, which eliminates the need for them to pay for the top place.