Why You Need a Healthcare Marketing Specialist
You’re experiencing difficulty breathing, so you go to your general practitioner. He runs some quick tests, offers some preliminary advice, but ultimately refers you to a pulmonologist who has the knowledge and equipment better suited to handle your care. This sort of referral is common in medicine — generalists refer you to a specialist when things go beyond their expertise.
Specialists can share a deeper level of insight into your condition, better help you navigate your life with it, and provide better outcomes. Just as it is with healthcare, so it is with marketing.
The digital world is changing at an alarming rate such that there’s no way any agency can be an expert at everything. Now, layer in the complexity and competitive nature of your healthcare industry. If your head hurts at the mere thought, we get it.
A qualified agency partner with healthcare expertise is crucial to navigating this landscape successfully and yielding the best experience and outcomes for your practice.
What can and should your experience look like working with a healthcare marketing agency? To get a complete picture, we spoke with Bell Media’s Director of Customer Success, Melissa Musgrove, and Lead Customer Success Manager, Ana Cristina Reaves, who manages over 35 accounts in the industry.
What can and should your experience look like with a healthcare marketing agency?
1. They'll help you navigate through challenges your industry faces.
When you have a dedicated healthcare marketing partner, they’ll be knowledgeable about the industry overall, as well as the environmental factors that impact it. A comprehensive understanding of your sector better equips them to help you successfully navigate the digital landscape as environmental factors affect you.
It’s no small secret that, since the beginning of 2020, all healthcare practices were and continue to be impacted by COVID-19. Reaves shared a variety of ways she and her fellow customer success managers strategically advised healthcare clients in a path of success amidst COVID’s influence.
- Offering and promoting telehealth – Bell Media proactively reached out to practices to ask if they were offering telehealth, looked into how to get that message offering out to patients, and determined what language would resonate best with patients in the pandemic.
- Shifting budget and efforts to those services that can bring in money – When elective surgeries were not permitted, Bell Media recommended pivoting messaging and advertising to prevent wasted dollars promoting surgeries that practices couldn’t conduct. For an ENT practice, this meant shifting the budget from sinus surgeries to things that can bring in money like hearing aid sales.
- Shifting tactics to meet consumers’ changes – As social media and content consumption increased by 50%, Bell Media recommended clients shift from lower-funnel tactics (Paid Search or SEM) to higher funnel tactics (SEO, blogs, and social advertising).
2. They'll work well within your heavily regulated industry.
A healthcare marketing agency will not only understand your heavily regulated industry (HIPAA, protecting client data, etc.). They will appreciate the impact and importance of these regulations to protect your patients and your practice.
Beyond appreciation, Musgrove and Reaves point out that they’re flexible and skilled enough to sync with your EMR to make the new patient intake process more streamlined for your practice.
3. They'll draw on past data and proven methods of success.
When working with a healthcare marketing agency, you can trust and look to them for guidance. They have a portfolio of experience to draw off of, including past data and insights, and have helped clients with similar goals as yours.
Reaves recalled drawing on past client success cases to help guide a pediatric practice to success.
The pediatric practice added a new doctor and wanted to help that doctor fill their book. Reaves shared with the client Bell Media’s tested and proven tactics that have worked successfully for other clients in a similar situation. We wrote a blog to introduce the new provider, strategically promoted the blog with the brand, and made updates to the practice’s website to help the doctor’s name rank organically.
Proven successful methods led to stellar outcomes for her pediatric client and greater access to care for the practice’s patients.
4. They'll deeply understand and effectively target your ideal market.
“Providers are so busy in the day-to-day with their patients on the blade of grass level. The value we as healthcare marketing experts provide is looking at the whole forest,” states Musgrove. “Their target audience, who they’re reaching, who they could be reaching, and the way to position them.”
“Our knowledge of the industry helps us understand that women are not the only ones who make healthcare decisions, and which situations are the exception,” states Reaves. “That kind of understanding is critical to effective targeting and the success of campaigns. We’re able to steer clients into a direction that will provide more success.”
5. Their experience expands beyond healthcare marketing to subspecialties.
When you work with a healthcare marketing expert, they will understand and have experience in specialties.
“We have experience in a lot of those specific areas, explains Musgrove, “and understand the mindset of a consumer who would be open to body sculpting treatment and what motivates a patient to pursue cosmetic dentistry.” “And we have data from past campaigns to inform future campaigns,” adds Reaves.
6. They'll focus on revenue-generating outcomes for your practice.
As an experienced healthcare marketing agency, Bell Media knows the importance of generating revenue for practices and the right strategies to deliver successful business outcomes.
“Our team focuses on driving valuable qualified leads for practices that translate to new and loyal patients,” says Musgrove. “We translate marketing efforts to tangible business outcomes.” This means going beyond PPC to sustainable growth models.
Of course, we’d be remiss if we didn’t consider revenue stream and insurance issues within the healthcare space. “At Bell Media, we have business conversations with our clients,” says Reaves, “and help guide those who are looking for additional out-of-pocket procedures to help grow the practice revenue.”
7. They'll position your practice to compete and stay relevant.
Your industry is competitive! “Consumers have many choices,” says Musgrove, “so while we focus on leads, we also understand the importance of branding and storytelling. Those are some of the most powerful tactics we can use to position practices.”
Reaves shared a couple of examples of how our healthcare marketing agency leverages storytelling in this way and positioned practices to compete.
“We had a client who was a small, one-person practice struggling to compete with the bigger guys. He decided to lower prices to compete, but we knew that consumers use price as indicators of expertise and value. So we paired the competitive prices with powerful customer success testimonials that built trust.” We know that 72% of patients say positive video reviews make them trust a practice more.
“Another client was a small practice struggling to compete with big boxes in a nearby city. We used the practice’s size to its advantage. Bell developed advertising copy for the website, social media channels, and search that positioned the client as a small-town doctor (think emotional connection) with big town expertise.” It was a recipe for a strong reputation.
8. They'll help you navigate smoothly through day-to-day issues.
Musgrove, Reaves, and our Healthcare Customer Success Team work day-in and day-out with practices like yours and are real business partners doing whatever it takes to help you achieve your goals.
Below are a handful of examples of what you can expect when working with a healthcare marketing agency like Bell Media.
- Communicate with your systems – If we’re focused on generating new patients and you want a list of calls, we’re going to scrub your call tracking and give you a list of calls that matter most. We’ll also have our leads feed through to your system to make it easier for you to tabulate what revenue and lead sources came from digital at the end of the year.
- Work with your schedule – Healthcare clients can be the hardest to reach and meet with due to doctors’ demanding schedules. Many are not going to read every blog and social post. There’s a high element of trust that we’re going to get it done, and done right because many of you don’t have the bandwidth to handle all of it, nor should you have to. We save practices time by being a trustworthy partner. And we work with your schedule, meeting over lunch, after or before business hours, or on the weekend.
- Learn Your Preferences and What’s Important to You – As our healthcare customer success managers build a relationship with your practice, we learn what’s important to you. When it comes time to create a social media calendar and decide what to post, we can save you time because we know your preferences, your sense of humor, and what’s important to you.
- Share Key Campaign Insights – Doctors are experts in medicine and often don’t want to receive an onslaught of marketing metrics. When we come to you, we simplify reporting and show what matters most to you (new patient inquiries, outreach, phone calls, etc.).
Digital and Business Partners in Your Practice’s Success
Your marketing agency should be more than a digital marketing vendor for you. A deep level of expertise and success within the healthcare industry, coupled with a team of dedicated customer success team whose goals are aligned with your success, is what you can and should demand in a digital marketing provider.