6 Must-Know Inbound Marketing Techniques for the Healthcare Industry

author image Written by: Lia           Categories - Digital Marketing

Inbound Approaches are an Ideal Match for Marketing Effectively and Ethically

Putting the word “marketing” so close to “healthcare” tends to raise eyebrows. After all, healthcare professionals have a clear ethical responsibility to inform and educate their patients. At the same time, though, a private practice is still a business, and marketing is part and parcel of any business. Complicating matters are the myriad regulatory bodies and groups that provide (necessary) oversight for members and professionals in their fields. Basically, marketing in the healthcare sector can mean walking a fine line—which is why inbound marketing is such an amazing fit. Inbound marketing is all about being helpful, empathetic, and informative, which aligns perfectly with the values of the healthcare sector. Not sure where to start with putting inbound strategies into play for businesses in the healthcare sector? Here are 7 ways to get the ball rolling:

1 – Create Engaging, Empathetic Content

Content (whether written or visual) is a major component of every inbound strategy. If you’re already using some content marketing strategies as part of your practice’s overall approach to marketing, great! You’re one step ahead of the game. But the problem with most content marketing efforts is that they focus on promoting a business’ services in an almost-but-not-quite-direct fashion. For example, a dental clinic may have a series of well-written blog posts on a particular treatment, such as clear dental aligners for straighter teeth. This is all well and good but focusing exclusively on the brand of aligners that clinic specializes in narrows the usefulness and effectiveness of that content asset. It’s absolutely fine to discuss your services but remember, prospective patients want to know you understand their situation, their fears, their concerns. A content asset that just focuses on how amazing the treatment you offer it doesn’t necessarily offer much to a would-be patient. Reframing content as a reliable source of information that answers the questions of users while addressing their concerns goes a long way towards getting them to pay attention to your practice and what you have to offer. Which leads us to…

2 – Nail Your Messaging

How long does it take for you to make your point? Every second matters! According to Facebook, people spend (on average) 1.7 seconds with a piece of content on mobile. That number’s higher on desktop, but not by much: 2.5 seconds. Let’s get the point here: people might only take a passing glance at your content’s messaging, which is why it’s so important to stand out. You want to create something that’s going to delight and engage with them, after all—one of the central ideas behind inbound marketing! You’ve probably spent a fair amount of time developing your messaging already, but it can’t be stressed enough: make sure you’ve absolutely nailed it! Who are you? What do you do? Why should patients choose you over someone else? Keep these questions in mind and cut out the ambiguity. You’re awesome: just make sure everyone else knows it! In turn, that helps with…

3 – Reputation Management

Digital marketing’s focus on reputation management can often be frustratingly technical. You claim local business listings, build profiles, and respond to user reviews. That technicality is compounded by the fact that testimonials are a hot-button issue in the healthcare industry. Dentists and doctors have extensive guidelines regarding advertising, public communications, and marketing that they must abide by. This means that reputation management can be a tricky fit. Dentists, for example, can’t use testimonials to market their services on their website or through paid advertising, even if they’ve got over 600 5-star Google reviews. That doesn’t mean that reputation management can’t work, though, but rather that it needs to focus on establishing reputation through more traditional methods, such as highlighting publications that feature your practice or projects and research you’ve been involved in.

4 – Start a Conversation

This is such an obvious “why didn’t we think of that” item that it’s almost painful to include it on this list, and it seems so obvious in hindsight. Quite simply, one of the best ways to start a conversation with visitors to your site isn’t with a call-to-action to get them to pick up the phone or write an email (though those are great methods)… …it’s to provide a chat option on your website. Calls and appointments can be daunting for patients exploring their options, especially if they’ve just got a quick question. Giving them a means of asking a question on their own terms gives even the most lukewarm of leads a way to get some information without worrying about feeling self-conscious.

5 – Rethinking Contact Forms

With the above note in mind, how much thought are you putting into your contact forms? A generic “contact us” form doesn’t really provide a ton of value for your practice, not to mention your patients. Consider taking some time to rethink and re-develop your contact forms to better assess a patient’s needs. For example, forms that auto-populate based on an initial selection at a dental clinic can help hygienists and dentists get patients the treatments they want that much faster. Imagine this: a patient with a toothache but otherwise healthy teeth lands on a dental clinic’s site. They like what they see and immediately turn to the contact form, indicating they have a toothache. Another field could ask them when they last visited the dentist, or how frequently they get their teeth cleaned. All this can help steer your patients to the treatments they need that much faster.

6 – Observe, Assess, and Retarget

You’ve put your inbound marketing strategy into play, you’ve assessed the data… now what? Let’s back up a bit first: did you put Facebook and Google Ad pixels on your site? These can help track users who’ve visited your site, giving you valuable retargeting data you can put into action. Retargeting users who’ve already engaged with your site or brand opens the door to new opportunities. You can create ad campaigns that are a bit more direct than usual, as your audience is already primed for a follow-up. Keep in mind, these tips aren’t the be-all, end-all of inbound marketing for the healthcare industry. If you’re looking for a new, creative, and effective method for promoting your practice or clinic, these tips are a great way to get started. Of course, if you’re ever in doubt, you can always reach out to the team at SEO TWIST—we’re happy to help you get the results you’re after!


Google Pulling Back Ad Restrictions For YouTube


Google announced that they are lifting some restrictions on YouTube mastheads ads. That means that advertisers who have been limited with their ad publishing until now, can finally publish ads in the following categories:

  • Sports betting (US Only)
  • Alcohol (where legal)
  • Prescription drugs (US, CA, NZ)

Categories for election and political ads, as well as non-sports gambling, remain restricted.

“We’re constantly reviewing our ad requirements to improve our products and services. Given the evolving regulatory landscape for sports betting and following our successful implementation of our new “per market” YouTube masthead format, we believe that this decision balances the needs of advertisers and consumers.” -Google’s spokesperson said.

YouTube mastheads are the ads that users see at the top of the YouTube homepage. Since it’s the most prominent placement, the ads there must comply with all Google Ads policies and YouTube ad requirements.

However, the masthead ad content requirements are much more restrictive than the ad requirements on other platforms. So, even if an ad has been denied for the masthead placement, it can still run somewhere else on Google.

Read More: Users Can Limit Three More Types Of Ads On Youtube

Ad Requirements for YouTube

As mentioned, ad content must comply with certain requirements. Here’s what ad content is prohibited on YouTube:

  • Exaggerated or inaccurate claims – exaggerated or false claims for a product or a service that misleads people
  • Offensive language – obscene or offensive language, derogatory language that incites hatred, discrimination, racism
  • Negative events and imagery – mentally distressing, disturbing, scary content, death, decay, etc. This also means no videos of people weeping at funerals, excessively gory content, dangerous challenges, etc. There are exceptions for movies, TV shows, news channels, etc.
  • Improper content – focusing on specific body parts or health conditions, nudity, racy and sexually suggestive topics. There are some limitations to ads for weight loss, hair loss, skin conditions, swimwear, etc.
Read more: YouTube Launches ‘Search Insights’

Why Is This Important?

Masthead ads are one of many YouTube and Google advertising formats and only a small portion of YouTube’s daily ad impressions. All of the previously restricted categories above can now select that placement for their ads, giving them more choice and options for their ads.

Read More: Should You Create Video Content?
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Instagram Updating Its Ranking Algorithm 


Instagram chief Adam Mosseri announced that Instagram is adding a few changes in order to put more focus on creators and the credit they get. One of the mentioned changes is updating its ranking algorithm with the goal to put more focus on original work. Judging by the number of copy-paste posts we’ve seen so far, this update should have been made a long time ago.


Read More: Instagram’s Main Feed Going Full Screen

Making Sure The Credit Goes To Those Who Deserve It

Instagram announced the following changes:

  • Product Tags – it will now be available to everyone. So, no matter who you are, you will be able to tag products and drive traffic and attention to a business, creator or a company that they like.
  • Enhanced People Tags – now, you can add a category for yourself (into profile, edit profile) which will show up when you are tagged in a photo or a video. This makes sure you have your identity be what you want it to be, and credited according to your wishes.
  • Ranking – people that actually created something from scratch should be more credited for that, so the algorithm will focus more on that kind of content.

“We are going to do more to try and value original content more, particularly compared to reposted content. So, more to come there as well.” – said Mosseri in the announcement.

But, what does it exactly mean? As mentioned in SocialMediaToday, the changes in ranking are not that well explained and it’s not clear if any penalization will happen.

Read More: Instagram Subscriptions Tests Three New Features

What Will Affect The Ranking?

The Twitter community did have some questions regarding the originality of content and asked about editing outside of the app. If you remember, Instagram started down-ranking content that was re-shared from other apps. So, if you will be re-posting your TikTok with a watermark on it, your content will still be penalized. However, if you only edited it off the Instagram app, that shouldn’t be a problem and won’t affect your rank.

Still, Mosseri admits that Instagram can’t know for sure if a content piece is an original or not. They only build classifiers that will show how likely something is to be an original, but they can never know for sure. It’s still a work in progress.

Posting History Is Also A Factor

Content aggregators are the focus of this update, and Instagram will be able to determine this with the account’s posting history. Instagram is more likely to detect that an account is an aggregator if it re-posts a lot of content from other accounts.” So if you’re re-posting a lot of content from other accounts, you’ll likely see a drop in reach.

The main goal of the whole update is, as we mentioned, to give more credit to original creators, but the system is not yet perfect. However, Mosseri said that Instagram will continue to improve its detection features over time to better distinguish where the content comes from and who posts original content, to promote the real creators and reduce the influence of big farm accounts.

It looks like it’s time to say goodbye to reposting trending memes in order to boost engagement.


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