If you answer yes to any of the following questions, it might be time for you to update your healthcare marketing guide:

  • Are your marketing efforts related to this piece of healthcare marketing collateral failing to deliver the results you expect?
  • Do patients complain about or ignore your guide?
  • Is your social media engagement related to this resource sporadic or non-existent?
  • Has your healthcare guide outgrown its original web template design?
  • Have you added new healthcare services, treatments, or personnel that make this resource irrelevant?

If you answered yes to any of the questions above, you may be missing out on the power of digital marketing using patient resources, like guides. Consider this underperforming asset an opportunity. You are in the perfect position to change gears for accelerated growth.

A healthcare marketing guide that’s working turns the patient pain points it addresses into a launchpad for lead generation, appointment requests, and brand reputation building. Keep reading to get practical steps for creating or reworking a resource as part of your overall strategy to showcase your practice’s exceptional care.

Trust our experience as creators of healthcare marketing guides and other assets that get results

TBH Creative healthcare marketing tactics are battle-tested and nationally recognized. For over 15 years, our healthcare marketing projects have delivered medical clients quantifiable results and earned annual recognition from the Aster Awards (a national healthcare marketing competition).

Take a look at the first-rate outcomes we’ve delivered clients with our healthcare marketing guides and services:

  • 300% better virtual fundraising results for the Muscular Dystrophy Family Foundation
  • 1,190% more appointment requests for the Indiana Hand to Shoulder Center
  • Customized telemedicine microsite built in response to Covid-19 for OrthoVirginia

If you’re ready to experience these marketing wins for yourself, read on. We’ll explore the benefits of developing a healthcare marketing plan and show you how to do it.

7 benefits of healthcare marketing guides

Planning, writing, and documenting a healthcare marketing guide is a significant investment. But is an asset worth the time and resources it takes to create?

Here are seven reasons why we think you should always start your medical communications strategy with a healthcare marketing guide:

  • Competitive advantage
  • Increase brand visibility
  • Create positive reputation among patients
  • Learn patients’ evolving needs
  • Understand how patients perceive quality
  • Solve quality issues
  • Enhance business outcomes

An unstructured approach to marketing may be quick and inexpensive in the short-term, but it’s a longterm liability you can’t afford to neglect. Include the following in your healthcare marketing guide to enjoy a positive ROI and grow your medical practice.


Include these six proven strategies and tactics in your healthcare marketing guide

Unlock the benefits of a healthcare marketing guide by incorporating the following tips:

Tip #1: Define product roadmaps for your healthcare company’s website

Think of your website as the product your patients use to access your services and care. Just like you would for any other healthcare service, create a product roadmap that captures your website’s vision, goals, and progress.

Consider including a roadmap for each landing page on your healthcare website in your marketing guide. Whether it’s a physician directory page or a patient testimonial page, the purpose behind your web pages should be clear.

Tip #2: Use a well-documented SEO healthcare marketing guide to help people find you

Maintaining healthy SEO is vital for a medical organization’s survival in today’s consumer-driven industry. Your healthcare marketing guide is an excellent place to record the keywords and strategies you plan to use to help patients discover your website.

Update this section of your healthcare marketing guide to adapt to shifts in the healthcare industry. Use marketing tools like Google Analytics to identify keywords you can naturally incorporate into your content, and read through our guide to SEO for web developers to optimize your code.

Tip #3: Develop a robust social media strategy for your healthcare business

One in ten Americans use social media to get health information, and most adults in every age category use at least one platform. If you aren’t publishing regularly on the platforms healthcare consumers frequent, you’re missing out on a significant segment of your target market.

If you’re wondering if social media works for healthcare marketing, the answer is a resounding yes. Here’s just one example: through consistent social media management, we helped Northpoint Pediatrics acquire 146 new patients in only nine months.

Tip #4: Encourage patients to give you feedback

Good marketing starts with good listening. This applies in all industries, including healthcare. Create a process for collecting patient feedback, and include your findings in your healthcare marketing guide.

Automatic follow-up emails are an excellent vehicle for gathering patient feedback. Email patients surveys or post links to surveys on your social media channels allowing patients to rank your services and explain their decisions.

Tip #5: Create a system for collecting and posting customer reviews

84% of consumers trust an online review as much as they trust a friend’s recommendation. Encourage patients to leave feedback, and create HIPAA-compliant systems that leverage the data you gather from their reviews.

Using digital communications like email, social media, and apps on your website, invite patients to review your practice. Then, identify common words and phrases they use to describe your services’ strengths and weaknesses. Use that information to create copy in your market’s voice. Finally, place testimonials on your website and social media to improve your reputation.

Tip #6: Standardize your branding message across the company

Brand consistency can improve revenue by up to 33%. Your healthcare business will seem more reliable and organized internally and externally if your communications materials showcase a cohesive aesthetic, message, and tone.

Make your healthcare marketing guide your brand storehouse. Clearly define visual branding elements including color palettes, fonts, and graphics. Incorporate tone-shaping documents like manifestos, values, and vision and mission statements.


Learn your company’s healthcare services (so you can market them like a pro)

Respond to healthcare consumerism by leveraging your organization’s quality. Use your healthcare marketing guide to fully explain the benefits of your practice’s offerings. Illuminate every positive impact your health service lines create, and break down how each service and product works.

Your healthcare marketing strategy should neither over nor underpromise results. Thoroughly uncovering your healthcare product’s value sustains lead-generating marketing. That’s how we helped Logansport Memorial Hospital capture 46 leads for its brand new weight-loss program.


Do a thorough SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats)

Developing a healthcare marketing guide is an invitation for you to reevaluate your medical communications as a whole using the SWOT framework:

  • Strengths: What are your healthcare practice’s best-performing communications tools?
  • Weaknesses: What marketing strategies are underperforming or difficult to manage?
  • Opportunities: What channels are you neglecting to use for your marketing efforts? What market segments remain unreached?
  • Threats: How is your competition outperforming you? Where in the patient journey do you lose leads?

If you haven’t audited your business or marketing strategy in a while, your medical practice can act now with a SWOT analysis.


Define your healthcare marketing S.M.A.R.T goals

A Harvard Business study found that the 3% of MBA graduates who set goals made 10 times as much as the 97% of graduates who didn’t. That study reflects two principles:

  1. most people don’t set goals even though
  2. goal-setting works

Incorporate the S.M.A.R.T goal framework to define business outcomes you want to achieve in your healthcare marketing guide:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound

An example S.M.A.R.T goal would be to increase inbound leads (specific) by 20% (measurable) each month by the end of the year (attainable, relevant, time-bound).


Make sure you’ve defined your business subject matter experts

A trustworthy marketing agency relies on healthcare industry professionals to get subject matter expertise. Your healthcare marketing guide is a useful place to list the individuals and entities your marketing team can turn to with industry-specific questions.

If you are creating a landing page for a new healthcare service line, recruit a provider with expertise in that target therapeutic area. If you are developing a video or blog series exploring the symptoms and treatments for a specific condition, identify which practitioners from your healthcare practice you can source.


Create specific patient personas for your marketing campaigns

The best way to reach highly-qualified leads is to execute a targeted healthcare marketing strategy. This involves segmenting your market based on commonalities such as symptoms, treatment preferences, or prognoses. Create patient personas and document them in your healthcare marketing guide to help your marketing team visualize each target audience.

Create and validate your buyer persona

Use the following methods and sources to authenticate buyer personas for your healthcare marketing guide:

  • Responses from patient surveys
  • Patient comments from external review sites
  • Interviews with real patients
  • Posts from healthcare consumers in support groups on social media

Reviews, the window to your patient’s soul

Positive customer reviews are validating and useful for testimonials pages (with patient consent), but negative reviews are also important marketing tools. Document common complaints from patients in your healthcare marketing guide, and use that information to improve your marketing.

Use data to highlight patients’ pain points

Data-driven marketing analysis can help you prioritize which objections to tackle first. For example, if your most persistent problems are related to your website, you may want to focus your marketing efforts on a website redesign. Track your marketing performance and let the data write your healthcare marketing guide.


Do a gap analysis to make sure your healthcare marketing guide is on the right track

A gap analysis in healthcare helps businesses identify areas of weakness in their systems and processes. The results from your gap analysis will answer these three questions:

  • What is our healthcare marketing doing now?
  • What would we like our healthcare marketing to do better?
  • How can we close the gap between what we are doing and what we want to do?

For example, imagine you’re currently acquiring two new patients every two months and want to see a 50% increase in leads.

To close the gap, you’ll implement a targeted Facebook campaign and incorporate online scheduling into your web design (see how we drove up patient requests by 62% using these tactics for OrthoNebraska).

FAQs about developing a healthcare marketing guide

Get simplified answers to your questions about building a healthcare marketing guide below.

What makes healthcare marketing different?

Your healthcare marketing guide should address the industry’s unique challenges, including:

  • HIPAA privacy rule compliance
  • Challenging subject matter
  • Overwhelmed industry
  • Physician burnout
  • Patient fear

There is no one-size-fits-all approach that works, but investing in your brand’s and healthcare market’s unique needs is worth it.

What should a healthcare marketing guide include?

Your healthcare marketing guide should include the data, benchmarks, strategies, and tactics you will use and measure to reach your business goals. A comprehensive healthcare marketing guide includes the following seven sections:

  • Marketing methods
  • Healthcare product and service guides
  • SWOT analysis
  • S.M.A.R.T goals
  • Business area experts
  • Buyer personas
  • Gap analysis

Your healthcare marketing guide will change over time. Technological, political, and social changes inform the top tips in healthcare marketing leaders should incorporate into their communications plans. Adapt to these trends to stay relevant.

What are the most important channels to include in your healthcare marketing guide?

Your healthcare marketing guide should include a social media strategy for the following platforms:

  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest

Optimize your medical clinic’s profile on the following healthcare review sites:

  • Google My Business
  • Healthgrades
  • Vitals
  • OpenMD
  • Yelp
  • U.S. News: Health
  • RateMDs
  • Zocdoc

Your healthcare marketing guide should also include which KPIs to track as you monitor the impact these channels have on your business.

Increase leads with the right healthcare marketing strategy

Healthcare marketing is exciting, but it’s no gimmick. The methods we’ve described above work, and the following healthcare organizations have the results to prove it:

  • OrthoIndy gained 311 new patients implementing our healthcare marketing
  • Logansport Memorial Hospital saw 124% more appointment requests
  • Methodist Sports Medicine welcomed 33% more local website visitors

Take the guesswork out of putting your healthcare marketing guide into practice. We’ve got lead generation in healthcare down to a science, and we’re here to help you.

Get the most out of your marketing plan

Developing a healthcare marketing guide is only the beginning. The next steps include creating communications that target your medical audience, deploying those assets, and monitoring their performance.

If you lack an internal marketing team (or your team is already overwhelmed), outsource this important work to a full-service digital marketing agency. Connect with us to learn how our team of digital experts can bring your healthcare marketing guide to life.