Do you know Google receives approx one billion healthcare-related search queries every day? This demonstrates the digital scope of the healthcare sector. Therefore, for Life Science and Healthcare (LSH) companies, it is important to have a strong digital presence to attract their target audience. As the competition continues to rise, every company wants to have more traffic on their website and convert web visitors into customers. This fierce competition in the healthcare sector means endless content being pushed to healthcare professionals (HCPs) and patients.
So, the challenge is how to attract HCPs and patients in this competitive digital world and stand out from the competition.
Fortunately, if you implement an inbound marketing strategy, you not only attract patients and HCPs but certainly increase web conversion if implemented correctly. In this blog, we will discuss the inbound marketing strategy for healthcare and how it can help you increase web conversion. Web conversion can be lead generation, video views, form submission, etc. as per your marketing goal. Furthermore, we will also outline a few inbound marketing strategies that can be effective in targeting both HCPs and patients.
Why is inbound marketing effective in engaging HCPs & patients?
Inbound marketing is an effective strategy for engaging healthcare professionals (HCPs) and patients because It is a non-intrusive approach that focuses on creating valuable content. This content is tailored to meet the target audience’s needs and resolves their pain points.
Inbound marketing uses several strategies to draw visitors to a website. These include search engine optimisation, social media, content marketing, and email marketing. Through these methods, visitors can be progressively engaged and nurtured until they are ready to purchase or take the desired action. Inbound marketing helps establish trust and credibility with HCPs and patients by offering meaningful and informative content that addresses their issues. This also helps you become the industry thought leader.
72% of people use the internet to find healthcare information prior to making a healthcare decision. This is a significant statistic confirming the importance of inbound marketing in healthcare. These figures highlight how crucial it is to have a strong online presence and to offer insightful information that caters to the needs of both patients and HCPs.
The stages of inbound marketing
Inbound marketing has four stages: attract, convert, close, and delight. Each stage aims to deliver a personalised experience to HCPs and patients. Let’s explore each of these stages in more detail.
Any inbound marketing plan must start by attracting new customers. Life sciences companies must produce content that is educational, engaging and relevant to their target market. To achieve this, you should consider blog articles, infographics, white papers and videos. These are a few examples of content that will help you attract HCPs and patients.
However, to attract HCPs and patients to your content, you must first be visible to them. You can start by asking yourself the mentioned questions.
My target audience is using which channels?
Which content type and topic are preferred by them?
Which strategies [SEO, Social, PPC, etc.] must we implement to promote our content to our target audience?
In other words, have you created their personas which describe their demographic and behavioural details? If you don’t have a persona yet, use the SparkToro tool to develop personas using quantitative information efficiently. In addition, combine it with your in-house information about your target audience. Clarifying the questions mentioned above and the strategic action steps will help you attract more visitors to your brand’s digital touchpoints.
After attracting potential customers to your website/landing page, the next step is to convert visitors into leads. To do this, you must offer them something of value in exchange for their contact details. Some examples of lead magnets are e-books, whitepapers, webinar recordings, and free trials.
Remember, the amount of leads you have is less important than how many of those leads become paying clients. To convert a lead to a customer, make continuous nurturing efforts through relevant content at the right times. Too much content, and you’ll look spammy and tune out leads, and the lead will hit the ‘unsubscribe’ button before you know it. Too little, and they’ll stop remembering you. Frequency is just one piece of the puzzle: the right lead-nurturing content for your buyer persona is even more important.
An important tool to keep track of your lead customer journey and to nurture them at the right time, we highly recommend using Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software. So far, we have seen Hubspot as a fully featured and easy-to-use CRM for inbound solutions.
In order to convert a lead into a customer, it is essential to nurture them until they are ready to make a purchase. This involves providing them with relevant and valuable content that addresses their needs and concerns. Examples of such content include case studies, product demos, and testimonials, all of which can help close a sale. However, if you have hundreds of leads to nurture, providing a personalised experience for each can be incredibly time-consuming. One effective way to achieve this is through automation. This automation can be email flows and PPC ads.
It’s crucial to show that you care about the needs of healthcare professionals (HCPs) and patients. You may have noticed that convincing HCPs and patients to use your products requires more effort than simply making them aware of your offerings. Sometimes, patients and HCPs may need time to consider your offers before responding. However, the key to success is you nurture them effectively through automation with the right content at the right time.
Finally, after a lead has been closed and turned into a client, you need to increase WOW factors in the post-purchase phase of the customer journey. A WOW factor can be achieved when you over-deliver your customer than their expectations. As an example, by offering first-class support, customer service, special access, discounts, etc. This will help you get their testimonials which you can use as marketing content in the different phases of inbound marketing.
Strategies for inbound marketing with healthcare professionals
Now that we’ve explored the stages of inbound marketing, let’s look at specific inbound marketing strategies for targeting HCPs. As patients and HCPs are two different target groups, it is better to strategies your marketing activities differently.
One of the most effective methods for attracting and retaining the interest of healthcare professionals (HCPs) is by creating educational blogs. These bogs must address common questions or pain points associated with your specific sector within healthcare and HCPs’ interests. Do you know 82% of marketers who blog daily acquire more customers in a cost-efficient way? Besides, sharing practical and valuable insights will also help you position yourself as a thought leader in your industry and gain the trust of your audience.
Quizzes and other interactive content can be a great method to entice HCPs to engage with your company. It will help increase brand recognition among HCPs and generate leads by giving them a fun and interesting opportunity to test their knowledge and discover more about your product or services.
Free publications like e-books, white papers and case studies can be an excellent approach to getting recognised as an industry thought leader and adding value to your audience. You can use these resources as non-gated content to generate leads where you ask for their contact information. It is a good practice to ask for minimal information from a web visitor to get access to the free resource. This will reduce friction, which will lead to more conversion.
Use social media
LinkedIn and Twitter are two examples of social media sites that can effectively target HCPs and share your content. This will help you develop relationships with your audience and produce leads for your business. You can achieve this by creating a robust social media presence and sharing helpful content.
A report by Sermo shows that healthcare professionals actively use social media networks to stay updated with relevant content. It is estimated that HCPs check social media at least three times a day and spend, on average, 2 hours a day. Therefore, having a social presence to connect with HCPs is a practically good approach. Here you can find a chart representing how frequently HCPs spend their time on social media daily.
HCPs are active on social media for a variety of reasons. Knowing their needs will help you create content that is tailored to them. Additionally, this will enable you to share your content more effectively.
Targeted email campaigns
Targeted email marketing is a strategic way of distributing relevant content to a particular HCP group and nurturing them. To achieve this, you can develop specific campaigns that speak to HCPs’ wants and concerns. Segmenting your email list based on their preferences and interests will motivate them to act and increase the conversion rate.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
You should use search engine optimisation (SEO) strategies to increase your website’s visibility so HCPs can easily reach your content online. HCPs use technical terms and long-term phrases in their keyword search. It is important that you have an overview of all the keywords used by your HCPs target audience. Once you have an overview of all the keywords, you can target the keywords with blogs to maximise the HCP’s visits to your website.
Host webinars and online events
Organising webinars and online conferences can be a fruitful way to promote your business and educate HCPs about your new product. Making informative and engaging webinars that show how your new product can support patients’ needs in a simplified way is a considerable approach. While hosting webinars, make sure to automate most of the marketing efforts, like reminder emails and post-webinar content delivery.
Reaching healthcare professionals with video material is a very efficient technique to inform them about your products, services, or market trends. You can grab HCPs’ attention and give them valuable insights and knowledge they can use daily.
Wyzow reports that 96% of marketers agree that videos have improved consumers’ engagement with their products or services, resulting in a positive Return on Investment (ROI).
There are various kinds of video material you can think about producing to engage HCPs.
1. Demonstrations of new medical devices, drug launches or new clinical research.
2. HCPs or industry professionals, in-depth interviews
3. Update about new events where video ads are used as an invitation.
To make it a success, keep your videos concise, educational and visually appealing to ensure their effectiveness. You could also incorporate calls to action at the end of each video. This will help engage viewers to learn more about your products or services.
Inbound marketing strategies for targeting patients
With the increase in patient empowerment trends, Inbound marketing will become increasingly popular. It is because patients tend to look for relevant information online before taking any decision about their health condition. Below, we have described five methods to help LSH companies connect patients using the Inbound approach.
Your website is often the first point of interaction with your brand for patients. As a result, it’s crucial to design a website that is easy to use, educational and visually pleasing. Your website should offer brief and clear details about your products or services and any relevant health data or sources that patients could find helpful.
To create credibility and foster trust with your audience, you should also consider providing patient testimonials, case studies, or other types of social proof. 94% of patients check web reviews to decide to purchase a product or schedule a meeting with an HCP online. Therefore, it is important to provide a smooth experience with your website that looks credible.
Patient-focused blog posts
Blogging is a highly successful technique for interacting with patients and giving them helpful health information. Responding to frequent queries and doubts that patients might have will showcase your expertise. It will also help you develop a long-lasting relationship with patients.
For this to be achieved, it’s crucial to keep your blog posts educational, interesting and straightforward. You might need visuals like infographics or videos to make your content more engaging.
Social media platforms
Social media sites like Facebook and Instagram are highly effective in connecting with patients. Patients increasingly use social media to gain more information about their condition, share and learn from digital connections and communicate with healthcare providers. Therefore, it is crucial for LSH companies to create a robust online presence to engage with patients.
To implement this strategy, LSH companies can make a content calendar and schedule posts in advance to use social media efficiently. This guarantees a consistent stream of content will upload on their social media platforms. Also, life science companies should use social media to interact with patients by instantly answering their questions and messages.
Targeted email campaigns
Life science organisations can use email marketing to interact and engage with patients in various ways. For example, companies can develop instructional content to help patients understand their conditions and treatment options. Newsletters with information on the most disease awareness content are also a great way to send personalised content.
Use influencer marketing
According to the Influencer Marketing Hub report, the average return on investment is $5.78 for every dollar invested in influencer marketing. For LSH companies, this is a cost effective way to connect with patients. LSH companies can host events with influencers, build patient trust, and position the business as an industry thought leader.
Besides, Influencer marketing can significantly impact patients’ purchasing decisions. Below, the graph shows that 7 out of 10 people who follow a health influencer have purchased a product they advertised. Make sure to consider that patients can directly purchase over-the-counter (OTC) products, not prescription medication. Therefore, with the right product-market fit, influencer marketing could be a strategic approach to attracting patients.