By Carly Ries
With how broad of a category the healthcare industry is, and with the amount of content that is being published about the industry on a daily basis, it can seem impossible to get your message out their for the world to see. For any professional in the industry, how to get your products and services in front of the right people may seem like a daunting task. So how do you go about it? The answer: inbound marketing.
What is inbound marketing you ask? Inbound marketing is a data-driven approach to marketing that attracts individuals to your brands and converts them into leads, and eventually customers. Below are five healthcare marketing strategies that will help you convert your website visitors into qualified leads.
Know Your Audience
Don’t take this first step lightly. With the wide array of audiences in this field you need to know if you should be targeting patients, clinicians, IT companies, etc. You need to develop a buyer persona that can help you focus your marketing efforts and understand your audience. Helpful hints to get you started on creating these personas include:
Interviewing current customers/patients to understand their likes/dislikes of your products and services
Trying to find any trends in your contact database from your previous marketing efforts
Conducting online research to figure out their interests, what social media groups they’re a part of, where they hang out online, and so on.
Once the persona(s) has been developed, it’s time to start marketing.
Be the King of Content and SEOIf you’re like me, the first thing you do when you come down with some sort of ailment is go straight to Google orWebMD (no matter how many times people tell you not to). Why do you go there? Because you know you’ll find some sort of content you’re looking for that will answer your question. Don’t you want your future customers to look at you the same way? Be the person in your field that comes up at the top of the search results, because the odds of somebody clicking on your content drops significantly if it isn’t on the first page of Google. In fact, 75% of search engine users never scroll past the first page of search results. Below are some tips to get started:
Start blogging: Blogs give websites on average 434% more indexed pages and 97% more indexed links. The more you blog, the better your odds of a search engine boosting your ranking. In addition, blogging is a way to establish yourself as an industry expert. The more knowledge you can give people, the more they’ll trust you, and eventually buy from you. Note: remember your buyer persona when writing these posts. If you’re targeting the business side of the industry, you probably don’t need to get into clinical data details from medical journals. Know the tone your audience prefers.
Conduct keyword research: To help optimize your blogs for SEO, it’s imperative that you conduct keyword research to discover which keywords can most easily be crawled by search engines that you can include within your posts. Be careful though, if you use a keyword too frequently or if it is obvious you're including the keyword just for SEO purposes, your site will be flagged as potential spam. Make sure you include the word or phrase naturally within the document.
Social Media: Once your blogs are written, you must promote your content, and the best way to do this is through social media. Find out what LinkedIn groups your audience joins and promote content there. Interact with them on Twitter. Build relationships. Remember, social media is a two-way conversation. Don’t just post and forget about it. Talk to those who engage with you.
Convert Visitors to Leads and Leads into Customers
In addition to blog posts, you should be developing premium content such as white papers, ebooks and webinars. Unlike blog posts, this type of content should be gated behind a form on a landing page on your website. This way, in exchange for your amazing content, you’ll receive a visitor’s contact information that will allow you to market them directly via email and other tactics.
Here’s the thing though. 50% of leads are qualified but not yet ready to buy. Once you have the lead, you need to nurture them by continuing to provide them with content they are interested in. By showing them your expertise, and giving them what they want, the odds of them becoming your customer significantly increases. Nurtured leads produce, on average, a 20% increase in sales opportunities versus non-nurtured leads.
Analyze Your Marketing Efforts
Unlike putting an ad in a print publication or on a billboard, inbound marketing provides analytics for each step of your marketing efforts (not just estimates). It is wise to frequently, but not obsessively, look at these numbers to review any trends you see and alter your marketing efforts as needed.
While the marketing strategies above can apply to many industries, they are especially important for the healthcare field that is continuously crowded with new content everyday. Your information is important. Make sure you’re taking the right steps to get people to see it.
If you’re a healthcare professional, what other tactics would you add to this list?