6 Ways to Succeed in Healthcare Marketing

Healthcare is one of the most rewarding industries to advertise. There’s something special about creating communications you know might help someone live a healthier, happier life.

That’s why it’s so important to get it right.

Mabbly has had the honor of working with some superstar healthcare clients, and we learned a thing or two along the way. Here are the six biggest lessons we learned about successful healthcare marketing.

  1. Lead with Empathy for Audience Messaging

Empathy should always be central to every marketing message—how else would you expect to connect with an audience? 

Here’s the difference in healthcare marketing strategy: Your audience is full of people navigating unfamiliar, uncomfortable territory.

Ease and simplicity are critical in emotionally fraught and vulnerable spaces. So while you may be tempted to wow them with provocative statements, these strategies often work against you.

Here are a few examples of what it means to lead with empathy:

  • Acknowledge their problems right away and empower them with your solution.
  • Carefully consider how tone and voice might resonate with the intended audience.
  • Prioritize inclusive language and imagery.
  • Eliminate as many barriers to entry as possible in your messaging (remove complicated medical jargon, idioms, slang, etc.).
  • Broaden the message—people will have different experiences with the same condition, so make sure your messaging is widely applicable.

  1. Guide Customers with Confidence and Expertise

People will flock to your website searching for answers. It’s your job to support their educational journey with facts and direction as they navigate their emotions and discover treatment options.

Sometimes, the best way to support this educational journey is to create one. That’s why we helped Tolmar develop Incremental ADT, an educational program designed for men going through prostate cancer treatment. 

The result was a program that bolstered the brand’s credibility and expertise, meanwhile, empowering the audience to take action for their health.

You Can’t Fake Certain Expertise

There’s a limit to what most marketers can do with certain topics— specialist marketing exists for a reason. No matter how many subject matter expert interviews you conduct, some healthcare nuances are just too complicated to get right without the right experience.

Healthcare marketing specialists are highly trained and educated to know the language of healthcare providers. Then there are healthcare salespeople, who have a unique point of access and expertise to balance both stakeholder and patient expectations.

Healthcare marketing should support these salespeople—a symbiotic relationship that leverages the strengths of both parties. It’s the marketer’s job to create qualified leads who have confidence in the product, not to answer every question they could have.

  1. Always Leverage Keyword Research

A six-month study in 2022 found that 58.5% of adults searched for medical information online. This shouldn’t come as a surprise—virtually everyone looks up their symptoms before calling their doctor. However, it underscores the continued importance of keyword research.

Implementing high-volume keywords related to medical SEO improves your visibility online. Aim for keywords representative of your solutions and treatments to ensure the right people navigate to your website.

  1. Prepare for Sudden Changes and Surprises

Healthcare is an ever-evolving industry. Be it new research, changing stakeholder ideals, updated medical guidance, or the latest innovation in medical technology, your healthcare marketing strategy could be upended instantly.

As healthcare marketers, we must remain flexible and agile partners when these changes arise. We must also recognize that it might turn into a waiting game—websites and ad campaigns are often put on hold until stakeholders and decision-makers pave a path forward. Meet these challenges with patience and understanding.

  1. Maintain Full Focus on Digital Campaign Management

Healthcare is a highly regulated industry, which can lead to many platforms scrutinizing ads and landing pages. These platforms try to err on the side of caution so they are not held liable for running a misleading ad.

Platforms will pause the ad delivery if you create an ad that makes an incorrect claim or includes a trigger word or phrase. But it’s not a perfect science—sometimes it’s difficult to understand why an ad got flagged. Here are a few things you can do about it:

  1. Study the regulations and remain fluent on requirements for healthcare landing pages and ads.
  2. Build relationships with platform representatives to gain a human ally who can troubleshoot and clear flags as they arise.
  3. Incrementally scale campaigns after they are cleared to serve.
  4. Consistently check in on campaign wellness to ensure your ads continue to serve.

  1. Don’t Rely on Insurance Providers to Connect People to Healthcare

Access to healthcare is a serious problem. Insurance providers tend to be gatekeepers, especially as ghost coverage threatens healthcare access. Ghost coverage technically fulfills a company’s obligation to provide insurance, but does not offer any real or substantial benefits.

With that in mind, don’t assume your audience’s insurance will connect them with the healthcare they need. That’s one more barrier that can dissuade people from committing to your services.

Instead of letting them fend for themselves, consider how you might become an advocate for your audience with your marketing communication.

The Lactation Network (TLN) worked with Mabbly on a healthcare website design project to create the Lactation Coverage Gap. The landing page’s primary purpose is not to bring clients to TLN. But it does have a place in TLN’s healthcare branding strategy, bolstering confidence and activism for parents and empowering them to get the care they deserve. 

Speak the Healthcare Marketing Language

Navigating the ever-changing tides of healthcare marketing can leave even the most qualified marketer confused and frustrated. But these tips have served us well, and we believe they will do the same for you.
Healthcare marketing offers a unique challenge of speaking to multiple audiences, each with their own barriers to your services. But when you strike the right balance of empathy, trust, and expertise, you can find the success you and your customers are looking for.