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Applying Acquisition Marketing Principles To Healthcare

When looking for healthcare, yesterday’s consumers may have relied solely on referrals, but today’s consumers won’t leave anything to chance. Instead, they’ll conduct thorough research and consider a number of factors before they choose you to provide them with the best care and patient experience. 

How can you meet modern patients’ expectations? 

Use acquisition marketing to highlight the best parts of your medical practice and construct a compelling vision of the comprehensive care you provide.

How do you do this? 

Meet your patients at the beginning of their journey by collecting data that helps you better personalize your acquisition marketing strategies, use different tools to engage with them and convey your messaging, and measure your marketing spend.

What is Acquisition Marketing in Healthcare?

Acquisition marketing in healthcare refers to a set of strategies aimed at consumers who are already familiar with your brand and your services and are considering you as a potential healthcare provider. 

Within a comprehensive marketing strategy, acquisition marketing campaigns follow up on brand awareness campaigns and target the users who have responded positively to them and met the criteria that place them in the consideration stage of the buyer’s journey. The goal of acquisition marketing is to convert valuable leads into customers.

Why Is Acquisition Marketing Important

Like any business, your medical practice must attract new patients to grow. With acquisition marketing, you can bring in more patients and drive revenue. To succeed in this, it’s necessary to implement marketing strategies that demonstrate your skills and services, help you stand out, and show patients what you and your medical practice are all about. 

Patient acquisition isn’t anything new. Healthcare providers have always tried to understand their patient’s needs and deliver messages that will get them to take action. Today, the primary focus of that process is ensuring your practice has a strong online presence. This creates awareness about your brand and services and makes your new patients feel more confident choosing you. And more patients walking through your door means more consistent revenue growth.

Acquisition marketing principles give your practice the opportunity to expand and stay relevant among your competitors, but it’s also important from a long-term perspective. It creates new opportunities and opens space to offer different services, keep up with the changing needs of the healthcare market, and strengthen your brand in the years to come. So, even if you’re happy with your practice’s growth and revenue numbers at the moment, you need to make sure this won’t change any time soon. 

How Is This Different From What I Might Already Be Doing?

It may be confusing to separate strategies used to acquire new patients from those used to retain the existing ones, but patient acquisition and patient retention are both essential components of your practice growth and must be a part of core marketing strategies. 

You can’t expect your existing patients to visit you every four days, so how do you maintain a steady inflow of patients? It’s simple: by acquiring more patients. This is the initial step that marks the patient journey, which is further supported by connecting with the patients, converting them, and retaining them. Ultimately, patient retention allows you to increase the lifetime value of a patient, and maximize the impact of your acquisition marketing efforts.

While both have their own challenges, patient acquisition has a significantly higher cost attached to it. Studies show that it’s five times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to retain an existing one. At the same time, it’s much easier to compensate for these costs today with knowledge about customers’ preferences and purchase patterns. 

With predictive analysis insights being a reality, you can personalize new patients’ experiences to their preferences. Knowing which patients to target, how they prefer to communicate, and when to reach them is a huge step forward allowing you to extract optimal value from acquiring a new patient. 

It’s All About Analytics

You may find it intimidating to grab the attention of modern healthcare consumers who do their research, educate themselves, and take charge of their medical decision-making. But, as they search online, their data is being collected, leaving patterns that uncover information about potential patients and their needs.

While predictive data was previously available only to large hospital organizations, practices and hospitals of any size can now leverage this information as part of their acquisition marketing efforts. This way you can uncover trails that consumers leave when searching for healthcare online and use the data to identify individuals at high risk for specific medical conditions. You can also find geographic areas with high concentrations of people at risk and define financial profiles that would benefit your practice the most. 

However, for your acquisition marketing principles to be effective, you must place the right information in front of the right patients at the right time. With predictive marketing strategies, you identify ideal patients, but also target them at critical moments when they search for medical care online. This helps you attract new patients and leads you to measurable results and a substantiated ROI.

What Else Can I Do?

Apart from data-driven patient acquisition, there are other acquisition marketing principles you can apply to achieve your desired results:

Create a Strong Online Presence 

You should always tailor your online presence to fit your potential new patients’ unique needs. This means keeping your website and social profiles up-to-date and informative. 

To preserve your credibility, the information you put online must be accurate, consistent, and easy to understand across all your platforms, whether that’s social media, your website, or your blog. By being consistent, you can create a positive first impression, help potential new patients remember you, and build trust. 

Encourage Patients to Leave Reviews 

90% of people choose which businesses to use based on customer reviews. Your practice is a business, and it’s as open to reviews as any other. When you proudly display positive online reviews on your practice website’s homepage, you immediately show your trustworthiness. One of the best ways to boost reviews and get new patients to your door is to set up automated review requests that your patients receive within 24 hours of care. 

Optimize for Local Search 

76% of smartphone users who search for services in their area visit a business within 24 hours. That goes for your prospective patients, too. You can make sure you reach them by optimizing your content, business listings, and overall digital presence for one or more local markets.

Set up Your Own Paid Search Advertising 

Paid search campaigns help you get noticed by more potential patients. The closer to the top you can get your ad to appear in search results, the more likely you are to attract patients who are ready to make an appointment.

At a minimum, it’s important to run brand ads. They secure your position in search results when a patient uses your practice or institution name as keywords and are typically very inexpensive since you own your brand.

In addition, targeted ads show up when someone searches for the type of care you provide. With predictive marketing tools at your disposal, you can set up your ads to be seen by patients who meet a specific set of criteria.

Optimize for Conversions

Conversion optimization plays an important part in achieving the goal of acquisition marketing, as its role is to reduce, and even eliminate, the barriers of entry for your potential patients. Simply said, any complicated feature, be it a non-intuitive website, a bulky scheduling form, or difficulty finding your contact information, will discourage people from interacting with your practice.

And while “conversion optimization” might sound complicated and scary, it simply means that you need to make it easy for users to interact with your practice and provide them with a seamless, straightforward process and review any hindrances that may prevent any interested party from becoming your patient.

Make It Easy to Schedule Appointments 

To lean on conversion optimization, let’s dig deeper into the most important piece of it in healthcare marketing: scheduling appointments online. The easier you make this for customers, the more likely they will choose your practice. 67% of patients prefer online booking to calling, while  34% of onlne-scheduled appointments are made after the office is closed. By providing patients with options to schedule appointments when and how they want, you increase the likelihood that they’ll schedule it with you. In addition to providing an option to schedule online, you should offer multiple ways to contact your business like phone calls, texting, and form fills. That way, you don’t lose any patients because they didn’t know how to reach you or couldn’t reach you when it was convenient for them.

Use Social Media 

Social media is unique because it allows people to randomly stumble upon new and interesting accounts while browsing their platforms of choice. In such an open environment, you only have a few seconds to make a meaningful impression, so make sure that your social media pages are filled with images, infographics, videos, and posts that attest to your services.

Better yet, many platforms include analytics tools that tell you how many people saw your content and engaged with it. Knowing which types of content interest people most helps you choose and upload similar posts to attract new customers.

The strength of well-targeted advertising is not lost on social media giants either. Paid social media also allows you to directly target specific groups that are more likely to need your services. And just like the organic ones, their advertising analytics tools also provide great insights into all types of interactions and have intuitive tools that help you optimize your daily ad spend.

Bring In More Patients and More Revenue

Providing high-quality healthcare is only one part of the equation for today’s healthcare providers.

Customers demand a higher level of service and convenience, from their first contact with a healthcare practice to forming an ongoing relationship. Gaining deeper insights into healthcare consumers and marketing through the use of data and advanced analytics is the first step toward smarter patient acquisition and extended patient lifetime value. In combination with other strategies, this optimizes the growth of your practice and improves the experience for healthcare consumers, turning them into loyal patients. At the same time, you can accurately measure the return on your marketing spend and know where to invest your efforts.

To acquire new patients and grow your practice, you need to be seen in healthcare consumer online searches and SocialClimb can help you enhance your acquisition marketing and reap the rewards of your efforts. Make use of big data by employing a platform that helps you target and attract ideal patients and closely monitor your ROI, all while fine-tuning your marketing spend.

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