Marketing in healthcare is similar to marketing in any other industry – staying ahead of the curve. It’s not enough to just show up online and expect magic to happen. You need to know how to market yourself in the digital age.
Beth Comstock, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of GE, who clearly has had her fair share of experience in marketing over the years, once stated, “Know thyself. Know the customer. Innovate.”
Sadly, many don’t remember that advice when it comes to online marketing – and failure is the result. Here are the 7 most common mistakes made in online healthcare marketing that you want to avoid:
Failure to PLAN
You need a cohesive strategy before you launch online campaigns. You have to not only know who you are trying to reach, but how to reach them. The biggest mistake most marketers will make is putting a few ads out and expecting amazing results. The fact is, all the ads in the world won’t matter if you don’t place them in front of the right people. Everything you do should have a clear purpose.
Failure to be CONSISTENT
A major mistake many online campaigns commit is a failure to be consistent. They may post too few times a day. In other cases they may fail to post daily, or even weekly. You have to make sure that you are sticking to a schedule. Not only that, you have to know what kind of schedule works best for whatever platforms you are using. For example, what works on Facebook will usually be wrong for Twitter. Pay attention to results and plan accordingly.
Failure of OVERPITCHING
On social media, in particular, you cannot make everything a sales pitch. Constantly pushing your product/brand is a turn-off. People will begin tuning you out. Then they will stop following you. By all means, pitch yourself – within reason – but make sure your focus is on keeping people engaged. If people are engaged they will see your name and they will share it with others.
Failure to INTERACT
By all means, you must respect HIPAA regulations, however that doesn’t mean you can’t be interactive online. There is plenty you can do to engage your audience without treading on thin ice. The alternative is saying nothing at all, and those who go that route almost universally have dismal success marketing themselves online.
Failure to OPTIMIZE
Not making the best use possible, or any use, of the principles of SEO is a mistake. This is a valuable edge you can have over the competition. While there are online guides and tools that can help with this to some degree, it is often best to engage a professional in the field to develop a strategy for you.
Failure to ANALYZE
Once you have established a presence online and are maintaining it, you need analyze what you are doing. See what is and isn’t working. Where are you getting the best bang for your buck? What is drawing people to your online accounts? This is all information you need to continue to move forward.
Failure to ADAPT
You cannot keep posting the same thing over and over and expecting it to work indefinitely. You have access to analytics, and you should be using them. It is imperative that you change as needed. The tastes of people change. Trends come and go. Platforms change they give preference to. You have to take all of that into account and evolve with it. Failure to do so is failing to maximize your potential in the digital age.
Digital healthcare marketing is ripe with potential. All that potential, however, is meaningless is it is not harnessed and properly used. Embrace what is available and maximize it. Never be afraid to get professional help, and always remember to change with the times!