A study by Pew Internet & American Life Project found that, each year 80 percent of Internet users, which is over 93 million Americans, search for health-related topics online. Healthcare marketers have the delicate task of informing this audience of potentially life-changing care options. Not only does the effectiveness of their marketing impact the bottom line, it can potentially affect patient outcomes and access to required care.
Of course, some common data-driven marketing tactics are difficult, inappropriate, or even illegal in the healthcare industry. Patient privacy and related regulations like HIPAA are always top of mind while building out a new marketing strategy. But, this isn’t stopping healthcare marketers from innovating and staying on top of the latest trends in digital marketing, and the new strategies we are seeing from healthcare companies reflect this.
We found five digital marketing strategies industry-leading healthcare companies are currently using. Vetted by the best, you can confidently implement these tactics into your digital strategy.
1. UnitedHealth Group—Using Video to Drive Website Traffic and Brand Awareness
Video has been a top performing marketing medium since the invention TV. Until the internet came on the scene, marketers stuck to TV ad spots. Of course, now services like YouTube, Vimeo and Vidyard give marketers the ability to track video performance in the same way we can track email or display. Video continues to be an area of focus for marketers, and is getting significant budget allocation in 2019.
UnitedHealth Group is taking advantage of video as an effective digital marketing tool. Its campaign “Built for Better Health” included the rollout of three videos, which together accumulated over 1M views. The short series includes “Built for Better Health”, “Built for Moms & Kids”, and “Built for Those Who Serve”. Each video is about 30 seconds long, and gave a high-level pitch for how the company is innovating to better serve its customers.
One goal of a video campaign is to drive customers to a company-owned channel. UnitedHealth drove viewers of these videos to a customized link to a landing page on its website. This effectively raised awareness of the company’s brand promise, and drove website traffic.
2. Anthem—Using Telemedicine to Reach a Challenging Target Demographic
Anthem’s 24/7 online doctor service is featured right on the homepage of its website. With cost-friendly and convenient chats with a doctor, Anthem is reaching those ever-elusive students, busy parents, and other demographics notorious for doctor-avoidance.
Understanding the digitally-driven consumer, Anthem is offering a similar click-to-purchase experience pioneered by retailing sites like Amazon. Except that this is click-to-talk to an M.D., and it’s brilliant.
This service has the potential to reduce costs for both the consumer and provider, reach untapped audiences, and to greatly improve healthcare outcomes for people who generally avoid it like, well, the plague.
3. University Hospitals—Connecting Call Data to the Digital Journey to Boost Appointment-Setting
University Hospitals uses call tracking and analytics to connect digital data to phone interactions. Using Invoca, the company can track a patient from online touchpoints, like a display ad or website form fill, to a phone call. This gave University Hospitals something it never had before—insight into offline customer data.
Healthcare companies rely on appointments being set efficiently and patients getting the treatment and care they require as fast as possible. With the addition of call data, University Hospitals was able to make changes in how patients were routed over the phone. Ultimately, this resulted in a 580 percent increase in appointments scheduled.
4. Johnson & Johnson—Using Virtual Reality to Provide Better Patient Outcomes and Experiences
The Johnson & Johnson Institute rolled out virtual reality (VR) training courses for surgeons and nurses. This initiative was motivated by an aging population with a growing demand for orthopedic surgeries, like knee and hip replacements. The company decided to adapt to customer needs, and provide faster and better trainings on these specific surgeries for upcoming surgeons and nurses.
With the virtual reality trainings, medical professionals are immersed in a virtual operating room, and simulate a real surgery. The trainings are saving students time, and are improving patient outcomes from these life-changing surgeries.
5. Cigna—Using the Power of Instagram to Build Trust
Instagram reached a billion users last year. With it being the hot channel for building a brand personality, healthcare companies are starting to use the platform to build trust with their customers. Cigna is an example of this, with its CignaTogether channel that has gained over 13 thousand followers. Posting videos and quotes, along with photos of Cigna employees and patients, the company is effectively creating a persona that says “we’re approachable, and here for you”.
If you aren’t a multi-billion dollar healthcare company, have no fear. You may not be able to rollout VR this year, but you can invest time and effort into growing channels like YouTube and Instagram. By powering your digital strategy with honest and humanizing content, you can drive quality traffic to your website and build brand awareness.