As much as we all love the holidays, this season is also a reminder that the end of the year is quickly arriving. Year-end is a busy time for business owners in any industry because you’re trying to plan ahead and start the next year on a strong, focused note. That includes creating a plan for our area of expertise – marketing. If you’re not sure how to build your healthcare company’s marketing plan for 2018, our pros at McCauley Marketing Services have some tips that can help.
One of the most important AND most neglected parts of a strong marketing strategy is tracking. You need to know where your leads and patients hear about you to know what actually works and what doesn’t. Some companies do little or no tracking; other companies have some tracking in place but they rarely look at the data. It will be well worth your time to take a close look at the internal and external data you’ve gathered in 2017 and use that to determine where to focus in 2018. Instead of assuming you know where your business is coming from, studying thorough data will tell you where any holes are in your pipeline, what has made progress and what hasn’t, which patients are actually following through and staying, etc. This is also the perfect time to put a better tracking system in place for 2018. The data needs to be gathered and collected consistently, so take some time to fine-tune your strategy and make sure your staff uses it correctly. If necessary, we can help with medical office consulting and training to get everyone up to speed.
Tip #2: Have a healthy variety of strategies.
With as much time as the average person spends using their phone, computer, and tablet, digital marketing is a great opportunity for any business, including those in the medical field. But investing too much of your budget into one area will limit your reach, so make sure your plan incorporates both digital and traditional marketing. Print ads, direct mail, and other classic strategies still work and they shouldn’t be tossed aside.
Tip #3: Make video a priority.
Let’s face it – most people would rather watch than read. Videos are more visible now than ever thanks to their accessibility online and the way they’re prioritized on social media, and they’re an extremely valuable part of content marketing. Take a look at your video marketing from 2017 and step it up next year. If you use the right equipment and settings, video can be produced inexpensively while still looking professional and reaching your audience in the right way.
Tip #4: Feel free to engage with new trends, but be selective.
Especially if you’re marketing toward millennials, taking advantage of the latest media trends can give you a great advantage. But it’s important not to jump on board with every trend – make sure they’re suitable to your brand first. For instance, Instagram continues to grow and thrive, but primarily with young adults, so if you’re marketing primarily toward baby boomers, it won’t be a profitable use of your time and resources. Still, be cautious about over-categorizing and over-segregating by only focusing on one or two target audiences.
Tip #5: Quality over quantity.
Content marketing has been a buzzword for many years already, and it’s not going anywhere. Especially in the healthcare field, people don’t want to be “sold to” – they want to collect valuable and helpful information they can actually use. The business who gives it to them will receive exposure and develop a strong reputation as an expert. But everyone is catching on, and there’s a ton of information floating around, so you need to set yourself apart with truly high-quality and original content that matches your practice’s personality. This should come in the form of blog articles, web content, videos, informative social media posts, infographics, and more.
Tip #6: Revisit customer research.
Too many businesses just research their target audience while they’re developing their original business plan, and then they work from the same information for years or even decades. People change, society changes, and the demographics you target could even change when you offer new products and services. This year, head back to basics and take the time to find out more about your existing patients as well as those you haven’t reached but would like to. There are plenty of tools and technologies available to help.
We might be getting down to the wire, but there’s still time to get your ducks in a row for 2018. We hope the tips above have given you a strong start. But if you want more hands-on help, we’re here to serve. Schedule a meeting with McCauley Marketing Services. Or, for more healthcare marketing tips, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.