colleagues at healthcare marketing meeting

Hospitals face a unique challenge in digital advertising since they need to reach patients who need medical services but must do so in a way that doesn’t feel invasive. As a marketing and advertising partner to healthcare clients across the U.S. for over 90 years, we know how to promote patient-centric and privacy-compliant messages while still helping our clients reach new patients. Since 2013, we’ve successfully partnered with a leading hospital group in New Jersey on over 300 digital healthcare marketing initiatives, helping them promote a variety of their medical group practice areas while also enabling patients to get access to new services and the latest treatments in their area.

To take advantage of all we have learned in the process and to emulate our recent medical marketing digital strategy results, follow these healthcare marketing best practices to prep, act and improve your next digital ad campaign:

Healthcare Marketing Campaign Best Practices

Prep

Determine the Right Keyword Combinations. Look back and see what keywords were the most successful for you on similar branding or geo-focused campaigns in the past. Then, use those for your current healthcare digital advertising initiative.

Include Ad Extensions. Add a click-to-call extension or other ad extensions to your advertising to automatically improve your ad value, add urgency to your message, and encourage prospects to act at the same moment they see an ad. This is one easy way to get high-value prospects to reach out when they’re curious and most likely to make contact.

When we added a click-to-call extension to our client’s digital advertising, interested prospects could connect with the hospital’s call center directly and quickly learn more about how to set up an appointment. We also included a site link extension on their digital ads that directed prospects to a customized mobile-friendly webpage where they could fill out a form on the go to receive more info.

Use a Whitelist. Target only the top-performing sites for your brand. For every campaign you run, continually refine this list to make it more and more effective over time.

Make Private Marketplace Buys (PMPs). Connect with premium preferred publishers so your display advertising can appear on well-known sites – WebMD, Healthline or AARP and the like – that resonate the most with your audience.

Act

Search First. Then Display. Start your search campaign first to ramp up and achieve better quality scores. Over time as quality scores improve, your message will move up in the search results, which will have a positive impact on your results as you launch your display campaign.

Test Your Healthcare Digital Ad Plan. To be as successful as you can be with your advertising initiative, A/B test different elements of your campaign on small audience segments before scaling to the wider group. This gives you the opportunity to try out and evaluate different strategies then easily adjust as needed for maximum impact upon full rollout. Also, this beta test approach can give you a quick bump in results, meaning you can increase your site traffic, campaign activities, and patient leads early on, all with less risk, time and money spent.

Work Your Healthcare Digital Ad Plan. Once you test your campaign, apply the lessons you learned to your real campaign. Then, you can move forward with audience targeting that is on point and with media that is pre-optimized to achieve results most effectively.

Improve

Optimize Your Search and Display Campaigns. Once you get your search and display campaigns underway, carefully analyze results – your reporting, human insight and machine learning – to make incremental improvements to your campaigns.

On all our campaigns, we optimize with our RealValue® machine-learning algorithm. It automatically reviews browser and ad size data then bids higher on the best-performing combinations of both variables. This algorithm’s findings paired with our media buyers’ expertise is the winning combination to helping us know what audience and media inventory will best impact campaign results.

Using these eight tried-and-true best practices can give your healthcare digital advertising campaigns a boost: build better brand awareness, help you stand out from increasing competition, and generate new patient leads. For more expertise and support, let us share more about all the latest healthcare marketing strategies and tools you need to differentiate your services and achieve your campaign goals.