For a long time, the healthcare industry relied heavily on in-person marketing tactics. They worked well during a period where the internet was considered a luxury, but in recent years, healthcare marketers have begun specialising in the online market instead.
Despite the healthcare industry’s move over to the online market, however, lots of organizations are still relying on old fashioned techniques. These often cost a lot of money, and could be limiting your exposure to crucial audiences.
This is true especially for millennial audiences and younger, who admit to finding 90% of their healthcare information online.
A lot of these discoveries are made through social media, where healthcare organizations can increase their brand exposure by using free marketing tactics.
In an industry that still lags far behind many others in terms of marketing, however, it can be difficult to know where to start.
Engage With Relevant Online Influencers
In a world where over 50% of the population have access to the internet, there’s a high chance that you will discover a community of people already talking about the condition your healthcare company is aiming to treat.
These days, influencers are taking to their platforms to talk about everything, from chronic and terminal illnesses, to debilitating, life-long disabilities.
By finding and communicating with the frontrunners in your healthcare organization’s field, you are getting your name out there to those who could directly benefit from your services.
Lots of people turn to online communities when healthcare organizations have let them down in the past, so by being there, you can reassure people that they are not alone in their battle, and that you can help them.
For example, if you are a healthcare organisation focusing on the nutrition of people suffering from cancer, you’d want to target communities talking about the subject. You’d want to establish your brand as a place to go for reliable, and educational information that will benefit the community.
Once you establish yourself as a brand to be trusted, people who have lost hope or would prefer to access services online will naturally turn into clients.
Use Interactive Media To Educate
Research into efficient social media marketing is still ongoing, but one thing everyone is sure of is that interactive media is the best way to engage your audience. Infographics and videos will largely increase your engagement rates over text-only posts in most cases.
One of the best ways to market your healthcare organization on social media is to make sure the interactive content you’re putting out there is educational, and speaks to your target audience.
You can do this by providing your audience with facts about the healthcare needs you’re targeting, revealing myths, and reassuring people the seeking help and/or treatment is not something that should be feared.
By providing meaningful, educational content, you are encouraging others to engage by sharing their own experiences.
You will also be inviting them to ask their own questions, giving your healthcare organization the chance to clearly display your expertise.
Create Trendy Content
People are far more likely to engage with content they see as familiar as opposed to content they are seeing for the first time.
This doesn’t mean that you have to copy what other healthcare organizations are doing. Instead, think about the trends, and what angle your organization can take to appeal to these without compromising your brands authenticity.
One of the biggest predicted trends of 2019 in the healthcare marketing niche is wellness.
This can be interpreted in terms of physical and mental health, depending on the target audience you are aiming for and how you present your brand on social media.
Let’s take the cancer healthcare organization example from earlier.
You could promote wellness in a physical manner by promoting the benefits of a nutritious diet on cancer recover. Certain vitamins and minerals can decrease recovery times, and lower the impact of side effects, such as hair loss and malnutrition.
You could also promote wellness in a mental health manner, by explaining how good nutrition during cancer treatment can help you feel better. Eating certain foods, or taking certain supplements, can help with gut health, which makes you feel better and gives you the motivation you need to fight through gruelling treatment.
You could also incorporate a mix of the two, to show your target audience that your healthcare organization really does care about them in a holistic manner.
It wouldn’t be a good healthcare marketing move to start talking about spirituality if you were a cancer-focused organization, however, as this would not fit in with the rest of your marketing.
It may also make your target audience weary of your intentions, and leave them questioning about whether you care about them or the business primarily.
TIP: Healthcare marketing is all about showing your target audience that you care about them as an individual.
Handle Complaints Efficiently and Professionally
Recent research has shown that the amount of people turning towards social media to air their complaints about healthcare organizations continues to grow every year.
Even if you are the best healthcare organization for the niche you are working in, it’s highly likely that you will receive complaints on your social media at some point.
For this reason, how you handle your social media complaints procedure should be a big part of your healthcare marketing plan.
It is incredibly important that your healthcare marketing team get into the habit of replying to messages from unhappy customers quickly, with the aim of solving their issue as efficiently as possible.
It can be disheartening when people are insulting individuals or company practices that you have worked hard on, but you must always remember to remain professional at all times.
This is to make sure that you suitably deal with complaints before the complainant has time to tarnish your organization’s reputation on social media for good.
If you fail to do this, the fallout could be disastrous, and may go on to affect your organization’s business in the long term.
On a more positive note, your response to customer complaints on social media is a marketing tool in and of itself, as it provides an opportunity for you to stand out against your competitors.
By having someone specifically to handle social media complaints as part of your healthcare organizations marketing team, you are clearly telling customers that what they say matters, and that you take feedback more seriously than your competitors.
Going back to what we said at the start of this article about healthcare marketing teams being in their infancy stages, being progressive in this manner would definitely promote your brand as the one to choose in a competitive market.
It also shows that you are active on social media, instead of letting your accounts stagnate like a lot of healthcare organizations continue to do without realising the effect this could be having on them in 2019.