Inbound marketing isn’t the (only) answer for the healthcare industry.
Much of the healthcare industry is tailored to patients; different patients with different diagnoses and different treatment plans. While healthcare companies spend billions of dollars to advertise products to these patients, we’d like to argue that this one-size-fits-all approach isn’t the best way to reach these one-of-a-kind patients and their healthcare concerns. To value the solution you’re providing, a patient has to first understand the condition it targets. This is successfully done through disease awareness campaigns.
Below we explain why awareness campaigns work and the step-by-step process of launching your own patient education campaign.
While a traditional marketing campaign will focus on how your product is the best solution, oftentimes, what’s lacking in a more complex industry like pharmaceuticals, is an understanding of the condition in the first place. A patient may recognize certain symptoms, but oftentimes they are unsure of exactly what their diagnosis is or that a condition related to their symptoms even exists. Even those who are aware of their condition may be searching for emotional and medical support. By marketing to the broader disease state, you’re able to capture both sides of the spectrum, resulting in more site visitors. People are more likely to search for something broad, like “cancer pain” than they are for a specific drug or service.
Without an understanding of the condition or education around it, there is no value for patients in the solution you provide. According to a recent study, 80 percent of online users researched health information online.
When patients search for answers online, they aren’t looking for a product-centric response, they are looking for a patient-centric response. Patients care about what you can provide to them, not why they should buy what you are selling.
The marketing tactics to reach these patients needs to follow this approach, both in the content that is marketed and the channels on which it’s marketed. To be successful, you need to meet patients on channels where they are already engaging and with material that is relevant to them.
For example, sites like WebMD and Mayo Clinic are generally at the top of any health-related search, meaning many patients searching for answers will be visiting them. Surprisingly, many of these sites allow you to advertise related content on their pages. If you’re selling a product targeting breast cancer patients, placing your content on WebMD pages related to symptoms, treatments and general information on breast cancer would be a great way to bring your content to a place where patients are already engaging.
The Strategy Process
This probably comes as no surprise, but patient education campaigns aren’t quick to execute. Months of strategy and prep work went into the campaign we described above. We’re here to help you better and simplify your healthcare marketing efforts, so we put together a little list of tips to get you started.
Do your keyword research.
What are internet users actually searching for? What result are they getting? The first step of any successful digital marketing campaign is knowing your patient’s current challenges and behaviors online. You may be targeting keywords patients should be searching for, but the reality is, they may be missing these terms altogether. Know what your audience is typing into that search box determines where you should be spending your energy and money.
Define your audience personas.
Who are you trying to reach? What influences them? What do they care about? Where do they go for information? Knowing who you are targeting is almost as important as knowing what you are targeting. Market research is a great way to define these personas if you don’t already know who they are. Don’t forget influencer personas like the caregivers of your patients.
Set strong goals.
What are you hoping to achieve? How does that tie to your business goals? Even though an educational campaign is more focused on awareness then leads, you should still set clear, measurable, achievable goals that are established before the campaign begins. This will make it easy to determine what success looks like at the end of the campaign.
Create your tactical plan.
Look at the variety of marketing tactics you (potentially) will use to reach your audience personas. You want to provide them with lots of resources (infographics, videos, blogs, etc.), but you’ll also want to give them the opportunity to convert into leads. Fill the need for information with the ultimate goal being that they will go see a doctor, come visit your practice, buy your product, etc. This step will vary based on who your audience is and what your goals are.
As important as it is to research before you launch, a great awareness campaign is always evolving. If something isn’t working, change it. Listen and learn from your audience’s search habits, concerns, priorities, values and influencers and build a campaign that’s patient-centric, ultimately resulting in an audience that will see value in what you provide.
Partner with Pyxl
Awareness campaigns and inbound marketing strategies both nurture your relationship with patients, but if you’re looking for the most patient-centric option: start a awareness campaign! If you want to learn more about how Pyxl can help build a robust awareness campaign, contact us!
Updated: Apr 13, 2022