The healthcare industry, with its stringent regulations and high stakes, presents unique challenges for marketers. One misstep can lead to serious consequences, including data breaches, non-compliance penalties, and damage to patient trust. One way to reduce the risk healthcare marketers face is to partner with an agency that understands these issues, and is experienced in delivering results while protecting patient data and remaining in compliance. Here’s how Workshop Digital is partnering with healthcare marketers to help them navigate these challenges, with some suggestions for the services and value that an agency should provide to your healthcare business.
Understanding privacy challenges in healthcare marketing
Marketers in this industry have a lot to consider, from understanding intricate healthcare data privacy laws to ensuring compliance in all marketing initiatives. Healthcare data privacy laws such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) in the U.S., the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the EU, and the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA) in Canada, are designed to protect patient information. These laws dictate how personal health information can be collected, used, and disclosed, and non-compliance can result in severe penalties.
Healthcare marketers must also contend with the risk of data breaches. In an era where data is increasingly digitized and healthcare providers are collecting more information than ever, the risk of data breaches is high. A single data breach can lead to significant financial losses, damage to a business's reputation, and loss of patient trust.
Industry knowledge that helps you stay compliant
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The role of a digital marketing agency in healthcare marketing
A digital marketing agency can serve as a trusted guide, navigating the intricacies of privacy regulations and best practices as they relate to the platforms and messaging that they deal with on a day-to-day basis. Many agencies offer a wide range of services, each designed to address specific challenges faced by healthcare marketers.
One of the key services provided by digital marketing agencies is Search Engine Optimization (SEO). This involves improving a website's visibility on search engines like Google, making it easier for potential patients to find your healthcare organization online. On-page and technical SEO services ensure that your healthcare organization ranks high in local search results and that your website's technical aspects are optimized for search engines.
Another common element is Paid Media, or PPC. This allows healthcare businesses to leverage paid advertising channels to reach a broader audience. There is an ever-expanding variety of paid media services, including paid search, paid social, display advertising, and YouTube ads. These services can help healthcare organizations reach their target audience on various platforms, increasing brand awareness and patient acquisition.
Performance Creative involves optimizing the look and feel of your ads to ensure they meet necessary compliance rules while also maintaining the same high standards as every other part of your digital media plan. This can lead to improved campaign performance and a more recognizable brand, while ensuring that your messaging is always engaging your audience to the best of its ability.
If your business relies on visitors taking an action on your website, Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) can improve your website's design, copy, and user experience to increase the percentage of visitors who complete that desired action, such as filling out a contact form or scheduling an appointment. CRO services essentially help healthcare organizations turn more of their website visitors into leads and sales.
Data privacy can make it especially challenging to get a clear view into your marketing program to get the accurate, actionable information you need to make adjustments to your strategy. Each of these services should include setting up tracking to measure important user interactions, as well as providing customized reporting and dashboards to help you make sense of your data. The right analytics and reporting services can help your healthcare organization gain valuable insights into your marketing performance and make data-driven decisions.
How agency oversight reduces risk
Digital marketing agencies, equipped with industry-specific knowledge and expertise, can significantly reduce the risks associated with healthcare marketing across all channels and strategies. Let's explore how the services discussed in Section III can specifically address the unique challenges faced by healthcare marketers.
1. Search Engine Optimization: SEO is needed to expand your online visibility, a critical aspect given that a significant portion of patients conduct online research before booking appointments. A digital marketing agency can optimize your website for relevant keywords, ensuring higher rankings in search engine results. This not only mitigates the risk of being overshadowed by competitors but also ensures that your healthcare organization is easily discoverable by potential patients.
2. Paid Media: The realm of paid media can be a minefield for healthcare marketers due to the stringent regulations surrounding healthcare advertising. Digital marketing agencies, well-versed in these regulations, can help you navigate this landscape, ensuring that your ads are compliant and effectively reach your target audience. They can help you leverage platforms like Google Ads and social media, ensuring your ads are HIPAA compliant, thereby reducing the risk of regulatory violations.
3. Performance Creative: Crafting ads that comply with healthcare regulations and resonate with your target audience can be a daunting task. Digital marketing agencies can help you create ads that not only meet regulatory standards but also align with your brand and appeal to your audience. This reduces the risk of ineffective advertising and enhances campaign performance.
4. Conversion Rate Optimization: CRO can be particularly challenging for healthcare marketers due to the sensitive nature of healthcare data. Digital marketing agencies can help you optimize your website in a way that encourages visitors to take desired actions, such as scheduling an appointment, while ensuring that their data is handled securely and in compliance with privacy laws. This reduces the risk of data breaches and non-compliance penalties.
5. Analytics and Reporting: Interpreting marketing performance data can be complex. Digital marketing agencies can provide customized reporting and dashboards that offer valuable insights into your marketing performance, helping you make data-driven decisions. This reduces the risk of wasteful spending and helps you optimize your marketing strategies based on what's working.
Benefits of partnering with a specialized healthcare marketing agency
Partnering with a specialized healthcare marketing agency brings numerous benefits, particularly in terms of risk mitigation and achieving marketing goals. Here are some key advantages:
Deep industry knowledge
A specialized healthcare marketing agency has a deep understanding of the healthcare industry's unique challenges and regulations. They are familiar with HIPAA, GDPR, and other data privacy laws, ensuring that your marketing strategies are compliant and reducing the risk of legal issues.
Customized marketing strategies
Healthcare marketing agencies can develop customized marketing strategies tailored to your organization's specific needs. Whether it's SEO, paid media, or performance creative, they can design strategies that align with your goals and target audience, reducing the risk of ineffective marketing efforts.
Expertise in patient acquisition
While many agencies will have experience finding and engaging new retail customers, a marketing agency with healthcare clients will have expertise in patient acquisition strategies. They can leverage SEO, paid media, and other tactics to attract potential patients, reducing the risk of low patient turnout.
Healthcare marketing agencies can provide analytics and reporting services, giving you valuable insights into your marketing performance. This allows you to make data-driven decisions, reducing the risk of wasteful spending and helping you optimize your marketing strategies.
Help keep your healthcare company ahead of marketing trends
Digital marketing is constantly evolving, especially with shifting algorithms controlling search, and the widespread introduction of powerful new tools using AI and machine learning. Look for an agency that continuously monitoring these changes and updating your strategies, testing and experimenting with these technologies to find the best ways to use them to find and engage patients. They’ll help your business stay ahead of the latest changes to ensure your marketing strategies remain effective and compliant.
A business partner, not just a service provider
The agency should view themselves as a partner in your success, not just a service provider. They should be invested in your goals and work collaboratively with you to achieve them. They’ll also be responsive and easy to communicate with, provide regular updates on your marketing performance, and be available to answer any questions you may have.
Talk to an agency that shares your goals - get started today
A digital marketing agency can provide you with the tools and expertise you need to mitigate the risks associated with healthcare to achieve your marketing goals. By leveraging their services, your healthcare organizations can navigate the complex world of healthcare marketing with confidence. Get in touch with us today, and we can show you how we are helping healthcare leaders create compliant marketing that gets results.