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Eighty-one percent of Americans own a smartphone, which they reach for an average of 52 times per day, according to the 2018 US Mobile Consumer Survey from Deloitte. Relied upon for more than just communication, these devices provide an avenue for recreation, transportation, information and sometimes even motivation, with health apps sending consumers push notifications to “get up and move.” In a time where Americans are more connected to their devices than ever, the opportunity to create a mobile marketing strategy for healthcare is not just an option, it’s a necessity. Here are three ways to incorporate mobile into your dynamic healthcare marketing plan.

Optimize Website to Be Mobile Friendly

In addition to being compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which requires certain businesses to make web content accessible to the blind, deaf, and those who must navigate by voice, screen readers or other assistive technologies, websites should also be mobile friendly, prioritizing both search and voice queries.

  • Search Queries: Considering that 77% of online health seekers begin their hunt for medical information from a search engine, and Google’s search engine indexes mobile-friendly content first, websites should prioritize this feature in order to receive more web traffic. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a must. Optimizing for location-specific content and long-tail keywords, or longer and more specific phrases that visitors are more likely to search, will increase the quality and quantity of visitors to your website.
  • Voice Queries: Voice assistance features aren’t going anywhere. In fact, 64% of US consumers utilized the feature in 2018, a 20.8% increase from 2017. When utilizing this feature, answers will need to be action-oriented in order to provide patients with the quick information that they’re searching for. Other aspects to consider are answers to specific detailed questions—which consumers will likely ask—and the ability for answers to be provided by both voice and website. One way to make this a reality is by implementing Schema, a markup language that allows webmasters and site owners to provide search engines with detailed information about their site’s content.

Create Location-Specific Campaigns

Advertising your hospital to a consumer who lives nowhere near it and doesn’t frequent the area doesn’t make sense. This wasted effort can be avoided by creating location-specific advertising, or geo-targeting, to create a more personalized marketing experience and promote services that potential patients can actually use. Three options for this streamlined advertising include geo-fencing, geo-conquesting and beacons.

  • Geo-fencing: This method allows marketers to set a perimeter around a designated area, such as a hospital or a clinic. Once a patient who has “opted in” to accept messages enters the area, advertisements can be pushed to them. One example of relevant geo-fencing is promoting convenient pharmacy pickup after work. Marketers can set a three-mile perimeter around a nearby office complex that promotes convenient pickup at a nearby location.
  • Geo-conquesting: Similar to geo-fencing, geo-conquesting sets perimeters around competing hospitals or clinics to capture new, potential patients who might be considering making a switch. As a patient sits in a waiting room of one hospital, they may receive an ad from another, which mentions its short wait times, quick check-in process and friendly staff.
  • Beacons: Like geo-fencing and geo-conquesting, beacons broadcast location-triggered rich notifications to smartphones nearby via a small battery-powered Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) device. When utilized in healthcare, beacons can provide maps to a patient’s appointment from the hospital gate or offer breakfast coupons at the cafeteria to those waiting for or visiting a loved one. Once a beacon-based campaign is viewed and the consumer leaves the premises, a retargeting campaign can be promoted to recapture patient attention on Google or Facebook. Unlike billboards or pamphlets, this active retargeting can remind the consumer of your hospital, healthcare, medical device, etc.

Establish a Social Presence

According to Statista, the daily time spent on social media in the US in 2018 was one hour and 57 minutes. Capitalizing on this, companies can meet consumers halfway and grab their attention by establishing and maintaining a social presence in order to reach current patients, potential patients and up-and-coming doctors, specialists and healthcare professionals. Once streamlined social profiles are created, it’s important to establish a post frequency that can help maintain engagement, shares and traffic. Two types of content to post on your social channels include native content and blogs.

  • Native Content: As individuals scroll through their feeds, relevant advertising with clear messages and a streamlined look that doesn’t scream “advertisement” are more likely to garner engagement. Native content, which follows the natural form of the content the user consumes, can be used to promote sponsored content in a non-interruptive fashion.

In one example from online pharmacy PillPack, a clear image of the product is shown with a simplistic headline that discusses consumer pain points, “PillPack saves you the time and hassle of managing multiple medications at no extra cost,” and includes a clear “Learn More” CTA button.

PillPack Pharmacy Ad

  • Maintain and Promote a Blog: Aside from advertisements, another way to get users to your page is by maintaining a blog and sharing your posts on social media. Discussing trending topics and providing patients with insights on topics that they’re curious about will help you position yourself as a leader and drive engagement. Like many healthcare brands, including Kaiser Permanente and BlueCross BlueShield, medical device company and Orange Label client Soberlink maintains a blog centered on two of its main industries: addiction recovery and family law. Each blog features a well-researched topic, interviews with industry professionals and insights into the respective fields. Once written, these blogs are shared on social feeds to engage current and potential Soberlink clients.

If you’re easing into the healthcare marketing space and find that it’s not your forte, it’s okay. It’s ours. Let us help you create a mobile marketing campaign, boost your online social presence or dive into the world of geo-targeting, while ensuring HIPAA compliance.

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