Buyer Personas for Healthcare Digital Marketing
In the realm of healthcare digital marketing, it’s incredibly important to define your “healthcare buyer personas” before diving headfirst into a full-fledged digital or inbound marketing campaign.
But, first things first: if you’re unclear about what a buyer persona is, let us define it for you.
Buyer Persona: a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer, based on the research you conduct on your current customer base and target audience. Buyer personas should include demographics, goals, needs, pain points, and behavior.
In the healthcare industry, your organization might have a variety of different personas, from patients to healthcare providers and caregivers. Within each general persona group, your organization probably focuses on a specific segment – such as patients with asthma or healthcare providers specializing in cancer treatment. As such, when creating your buyer personas, it’s important to get as detailed as possible.
Additionally, you’ll want to make sure you’re honing in on those you actually want as patients or customers – for example, don’t create a persona that represents patients with COPD if your practice is only equipped to treat patients with minor asthma and allergy conditions.
Let’s take a look at a sample persona – we’ll call him Asthma Aaron. In order to build out the Asthma Aaron persona, you need to define the following:
- Possible objections
- How your organization can help
In the case of Asthma Aaron, think about your current patients who have asthma:
- Demographics: How old are they? Where do they live?
- Goals: What type of treatment are they looking for?
- Challenges: Do they have trouble getting their office visits covered by insurance? Do your appointments book up far in advance? Can they afford the medications you prescribe?
- Possible objections: “I don’t like going to the doctor,” “The medication I’ve been prescribed in the past is too expensive/makes me feel tired,” “I can’t afford all of the doctor visits.”
- How your organization can help: Provides an exceptional patient experience, works with each patient to prescribe cost-effective medication that works for them, works with each patient’s insurance company, and provides up-front information to patients who will have to pay more due to their insurance coverage.
In addition to thinking about your current patients, conduct research on your target audience. Oftentimes, your target audience may be different than your current patient persona, especially if you’re trying to move into an untapped or underserved market.
Start with keyword research, as this will help you figure out your target audience’s goals and pain points. What are they searching for online? A patient with asthma might be searching “non-prescription remedies for asthma” as opposed to “asthma treatment.” Figuring out what they’re searching for will also help you as you move into content creation. Long-tail keywords should be less competitive, and once you’ve defined them, you can create content based on them. The more content you create, the higher the likelihood of your practice getting found by your target personas.
Your keyword research will also impact your website design. Building a responsive website that speaks to your personas is critical to the livelihood of any healthcare organization these days.
Creating buyer personas is an incredibly important aspect of your overall digital and inbound marketing program – how can you reach your ideal audience if you’re unsure of exactly who they are? Instead of going in blindly and pushing out content that your audience may or may not care about, once you have a good picture of who you want to target, you’ll be able to create personalized content and develop a patient- or customer-centric inbound marketing program. Take the time to learn about your target audience first and you’ll find success comes more quickly and costs less in the long run!
Interested in learning more about digital marketing in healthcare and its many different aspects? Take a look at how to create an effective healthcare marketing campaign to get started.
Updated: Sep 15, 2020