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Modern healthcare companies are starting to realize the benefits of using digital marketing to reach healthcare consumers. The rise of online technology, healthcare consumerism, and value-based reimbursements are giving them the incentive to invest in their digital marketing approach. In an effort to help, let’s discuss how to hire the right healthcare digital marketing company.

Digital Marketing and the Healthcare Industry

According to Reuters:

United States health spending is projected to rise to 5.3 percent in 2018…

…The increase represents a sharp uptick from 2017 spending, which the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) now estimates to have been a 4.6 percent climb to nearly $3.5 trillion.

With trillions of dollars being spent every year on healthcare, there’s a lot to gain for companies that can effectively reach their target audiences. Their effectiveness largely depends on their ability to reach healthcare consumers online through digital marketing.

An article on Forbes explains:

…research shows that more than 50% of people search online for information about treatment options or to learn about health concerns or care providers, and 77% of patients use a search engine before booking an appointment with a local healthcare provider.

As for the specific digital marketing tactic of content marketing, an article on Marketing Profs explains:

Some 83% of healthcare organizations are now engaging in content marketing, and an additional 14% plan to start engaging this year…

Content marketing is only one tactic of digital marketing, others include:

The healthcare players involved include:

    • hospitals and acute care providers
    • physician practices
    • specialty care clinics
    • healthcare information technology (HIT) vendors
    • post-acute care providers
    • healthcare insurance companies

Healthcare companies are seeking to invest in their online presence to increase revenue and bring value to targeted healthcare consumers and B2B partnerships. The main challenges they face are staying in compliance and overcoming a lack of marketing experience. For these reasons, many are looking to outsource their digital and traditional marketing efforts to an agency or consultancy service.

Ultimately, they need their digital marketing efforts to integrate with traditional marketing efforts to create a seamless customer/patient experience at all levels of the sales funnel.

Healthcare Digital Marketing Agency vs. Consultancy

While some healthcare organizations may need a complete digital marketing solution, others may simply need some guidance from an expert at key points of development. This level of need will determine whether an agency or a consultancy is the right choice.

For instance, HIT vendors may already have an internal digital marketing team and strategy in place, yet might need an expert consultant in key areas of campaign development. On the other hand, a non-profit hospital provider may completely lack an internal digital marketing team, thus, has a need for a more complete solution with a digital marketing agency.

The key takeaway to remember is not every digital marketing company is the same. Choosing the right company starts with understanding the level of need and the overall digital marketing goals of the healthcare company.

Choosing the Right Digital Marketing Partnership

Finding the right partnership will make the difference between gaining online traction and meeting KPIs or spending thousands and languishing on the back pages of search engine results. Essentially, healthcare companies need a digital marketing partner that understands their needs and target audience. Here are some attributes to look for:

    • experience with related companies
    • reviews
    • specific services and products (HIPAA compliance)
    • certifications and skills
    • capabilities (scale and time availability)
    • vertical industry knowledge
    • traditional marketing capabilities
    • customer service

While all the digital marketing companies listed here are vetted and capable of producing effective results, they also differ in their experience and capabilities. The diversity of services available means healthcare companies have a better chance of finding the right fit for their unique digital marketing needs, yet it also means they must carefully choose the right one to work with.

Ultimately, healthcare companies need a partner that understands HIPAA compliance and other healthcare industry-specific regulations, which means they need a vertically-focused healthcare digital marketing company.

When choosing a digital marketing company to partner with, here are some key points for healthcare companies to consider:

    • budget constraints
    • ROI desired
    • short and long-term goals with digital marketing campaigns
    • present state of digital marketing capabilities
    • specific digital marketing solutions to develop
    • integration capabilities with other solutions (ERP, CRM, EHR)
    • internal team involvement with digital marketing efforts
    • comprehensive level of desired digital marketing efforts
    • integration with traditional marketing efforts

While some healthcare companies may need a complete digital marketing makeover, others may simply want to enhance and optimize the efforts they’ve already initiated. Finding a digital marketing company that can effectively accommodate these exact needs is vital for ongoing streamlined efforts and optimal results.

Additionally, healthcare companies will benefit from condensing their digital marketing efforts and simplifying their workflows. They can do this by choosing a partner with the comprehensive capabilities they need, rather than using a piecemeal approach with multiple vendors and solutions.

Finally, it’s imperative for healthcare companies to find a partner they can effectively communicate with through agreed upon channels. This has a lot to do with preference and company culture, yet is key for streamlining digital marketing efforts on an ongoing basis. What healthcare companies need is a transparent partner with the ability to clearly communicate the technical aspects of digital marketing efforts.

Conclusion

As optimizing the patient experience continues to grow in importance, healthcare companies are realizing the need to integrate digital marketing campaigns into their overall marketing efforts. With value-based reimbursements and the advances of cloud and mobile computing at hand, traditional methods of finding patients through referrals and insurance companies are no longer sufficient for providers; and the growing prevalence of HIT solutions is making it harder for vendors to reach target B2B audiences.

Modern healthcare companies are looking towards digital marketing as part of the solution, yet their inexperience and the industry-specific regulations involved make it hard to initiate effective digital marketing campaigns with internal teams. For these reasons, many are seeking to partner with a healthcare digital marketing company.

At this point, choosing the right partnership is vital for launching effective digital marketing campaigns and gaining online traction. Healthcare companies need a vertically-focused partner with the experience, capabilities, and solutions that meet their needs, preferences, and goals. If interested in learning how Credo can help please contact us today.

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