Promote a healthcare company: 42group’s guide

How to build a healthcare marketing strategy

Promoting a healthcare company combines a wide range of activities that include content marketing, digital marketing, and community engagement alongside traditional marketing channels to build human connections. In this article, we will explore the challenges involved in promoting a healthcare business and opportunities to use marketing techniques to deliver a competitive advantage.

In this guide to promoting healthcare companies, we will work through the stages you need to create a strategy. We’ll also link to some core resources available on the 42group website. 

In this guide to promoting a healthcare company, we focus on commercial companies involved in promoting services, products, treatments, or solutions to healthcare providers or directly to patients. It all begins with a deep understanding of your core audience, so that’s where we’ll start.

Understanding your audience

The key to successful healthcare marketing is understanding who your audience is. Audience identification involves a deep dive into demographics, psychographics, and the specific healthcare needs of the people you want to connect with.

Here are some of the things to consider when building audience insights:

  • Demographic targeting: Demographics are the key characteristics that group your audience together. We can include details of age, gender, location, and even income levels of your target audience. 
  • Psychographic segmentation: In this section, you can explore the lifestyle, values, and attitudes of your audience. Are they tech-savvy individuals who prefer digital health solutions, or do they value a more traditional approach? This information will help you shape campaigns around their content and communication preferences.
  • Needs-based segmentation: If you’re targeting patients or people with specific conditions, this would be included as a demographic characteristic. A healthcare company specialising in diabetes care will want to target individuals searching for diabetes management, for example. Medical companies promoting products should develop detailed need-based segmentation analyses to inform their campaigns.

Identifying your audience is a critical part of every strategy and essential to an effective campaign. We’d go as far as saying that the more comprehensive your audience identification and targeting, the more impact your campaign will have. The audience information you have will influence every aspect of your marketing strategy, including healthcare content creation, community engagement activity, and partnership development.

Key takeaways: Understanding Your Audience

  • Identify target demographics and build detailed customer personas.
  • Use personas to tailor messages to different audience segments.
  • The more effective your audience segmentation, the better your campaigns will be.

Building your strategy: Channel selection

Once you’ve developed your personas, you can begin the process of channel selection. This is a strategic way to identify the channels you use to connect with your core audience. 

Each healthcare company must match the channels with their audience. For example, investing in digital marketing makes sense for a medtech startup, but will be less of a priority for a community organisation targeting older people who need their services.

We’ve split the marketing information into the following categories:

  • Digital marketing
  • Content marketing
  • Community engagement
  • Partnerships and networking
  • Patient testimonials
  • Traditional marketing channels

Digital marketing 

Digital marketing is a core part of every healthcare company’s promotional plan. Healthcare digital marketing combines a range of activities, including optimising your website, search engine optimisation, and social media engagement.

  • Website optimisation: Your website is often the first point of contact for potential patients, customers, or stakeholders. Can they access all the information they need? Website optimisation ensures your website delivers a positive and rewarding user experience for your audience. You’ll want to ensure your healthcare website is user-friendly, mobile-responsive, and provides all the necessary information about your services. Accessibility is critical, especially for patient-focused sites. It’s important that your website is easy to navigate for all users, including those with disabilities.
  • Search engine optimisation (SEO): As part of your plan to promote a healthcare company, you should Implement healthcare SEO best practices to improve your website’s visibility in search engine results. This includes using relevant keywords, improving site speed, and producing quality content that addresses common health queries related to your services. If you’re offering services to a specific area, check out our local SEO guide for doctors (and other healthcare businesses). 
  • Pay-per-click (PPC): PPC advertising is essential for healthcare companies that want to rapidly increase visibility, get clicks, and capture market share. At 42group, we help healthcare companies create, manage, measure, and analyse campaigns on Google and Bing. As well as search ads, this includes retargeting which can ensure your ads are seen whatever sites your audience is accessing.
  • Social media marketing: Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram offer a way to engage directly with patients. LinkedIn is a professional social media network that can connect you with key stakeholders, industry leaders, and influencers. You’ll need to develop content, but don’t simply promote your product or business. Instead, provide value by sharing health tips, company news, and patient success stories to build trust and establish a community around your brand. Remember, each social media platform caters to a different demographic, so always tailor and target content. 
  • Email marketing: Personalised email campaigns can be an effective approach to community building and marketing. Build your distribution list and use segmentation to send relevant information to different groups – for instance, seasonal allergy advice to patients that you know are experiencing this issue.

Key takeaways: Digital marketing strategies

  • Invest in optimisation for healthcare websites.
  • Work with a healthcare SEO company to increase your online profile and presence.
  • Understand the importance of targeted content and channel selection in the effective use of social media in healthcare.
  • Don’t forget traditional approaches like email marketing campaigns and digital newsletters.

Content Marketing

Healthcare content marketing isn’t just about promoting services; it’s about providing value through information and education. Effective content marketing uses a variety of channels to educate and inform your core audience with valuable information that improves how they work and live.

Healthcare content marketing can also have a positive impact on SEO, and social media engagement – delivering significant benefits for your overall business.

Here are some of the content marketing activities you should consider when promoting a healthcare company:

  • Educational blog posts and Articles: Aim to regularly publish articles that answer common health questions, provide wellness tips, and discuss the latest advancements in healthcare. 
  • Invest in varied content: Blog posts are a great start, but you’ll want to deliver more, including whitepapers, how-to guides, FAQs, and more. 
  • Video content: Videos and animations are powerful tools, especially for explaining complex health topics in an easy-to-understand manner. You could create explainer videos, virtual tours of your facility, or patient testimonial videos.
  • Brochures and informational pamphlets: Printed collateral can be particularly effective for providing patients with useful information about your product, services, or solutions. Printed materials are primarily used to engage patients, but can be effective as point-of-sale material and promotional content for key stakeholders and potential clients. 

At 42group, it’s our job to develop creative content ideas. It takes creativity, an understanding of your audience, and a journalistic eye for a story. It’s taken us years to develop these skills, but we’ve pretty much given it all away for free in this blog post on coming up with creative healthcare content ideas

Content creation is a way to engage your audience and build trust in your business, brand, service, or product. The benefits of content marketing can take time to realise, but the investment you make in content will pay you back (if you’re doing the right things!).

Key takeaways: Healthcare content marketing

  • Focus on providing informative and engaging content.
  • Create blogs and articles, but don’t forget the importance of video content and its impact.
  • Capture all activity in a content calendar.

Community engagement and outreach

Building a strong presence in your local community is essential for healthcare companies of all sizes and in all sectors. Of course, it’s particularly important to doctors and dentists, but medical device companies, pharmaceutical businesses, and medtech should all invest in community engagement and outreach. 

  • Collaborations with community organisations: Healthcare companies should explore whether they can partner with schools, non-profits, and other community organisations to enhance visibility and reach a broader audience.
  • Patient education programmes: Many healthcare companies offer programmes that educate patients on managing their health conditions. This not only helps to increase patient retention but also improves health outcomes with products, treatments, and solutions. 
  • Working with charities: Medical companies should always work with relevant charities where possible. Charities provide validation among your core audience and can facilitate your access to patients and key stakeholders. 
  • Accessing online communities: More and more patients are connecting online through social media groups, forums, and other online communities. It can be challenging for a private healthcare company to access these communities, but it’s worth persevering. Even if you use them for social listening, they’re highly valuable. 

Key takeaways: Community engagement and outreach

  • Invest in collaborations with community organisations.
  • Patient education programmes are a great way to validate your brand. 
  • Work with charities in your area.
  • Attempt to access online communities if possible (and it’s ethical and appropriate to do so).

Partnerships and networking

Building strategic partnerships and networks is a pivotal aspect of healthcare marketing. You’ll want to identify key partners and influencers and approach them with an appealing offer to get involved with your healthcare company. 

Partnerships and collaborations aren’t always free, particularly with money-motivated influencers, but if it gets you closer to your core audience, it’s an investment worth making. 

  • Collaborating with healthcare providers: Healthcare companies should attempt to form alliances with other care providers, including specialists, clinics, and hospitals. These partnerships ensure that your core messaging is promoted to patients but also influences key stakeholders in the healthcare industry.
  • Networking with healthcare influencers: Healthcare influencers and thought leaders have huge power in online communities. It’s not an exaggeration to say that their endorsements can greatly enhance your credibility and visibility in the healthcare space. Choose your influencers wisely, and identify individuals that share your morals, ethics, and approach to healthcare support.

Key takeaways: Partnerships and networking

  • Collaborating with other healthcare providers can be highly successful in brand building, patient engagement, and stakeholder influencing.
  • Consider building relationships with healthcare influencers to reach your core audience.

Using patient testimonials and case studies

This won’t work for start-ups, but established healthcare companies should make full use of patient testimonials and case studies. These are powerful tools in healthcare marketing, providing real-life examples of the effectiveness of your product, services, or solution. 

  • Success stories: Share stories of patients who have had positive experiences with your product, services, or solution. In addition to building trust among your core audience, it provides a human face to your communications, content, and marketing.
  • Encourage reviews: Reviews provide your audience with transparent, honest and (in some cases) brutal feedback about your healthcare business. While we’re not sure about the NHS adopting ratings and reviews, it does provide transparency. Whenever you encourage reviews, always monitor them and reply to them all – whether they’re good or bad.
  • Case studies: Detailed case studies showcase your expertise and the quality of care you’re providing. We love case studies, as they serve as an excellent tool for educating potential patients about what they can expect when they work with you. They’re packed full of information, but they’re all about generating excitement about what it is your healthcare company does.

Whenever you’re dealing directly with patients, there are ethical considerations. You must always obtain consent from patients before sharing their stories and be mindful of patient privacy laws. Always anonymise personal information to maintain confidentiality and protect data.

Key takeaways: Using patient testimonials and case studies

  • Harness the power of success stories, reviews, and case studies.
  • Be mindful of ethical considerations and protect patient privacy.

Traditional marketing channels

We’ve focused heavily on digital marketing for healthcare companies, but you should never forget the tried and tested traditional marketing channels. Traditional marketing channels still hold significant value, especially in reaching certain demographics. Advertising providers are able to give all clients a detailed breakdown of key metrics and target demographics;

  • Print media advertising: Local newspapers and magazines can be effective advertising channels, especially for reaching an older demographic who may not be as active online.
  • Television and radio ads: TV and radio are increasingly affordable and can be useful for reaching a broader audience, especially in areas or among demographics with lower internet penetration.

Traditional media advertising requires specialist expertise. We recommend that all our clients work with a media buying specialist to work out the most effective advertising mix for each campaign. This can actually save you significant amounts of money as they can negotiate better deals and larger discounts.

Key takeaways: Traditional marketing channels

  • Print media, television, and radio advertising are all effective ways to reach your target audience.
  • Work with an advertising specialist to balance budget control with exposure. 

Evaluating marketing strategies 

A core part of your strategy should include details on how yuo will measure campaign impact (KPIs) and calculate ROI. The best healthcare marketers (or healthcare marketing agencies, like 42group) continuously evaluate and refine marketing strategies to ensure campaigns will connect with your core audience.

  • Analytics and feedback: Use tools like Google Analytics to track the performance of your online marketing campaigns. Work with a specialist to identify the key metrics that matter and capture these in a dashboard for easy access.
  • Continuous improvement: Always stay up-to-date with the latest marketing trends and adapt your strategies in response. Be open to experimenting with new marketing channels and techniques to reach your audience. 
  • Return on investment (ROI): Always measure the ROI of your marketing campaigns. The old-fashioned way is to take sales growth from campaign costs, but we’re more sophisticated in 2023. This will help you understand which strategies are cost-effective and ensure you’re making data-informed decisions. 

Key takeaways: Evaluating marketing strategies

  • Measure campaign performance using analytics and generating feedback.
  • Create an easy-to-understand dashboard that collates key metrics.
  • Ensure continuous improvement and adaptation to keep your campaigns sharp.

Promote your healthcare company: Wrap up

Successful healthcare marketing campaigns are all about building trust, educating your audience, and providing value. It’s about promotion, but you can achieve more through healthcare digital and content marketing and traditional advertising approaches. 

By creating a strategy that’s 100% focused on your audience, healthcare companies like yours can enhance visibility and significantly improve customer engagement and satisfaction.

The core of healthcare marketing is about connecting with people – understanding their needs, and providing solutions that improve their health and well-being. Achieve that, and you’ll be successful in promoting your healthcare company.

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