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Myths about healthcare marketing abound. One of these myths is that the complex and regulated nature of healthcare limits creativity in healthcare marketing.
While healthcare marketing must take great care to deliver accurate information, it can do so via the same channels used for marketing in other industries, taking advantage of the same technologies and innovations. In fact, to connect with its audience on a personal level — which it must to be effective and cut through the clutter — healthcare marketing has to get creative. The healthcare industry has accelerated its adoption of digital marketing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Healthcare marketing audiences are a large and diverse group, with no one standard way of digesting information. Depending on the nature of the healthcare product or service, the market might be B2B or B2C. Your audience could be new to the concepts you’re presenting or highly literate in medical terminology. You might be speaking to someone who is making a purely business decision, or someone who is quite literally in fear for their life.
At TrendyMinds, we work with healthcare systems, pharmaceutical companies, nonprofits, health insurance companies, device manufacturers, and even suppliers of transplant tissues. Each client comes to us with their own distinct target audience and marketing goals. It’s important to strive for fresh, creative ways to reach them in order to show empathy, liven up dense topics and make a true connection with the audience.
Digital advertising, like Google Ads or paid social media, lets you reach audiences that match your target characteristics. You can adjust your ad spend to just the right parameters to maximize your ROI, wasting little money on targets unlikely to engage with your product.
Geotargeting refers to the way you narrow your focus by location. You might narrow your campaign to specific countries, regions, states or ZIP codes. (Geotargeting should not be confused with geofencing, which raises a host of HIPAA-related concerns.)
Getting location-specific has been important during the COVID-19 pandemic, as infection rates, safety restrictions, and vaccine availability have fluctuated in different states and different countries from one week to the next. As an example, TrendyMinds has worked with a pharmaceutical client to raise awareness about a COVID-19 treatment to reach consumers in areas most affected by the virus’s spread.
Healthcare companies have increasingly embraced social media, as they learn why the benefits outweigh any concerns about privacy and public scrutiny. They are using social media to push the traditional boundaries of healthcare marketing, tell compelling stories, and reach new audiences. A strong social media presence builds trust and transparency — key differentiators for a healthcare company. It allows a company to react to news in the moment and can drive traffic to your website.
Using social media in healthcare marketing offers the added advantage of up-to-the-minute audience insights. You can employ social listening to learn what users are discussing and their feelings toward your company, for better or worse. Keep in mind that negative comments offer opportunities to demonstrate transparency and build trust. A well trained team can work within privacy guidelines to deliver engaging content that motivates your target audience.
A pharmaceutical client of ours saw great results with a diabetes treatment awareness campaign on Facebook. Their goal was to empower people with diabetes to better understand their disease state in the hope it would increase adherence to their treatment plan. With engaging and immersive mobile-optimized ad types, featuring animated videos in English and Spanish, the client reached more than 35 million people in their target audience. The average watch time for the videos was double the Facebook average for video ads, earning an average positive sentiment of more than 95 percent.
Within the broader category of social media marketing lies influencer marketing. Collaborating with influencers may sound like a hair-raising prospect for a healthcare company, but it is possible to do responsibly and effectively. The linked article contains several resources from the FDA and FTC with guidelines for responsible digital healthcare marketing.
Digital marketing analytics allow for constant fine-tuning of your strategy to improve your ROI. While it’s much more difficult to quantify the audience response to a television commercial or a pamphlet in a doctor’s office, your digital impact is right there for your benefit.
Analytics are particularly useful in content marketing. For example, if a piece of content on your website ranks well in search results and earns a lot of clicks, but viewers leave the page quickly, you may not be providing the information they’re looking for. On the other hand, a piece of content that drives users further into your website along the path to conversion is only effective if the audience finds it in the first place.
We monitor and report on our healthcare clients’ metrics such as how many users interact with a social media post or how many clicks on an ad convert to an action. This information allows us to adjust messaging, timing, imagery, audience targeting, and budget. Small adjustments often make a big difference. Reporting also makes it easier to demonstrate results to executive leadership, where skepticism about digital healthcare marketing may linger.
Whatever kind of business you’re in within the healthcare and life sciences space, digital marketing holds unlimited potential for you to communicate with your desired audience, with new opportunities emerging all the time. Learn why healthcare marketing is so important to us here at TrendyMinds and how we won a 2020 Fierce Pharma Marketing Award.