Digital Marketing Basics for Healthcare Brands

Healthcare is a constantly evolving field, one that’s often miles ahead of the curve. But when it comes to digital marketing, healthcare brands tend to lag behind those in other industries.

There’s a good reason for this. In marketing their products and services, healthcare brands are bound by strict rules and regulations, like the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

These rules and regulations limit some of the marketing tools available to healthcare brands. As a result, popular digital marketing strategies, such as remarketing lists, are unavailable to healthcare providers.

At the same time, healthcare marketers need to be cautious when adopting new marketing strategies and channels. They simply can’t afford the risk of an accidental HIPAA violation.

Despite these concerns, digital marketing is crucial for healthcare providers. Today, most consumers pick up their smartphone the instant they have questions about healthcare products or services. To reach these consumers, healthcare brands need a robust, comprehensive, and effective digital strategy.

So let’s take a look at how today’s most successful healthcare brands approach digital marketing basics, including PPC, SEO, and social media.

PPC Marketing for Healthcare Brands

Healthcare is one of the toughest verticals in the world of pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. According to one report, healthcare advertisers pay roughly 37% more per click compared to the average advertiser. What’s more, healthcare PPC ads have a lower-than-average click-through rate compared to other industries.

Yet PPC remains an indispensable tool for healthcare marketers. While healthcare leads might cost more, they’re also more valuable than leads in other industries. And even with click-through rates on the low side, roughly 1 billion searchers click on healthcare ads through Google each year.

PPC Tips for Healthcare Providers

Here are some of the ways that healthcare marketers can optimize their PPC efforts:

  • Advertise in the right places. For healthcare providers, this means advertising on Google Ads. Roughly 90% of users turn to Google for healthcare queries.
  • Create a dedicated strategy for mobile devices. According to Google, mobile searchers are much more likely to convert on healthcare-related searches.
  • Take advantage of location targeting. Roughly two-thirds of searchers choose healthcare providers based on the provider’s proximity to their home or workplace.
  • Develop protocols to avoid penalties. Google Ads enforces strict rules on healthcare advertisers, so you’ll need to be careful to avoid getting penalized.

SEO Marketing for Healthcare Brands

Healthcare brands face a unique situation when it comes to search engine optimization. In other industries, brands can generate awareness by targeting broad, informational search terms. But in the medical fields, these search results are more-or-less monopolized by WebMD, the Mayo Clinic, and a handful of other major websites.

Because of this, healthcare brands are better off targeting down-funnel search terms. Don’t optimize content for broad search terms, or informational terms about medical conditions. Instead, focus on specific queries about treatments, services, and providers. If your brand is location based, you should invest heavily in local SEO.

SEO Tips for Healthcare Providers

The following tips and strategies can help healthcare providers make the most of SEO:

  • Create information-rich content. On healthcare searches, users expect clear and detailed answers to their queries, so Google rewards information-rich pages with higher rankings.
  • Tailor content to your local market. Local SEO requires tailoring your content to include geographic keywords and making sure that these terms occur prominently on each page.
  • Invest in local listings management. To make sure that Google displays the right information about your business, you’ll need to make sure this information is consistent across the web.
  • Manage your online reviews. Local search results are largely determined by the volume and quality of your online reviews, so take a proactive approach to review management.

Social Media for Healthcare Brands

Social media’s a bit of an obstacle course for healthcare providers. While users are eager to share content from certain types of businesses, they’re less likely to get excited about content from healthcare brands.

At the same time, healthcare brands face tricky situations in areas like HIPAA compliance and public relations. A social media misstep from a well-meaning intern can have costly consequences, so it’s important that these risks are mitigated.

Despite these challenges, social media can be a gamechanger healthcare providers. Social media’s core strength lies in its ability to showcase the human side of brands and businesses. That’s an especially valuable asset in a field like healthcare, where brands often struggle to build trust and personal relationships with patients.

Social Media Tips for Healthcare Providers

When it comes to social media, healthcare brands can find success with these strategies:

  • Use rigorous social media protocols. Develop rigorous posting protocols with input from legal, PR, and social media experts to minimize the risk of HIPAA violations.
  • Respond promptly to feedback. Take advantage of social media to ensure that users receive timely, accurate responses to any questions, comments, complaints, and feedback.
  • Share advice and raise awareness. Leaning too heavily on promotional content will turn off social media users, so use your platform to promote awareness about topics related to health and well-being.
  • Showcase the people behind your brand. Humanize your brand by using your social media feed to showcase the faces that make up your organization.