Marketing articles often talk about understanding your buyer persona or your target market, but often times you need to read between the lines to find tactics that you can implement for your health care center.
In this article we take advice from some of the top marketing experts for medical center marketing and highlight how you can tailor your marketing towards your practice’s target market by:
- Using interactive resources
- Creating campaigns that are specifically geared towards immediate leads and long-term brand recognition
- Creating an in depth FAQ section on your website to address both services and conditions.
Before diving into these tactics, it’s important to understand the strategy behind your buyer persona or target market. When first considered, we often to grouping all patients together and looking at broad identifiers. I’ve heard our clients proclaim our patients consist of men and women aged 40-65+. Honestly, this doesn’t do much. The goal should be to find sub-groups and niches within your specialties and communicate to the heart of that niche.
What is your Medical Practice Buyer Persona?
Rather than grouping all patients together, start by understanding your specialties. Let’s say you work for an orthopedic center and specialize in joint pain and back pain as two key conditions – who are the specific candidates you can target for these two specialties.
Chris Carr, CEO of Farotech, recommends thinking about what are people doing when they need your services. For example, if a specialty is shoulder pain, you could target baseball players, specifically pitchers, or you could target someone who does handy-work around the home and fell off a ladder. What other services, however, are these people going to need? You treat the individual who fell off a ladder, and they might not necessarily have other ailments. You treat the baseball player, and next thing you know they are coming back for knee pain, back pain, and other ailments they may have been putting off.
Another example is knee pain. Most people put off their decision to have knee surgery, are they grateful after they come in? Yes! After a good experience are they more open to considering intervention for their hip or their other knee? Yes! Having brand recognition for these individuals can greatly improve the customer (or patient) lifetime value, something all practices should strive to do. To understand this target market, you need to understand the emotional journey they go through as they take the steps to pick up the phone and call your practice.
The first exercise to understand your buyer persona is to write a list or create a spreadsheet with your practice’s specialties, what patients typically come in for these, and what other services they may need after the fact. Once you have completed this exercise, rank the specific buyer personas based on both low hanging fruit (or who will schedule calls quickly) and typical customer lifetime value (folks who often have more than one procedure once they schedule their first appointment).
Abby Thompson of Salted Stone recommends also performing a quarterly review of who is coming into your practice – what are their symptoms, how did they find you, etc. Actually speak with your patients to understand their journey and to further your understanding of your target markets outlined in the spreadsheet you’ve created.
Once you have a clear understanding of your patient personas, you can start integrating them into your medical practice digital marketing strategy.
3 Tested Tactics to Integrate Patient Journey in Digital Marketing Strategy
Tactic 1: Create Interactive Resources that speak to the main concerns, questions, and pain points of your niche target markets.
Thompson has started utilizing quizzes, ebooks, and interactive video to draw prospects in, engage them, and increase ROI. To create these interactive elements, focus your attention on answering the most daunting questions and concerns of your target market.
Some ideas to think about could be a step by step guide to exercises to do at home to build strength prior to a surgery or a video interview with a physician explaining the exact process used in a procedure. Capture the name and contact information of the individual interested in the resource and send them targeted information that brings them further along in their patient journey.
Tactic 2: Build advertising campaigns that are specifically geared towards immediate leads and long-term brand recognition.
As mentioned, some prospects are ready to call your practice right away whereas others take time to nurture. Daniel Goldberg, founder and CEO of Gold Medical Marketing, tends to emphasize with his clients that you can’t have the same goals for every campaign. Some advertising campaigns should be designed to capture leads immediately, but others need to align more with the patient journey.
Your practice needs to build brand recognition and instill trust with prospects before they are ready to pick up their phone for an initial consultation. Here, specifically think about display ads and retargeting campaigns.
Tactic 3: Create an in depth FAQ section on your website to address both services and conditions.
This is one of the most common techniques, and most valuable techniques for your practice to build an organic reach, create content that speaks to your buyer personas, and increase brand recognition.
Both Carr and John McAlpin, SEO Director of Cardinal Digital, highlight the importance of utilizing FAQ sections to interact with your buyer personas. Just as Thompson and Goldman recommend paying attention to the key concerns, questions, and pain points of your target patients, creating an FAQ section of your site or an FAQ section on each specialty can increase the effectiveness of your digital marketing strategy exponentially.
Carr recommends creating short videos to answer each question in addition to a written answer. These videos can then be repurposed as you send targeted emails to your buyers and can be shared online through social media and other channels. As you map out the full buyer-journey, each video will serve a specific purpose.
McAlpin on the other hand focuses on the technical SEO benefit to an FAQ section of your specialty page. Every specific question and answer creates an opportunity for your website to rank more prominently for Voice Searches. By appearing in organic search results you can build trust, brand recognition, grow your website traffic, and ultimately reduce your patient acquisition costs.
When pooled together, these tactics work to provide the answers to questions and settle the fears of your prospects as they move through their own patient journeys.
As you are working through ways to incorporate your buyer persona and patient journey, don’t hesitate to reach out for a complementary consultation. Our team works closely with marketing directors at healthcare centers to ensure their marketing is reaching the right prospects as they progress through their own journey. We use a combination of techniques from building brand loyalty to capturing lead contact information, and systematically converting prospects into patients as we help you to grow your practice’s bottom line.