Capitalizing on Your Niche: Drive Volume and Revenue with Targeted Marketing Tactics
Highly specialized healthcare services can be money-makers for their respective hospitals, health systems, and specialty physician groups. It makes sense that you want to increase the number of people who access these services to increase revenue. But if you are responsible for marketing a lesser-known or understood medical specialty — or one that is primarily referral-driven — you know the challenges of penetrating your market and moving the needle when it comes to driving volume.
We know that people increasingly use the internet to seek information on just about everything — and healthcare concerns are no exception. It’s reported that 7% of all Google searches are healthcare-related. That’s more than one billion health questions every day!
But just because people are searching for health-related content doesn’t mean they understand what you do — or even know to go looking for you when they are a perfect fit for the treatments and services you offer.
Below we’ll cover a few ways you can capitalize on the increasing reliance on the internet for a large volume of searches, provide potential patients and referral sources the information they need to make good decisions, and ultimately choose to seek care from your hospital system or physician group.
1. Go beyond explaining your treatment, service, or procedure.
We’ve already established that there’s a high volume of searches related to healthcare, but the breakdown of those searches reveals something interesting. Thirty-seven percent of healthcare searches on Google are for conditions or diseases and 38% are for symptoms or departments, compared to only 6% of searches focused on treatments and procedures.
If you’re in a niche specialty that only talks about your treatments and technologies in your marketing and searchable web content, chances are low that patients are actually finding out about what you do. Not only will search volume be lower for subspecialties, but patients may not even realize there are options or specialists out there for their specific condition or symptoms. Offering information about the latest technologies or the newest techniques may be what your physicians or executive leadership teams think is important, but it’s secondary to condition and symptom-driven information on your website when it relates to patient conversion opportunities.
To capitalize on the individuals who do come to you by search in particular, it’s important to create a multifaceted content plan — one that encompasses the full range of patient concerns directly related to your service offerings, including blog content on symptoms, searchable content about the conditions, and answers to common questions about symptoms and conditions alike.
This is also a good time to explain your treatment options, why they’re unique, and the value of going to a specialist with links back to relevant services, treatments, or procedures pages on your website.
2. Consider your audiences and talk to each one individually.
Niche healthcare service providers tend to be more referral-driven specialties, rather than direct patient referrals. It’s understandable that people don’t necessarily comprehend complex healthcare conditions or concerns and rely on their primary care providers to point them in the right direction. It’s important to note that in addition to potential patients who do their research, physicians, advanced practice providers, and referral coordinators also perform searches when considering a referral.
To engage these potential referral sources, create content that’s specific for them. Because of their background and general knowledge base, this gives you an opportunity to offer a more nuanced explanation of your services where you dig into technologies and advancements, including quality of care, patient experience, and expected outcomes.
What’s more, physicians and self-referrers also consider price and are increasingly cost-conscious. Make it easy to find the insurance coverage you accept and any other cost or payment information details. Transparency is critical in this area.
3. Ask for online reviews and gather patient testimonials.
When you are offering a service or treatment that isn’t as well-known for a condition that is relatively uncommon, patients will be want to hear about options for their condition — and they will also be very interested in other people’s experiences. Research shows that 94% of patients use online reviews to evaluate providers, 77% of patients report using a search engine before selecting a provider for care, and 84% of patients trust reviews as much as personal recommendations.
In some cases, potential patients may be discouraged or have already been told by their PCP that there are few, if any, options for their condition. They may also believe that if their physician did not make a referral, there’s no need to seek specialty care. Reviews and stories of patient experiences and outcomes in simple, easy-to-understand language can create connection points that help prospective patients overcome concerns and convince them to push for that referral.
4. Narrow your digital focus.
When you’re in a niche specialty, throwing the digital net too wide won’t serve you well. The percentage of people who actually need your services will be much lower than what is reached with a general digital campaign, or even more specifically, through print marketing, billboards, and TV advertising. You may even have trouble reaching your target audience with social media marketing or display marketing as well.
For example, if you’re a pelvic health physical therapist working to promote post-birth therapy, you may find helpful audiences on social media and Google to reach women of a certain age and even women who are actively researching baby products. But if you’re a neurosurgeon promoting deep brain stimulation, you’re less likely to find an audience on social media or Google to help you get in front of patients with Parkinson’s or their caregivers.
Even with lower search volumes, by looking at symptoms, conditions, and treatments and tailoring your content to meet these queries, you can reach the right audience with SEO and search advertising. If your specialty is hyper-niche, consider advertising in both Google and Bing search results.
Digital Strategies That Work
Full Media brings a high level of expertise in digital marketing for the specialty healthcare sector, offering online advertising, patient UX and CRO, SEO campaign development and management, and a full suite of analytics and reporting tools. We start with a holistic approach and get to know our clients’ businesses first — meeting with executive and physician leaders to fully understand self- and physician-referral pathways and the advantages patients have when they seek your services and care. This makes a difference when crafting content that is not only compelling and actionable, but that takes into account where your patients are coming from and who they are. From there, we help you create a digital strategy that will continue to drive volume and increase revenue that’s directly correlated to your healthcare specialty.
Ready to learn more? Contact us today for a consultation.