Service marketing in the healthcare industry: 5 ideas to win new patients

physician looking at patients knee

Service marketing in the healthcare industry is a way for practices to distinguish themselves and offer prospects a clear, customized path to wellness.

Patients want better healthcare, but every option looks the same. Medical providers want to attract the right patients but are swamped by a massive influx of healthcare needs, especially post-pandemic.

Targeting existing and prospective patients with healthcare service marketing is more than a savvy way to advertise your care options. It’s also a way to educate your community about the best ways to heal.

Read on to learn how service marketing in the healthcare industry can generate highly qualified leads, lock in more appointment requests, and acquire new patients.

Why do you need a healthcare marketing strategy?

Over 600,000 M.D.s are active in the U.S. today. When patients search for care, they look for someone to stand out.

The problem for patients is that many medical practices look the same. Your practice needs a healthcare marketing strategy to disrupt that trend and reach people who want what only you can offer.

A generic approach to service marketing in the healthcare industry might get you started, but it won’t keep you going. You need more than one-size-fits-all healthcare marketing to appeal to your target audience.

A marketing strategy that puts your patients first wins the most patients. But how do you do that in such a massive and nuanced industry? You show off the impressive healthcare services available exclusively at your practice.

Every lead you contact is a potential health service consumer. When that fact shapes your marketing efforts, you can consider each impression and click an investment in your business’s future. That’s how service marketing in the healthcare industry grows medical practices—by enumerating how a practice can serve its patients.

Instead of painting a picture of your business using broad strokes, showcasing your unique services creates a detailed masterpiece that appeals to people seeking more than just general care.

Benefits of having a healthcare marketing strategy in place

The pandemic has exposed alarming inefficiencies in the healthcare industry, leaving sick people and their caregivers overwhelmed at nearly every stage of the patient journey.

Healthcare marketing strategies do much more than increase your profits. The benefits of healthcare marketing include reduced internal inefficiencies, increased outreach impact, and improved user experience.

A customized, results-driven campaign can also lead to the kind of outcomes our healthcare clients have enjoyed:

The more targeted your approach, the higher your yield (especially in competitive markets). That’s why service marketing in the healthcare industry is so important.

How digital marketing can help promote healthcare service lines

According to Deloitte’s 2022 Global Health Care Outlook, the future of healthcare is digital. Medical practices must begin adapting to their patient’s evolving needs by developing strong digital healthcare service marketing.

Nearly ten years ago, 71% of health-related searches started online. Since then, people’s lives have become far more digital, but many medical practices haven’t kept pace with their patients.

Service marketing in the healthcare industry is a powerful way to meet patients’ demands for more information. Digital marketing efforts promoting healthcare services expose patients to the care options near them and online.

Use these 5 marketing strategies to promote the value of services and treatments

Imagine you’re the exhausted mother of a newborn concerned about your diastasis recti. You see two Facebook ads. One highlights a clinic’s “award-winning postpartum care.” The other features a women’s clinic with “specialized pelvic floor physical therapy” and “infant sleep coaching.” Which ad are you most likely to click?

Service marketing in the healthcare industry has two primary benefits for patients and clinics: it helps patients find the wellness options most closely aligned with their specific needs. It teaches patients about the possibilities that exist.

Likely, the new mom above doesn’t understand her postpartum needs. The clinic advertising its specialized healthcare services taught her how to advocate for herself. She now knows that pelvic floor physical therapy and infant sleep coaching exist thanks to the clinic’s ad.

Digital strategy healthcare marketing must be patient-centric to yield results. Marketing your existing and new services is an effective and empathetic way to help people who need what you have.

Here are five ways to reach patients by showcasing your healthcare services.

1

Establish your target customers

If you want to execute effective service marketing in the healthcare industry, you need to define your target audience. Study your website’s analytics to learn more about the people visiting your site. Dive into the market research to learn more about the types of patients you want to reach.

Use this data to develop customer personas, so you can market to patients who might benefit from your menu of services. For example, your research may reveal an untapped market of men over 50 living within ten miles of your urology clinic.

Learning everything about that audience will help you speak their language and generate highly qualified leads.

2

Study your competition

People see an average of 4,000 to 10,000 ads in a day. All marketing (including service marketing in the healthcare industry) is highly competitive. Medical practices with effective marketing teams reach patients through many iterations of TV ads, radio, podcasts, social media, and billboards.

If you want to distinguish your service marketing in the healthcare industry, you must monitor your competitors’ channels and strategies. Then, create marketing assets that are even more personalized than theirs or target the audiences your competitors are neglecting.

You can research the competition using the following strategies:

  • Follow competing clinics on social media. Study their most successful posts and note the hashtags used in posts with high engagement.
  • Analyze healthcare service websites. What kind of blog posts are they creating, and which get the most shares? Test out their websites as if you are an actual user and identify their problem areas.
  • Sign up for your competitors’ newsletters. What kinds of services are they advertising? Do you have better services (or services they’re missing)?

You won’t stand out from your competition by assuming you know what they’re advertising. You have to actually pay attention and respond to the data you uncover.

3

Internal and external evaluation

Service marketing in the healthcare industry is about more than showcasing healthcare services. It’s also about building services worth showing off. What happens if you deploy a fantastic service marketing strategy that leads patients to a bad experience? Your marketing efforts quickly backfire, and your reputation sinks.

You can avoid this outcome by performing an audit examining internal and external weaknesses. This approach puts patients first and benefits your business at the same time. Before you launch your revamped healthcare marketing, make the necessary business improvements.

The quality of your services must be worth the marketing to make the marketing worth your investment.

4

Decide your long-term and short-term goals

Medical practices that implement successful service marketing in the healthcare industry are guided by specific goals that help them meet their immediate needs while preparing them to scale in the future.

Short-term goals for your service marketing strategy might include creating more referral traffic, improving UX, and increasing conversion rates (boosting appointment requests).

Long-term goals may include attracting more physicians to build out your most popular services, becoming a leader in a specific medical field, or launching a specialized clinic out of your larger practice.

plan your healthcare marketing strategy with TBH Creative
5

Plan your marketing budget

Service marketing in the healthcare industry is an investment, but the return is worth it. At the same time, it’s crucial for your business’ health and your marketing strategy’s sustainability to plan (and stick with) a budget you can afford.

Deloitte’s 2021 CMO Survey found that most businesses dedicate just under 12% of their total budgets to marketing. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, small businesses should allocate 7% to 8% of their total revenue to marketing.

When you work with TBH Creative or any marketing agency, you must specify your budget, but you can use these trends in healthcare marketing spending as guidance.

FAQs about service marketing in the healthcare industry

Does your medical practice need brand development, social media marketing, digital marketing, or a little bit of everything? What does it look like for a healthcare business to engage prospects on social media?

If you have these questions, you aren’t alone. Healthcare marketing is a challenging task that takes a dedicated team to execute well. Learn more about service marketing in the healthcare industry by exploring the answers in the following FAQ.

What are marketing strategies for healthcare?

There are many ways to approach marketing in the healthcare industry, including the following strategies:

  • Patient reviews
  • Email marketing
  • Brand storytelling
  • Mobile friendly apps
  • Website optimization
  • Educational healthcare content

Service marketing in the healthcare industry showcases specific care options through each of these marketing strategies, setting clinics apart from their competition.

What is social marketing in healthcare?

Social marketing in healthcare uses commercial communications strategies to promote health services. As people adjust to the pandemic, social marketing supports public health while growing healthcare practices.

Enhanced public health is a residual effect of service marketing in the healthcare industry. According to a 2017 Health Policy and Planning study, social and service marketing in healthcare can influence healthcare behaviors and improve global health.

How do you market a healthcare service?

There are four critical steps to service marketing in the healthcare industry:

  1. Optimize your website with the most user-friendly healthcare marketing tools.
  2. Use organic and paid ads to promote your services on social media.
  3. Improve your website’s SEO with educational content about the conditions your services treat.
  4. Request reviews from patients who use your services.

Each step takes profound time, research, creativity, and expertise. Working with the right healthcare marketing agency can save you time while allowing you to reap the benefits of a successful healthcare service marketing strategy.

Take the guesswork out of marketing

Professional healthcare marketing is a significant investment. Healthcare clients want to know that their resources will yield a positive marketing ROI. Our team at TBH Creative understands those concerns, which is why we always let results guide our strategy.

We take our time dissecting your clinic’s unique needs and researching your target audience. The digital marketing experts at our full-service, creative website agency work tirelessly to design solutions that bring your business and your patients results.

Service marketing in the healthcare industry is nuanced

You’ve spent years building a healthcare business with unmatched care and specialized offerings. We’ve explored the ins and outs of service marketing in the healthcare industry, but the best strategy has to be customized to your specific practice.

Your practice, services, and patients deserve a tailor-made approach. It takes time and personnel to create and execute a plan that wins the right patients takes time and personnel. Your team’s efforts may be best placed in nurturing relationships with strategic partners and supporting internal communication, not learning a coding language, writing blog series, and generating social media hashtags.

If you’re ready to work smarter, partner with a team of digital communications experts like TBH Creative. We will elevate your service marketing in the healthcare industry and help you turn goals that seem unreachable into your new normal.

Let’s talk about how we can help you get more from your healthcare marketing

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Tatum Hindman

About the author | Tatum Hindman

Tatum is the president of TBH Creative and is responsible for building long-term client relationships. She enjoys the strategy behind web design and collaborating with clients to define and execute online marketing goals. She likes to blog about hot topics in web design and digital marketing, as well as share tips for strengthening your online presence.

View more posts by Tatum Hindman

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