The sales cycle for healthcare tends to be longer than most other B2C verticals. As such, it is important to take a multi-faceted approach with a range of touch points for the different stages of the conversion process.
- Awareness : Display – Placement, Demographic and Topic Targeting
The first stage in the sales cycle is awareness. This is how potential patients first learn about you and your services. Using display advertising is an effective way of getting in front of a large pool of potential patients even when they aren’t currently in need of your product or service at that particular point in time. Once you have their attention, you can move them into the sales lead category.
It is important to have broad targeting and generate a high number of impressions at the awareness phase because only a small percentage of the audience that you serve impressions to will become qualified leads. Display ads of this kind tend to use demographic targeting or topic targeting to find the most qualified audiences. Using display buys is the most effective digital method of introducing your brand to the market. Having a strong brand presence is important because potential patients will be able to recall your name when they are in need of a product or service down the road.
This is the phase of the sales cycle where the consumer actually needs your product and begins their search. Regarding search engine marketing, this is the most important phase in the cycle because the lead pool has begun narrowing down. Customers are researching Doctors and healthcare facilities on various third-party websites like Healthgrades.com, Zocdoc, etc.
Display will also help increase brand awareness during this phase by using In-market audiences to capture potential patients. This tool recognizes when someone is looking for a particular service and advertises when someone is actively searching by comparing products and markets while he or she is browsing in real-time based on cookie data. Cookie data, (Clicks on relevant ads, Subsequent conversions, Visited site content and Duration and frequency of site visit) allows you to show relevant and personalized messages when a prospect is on your website or browsing the Internet.
Another option for marketing is using the similar audiences tool. This tool allows you to reach new consumers that are highly likely to purchase because this audience has shared interest with people on your remarketing list. This is determined by browsing activity on the Display network for the past 30 days to analyze consumer behavior and market towards potential customers with the similar interests and characteristics to those on your remarketing list. The tool will exclude sites from sensitive categories such as race or religion, and can generate 60 percent more impressions, 48 percent more clicks and 41 percent more conversions.
The consumer is narrowing down all brands in order to make their final decision. They are making a choice based on their own research and websites with valid, trustworthy information. Here you must use an effective SEM campaign to capture intent at the Evaluation stage.
It is key to target users in this stage with keyword contextual targeting and to utilize RLSA and Content Remarketing to ensure that the customer keeps the brand top-of-mind when evaluating where to purchase. The keywords you choose target specific ads on websites within the Google Display Network. They also target consumers that are finalizing their decision.
During this phase, the potential patient has become an actual patient, either for your organization or a competitors. Paid search enables you to reach audiences closing in on this phase of the sales cycle through search engine results pages (SERP) and select display networks. Google determines when and where your ads will perform the best on the Display Network and expands on targeted keyphrases, allowing advertisers to achieve incremental volume while maintaining the same performance. This is beneficial because you have the chance to get 15 percent more qualified leads at the same price.
Marketing does not end when the customer makes a purchase. You can continue to reach customers after purchase to drive advocacy and to encourage return visits. After the conversion, send reminder ads with remarketing and RLS.
RLSA is a remarketing list for search ads which allows you to send customized messaging to people who have previously visited your site. This is a handy tool for targeting people that did not make a conversion on your site. Plus, you are able to set your bids, create ads and select specific keywords here. See the example here from Iowa State University’s Student Health Department. Each student that has come into the health center throughout the year or their academic career could be served this ad to remind them to come back in for their flu shot. RLSA and remarketing ads help to ensure that you retain the patients that you worked hard to convert.
- Tactics spanning the entire sales cycle:
You are able to market to potential customers throughout the entire sales funnel with Google Sponsored Promotions. There are many ways to reach potential patients and create a niche target audience using demographics, interests, keywords and product purchase information.
Are you using paid search for your practice? Share with us in the comments how you have used paid media to increase patient conversion.
Still have questions about how a paid search strategy could help you capture more patients? Contact us today for an audit of your current strategy and an in depth look at how we can increase patient conversion.
Picture Source: Google AdWords