Healthcare digital marketing mistakes

Healthcare digital marketing is complex, with companies navigating an ever-changing world of changing legislation, patient preferences, and digital devices. It’s easy to make mistakes in your digital marketing campaigns for healthcare that can limit their effectiveness and blunt their impact.

From regulatory compliance issues to a lack of personalisation, here are eight digital healthcare marketing mistakes we commonly see businesses making.

Understanding – and avoiding – these eight common mistakes is crucial for any healthcare organisation looking to run effective digital marketing campaigns.

1. Ignoring patient privacy and compliance regulations

One of the most significant challenges in healthcare marketing is protecting patients and adhering to all regulations and legal controls.

It’s vital for healthcare marketers to understand all requirements and ensure that all marketing efforts are compliant. The Government has created a guide for those advertising medicines, which is accessible here.

There are also rules on managing and controlling patient data. It’s vital for healthcare organisations to have robust cybersecurity measures to protect patient information.

Failing to protect patient data can land you in legal problems. It can also quickly destroy trust in your organisation and marketing campaign messaging.

2. Digital marketing without strategy

A common mistake in healthcare digital marketing we often see made by non-specialist agencies is adopting a one-size-fits-all approach. It should be clear to everyone, but our healthcare needs are highly personal, and marketing efforts need to reflect this individuality.

Segmenting your audience based on factors like age, location, and specific health interests is essential for creating relevant and engaging content. The better your audience insights, the more effective and powerful your campaigns will be.

How can you avoid making this mistake? Developing detailed patient personas can significantly improve any digital marketing campaign. Personas help your marketing team and creatives understand the specific needs, behaviours, and concerns of different patient groups. The result is more effective, targeted, and meaningful marketing campaigns.

3. Failing to invest in high-quality content

In the rush to maintain an online presence, healthcare organisations focus on content quantity rather than quality. Of course, as a healthcare content agency, we’d tell you to invest in high-quality, informative, and engaging content – but it’s essential. Focus on publishing and promoting well-researched articles, informative videos, and insightful blog posts that offer value to your audience.

As healthcare organisations, patients will have questions – so answer them! The more effective healthcare content is patient-centred, addressing the issues and questions that matter most to patients, the public, and key stakeholders.

4. Ignoring local SEO

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a core part of digital marketing and content marketing. Ignoring local SEO can impact search engine rankings. Local SEO is vital for service providers, including NHS trusts, doctors, and dentists – but the principles apply to all healthcare providers.

You can learn more in our guide on SEO for doctors.

5. Overlooking mobile optimisation

More and more users prefer mobile browsing, but too many medical websites aren’t optimised for phones and tablets. A website that isn’t optimised for mobile will deliver a poor user experience, which can impact users and SEO.

Ensuring your website performs on mobile is more than responsive design. You need to consider the overall mobile user experience, including navigation, fast loading times, and accessibility. Ensuring every person and patient can access information is critical and part of your legal requirement if you’re an NHS organisation.

6. Failing to use social media effectively

An inconsistent or sporadic social media presence can impact digital marketing engagement and effectiveness. Most healthcare organisations have social profiles but don’t always post regular content that their audience wants to read and respond to.

Healthcare organisations may also be missing out on connecting with all audiences. Different social media platforms cater to different demographics and require unique approaches. For example, a strategy that works on LinkedIn might not be effective on Instagram. We always recommend that clients work to understand the nuances of each platform, developing a targeted approach for each channel.

7. Not tracking metrics or ROI

A campaign with KPIs is a campaign without a purpose.  One of the biggest mistakes we see in healthcare digital marketing is failing to set and track campaign performance.

It’s crazy, because easily accessible analytics tools can help you monitor key metrics like website traffic, conversion rates, and engagement levels. These are essential to measuring the effectiveness of marketing efforts and making data-driven decisions.

As well as missing out KPIs, too many digital marketing campaigns (and agencies) don’t aim to measure ROI. This is a tricky issue, but your KPIs will provide an illustration of impact and a way to establish value.

8. Failing to capture stories

Patient experiences, stories and testimonials are powerful tools in healthcare marketing. Or, if you’re a medical device manufacturer, clinician case studies provide what we in marketing call social proof. It’s the most powerful marketing tool out there as it’s authentic.

We recommend clients capture information, feedback, and insights at every stage of their campaigns. You can engage people directly through social media, surveys, or identifying key stakeholders who can support you.

It’s easier to capture information as you progress through a programme rather than at the end.

We also find that too many healthcare organisations don’t respond to negative feedback.  Ignoring negative reviews can harm the organisation’s image and patient trust, damaging your business more than a single bad review ever could. Reply with honesty and integrity and publicly welcome all types of feedback (good and bad).

Drive improvement in your healthcare digital marketing

Digital marketing isn’t easy, but by recognising and avoiding these common mistakes, you can have an impact.

There’s a tension between compliance and innovation and quality and quantity. Whatever decisions you make should be driven by a strategy that puts people first and is analysed using clear KPIs. Campaigns should be reviewed, refined, and optimised to deliver the best results.

Do all that, and you’ll deliver a digital marketing campaign that drives change.

Healthcare digital marketing with impact

Want to make no mistakes with your healthcare digital marketing and content? Then contact 42group. We’re a team of healthcare specialists ready and waiting to help you with your projects.

Get in touch today.

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