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Your 2019 Guide to a Health Care Marketing Budget

It’s midyear. But don’t worry — it’s not yet too late to take a look at your 2019 health care marketing budget strategy. Whether you’re new to your practice or have been in the healthcare industry for a while, you DO need health marketing. After all, your medical practice is at stake, and in the end, your patients will suffer if your practice dwindles.

You want a marketing plan that contributes to:

  • Patient acquisition
  • Patient retention
  • Promotion and growth of your practice
  • Increase in patient volume
  • Prospect nurturing

Five Simple Guidelines to Boost Your Health Care Marketing Strategy

1. Analyze Your Existing Healthcare Marketing Practices

In our previous blog, we discussed why you need to market your practice and the 5 ways healthcare marketing can help your business grow.

Translate these five ways in the graph below into outcomes, then analyze your existing healthcare marketing practices against these.

See example below:

Marketing Strategy Website Social Media Marketing Promotional Materials
Were prospects turned into patients?
Did it improve your reputation?
Was your brand strengthened?
Did it implement high-tech solutions?
Did it repair problems?

 

If the answer is no, you need to know why. Change your strategy. Prioritize your marketing spending.

What could have contributed to the failure?

Did you:

  • allocate enough budget for your strategies?
  • prioritize well?
  • analyze patients’ needs when you came up with these strategies?

Which among your current marketing practices add value to your patients’ lives and build your brand?

Your marketing budget is critical to your practice’s success

According to the February 2019 CMO Survey on top marketers, the top three challenges of marketing leaders are:

  • Driving growth
  • Delivering a powerful brand that breaks through the clutter
  • Securing the marketing budget

Could the latter stem from the fact that only 35.9% of their CEOs have experience in marketing? Frequently, marketing is confused with advertising. And if you’re the CEO of your practice and have no knowledge of marketing, you may be facing an even bigger challenge.

Are you wondering how much to spend on health care marketing? Get some insights on this trend. The healthcare marketing leaders expect to increase their marketing budget for the next 12 months by almost 15% with a focus on these five areas in order of priority:

  • Digital marketing spending
  • New product introductions
  • Brand building
  • New service introductions
  • Customer relationship management

One thing is certain, you need to invest in health care marketing. In fact, the average marketing budget is 7.5% of monthly revenue, and digital marketing makes up 4.8% of the total marketing budget.

To get the most return out of your investment, strategize your marketing position — and prioritize well.

2. Plan Out Your Strategy and Execute

In our years of providing health care marketing solutions, we’ve found the following strategies in digital marketing to be the most effective. Plan your budget around these eight proven ways, and you can stretch your dollar to generate better returns:

Content Marketing

Cute web design without valuable and fresh content is useless to you goal. Therefore, publishing educational content on your website will establish you as a leader in your practice and strengthen your brand and authority, attracting more patients in the process. It’s easy if you have the time to write and love to educate this way. If not, we have the solution for you.

Mobile Responsive Website

These days, people read on the go. Therefore, make sure your patients won’t need magnifying glasses when they switch from their desktops or laptops to their smartphones or tablets. And most importantly, your website should load quickly on a smartphone or other mobile device.

Video Marketing

Some prefer to watch videos rather than read. And because of this, most patients retain information better this way. You can post videos to your website from your video channel. Alternatively, you can even submit us your video for posting to supplement fresh content.

Multi-Channel Marketing

Newsletters can be reposted as blogs and turned into scripts for videos. The content can come from your brochures but crafted into a more dynamic manner. As such, you maximize the use of your resources this way.

However, do you really want to spend your free time doing all those things? We can do it for you.

Online Reputation Repair

Many prospective patients read reviews. If you don’t monitor these reviews, unanswered complaints may damage your online reputation. Reviews also give insights on where you can improve your practice. Luckily, a great marketing company will track it for you.

Social Media

Some social media apps like Nextdoor are powerful referral channels that serve as electronic word-of-mouth servers. Especially these days, people trust their neighbors more than strangers.

Location-Based SEO

With the right keywords embedded in your website, you optimize it for search engines like Google, when a patient searches for “hormone therapy near me.”

Advanced Analytics with Artificial Intelligence

According to the CMO survey, the healthcare industry is one of the top leaders in the use of artificial intelligence. AI personalizes their content, provides insights, predicts customer behaviors, and targets decisions. Is AI part of your marketing toolkit?

3. Eliminate waste in your marketing campaign

In our previous blog, we discussed ways to avoid marketing mistakes, which only add burden and not value to your marketing strategy. Here’s a quick review so you can cut down on your costs and trim accordingly.

AVOID the following:

  • Unplanned campaign aim
  • Failure to update social media
  • Poorly managed website
  • No analytics
  • Ignoring reviews

So how can you clean up and simplify your website yet offer robust content?

Use the checklist below to assess your home page:

Does it have:

  • a one-liner that mentions the problem you solve and the great results you’ve been getting?
  • free takeaways: PDFs, webinars, link to videos?
  • a call-to-action button?

Furthermore:

  • Do you maximize the use of email addresses to send automated thank yous, testimonials, overcome objections, and direct sales offering promotional and discounted services?
  • And finally- do you know what the anatomy of a great website looks like that generates income and revenue?

4. Monitor the sustainability of your marketing campaign

Use existing infrastructure. Therefore, you would redesign your website and maximize its use. A few examples are adding patient scheduling, blogging, testimonials, and recognizing exemplary staff performance

Add a patient resource page where they can read more about their diseases and syndicate content from government websites to tap on additional resources.

Use social media to build communities and strengthen advocacy groups. This will then increase brand trust and patient following.

Actually, in healthcare, market share doesn’t necessarily mean grabbing your colleagues’ patients. As a matter of fact, partnering with other healthcare providers, building networks, and sharing digital platforms and resources can expand your reach and services without the added cost. As a result, complementing each other rather than competing with each other will give you better returns.

And finally, some companies go for recognitions such as Top Work Places and Fortune Best. Hence they use digital marketing to:

  • enhance company identity – feature stories of employees and patients on the webpage
  • promote their vision – post videos of outreach and humanitarian programs that support their vision
  • streamline strategies – employees and their families are engaged in the company’s social media pages and hit likes, shares, and follow buttons
  • attract and retain great talents – incentivize and recognize employees, so they love their work and their workplace, and all of this translates to quality service

5. Repeat the process and improve continuously

Above all, budgeting for health care marketing becomes easy when you know why you need to do it and how you want to do it. So, how do you plan to get the best ROI from marketing your practice?

Better yet, we can make it easier for you! Contact us here for a FREE strategy session to find out how we can help your practice with a health care marketing plan.

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