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Patient-focused healthcare continues to evolve alongside the world at large. With shifting patient and physician preferences, only the most adaptive marketers will be able to stand out and earn the trust of both.

Here’s what makes health companies a unique challenge for marketers:

  • There are two decision-makers, but doctors alone gate prescriptions.
  • It’s a high-consideration industry that does its homework before making decisions.
  • Trust, authority and brand recall are the most important factors to build.
  • It lives and dies by word-of-mouth recommendations and reviews.
  • Discovery marketing is the industry’s untapped goldmine opportunity.

Marketers need to be on top of the health journey from start to finish for both doctors and for patients because both are involved in making the decision. Though doctors are the targets of awareness campaign, at the end of the day, it’s the patient who has to cough up the dough. This creates a complex digital market vacuum with a lot of potential to beat out other companies.

Build awareness on the right channels

In 2016, both physicians and their patients are going to turn to Google before making the right decision for each respective party. Smartphones streamline this process right to the doctor’s office, so know the channels that both are willing to trust. Reliable, consistent content on the search and social channels millennial consumers are known to visit is the most important tactic for reaching new and influential customers.

Ultimately, doctors and patients alike have much more control over the information they consume. Television, magazines, and newspapers are replaced by YouTube, Facebook, and Google apps for providing necessary, accessible information while in the waiting room. Health industry brands need to pair their ads with these insights in order to reach their customers when and where they’re searching most.

The habit that binds both doctor and patient is that neither want to walk into a clinic in-the-dark about what could cure their symptoms. That expectation translates to a lot of source referencing to ensure that their patients receive accurate information and recommendations. Doctors gate treatments and medicine, so each decision must be backed by research.

Relevant, relatable storytelling answers health questions best

With that in mind, patient-focused companies need to develop content with a story that mirrors the decision-making process. Communicating real-life desires and actions with similarities in key symptoms, whether side effects or treatments, provides a one-two punch of capturing search authority through targeted keywords. This type of quality content can inspire relevant word-of-mouth recommendations from doctors and patients alike.

Beyond general health questions, Manhattan Research reports that 100 million consumers go online with the intent to seek pharmaceutical or prescription drug information. The fact is, both doctors and patients want relevant information catered to them.

Ask any consumer – they are not currently satisfied with how the health industry providing information or services. There’s a lot of room to fill the gap with smart ads and content that meet their needs.

Engineering relevant content becomes a lot easier if you know what searchers expect to find. By optimizing content with keyword revenue forecasting, marketers can discover what symptoms and side effects are more commonly searched for and develop quality content around popular search terms to increase exposure in a saturated market. Understanding industry opportunities and how consumers search allows for smarter optimization moving into 2016 and helps craft content suited to fill the needs for both doctor and patients.

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The health industry knows the demand for their content is already higher than what’s produced. Keyword insights will help anticipate the best keywords for your customers, identify competitive content gaps, anticipate content performance, and elevate revenue opportunities into next year. Request a forecast with ZOG Digital’s Keyword Revenue Forecasting Tool, certified by Forrester Research, to leverage the untapped content opportunities in the health industry.

Patients expect to find relevant information that ranks well in search results in order to feel comfortable with their medical decisions. Similarly, doctors expect relevant studies to be easily accessible in search and provide safe recommendations. People are going to look at their phones no matter what, and they will seek further information to ask better questions, discover possible side effects or comfort themselves. Pair that knowledge of intent with content crafted around the best keywords opportunities to improve reach and boost clicks.

Engineer authority with smart content

Internet-savvy physicians are online researching every day. According to Manhattan Research, 64 percent of doctors use smartphones to supplement their desk or laptop computer usage and to be on-call for their patients’ needs. Doctors are no longer limited to offline materials like journals and other reference material to gain valuable, authoritative medical information and news.

With each recommendation, a doctor’s authority is on the line, so create content that they can trust and discover easily through forward-thinking keyword strategies. Doctors need accurate, up-to-date, research-backed information to give recommendations to their patients.

As access to online medical information and “self diagnosis” becomes more available, doctors need to be aware of quality content that aids patients prone to researching side effects before they accept prescriptions or even step foot into a doctor’s office.

Building awareness is key – fill the information gap in the health industry with a blend of smart keywords that work. Patients and doctors are willing to dig through Google results in order to find recommendations, descriptions, or side effects in order to create an expectation before they divine in.

In turn, those same patients no longer expect all of this information to come with a doctor, and when they don’t get it, they turn to the Internet. At times, patients trust what they read online more than the professional. Use this mindset to your advantage and market to both with smart content that evolves as the health industry does.

At the end of the day, marketers have a lot of challenges in the health industry. The key to jumping over these hurdles is to fill the content void with relevant digital ads accessible to both doctors and patients.

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