A Mix of Advertising Tactics: The Perfect Prescription for Attracting and Engaging New Patients
Marketing for Specialty Healthcare
A Multi-Screen Advertising Strategy for Your Local Specialty Healthcare Practice
Is your specialty healthcare practice suffering from a patient deficiency? While word of mouth can be a good way to draw in customers, it may not be enough. Whether you’re a chiropractor, vascular specialist or laser eye surgeon, or you run an urgent care center, a physical therapy center or medical weight loss clinic, differentiating your practice from other specialists in your area and showing your expertise is vital to attracting a healthy influx of new patients.
Marketing specialty healthcare is a challenge, but fortunately, it’s one that the right media specialists can help you overcome. The prescription for success? Use a mix of advertising tactics to create awareness of your practice across all the screens and devices that prospective patients use in a day — from laptops to TV sets to smartphones.
Let’s examine some advertising ideas you can test to give your specialty healthcare practice great results. (And no, I won’t make you put on a paper gown.)
BUILD AWARENESS WITH TELEVISION
No matter what your specialty is or what demographic your typical patient fits into, television offers a unique opportunity to build awareness of your local practice. When it comes to screens, TV still reigns supreme, reaching over 93% of Americans — significantly more than any other video device.1 If you think advertising on cable television requires a Super Bowl commercial-level budget, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to discover a 30-second commercial in your local market probably costs about the same as a few custom lab coats.
TV can also educate viewers about local healthcare options and innovative treatments for the symptoms and disorders they or a loved one might be suffering from. Is your neurology practice the only one in town pioneering a new treatment for sleep disorders? Run TV ads in the early morning hours to let local insomniacs know you can help. Feature well-rested customers who can attest to your clinic’s positive outcomes (and who have signed a HIPAA-compliant testimonial authorization.) Then, urge viewers to visit your website to sign up for a free consultation. Since 83% of consumers “multi-screen” — i.e., use a mobile device while watching TV — chances are they’ll grab their smartphone right away.2
TV is especially effective for targeting baby boomers, a key market for most healthcare providers. The average boomer spends over 184 hours per month watching television.3 And cable TV lets you target viewers by demographics, lifestyle, location and more. For example, if your urgent care practice offers travel immunizations, advertise on the Travel Channel. Your physical rehabilitation center could advertise to viewers of ESPN, EXPN and other sports channels. Cardiologists can target seniors by advertising on cable news — the median age for CNN viewers is 61, MSNBC is 63 and Fox News is 67.4
EDUCATE WITH ONLINE VIDEO ADS
You don’t have to be an optometrist prescribing glasses for your patients to know Americans of all ages are immersed in screens. In fact, the average adult spends almost 11 hours a day looking at screens.5 That’s what makes online video such a breakthrough in medical services marketing. People researching medical treatments or health problems want all the information they can get — including the visual element online video provides.
Anxiety keeps many people from visiting physicians; showing them exactly what to expect can help allay their fears. What happens when a chiropractor does an “adjustment”? Create an explainer video that shows you treating a patient. Then, new patients will know what to expect when they visit your chiropractic office.
A professionally produced video vastly improves the prognosis for converting a “view” into a patient. Cox Media’s Creative Services team can help you develop a roster of professional videos edited from just one video shoot — for example, a 30-second ad for online video and TV, long-form videos to display on your website or in your waiting room, and unskippable “pre-roll” video ads that run before related online content your chosen target audience watches. See for yourself how Cox Media can help your practice.
STAY TOP-OF-MIND WITH ONLINE DISPLAY ADS
The first place people go to learn more about a newly diagnosed health problem, or some suspicious symptoms, is online. While you cannot target audiences based on their searches or the sites they visited due to HIPAA rules, you can advertise on categories of sites that are medically related, and target customers based on demographics like location, gender and age. A Cox Media specialist can help you create online display ads that entice potential patients to click while adhering to HIPAA regulations.
MAXIMIZE THE MOMENT WITH MOBILE
More than half of online searches now start on mobile devices.6 Mobile advertising helps you get on prospective patients’ radar whether they’re on the couch or on the go.
Geo-fencing is a sophisticated mobile advertising tactic that helps you target prospective patients nearby — a great tool if most of your patients come from the local area. This location-based mobile advertising technology serves your ads to smartphones within a radius you choose, such as near your office or the hospitals, clinics and pharmacies you work with. A sports medicine and orthopedic practice could even advertise to mobile devices at local sports parks and arenas, for example. Add click-to-call functionality to your mobile display ad, and patients can contact you right away.
PROMOTE YOUR EXPERTISE WITH SOCIAL MEDIA
From fibromyalgia and diabetes to cancer and Ménière’s disease, there are social media support groups for every medical issue you may treat. Get involved with groups related to your specialty to help build awareness of your practice and treatments. For example, if you’re an ophthalmologist, you could post a video on how to reduce eye strain from screen use or what to expect during a typical eye exam. Such interesting content is sure to get lots of views, comments and shares. (Don’t believe me? Dermatologist Dr. Sandra Lee has more than 2.7 million subscribers on her YouTube channel.)
Enhance your reputation among both prospective patients and other medical professionals by sharing educational information about health issues and treatments. An endocrinologist can post content on “5 Signs You Might Have a Hormone Imbalance,” and then boost views with social media advertising targeted to local middle-aged women on Facebook.
GET BETTER RESULTS
You know how important expertise and experience are to patient outcomes, and the same is true for advertising results. Maximize your advertising ROI by working with a media partner that knows your local market and understands the ins and outs of specialty healthcare. They can prescribe the perfect combination of television, online, mobile and social advertising to drive new patients to your door.
With Cox Media, you’ll get more out of your advertising investment with a media partner who can do all of the above and more. Are you ready to get started? Contact us online or call us at 1-855-755-2691.
1Video Advertising Bureau, Reigning Champ: Television Knocks Out the Competition, February 2017.
2Adobe, The State of Content: Rules of Engagement, December 2015.
3Nielsen, “Their Generation: From Location to Listening Habits a Media Divide Exists With Age,” May 24, 2016.
4New York Times, “Fox News Holds Its Lead in a Year of Growth for Cable News,” December 30, 2015.
5Nielsen, The Total Audience Report: Q1 2016, Jun. 26, 2016.
6Search Engine Land, “Report: Nearly 60 percent of searches now from mobile devices,” Aug. 3, 2016.
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