Innovative Healthcare Marketing Ideas to Boost Your Strategy

min read
Innovative Healthcare Marketing Ideas to Boost Your Strategy

It’s a good time for marketers in the healthcare industry to get creative with their healthcare marketing strategy. There’s a lot of competition in the healthcare marketplace. Plus, the industry is growing fast. It’s already the largest sector of the U.S. economy (larger than tech), and it will continue to expand as the aging population’s need for health services multiplies.

In this post, we’ll look at some of the most creative ideas for healthcare marketing and the biggest healthcare marketing trends. We’ll also examine how healthcare marketing ideas not only impact healthcare providers and patients but also the community at large.

Introduction to Healthcare Marketing

Healthcare is a $4 trillion industry. That’s roughly equivalent to 18% of U.S. gross domestic product (GDP). This sector is also forecast to grow to $12 trillion by 2040 to represent a quarter of the entire U.S. economy.

Healthcare marketing is also a big business. It currently generates $50 billion a year globally and is forecast to reach $80 billion over the next six years. That growth promises larger marketing budgets, but also a more complex and competitive landscape. 

Six years isn’t that long, so there’s no time to waste in doing what it takes to give your brand a competitive advantage in this dynamic market. Here are eight creative healthcare marketing ideas your organization can experiment with now:

Idea 1: Use Digital Platforms

If digital marketing were a country, it would be the 28th largest in the world by economic activity. Spending on digital ads is set to top $526 billion this year.

Using digital platforms is too great an opportunity for healthcare providers to overlook, especially because almost any marketing budget can support this strategy. Here are some of the ways to use digital platforms to your advantage.

Facebook and Instagram Ads

Facebook and Instagram are both part of Meta so ads created on one social media platform can easily be used to engage users on the other. Meta also has an Ad Manager in which you can create display and pay-per-click (PPC) ads for both social media platforms. (Facebook is one of the largest social media ad platforms, by the way.)

Google Ads

Google holds 90% of the search engine market. To say that Google is an important platform for digital ads due to its reach, traffic, and visibility would be an understatement.

Unlike social media, where users aren’t looking for ads, users go to Google because they are searching for something. Google’s targeting capabilities, using keywords and bidding strategies, let you serve PPC ads to the right audience, not just a broad one. 

Conversation Intelligence

You can improve the effectiveness of your healthcare marketing with conversation intelligence. The solution tracks how many appointment calls each of your programs drives, so you can get credit for all of your conversions. You can also use the data to make smarter optimizations and double down on your high-performing campaigns.

Since patients often prefer to call to schedule appointments, tracking conversions that happen over the phone is critical for your attribution and optimization efforts. 

Sponsored Content

Sponsoring content, a form of paid advertising, is another effective use of leveraging digital platforms. Sponsored content raises brand awareness and typically engages a target audience far longer than a display ad.

Typically, two brands will enter a sponsored content partnership and the advertiser pays for the creation of that content. The content might appear in a print or digital publication or on a company’s website. Or, a partner, such as an influencer, healthcare blogger, or an industry peer, might publish it on their site or social media channel.

Website Optimization

One of the best digital platforms is your own website. Optimize it by making sure it ranks highly in organic searches on Google.

We could write all day about Search Engine Optimization (SEO). A whole industry has grown up around it. Suffice it to say that you should constantly update your web content and make sure to use keywords that the patients you want to target are using for search.

The other part of website optimization is just making sure it is user-friendly. A superior and seamless user experience along with a constant stream of traffic from organic searches leads to higher conversion rates for your marketing efforts. 

Idea 2: Develop a Multichannel Content Marketing Strategy

It’s no longer enough to just have a website or blog as a content marketing strategy. Creative content marketing ideas for healthcare can include different content formats and extend across multiple channels. Here’s a closer look at what you might incorporate into a multichannel content marketing strategy for a healthcare organization.

Blog Posts

Blog posts remain a valuable tool for educating audiences. The trick is to inspire readers to keep coming back for more. A regular blog with fresh content that is optimized for SEO can attract traffic and create a loyal audience. Remember, that audience wants to be informed, entertained, or both, so take care to create copy that is accurate, relevant, and engaging.

Podcasts and Webinars

Podcasts are perhaps one of the most creative content marketing ideas for healthcare. Think of them as blogs on steroids. They use audio and, often, visual content as well to educate and engage an audience. And these audiences can be huge. According to recent data, 23.5% of all internet users listen to podcasts. That’s over 500 million people globally.

You can also use webinars to attract and engage audiences. Webinars tend to attract a highly targeted audience. And they can be fruitful: According to BrightTALK, 62% of webinar attendees end up requesting a demo.

Whether you use a podcast or webinar strategy (or both) you must promote them to make them worthwhile. You can do this through email and social media campaigns and signup forms on websites.  

Visual Storytelling

Photos, infographics, and images are powerful tools to convey healthcare messages. Every picture tells a story, right? Infographics are particularly useful for simplifying complex information for patients in a compelling way.

But video content rules the day. Video accounts for 65% of all internet traffic. So, if your healthcare marketing campaign is looking for eyeballs, visual storytelling is the way to go. 

Videos don’t have to be super-scripted, though. You might, for example, post on your website a series of short video interviews with the physicians or nurses in your practice so that patients can learn more about them.

Educational Videos

You can dive deeper into video to educate your audience about your services or address pertinent topics that you or the subject matter experts in your practice are steeped in. Consider using scripted, informational videos on medical conditions as a way to prepare patients to ask key questions during consultations.

Educational videos can also sway an audience. The right video, with the right tone, can project trust and confidence in a physician, a treatment plan, or even a drug. That’s why drug companies spend up to 75% of their ad budgets on TV ads.

Idea 3: Invest in Email Marketing

Don’t overlook email marketing as a healthcare marketing idea. Sure, it’s not new, but it remains relevant. Why? For one, it’s cost-effective. It’s often cheaper to use than other digital channels, and it’s easy to track open rates and responses. You can also use email to help promote other marketing channels, like your healthcare organization’s blog content. 

Targeted Emails

All you need is a good list, and email campaigns are a cinch to personalize to a target audience. The best way to create a list is to have patients sign up through other channels such as your website or social accounts.

Emails can be short and sweet to ensure they are read. Or, they might be more in-depth, like a monthly newsletter. Whatever the format, be sure to feature high-quality content. And engaging subject lines are a must if you want recipients to open the email.

Reminders and Follow-Ups

Email can help keep your brand top of mind with your patients and demonstrate that you value their business. You could send email reminders about upcoming appointments, for instance, or follow-up emails after a patient receives care. Just be careful not to overdo it. 

Exclusive Offers

We all like a deal, so emails with subject lines and content offering exclusive promotions and incentives are much more likely to be opened than generic emails. Use these emails to drive traffic to relevant areas of your website and enhance your brand image.

Drip Campaigns

Drip marketing is an automated campaign using prewritten emails. This approach is useful for engaging patients who visit a specific webpage.

For example, say that a patient signs up for a webinar. Afterward, they receive drip emails including a webinar synopsis, an alert about a related webinar, then several equally spaced emails about additional relevant content. But here again, be strategic, and avoid bombarding patients with unwanted emails.

Idea 4: Embrace the Power of AI 

There is no other technology driving innovation in business like artificial intelligence (AI) is right now. It even has applications for healthcare marketing. Here are some ways that AI can help support and shape creative marketing ideas for healthcare. 

Support Chatbots

One area AI is leading innovation in healthcare marketing is in chatbots, automated conversational assistants that handle routine inquiries from patients. So, if they need instant support, such as asking how to make an appointment, a website chatbot can assist. 

Chatbots can also schedule appointments and answer other queries, such as where the appointment will take place and how to get there. Decreased hold times creates better patient experiences. Plus, by clearing up the phone lines, high-quality phone leads can get answered and converted to appointments and new patients at a higher rate.

AI Predictive Analytics

AI is especially valuable for conducting fast and accurate analytics. AI-driven software combs mountains of data far faster than humans ever could, detecting and reporting on trends and providing predictions based on its analysis. This predictive capability helps business operations as well as marketing teams.

Case in point: AI analyzes readmissions and comes up with a trend that a high percentage of patients are readmitted within two months of surgery. AI uses this data to predict the likelihood of future readmittance. Marketing reacts by developing video or blog content that features medical team members explaining how patients can avoid readmittance.

Conversation Intelligence AI

AI’s versatility is its strength. Another innovative application of AI is conversation intelligence. Phone conversations contain huge amounts of data that, when captured and analyzed, have value for patient-first healthcare marketing.

Invoca’s AI software can capture 100% of call data and analyze it to search for keywords, trends, and other information to help healthcare marketers discover which campaigns are driving appointment calls and get insights from conversations they can use to create more effective marketing campaigns. 

Idea 5: Create and Cultivate Communities

Your healthcare marketing strategy can play a vital role in your healthcare organization’s efforts to create and cultivate community engagement and awareness of health and wellness. There are several ways you can do this, including: 

Educational Videos

You can use educational videos to build community awareness about your healthcare organization and its services and underscore your interest in promoting the community’s wellness. You might develop a video series on preventive medicine to engage neighbors and patients from the local area around a hospital or medical center, for example.

Wellness Workshops

Consider hosting wellness workshops where patients and members of the local community are invited to attend, either in-person or virtually. These workshops are educational, and they provide an ideal opportunity for members of the medical team to interact directly with patients and other community members. This enhances brand awareness and local goodwill. 

Sponsorship of Local Events

Another way for healthcare organizations to strengthen community ties and elevate their brand is to attend local events. An even better idea is to sponsor those events. Local fairs, health and wellness events, book drives at the local library, seasonal toy and clothing drives or mobile blood donations are just some opportunities for sponsorship.

Online Forums

Many spaces on the internet are dedicated to conversation, and they can be a great platform for healthcare marketers to engage in community outreach. Online forums like Reddit, Quora, and Yahoo! Groups host chats on a wide range of topics, including healthcare, but there are also many dedicated healthcare online forums.

Healthcare marketers can participate in these forums or create their own discussion groups focused on patients. These forums can provide leads to patients who may be willing to provide online reviews or testimonials. 

Idea 6: Get Creative with Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing, the partnership of online personalities and brands, is a $21 billion industry and growing. Influencers on social platforms, particularly Instagram, YouTube and TikTok, are paid to promote brands’ products and services.

A majority of brands surveyed are spending between $10,000 and $50,000 a year on influencer marketing programs. A study by the University of Washington found that a 1% boost in budget for influencer marketing could result in 0.5% in overall engagement. 

Health and Wellness Influencers

Of course, you’ll want to focus on influencers who understand the healthcare sector and especially your core business. There are plenty of influencers out there to choose from but bear in mind that influencers with smaller followings will be more cost-effective to work with than influencers with huge subscriber lists. 

Guest Posts

In addition to working with health and wellness influencers to push your content over their channels, you can enlist their support in providing content for your own channels, including your blog. Guest posts can impress patients — and they can be promoted through other marketing efforts and channels.

Live Q&A Sessions

Another way to involve healthcare influencers in your marketing campaigns and boost engagement is to sponsor and promote live Q&A sessions. In these online programs, healthcare influencers answer questions from an invited audience. 

Recording Q&A sessions and posting excerpts or recordings over social channels and the website can help maximize your marketing outreach. 

Idea 7: Engage Patients

We’ve talked about engaging patients through social and website content and various other tools. But what about engaging with them directly? Satisfied patients can be the healthcare marketer’s greatest friend. They are third-party advocates who can help in so many ways, and not just by providing online reviews.

User-Generated Content

User-generated content (UGC) is like influencer marketing, except it’s easier on your marketing budget! You can encourage patients to write posts about their healthcare experiences or provide advice to patients undergoing the same treatments. UGC can also come in the form of photographs or videos. 

Customer Testimonials

Encouraging patients to provide testimonials can help you earn the trust of potential patients. You can ask patients to post comments on their social channels so that you can share or repost them or ask permission to publish their comments on your own social channels and website, or in your marketing collateral.

Case Studies

Enlisting a satisfied patient to participate in a real-world case study is a powerful marketing tool that can give prospective patients comfort and confidence if they have similar issues or questions. These case studies can be anonymous, but the real-world nature of the content can hit home. 

Referral and Reward System

Incentivizing patients to participate in your healthcare marketing efforts is another way to engage with them. You can offer a reward for providing a review or testimonial, referrals, participating in a prescription subscription program, or just repeat business.

Patient loyalty programs are growing in popularity as a marketing tool. In most cases, patients in loyalty programs receive discounted healthcare services.

Capture “Voice of the Customer” Analytics

You can also mine data from the thousands of everyday phone calls your healthcare group has with patients. This data gives you the true voice of the customer because it’s first-person interaction.

Call tracking software like Invoca makes gathering the voice of the customer effortless. It uses AI to capture conversation data and then identify trends such as common complaints or emerging issues. This insight can also help you uncover opportunities to improve care at your facilities, improve patient experiences, and refine your healthcare marketing efforts.

5 Future Trends in Healthcare Marketing

There are several trends that you’ll need to follow closely as you look to develop and deploy creative healthcare marketing ideas in the future. These trends include: 

1. Geofencing Ads

Geofencing is an exciting new marketing idea for healthcare. Geofencing, or setting digital boundaries, isolates target audiences in a specific geographic area. This approach can help ensure you’re not wasting money advertising to patients located too far away from your hospital, and thus, unlikely to use your facility or services. 

2. Google Business Profile Optimization

It may not sound like one of the most creative marketing ideas for healthcare but how’s your Google Business Profile (GBP)? Every business is entitled to a GBP, so if you haven’t taken advantage, you should — it’s free. 

If you have a GBP, make sure it is engaging and to the point. You can optimize it by creating a company description that is clear and concise and differentiates you from the competition. Pepper in a few strategic keywords relevant to your business that will be picked up in organic local searches. Remember, Google has over 90% of the search market!

3. Lead Generation Strategies

Lead generation strategies are vital to keeping your healthcare marketing machine fueled and running. One strategy that can help with lead generation is to use a customer relationship management (CRM) system.

CRMs score leads based on criteria such as demographics, behaviors, and interests. AI-powered conversation intelligence software like Invoca integrates easily with the CRM and can deliver large amounts of data to inform and guide your lead generation strategies. 

4. Conversation Intelligence

Conversation intelligence should be part of your marketing armory already. Remember that patients will pick up the phone at some point in their journey —  often, more than once. And when they do, many healthcare providers miss what the voice of the customer is saying.

With Invoca’s conversation intelligence software, 100% of that data stays in your tech stack to feed the CRM, inform Google ad bidding strategies, and help you create a more effective healthcare marketing plan. Invoca is also HIPAA-compliant, and will automatically redact sensitive information from its recordings and transcripts. 

5. Gamification Strategy

Gamification, or the use of gaming elements in a non-game environment, is a growing part of healthcare’s digital future. It’s mostly used to promote better patient outcomes. (Think reward badges for taking 12,000 steps a day or remembering to take medication.)

Gamification is taking shape in healthcare because it’s another way to engage the patient audience. It can also speed appointment scheduling and reduce patient wait times. Look for it to become even more prevalent as Gen Z and other successive generations that deeply embrace gaming begin to use more healthcare services.

Boost Your Healthcare Marketing Strategy with Invoca

If you really want to be ahead of the curve when it comes to creative healthcare marketing ideas, you’ll want to use AI-based tools like Invoca.

Invoca’s HIPAA-compliant call tracking and conversation analytics allows healthcare marketers to use rich insights from phone conversations to create personalized, patient-first experiences that drive appointments, new patient interaction, and ultimately, revenue. 

Additional Reading

Want to learn more about how Invoca can help you create a compelling and HIPAA-compliant healthcare marketing strategy? See these resources:

Reach out to us today to schedule a customized demo so you can see for yourself how Invoca can provide your healthcare organization with the insights you need to turn marketing ideas into winning strategies and real-world campaigns.

A screenshot of a phoneDescription automatically generated
Subscribe to the Invoca Blog

Get the latest on AI and conversation intelligence delivered to your inbox.

Get expert tips on marketing, call tracking, and conversation intelligence AI delivered straight to your inbox every two weeks. Join thousands of marketing and contact center professionals and subscribe today!

Webinar: Going beyond lead generation
Calling all digital marketers!
Level up your marketing game with industry experts' advice on building a revenue-focused strategy.
Register Now!
white arrow