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3 Ways to Use Inbound Marketing in Healthcare Industry Campaigns

July 17, 2017

By Jessica Vionas-Singer

Citing a report by Econsultancy with Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide and OgilvyRed, an article in Medical Marketing & Media stated that only 5 percent of manager-level marketers employed by healthcare organizations identify as “digital-first” marketing departments.

“Healthcare still follows the pattern that it's slow to change,” said Stefan Tornquist, one of the report's authors. Supporting this statement, a full third of respondents in the survey said that “regulatory concerns and compliance significantly limited their digital marketing capabilities.”

The authors conclude, “On one hand, the study indicates an industry with more questions than answers, a gap in technology and a need for talent. On the other [hand], healthcare marketers are investing in technology and committed to becoming more responsive, flexible and digital.”

If you are ready to take the leap, there are three different ways to use inbound marketing in healthcare industry campaigns.


1. Go All in

Given that SmartBug is in the business of inbound marketing, it’s probably logical that “going all in” would be our first (and primary) recommendation. Inbound marketing has revolutionized the world and represents a key departure from the old, interruptive way of doing things.

Inbound marketing has a lot of components and moving parts. “Going all in” will likely include at least some (if not all) of the following:

  • Brainstorming, strategizing, and setting goals for your various campaigns  
  • Creating, verifying, and utilizing buyer personas
  • Researching and targeting keywords that your inbound marketing will use
  • Updating, focusing, and continually evolving your website with a keen eye for conversions
  • Performing SEO updates to make sure no page performance issues are present
  • Defining full conversion paths from CTAs to landing pages to confirmation emails
  • Writing, editing, and rewriting blog posts, ebooks, articles, infographics, emails, case studies, and more
  • Developing lead nurturing paths to reach leads as they move down the funnel
  • Engaging on social media with people in your space
  • Measuring, analyzing, and tweaking campaigns for optimum results

We have some great blog posts on inbound marketing for healthcare industries. Check out:

2. Mix It in

Some healthcare organizations aren’t quite ready to give up their outbound ways. That’s okay. The questions then become “What makes sense for our organization?” and “What can we implement now versus later?” Don’t feel as though you have to tackle everything tomorrow, especially with limited resources and budget.

A few questions to ask as you start to mix in some inbound marketing:

  • Which current tactics are showing results? Do those results line up with our goals?
  • Which initiatives are “sacred cows” and cannot be removed? Which things does our salesforce rely on? Which line items are core to our efforts and set up other items for success?
  • Which inbound components can we start with? How can we start to wrap these principles into other initiatives? How can we use what we’re currently doing in other ways?

Tradeshows_and_Inbound_Marketing.jpgI remember a few jobs ago—when I started at the company, we were attending six to eight trade shows every year. We tracked and measured the results for a year and realized that trade shows had a very high cost per lead for this organization, and those efforts could be spent elsewhere. We asked ourselves and determined that there was really only one show we HAD to be at, and the rest could be cut. That freed up the team to focus on developing a new blog and monthly webinars.

3. Dip Your Toes in the Water

Some organizations are not ready for “mixing it in,” and that’s okay too. It might make sense to start small and get a few wins where you can before biting off more.

Ideas for quick wins include:

  • Spending about half an hour or so a day on social media sharing content and replying to comments
  • Researching LinkedIn Groups that appeal to your target market and asking colleagues to join these groups
  • Developing more awareness and consideration blog posts into the mix of decision-stage content
  • Doing some research on technology that enables inbound marketing
  • Taking stock of content that the company already has, mapping it into buyer personas and buyer journey stages, and starting to think about how offers could be repurposed
  • Examining your website (and homepage) with a critical eye for conversion opportunities


Whether you are ready to “go all in,” “mix it in,” or “dip your toes in the water,” start today! Inbound marketing in the healthcare industry is ripe for conquest.



Refine your inbound marketing efforts with:

The Ultimate Guide to Inbound Marketing Personas

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Topics: Inbound Marketing, Marketing Strategy, Digital Strategy