9+ Keys to Improve Healthcare Digital Marketing Strategy

Digital Marketing could take a different approach if you are dealing with the healthcare. There are a lot of restrictions and policies that you might need to deal with before you jump straight into making the strategy. Based on my experience of doing digital marketing for healthcare, here are some of the tips and best practices that I had like to share with you.

Keyword Targeting, Bidding & Conversion Cycle

Top of Funnel Keywords Impact

In the healthcare industry, most of the user journey start with the top of the funnel keywords which we often call as informational keyword. The searches might include some of the following traits

  • Medication or drugs side effects
  • drug pricing
  • Ailment side effects
  • treatment/ solutions
  • Best drugs/ doctors/ hospital etc.
  • nutrition
  • recovery/ exercise / counselling
  • Virtual care/ programs etc.

Besides these, the searches might also include keywords such as how, where, when, why, what, etc. The conversion lag for these users might be longer than users using the transactional keywords and directly searching for the service or product. Also, it is noteworthy that going down in the funnel, a user might take longer or shorter depending on the gravity of the disease and how much information a user needs to process before making a decision.

One approach to target these informational keywords is by placing lower bids compared to the campaigns where you might place higher bids on converting high-intent keywords. Another recommended way of targeting ToFu keywords would be to through SEO.

How to build negative keywords

Even with the research-based keywords, there might still be some keyword phrases which you do not want to target at all. It is though a brainstorming thing but let’s say you might want to avoid keywords containing terms such as “free” etc. If your business grows, you might afford such keywords too but these keywords might come later in the game. Here are a few tactics to brainstorm negative keywords

  • Putting negative keywords on the competitors name unless there are other reasons to bid on competitors name
  • Putting out of service area in the negative keyword. F.x. if you only deliver in Vancouver area, then you might want to put other locations as negative keyword
  • Putting negative terms from other departments such as vets
  • Putting negative terms around jobs, careers, salary etc.

Leveraging Bottom of Funnel Keywords

Product/ Service name Searches

As the audience becomes more knowledgeable about the particular service or product, they start directly searching for the product name or the service name. For example,

  • An online searcher for erectile dysfunction can start the search with ED pills in the research mode before finally arriving at Cialis 20 mg as recommended by the doctors when ready to buy the medication

Generic & Specific variants

People might search with the generic name of your service or product or by specific names. So, run the campaigns targeting both of these search behavior. For example,

  • some users might directly search for Botox Courses while others might search for Medical Aesthetics courses.
  • I would say specific names for a service or product is more close to the bottom of the funnel compared to the generic name.
  • Similarly, someone might search for a generic term such as pain killer while someone might search for the specific name such as AdVil.

Understanding the user Intent through keywords

It is important to understand the keyword intent. For example, people tend to append “medication” after a serious disease but “pills” for generic problems. For example

  • Sleeping pills make more sense that sleeping medication. On a similar line, Diabetes medications will make more sense that Diabetes pills. So, in this case, it can also be deduced that pills is used for OTC medications while medications term is used for serious ailments
  • Similarly, cancer support and cancer treatment represent different intent of the users.

Building trust the right way

Trust still remains a big issue among online users in the healthcare industry. Recently, I was doing keyword research for online pharmacy and as per the keyword data, trust seemed a big issue with online purchasers. A lot of the keywords for online pharmacy were around

  • Reputation
  • Safety
  • Reliability
  • Trust
  • Legitimate etc.
Healthcare industry trust

Instilling Trust in Users

Here are some ways in which you can instill trust in your prospective users

  • Show your company as registered on the landing page along with the registration number
  • Show yourself as a legitimate company in the ad copies
  • If possible, show awards, testimonials and other factors which can help you win the trust of the users, etc.

Here is a screenshot from home page footer of Getmaple website in Canada:

Get the Most out of Your Audience

Audience Converts the Most or Pays the Most?

Recently, I was running a campaign for Medical Aesthetics Course. Initially, we were targeting nurses and CPL was very low and we were happy with the cost per lead prices. However, the final conversion ratio i.e. nurses buying the final medical aesthetics course was very low. That was so because the course price was not affordable my many of the leads. So, when targeting the audience, judge your product or service price before targeting a likely-to-buy audience.

You might see similar differential purchasing power based on age groups. For example, older age group is more likely to spend more money on products or services than the younger age group in healthcare industry. Whereas being more tech-savvy, a younger age group might convert much better online. So watch out for those trends.

Identify the Right Platform & Medium

Identifying the right platform is the key to audience targeting and optimization. Know where your audience spends the most time and leverage that platform. Here are some of the scenarios:

  • Young audience such as audience for birth control spends more time on Instagram
  • The audience for Hair loss or erectile dysfunction will be more on Google search and Facebook than Instagram
  • For top of the funnel keyword traffic, I can also leverage Quora or WebMD as a platform to draw the audience to my website

Use Videos creatively

Video has been a game changer in the digital marketing industry. It only helps educate the audience but also build a large pool of brand awareness and remarketing audience. It can also prove to be a great tool in medical marketing. Below are examples of two videos from different companies.

GetMaple: Highlight Pain Points

Videos can be a good medium to highlight the pain points and what more you can offer to the patients. For example, in the video below, GetMaple is emphasizing on its service and painpoints through graphics such as talk to a doctor in less than 2 minutes, get help with many medical issues, all from comfort of your home. people do not like to spend time in the queue waiting for the doctor, waiting or collecting the report. Highlight these pain points and your offerings. Here is an example video from Get Maple:

Pocketpills: Highlight services features

Here is another video example from Pocketpills emphasizing more it’s services and features such as sorting the medication, free delivery, working with doctor, coordinating with insurnace, pharmacist connect etc.

Use Ad Copy Creatively

Say it in your ad copies and on Landing Page

If your product or service is addressing a situation better than your competitors, say it and highlight it. Here are some of the examples that could be highlighted are:

  • Delivery such as free delivery, next-day delivery etc.
  • Free such as free cancer package, free counselling, free assessment
  • Availability such as 24/7, live support, tele-support etc.
  • confidentiality such as discreet delivery, discreet packaging, no waiting time
  • time saving such as quick sign up, ready to go, no waiting etc.
  • Pricing such as one price covers all, affordable, starting at, low cost

Here are a example of such ad copies from the healthcare industry:

Ad Copies Around Pain Points

Understand platform limitations

Restriction with Google Ads

You cannot run a remarketing campaign if you are targeting personalized interested based on gender and age. Here is what Google says, “Advertisers can’t use sensitive interest categories to target ads to users or to promote advertisers’ products or services”. For more details, visit this link from Google Ads remarketing on personalized advertising. Also, your ads will be restricted as well.

No direct interest or behavior match on Facebook

For some targeting, Facebook ads manager will show no direct targeting attributes such as interests, behavior or any other targeting parameter. You shall have to be wise enough to figure out the targeting. For example, Facebook has no interest called Birth Control but you can target planned parenthood, pregnancy, etc.

Know your Limitations

Be aware of the federal rule in the target region and make sure that your product and service comply with that. For example, an online pharmacy delivery company was offering free medications refill and free delivery at a nominal fee. Though the service was good, I read through the comments and found out that in Canada, provinces such as Nova Scotia, Alberta, Ontario, BC do not offer free coverage to Diabetic patients. As per the comment, test stripes are covered in insurance but not medicine likes lancets. That’s why a lot of the target audience felt helpless.

Micro conversions – Customer needs before an offer

Before subscribing to your service or product, the audience might be interested in knowing a lot more about it such as course validity, timeline, pricing, etc. And if you do not provide access to that information, you might be losing on a lot of potential customers. One good example of such a micro-conversion use case would be the banking sector. Banking sectors use loan/ EMI calculator as micro-conversions to retarget the interested audience as these audiences are the highly engaged audience.

Know audience sentiments

I would not recommend advertising anything which might hurt the audience sentiment in the ad copies or creatives. For example, advertising IUD as a birth control solution might hurt the audience sentiment as a lot of women did not have good experience with IUD. Using such items in copies and creatives will trigger a lot of negative comments & reviews.

Trust Issues

Audience Trust Issues through Facebook comments

If you are a new brand, there will be a lot of trust issues with the target audience. The audience would like to know about the validity of the company. To address that, you can include one card in the carousel taking the user to the registration and license info page on your website. If there is any way to say it upfront in the ad copies, would be awesome.

Have a Question? Get in Touch!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *