There is no point in spending money on healthcare marketing if you aren’t seeing a return on your investment (ROI). So, the challenge becomes figuring out what your ROI really is by evaluating what is working and what’s not, and then perpetually tweaking your marketing approach so you see the maximum return possible.
If you are tying up the loose ends on your 2014 marketing budget, the following tips can help you figure out where your healthcare practice will yield the most bangs for its bucks.
- Hire a professional. As Cindy Wright says in her article in Healthcare Finance News, “Determining the right mix of strategies and tactics to deliver the best ROI can be overwhelming.” Digital marketing is no longer as simple as having a website and a weekly blog. It is a multi-faceted machine that requires a multi-faceted approach. It takes expertise, a willingness to keep abreast of the ever-changing digital and social media platforms, and the ability to strategize and keep track of analytics, benchmarks, and metrics. Your business is taking care of patients and very few healthcare facilities have the in-house ability to manage a full-time healthcare marketing campaign. Investing in a professional digital marketing team will let you get back to what you do best – caring and healing – and let’s the professionals do what they do best – knowing how to build your brand and develop a online presence that will allow your practice to grow.
- Know what you’re measuring. As we mentioned above, optimizing your online presence is a multi-faceted process. It requires having a fluent knowledge of:
- Website design
- Content development
- Pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns
- Email marketing
- Whatever new social media trends hit the scene
Each of these areas needs to be leveraged to your business’s best advantage while ensuring that the money you’re investing is resulting in increased profits. In order to make sure this is true, you need to know how to measure your ROI. Says Stewart Gandolf, quoted in Medical Economics, “To keep spending money and hoping it works out is clueless.” You need to have stated, concrete, specific goals when you begin your healthcare marketing campaigns, and then you have to have the means to measuring your gains and losses. This is another area where professionals come in handy.
3.Optimize your content marketing. There is no doubt that PPC campaigns are essential. Even so, organic content is vitally important to the growth of your business. Search engines are constantly changing their algorithms to get ahead of those who are playing “dirty SEO” games so that high-quality, engaging, and informational content will be able to rise to the top of the ranks. Your web content and regular blogging are an intrinsic part of brand development, and will keep your website visible in multiple locations in search engine results, which lends your brand more credibility.To get the most from your content marketing, always write with a consistent and unique voice. You can re-purpose anything that appears on your website and blog via various social media outlets to stretch the content further. Also, make it easy for your prospective patients to get in touch with you via landing pages, special offers, webinars or online hangouts, etc.
4.Understand the importance of social media. Social media is where the bulk of online conversations are happening and they are changing the course of business history. Your posts, combine with patients’ posts, can make or break your business. Learning how to optimize the myriad of social media platforms to your advantage is Step 1. But, equally important is knowing how to leverage these platforms when the not-so-good things happen, like an angry patient rant that goes viral. Balancing both the offensive and defensive angles of social media will go a long way towards developing a reputable and consistent brand.
5. Über-smart pay-per-click campaigns. PPC is a powerful healthcare marketing tool but it can also be money down the drain if you aren’t ultra-savvy about how you implement it. Not to keep hounding on the “hire professionals” door, but this is one area where you really want to do your homework before jumping in on your own. You must choose the exact right phrases and invest the exact right amount of money, however, when PPC campaigns are run successfully, you will see instant results.
It’s true that online marketing has created a cost-effective way to reach millions of customers in a range of geographic locations. But it’s only cost-effective if the money you are putting into the healthcare marketing pot yields a profitable outcome. Taking the time to hire the right marketing team, plan your strategies, leverage all of your digital options to your best advantage and then measuring the results are essential steps to optimize the ROI from your marketing dollars.