The healthcare industry is ever growing and there is a lot to consider when it comes to healthcare marketing, branding, and website design.
With a vast audience to market to, from patients to B2B buyers, it’s more important than ever to have a clear website design, an effective marketing strategy and branding that positions your company well within the medical industry.
This is vital in order to differentiate from competitors in the industry, and be clear about who you are, what you offer, and most importantly how you can help.
Within the healthcare industry it is important that you appeal to your specific audience, as you may be a medical equipment company targeting B2B buyers in large organisations, which looks very different to the communication between a patient and a healthcare professional.
Therefore, in this post we are going to dive into the details of healthcare marketing strategies, how to build a solid brand foundation, and what features should be included within a healthcare website design.
So, let’s get started.
How Do You Make Your Money? What is Your Business Model?
Often companies within the healthcare sector make their money through selling equipment, insurance, and products to larger companies, or selling products and services to patients.
For example, paying for the dentist, or paying for health insurance requires customers to pay for a service.
But the financial side of the business shouldn’t compromise the promise you make to your customers whether they are patients or B2B buyers.
Ultimately, much like any business, no customers means no revenue.
Therefore, healthcare isn’t always transactional, and this is where the business model differs slightly.
While revenue is important in order to keep practices running, and keep businesses afloat, upholding promises made to customers comes first.
The promise to the customer is vital as organisations need to trust that your insurance will cover their whole company, and patients need to trust that you are qualified and providing accurate advice and treatment.
Without a promise and without customers, your company will find it hard to increase its revenue.
Know Who You’re Talking to
Like many sectors, the main target audience within the healthcare sector isn’t just a singular demographic of customers.
It isn’t that simple.
Instead, for healthcare, there are three distinct categories:
First up we have patients, and this is a large group as patients are all ages, genders, and live in various locations, but the demographic has to be targeted on the whole rather than individually.
For example, a 90 year old woman will quite possibly have a completely different medical background and list of conditions, compared to a 21 year old female patient.
You’ll end up falling behind if you target one demographic over another, so be sure to target both.
Patients in general are more interested in medical information and advice, and how to contact a practice, as well as the team of staff working within the business.
So, don’t try to sell them equipment!
Insurance might work, but they are mainly looking for patient care, professional treatment, and diagnosis.
Next up we have B2B businesses and buyers, who make up a large proportion of customers in the healthcare sector.
This includes companies and organisations who are looking for health insurance cover, medical equipment and products, suppliers, and healthcare technology.
Therefore, this group of customers require completely different information and should be targeted in a different way to patients.
These businesses are looking for a specific healthcare product or service, so it’s important to appeal to this, don’t continue to give them healthcare advice and information that is directed towards patients
It may be that these businesses are healthcare professionals themselves looking for a supplier for lab equipment to conduct research, or perhaps a large organisation looking to insure all of their departments.
Therefore this section of your audience are more interested in pricing, warranty, types of cover on offer, and equipment comparison. But we will touch more on this below!
Ultimately, whether you provide treatments, appointments, advice, information, equipment, or insurance, you need customers who are either patients, or B2B buyers.
The healthcare sector is notoriously understaffed, so it is important to target future employees who are interested in applying for a role, or becoming involved in the industry in general.
While B2B businesses and patients make up the main target audience, it’s important to take into account that both GP practices and health insurance companies need employees.
Therefore, it’s important to highlight the benefits of your workplace, whether that’s through careers sections on your website, or showing off your team’s personality via your social media channels.
However, for this post we will be focusing on targeting patients and B2B buyers, but luckily we have a post on branding, website design and marketing within the recruitment sector, so head over there – after this post of course!
Healthcare Marketing, Branding, and Website Design FAQ’s
Before we jump straight into the world of healthcare branding, lets take a quick look at some FAQ’s.
Why do I need healthcare marketing?
Marketing in healthcare allows you to nurture connections with patients, or showcase the medical products or services you have on offer. Successful healthcare marketing leads to better relationships with clients and patients as you can properly communicate your brand and vision.
Healthcare branding can be likened to a balancing act, as your audience is potentially quite vast.
Your company may be targeting businesses as well as patients and potential employees, and this requires branding that appeals to all 3.
However, for the rest of this post we will focus purely on the two main groups you are targeting separately which are:
- B2B buyers
Narrowing your branding down to two groups still doesn’t mean your audience is any less vast, as the healthcare industry includes not only patient care, but equipment, technology, and insurance.
Regardless of this, good branding is vital to instil trust in your audience on the whole as you are dealing with health and healthcare solutions, so you need to be reliable, concise, and informative across the board.
This is vital if you are going to be successful in achieving customer loyalty and satisfaction, as branding in the healthcare sector can be damaged far more easily than other sectors due to the role healthcare plays in the lives of the public.
Patients and B2B buyers make up your main audience, but do need to be targeted properly and in different ways, as each group is looking for different information.
A patient wants to know:
- How to book an appointment
- Information and advice on healthcare issues
- How to get to your practice
- Team personality and values
A B2B buyer wants to know:
- What product or service you offer
- Delivery or pick-up methods and costs
- Your brand mission
- What the costs will be
- The warranties you offer
Appealing to either audience takes a slightly different brand strategy, and a completely different brand identity.
Your brand strategy helps to build up who you are as a brand through your story, values, messaging, and tone of voice.
As you build your brand strategy you should keep in mind how you plan to instil trust in your customers.
For healthcare, just as patients won’t choose a practice they don’t know or trust, B2B buyers won’t buy from a brand they don’t know or trust.
Trust and reliability are two huge pillars when it comes to your healthcare branding, as your audience (patients and buyers alike) are trusting you with their wellbeing and trusting that you will make the right recommendations and choices for them.
This is where your brand strategy comes into play, as it can help you to identify exactly how you will look to your target audience, and how you plan to communicate your brand to them.
Healthcare brands sometimes must target both patients and businesses, as they may offer GP appointments, as well as health or life insurance, so this must be shown within the brand strategy.
Take Vitality for example, (who we will revisit below) who offer health, life, and car insurance to individuals, small businesses and corporate organisations. Their brand strategy will look different to say Medisave, who are an ecommerce site targeted to larger companies looking for medical equipment.
However, all healthcare businesses need a brand strategy regardless, which should include:
- Brand positioning (what gives you edge and where you sit compared to competitors)
- Brand story (the story you tell, for example how your product or service contributes to saving lives)
- Brand values (what is most important to you, for example providing high quality medical equipment)
- Brand mission (what are you trying to achieve)
- Brand touchpoints (where will patients and buyers find you and learn more)
- Brand messaging (the message you are trying to get across)
- Brand tone of voice (how you communicate with your target audience)
- Brand identity (what you look like)
But first let’s kick things off with your brand mission.
Connecting Your Mission, Messaging, and Values
Your brand mission statement comes hand in hand with your messaging and the values of your company.
Ultimately, within the healthcare sector more often than not care, compassion, safety, and accuracy are top of your priority list when it comes to selling your product or service.
Trust is a huge part of the healthcare sector and therefore it is important that you aim to start building relationships based on trust through your messaging and brand mission.
Your brand mission statement should articulate your purpose, objectives and how you plan to serve your customers, preferably in one short sentence.
For healthcare, this is as simple as outlining:
- What you provide (patient care, research equipment, insurance)
- Who you provide it for (patients, the entire public, companies, medical professionals)
- How it benefits them (quality care, top of the range equipment, guaranteed cover)
Once you have nailed the basic outline of your statement down, its worth thinking of words and phrases that will resonate with your audience, for healthcare this may be along the lines of:
- Care and compassion
- Quality of care
- Trusting relationships
- Accessibility and affordability
That’s just us naming a few, but there are thousands of ways to articulate your offering and target it to your audience.
Now you have created your brand mission statement, you need to ensure it is visible to your audience, if not the first thing each consumer or client sees when they visit your website, or your location in-person.
Your offering is exactly what your company offers to your audience.
Although you will have included your offering into your brand mission statement, you need to dive into a bit more depth in order to really let your audience know how you can help them with your product or service.
Ultimately, you need to ask yourself: What need do we fulfil?
- Are you a search engine for medical terms?
- Are you a family run GP practice?
- Are you a medical technology company?
- Are you an ecommerce business that provides solely medical equipment?
- Are you a health and life insurance company?
Identifying your offering is the easy part, as it should be straightforward for you to outline what your business provides for patients or buyers.
However, as your offering links to how your brand will be positioned in the wider healthcare industry, at this point you will have to make an important decision as to where you sit compared to your competitors.
Your brand positioning ultimately outlines what it is that gives you an edge over your competitors.
Of course you need to deliver on your brand promises, but is there a way you can do this that is different from others in the industry?
As you should have already identified your offering, it is time to ask yourself, whether you’re a disruptor, a pioneer or aiming to fall in line.
A disruptor will do whatever it takes to make a mark on the current industry, whether that affects other companies or not.
This could be anything from displacing another company due to more affordable pricing, or even simply refusing to do things the way they have always been done.
A pioneer in the healthcare industry could be a company offering a new piece of medical technology based on gaps in current research, or a GP practice opening around the clock for 24 hours several days a week.
In other words a pioneer looks for gaps in the sector, settles there, and provides something brand new that has never been done before.
This involves looking at the current landscape and providing something (even slightly) different to your competitors.
Falling in Line
If you have no edge, and coasting along following a solid and reliable business and marketing plan, you are falling in line.
This means you are sticking to what you know in order to retain the loyal customers you already have. If you’re falling in line you aren’t looking to disrupt with a new health insurance offering and gain a huge new wave of customers, or become a pioneer with a new wave of healthcare technology.
Falling in line isn’t a negative as it requires time and resources to hold onto customers in the long term and if this allows you to carry on with business as usual, then you’re doing something right!
Tone of Voice
For companies in the healthcare industry, creating the right tone of voice can be the difference between success or failure.
Tone of voice can often be misunderstood, and in particular for healthcare the last thing you want to do is come across patronising.
This industry is full of patients, but also full of research and scientific professionals, hence why tone of voice can make or break your branding.
Let’s start by splitting this up.
If you are a medical equipment company targeting B2B buyers, the chances are you will want to adopt more of a clinical and professional tone of voice.
This way you can assure customers you know how your products work inside and out, and are able to provide them with relevant information on costs, delivery times, and product warranties.
Yet, if you are a practice targeting patients, it is important to be considerate, as well as remaining professional.
Patients want to feel cared for and appreciated, as well as receiving quality advice and diagnosis, therefore compassion and professionalism are both vital for your tone of voice.
On both sides of the coin it can be easy to get it wrong, as be too over-friendly and you will lose credibility among other professionals, however be too clinical and you will come across completely unapproachable to potential patients.
For all companies in the healthcare sector, your brand story brings your brand promises to life.
Whether that’s the promise of a great dental experience for a perfect smile, or products that will assist research for years to come, these promises need to be made clear within your brand story.
Remember: people buy stories
This works well if you are marketing to patients, as highlighting the promise you have made and kept for other patients will grab their attention as they can see first hand you are invested in patients and the promises you make.
When relaying your brand story to patients, remember, it’s not about you.
Well it is, but what we mean is don’t run them through the foundation of your business and the research you conducted at University.
Patients don’t want to know this, they want to know how you use that research today in practice and how it benefits them.
Your brand story needs to act as hard evidence of what you can do, how you can be of service to them, and why they should trust you as their care provider.
For B2B buyers, the notion of “people buy stories” still applies.
Although it is a business buying your insurance, or even your hospital ventilators, it is ultimately still a person sealing the deal, and this person will buy the story you sell to them.
When it comes to selling medical equipment, it is important to strip it back to the purpose of the equipment, for example it will be used for research for years to come, aiding the creation of cures for disease and illness.
This can help to paint a real story as to how lives can be saved and how your equipment can be part of that journey.
It’s important to stay true to your brand and offering within your brand story, as you need to avoid embellishing with details that aren’t exactly true.
For example, don’t tell your customers your insurance has saved customers thousands over the years due to your flexible plans and affordable prices if this isn’t true.
Instead rephrase it, and keep it true to the achievements of your business.
Ultimately, you want your brand story to evoke emotions within your audience, and within the healthcare sector providing customers with feelings of happiness, relief, security, and support, is most important.
Now that’s your brand strategy cleared up, it’s time to move onto your brand identity for a brief section of this blog.
Your brand identity is every visual element of your branding.
Yes, every visual element, including:
- Your logo design
- What typeface or font you use
- Your colour palette
- What type of photos you use
- Your stationery design
- How you look on social media
- How you present yourself altogether
- Your brand guidelines (also known as your brand bible)
Time and time again with healthcare branding we’ve seen, photography of people enjoying a day at the park or an active lifestyle, on a website consisting of whites, greens, and blues.
This can come across as cliche a lot of the time, and certainly doesn’t appeal to B2B buyers or medical researchers.
Therefore, it’s possible that you are cutting off a large portion of your target market before they’ve even reached your CTA or maybe they haven’t even got that far!
So, your branding is your perfect opportunity to stand out from the get go. Can you do something different to stand out among competitors rather than falling into the same generic healthcare sector identity box.
This can be done by tying your messaging and mission together with your visuals. For example, if your mission statement shouts about accessibility and affordability when buying from your company, showcase this.
There is nothing worse than thinking you’re getting a simple smooth customer journey, only to find out the branding doesn’t match up, copy is confusing and overcomplicated, and the website looks more like a luxury private practice rather than a medical equipment organisation.
If you’re branded as being accessible and affordable follow through with this into the visual side of your branding!
Make sure everything down to the colours you use on your social media icons link to exactly who you are.
Remember, what may work for patients could be a total disaster when it comes to selling equipment to labs, so be sure to always ensure your visuals are in line with what you are actually offering.
Forming the visual elements of your branding and bringing all together to form your identity can be quite the task, especially if you are dealing with your brand strategy, website design and marketing strategy too!
This is where working with a creative agency works in your favour, as they can get to know and understand your overall goals, and take care of the work for you.
All of your visual elements take time as it’s essential to make decisions about where you stand and what you look like before you can bring it all together for your brand guidelines document.
Your brand guidelines document is all of your brand identity elements included into one easy-access place.
This way there is no confusion about who you are, and what you look like within the healthcare industry.
Having a document that contains all of the details about your branding, such as the imagery used on your social media versus your website, or the typefaces that can and can’t be used on your resources, keeps things in order.
It’s important for all companies within the healthcare sector regardless of your offering purpose or audience, as it creates consistency for you as a brand.
The Best Healthcare Branding Examples
To tie this section up neatly before we move on to the world of website design, let’s dive into some of the best branding examples we’ve seen in the healthcare industry.
Credit to Vitality
We chose Vitality as our first branding example as they promote themselves as helping customers to “live their best life.”
They are clear on what they offer from the get go, and keep information short and to the point, outlining their main offerings of health insurance, car insurance, and life insurance.
Vitality seems to be the insurance company that has you covered in more than one area, and therefore they are able to market to more than one target audience.
With added extras such as flexible plans and discounts and rewards, the benefits of going with Vitality speak for themselves, hence why the visual aspects of the branding are simple and in keeping with their voice.
Vitality uses white space to their advantage, not being afraid to space their messaging and small infographics and animations throughout their website and branding in general.
The company adopts a highly positive and optimistic tone of voice, making the otherwise dull task of buying insurance far more enjoyable, with phrases such as “see how you can get rewarded for better lifestyle choices”.
Credit to ZocDoc
Onto a slightly different healthcare branding concept now, with ZocDoc a service that aids patients in finding a dentist, doctor, or practice in their local area.
This company mixes patient care, tech, and business development into one, as well as aiding patients, practices and healthcare companies are put on the map!
The premise of this platform is making life easy for patients, providing all of the healthcare options they could possibly need in one place, and making it simple for doctors who want to list their practice for more customers to find.
The process is simple as ZocDoc allows website visitors to browse doctors and practices that take their insurance, then they can browse reviews on that specific list of doctors.
After reading reviews it is as easy as booking an appointment (again on the same site) and that is the process complete.
We can see why the company focus heavily on making the process easy as ZocDoc is also available as an application for smartphones.
Using language such as “Thousands of providers. One app.” hones in on the idea of making healthcare easy, rather than spending hours on hold to get an appointment in several weeks time.
Healthcare Website Design
Depending on your target audience, and your offering, your healthcare website design will look different as each audience requires different information, features, and functionality.
It is no good building a website with pages of detailed information, and great navigation from the menu to each page, and forgetting to include contact details and support pages.
All of your target audience need to be able to get in touch and ask for help, whether that is to find out an order tracking number, or to organise a virtual appointment.
Your website design must be unique to your customers, and cater to their needs as it’s important to remember their healthcare or their business is relying on you.
For example, patients need a website that showcases all services on offer, provides contact details and medical information, and caters to all users.
On the other hand, B2B buyers are looking for neat product pages that show and explain each product or service, information on pricing and benefits, and support pages with contact details in order to ask questions.
Why is it Important to have an Effective Healthcare Website Design?
An effective website design is vital, as often your website is one of the first brand touchpoints your customers come into contact with.
Thus, your website needs to be aligned with your brand guidelines, brand strategy, and brand identity, so your audience knows right off the bat who you are.
Believe it or not, your website helps to build trust and loyalty for your audience, as if you are active on your site, and your information is relevant and always kept up to date, customers will learn that they can come to you to get exactly what they need.
Even if not, they know your support team will be on hand to help and guide you in the right direction.
The chances are that if you don’t have an optimised website that is up to date, and provides all of your company, service, and product information in one place, you will be left with unanswered questions such as:
- A potential employee wants to join your company, where will they go?
- A patient wants to book an appointment but there isn’t an option online, what do they do?
- A B2B buyer is looking for specific medical equipment but your product page doesn’t have a search bar, what can they do?
It may be that you have answers to all of these questions, however including solutions in one place such as your website, makes for a smooth customer journey and as we mentioned before, improves customer satisfaction and loyalty.
An effective healthcare website design equally rests on discoverability, or in simple terms: you need to be ranking highly within search engines to become recognised by your target audience.
Ultimately, you want your website to reach your audience before they find alternative companies selling something similar, and this can be done by prioritising accessibility, user journeys, and functionality within your website design.
What Should a Healthcare Website Look Like?
Linking back to the healthcare branding section of this post, your healthcare website design should reflect the choices made when creating your brand identity.
Elements such as colouring, typeface, language, photography, videography, and of course your logo should all be incorporated into your website, otherwise your site won’t be viewed as part of your brand.
Instead your website will be disjointed and your audience may be confused as to whether the website is yours or it belongs to another brand that just looks “similar” to you.
There are tons of healthcare websites out there, some examples we will dive into later in this section, however mimicking what has already been done won’t allow you to be recognised by your target audience.
For example, colours such as white, green, and blue are often used for branding and websites within the healthcare industry, and while this isn’t a bad thing, can you do something different?
The words “disruptor” and “pioneer” spring to mind!
This section of the post will outline 5 key areas to focus on when building up your healthcare website design.
So with that, let’s get into the specifics!
Create an Accessible Website
There is no doubt that your website visitors will have varying abilities when it comes to technology, particularly if you are a healthcare company offering both patient care, and medical products.
Even if you distinctly provide one or the other, you cannot anticipate the accessibility options needed for each and every patient or customer.
In the US, your company could be taken to court if your website doesn’t adhere to the law in regards to accessibility, so we recommend placing this at the top of your priority list when building your website.
It is important that your website is accessible and caters to the needs of every visitor whether that means:
- Providing an accessibility widget on every webpage
- Providing options for the visually impaired such as audio versions of website copy
- Providing options for those who are hard of hearing such as subtitles and captions on video and audio clips
- Providing the option to change the font style and size, highlight important links, or change the website colouring to grayscale.
Not only do these options create a smooth user journey on your website, but it helps to build rapport between your company and your customers, by respecting and providing for the differing abilities within your audience.
Create a Seamless User Journey
As with accessibility it is essential to create a seamless user journey for every visitor that comes onto your website.
This starts with the discoverability of your website as finding your website needs to be an easy process too.
This is where your SEO strategy is important as you need to be ranking for keywords your target audience are searching for, as this way your website will be the first one they see at the top of their search results.
Once your customer has reached your site you need to ensure your navigation is simple, by using a navigation menu or bar along the top of the screen and in some cases a search bar to find products or appointment slots.
Keeping things simple doesn’t have to be boring and 9 times out of 10 your customers will thank you for it as when it comes to healthcare, straightforward processes are often best.
Take this example:
A large organisation has come to your website looking for health insurance to cover their entire company, including every employee in every department.
This means they require insurance for around 270 people.
Your website design is straightforward and has a ‘Large company health cover (Employees 250+)’ tab in the navigation bar.
From there this tab takes your customer directly to a page full of information relevant to this type of cover, including pricing for different durations, making claims, and what is covered by this type of insurance.
There is one button option to “Get a quote” and your customer is taken through to provide further details.
This example is straightforward, as the customer wasn’t required to scroll through pages or open new tabs or PDF documents in order to reach the correct insurance they were looking for.
Creating the right customer journey is essential before you can ensure all of the information provided on your website is targeted to your audience.
Provide Your Customers With What They Need
Before you go any further, assess exactly what it is your patients want from your site.
Then provide it.
This is different for all companies within the healthcare sector so it’s important to step into the shoes of your audience to determine what they need from you.
For example, a small family owned doctors practice probably doesn’t need a huge search engine for thousands of medical terms, but this would be well suited to a medical research website.
A company selling medical equipment to hospitals may not feel the need to create personal content about their team, but instead may pour more time into professional photography and videography of their products.
Ultimately, the needs of your customers will be unique to your offering however there are some more common resources that should be included within your healthcare website design, such as:
- Your company contact information
- ‘About us’ or ‘Community’ page
- Product or service page
- Support page, or live chat feature
- Careers section
- Social media links
Regardless of targeting B2B buyers, patients and even future employees, there are some website features that don’t go amiss.
Taking the time to think about every customer journey and each outcome, whether that is a new lead, a successful purchase, or a patient satisfied with customer service, can help to improve how your audience view your brand.
So, there is a lot to be said for clear and informative website content!
Keep Things Up to Date
This leads us onto keeping your website up to date as similarly, regardless of your specific target audience your content should always be accurate and reliable.
If a doctor leaves your practice, remove their profile from your website.
If a product is out of stock but expected in the next 1-2 weeks, let your customers know.
If you no longer offer a specific service, take it down from your website
Your website needs to be up to date so your customers can rely on you, which in turn will increase patient loyalty.
For example, there are lasting changes from the pandemic that still affect the healthcare sector, such as longer delivery and shipping times for medical equipment, or face covering and distance rules in practices and hospitals.
So how will your audience know your policies and the relevant information if your website isn’t updated with the correct information?
Forgetting to update your website content may leave your customers feeling out of the loop and unable to trust you as a credible business.
Keep it Sleek and Functional
Some healthcare websites can be plain and have poor functionality, but it doesn’t have to be this way.
Keeping things simple doesn’t have to be boring as we have previously mentioned, and minimalism can often be a good approach when it comes to healthcare websites.
It’s important not to overwhelm your audience with hundreds of different options, buttons, and colours, if all they are looking for is a price comparison on medical training kits.
This will only encourage your customers to look elsewhere for information.
Like we said, be sleek, not boring.
Incorporate your brand colours, include quality imagery of your staff or products on offer and remember to provide information in a neat and succinct way.
This way your website will catch the eyes of your audience and hold their attention for longer.
It is important to organise the content on your website to improve the ease of use and accessibility, keep things streamlined by using a search bar and a navigation bar.
For your search bar it is worth making it visible down the side of the screen or top left or right hand corner, so visitors can easily find it and type in their search term.
As a side note: it may be that you prioritise your SEO strategy even further and your top individual product pages rank top for certain search terms in Google.
For your navigation bar, keep it neat and tidy, there is nothing worse than tabs that have vague titles and then open up to a host of 20 different pages that don’t relate directly to that section of your website.
Using a top down approach can be helpful for users, and this includes listing the most important and most used resources and pages first.
This way your site is optimised for your users, as it may be that corporate health insurance is your bestseller and what businesses come directly to you for, so don’t hide it behind a variety of other pages and services you provide.
The Best Healthcare Website Examples
To round off this section on Healthcare website design, just as we provided some of the best healthcare branding examples, we thought why not include some of the best website designs in the industry.
In our opinion of course!
Credit to Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit academic medical centre, so it’s important that their website reflects this, and that it does.
The website is sleek and professional, using white space well with hints of blue, a colour combination often used in the healthcare sector.
The navigation bar is clear and easy for any visitor to locate the exact page and information relevant to them, ranging from “Care at Mayo Clinic” to “College of Medicine and Science”.
There are important CTA’s placed on the homepage right under the banner image, with options to log in, request an appointment or search, making the journey easy from the get-go.
There is equally an additional search bar at the top of the webpage with an additional option to log in, making the healthcare website accessible for all users with multiple options for each action.
This is highly recommended and important within the healthcare industry, as we earlier mentioned that catering to a wide audience is usually expected and necessary.
Although the website doesn’t have a huge amount of infographics and visuals other than original imagery, the Mayo Clinic website is a great example of an accessible and professional website that provides every customer with what they need.
Credit to Cancer Research UK
Cancer research UK
Cancer Research UK is the world’s largest independent cancer research organisation.
And the website is king when it comes to showcasing brand identity consistently.
The website is based around the Cancer research colours of purple, pink, blue, and grey, and again their navigation bar is concise and easy to navigate for all levels of accessibility.
Of course the mission statement of the charity is known for: “Together we will beat cancer” is at the top of the webpage so it’s easy to distinguish from another healthcare charity website and a much needed search bar is provided up there too.
Due to the sheer volume of information on the site, organisation of sections is essential and each page is accompanied by clear headings and original imagery.
Equally important are the 3 CTA’s that are on-screen before you even begin to scroll, encouraging visitors to donate and help the cause.
Something this website does well is keeping things up to date, particularly concerning fundraising events which is essential and one of the main reasons visitors come to the site.
Marketing within the healthcare sector should more often than not be human-centric or patient-centric, as even during interactions with B2B businesses, you are dealing with an individual person, not the entire company.
Therefore, for both B2B buyers and patients alike your marketing should focus on solving the needs of your audience regardless of who they are.
Are you an insurance company that targets mainly large corporations? Are you a practice targeting patients in your local area?
If you are, speak to this by providing quality health care and empathy for those in the community who need support, while avoiding coming across too corporate and unrelatable.
You must remember who you are talking to (this takes us back to the start of this post) as this is who you are marketing to.
The same principle applies, as while you’re targeting different audiences with your branding, you should be marketing differently depending on who that audience is.
We will get into more detail in the specific marketing tactic sections below, however one thing that remains the same are the goals of your marketing strategy.
For doctors practices, equipment factories, insurance companies, or anybody else in the healthcare sector there are business goals that apply to everyone:
- Find and attract new potential customers
- Keep customers interested and engaged
- Solidify purchases, sales, and registrations
- Retain customers long-term and improve loyalty
Now, we aren’t saying no other marketing goals exist within the healthcare sector, however revenue is an important aspect of keeping businesses running, so gaining and retaining customers is usually an overarching goal.
In order to achieve the main goals within the marketing sector it is important to use a mixture of long-term and short-term efforts.
This way you are securing your place in the healthcare market, at the same time as acquiring new customers, which works in line with your business model.
It’s a win-win!
So let’s jump into how you can create a marketing strategy that will attract your target audience to your business, over other healthcare companies already out there.
Marketing Tactics for SEO
As with businesses in all sectors, you may be thinking: “Why is SEO important for my business?” and the truth of it is, SEO is important for the growth of any business.
Without the use of SEO tactics, your website and the content within it will be lost under a stream of other sites that prioritise using popular keywords and provide searchers with exactly what they’re looking for.
It’s evident that for a lot of businesses within the healthcare sector, websites are often the first major touchpoint customers come across.
Unfortunately, they wont come across it if you aren’t using a solid SEO strategy, and your website will be lost among competitors.
This leaves you with a harder task of trying to pull your customers in from elsewhere, such as social media channels, or advertising, but how are you going to do that if you can’t even get them onto your website?
Let’s avoid that shall we, and get started with keyword research.
Conduct Keyword Research
As we touched on above, Search Engine Optimisation is key if you want your content to rank and your audience to find you.
It’s so important particularly for those healthcare businesses selling products and services such as medical equipment or insurance, as there is such a vast amount of competition.
That isn’t to say that practices and hospitals should put SEO tactics on the back burner as there are a lot of options for patients to choose from, but usually location narrows search terms down.
Therefore, for practices it is a must to be ranking for location based keywords to ensure your audience knows where you are and if you’re local to them!
For example, “Doctors surgery in New York” is far too broad, but “Doctors Surgery in Downtown Brooklyn” definitely narrows things down for your local audience to find and then choose you.
Ultimately, your goal with SEO marketing tactics is to get your individual web pages, whether that be blogs containing medical advice, or individual equipment product pages, onto the first search page within Google or any other search engine that takes your fancy.
To do this you need to be ranking for the specific keywords your audience are searching for, for example, if you search for a few terms and realise that you have content very closely related to them, why not swap them out with your chosen keywords.
Let’s dig a little bit deeper.
Let’s say you have hundreds of products all categorised into specific medical equipment types, but you specialise in medical training equipment such as, CPR models, ventilators, and resuscitation apparatus.
It may be that your keywords aren’t boosting your products to their full potential. There are millions of other companies ranking for ‘medical training equipment’ so what can you do that’s different, more focused and more specific.
At this stage we’d recommend using Ahrefs (which we will explain in more detail below) to conduct keyword research, and find out what your competitors are ranking for.
Once you have found out what your biggest competitors are ranking for, it’s time to seed out the words that have the highest search volume that apply best to your offering.
If we stick with the same example, “high-quality CPR equipment” might work well for you as a focus keyphrase, and this is then a targeted keyword that you can sprinkle into your website content to get your product page ranking higher.
This leads us nicely onto search engine monitoring tools and how once you have put your SEO strategy and efforts into place, you can keep track and ensure they’re working in your favour.
Use Search Engine Monitoring Tools
Although we are not quite onto the “tools” section of this post yet, there are two we’d like to reference here as they can aid SEO marketing efforts.
The two we will focus on here are:
- Google Analytics
- Google Search Console
Both tools help to spot areas for improvement which can be useful for future keyword research and implementation into your website.
For example, you may sell a specific product, we will go back to our CPR training equipment example, but others may be ranking higher and getting more clicks.
This is where both tools come in, as you are able to immediately see the journey your customers are taking, from their first click to their last.
This helps you to isolate and analyse user behaviour and make changes based upon this.
Ultimately, there are several metrics you can track to keep on top of who is visiting your site, how long for and at what point they make a purchase, we’d recommend tracking:
- Page visitors
- Organic traffic
- Bounce rate
We will touch on these more in the tools section below, but for now why not check out our post on website metrics to track!
Maintain a Blog
Maintaining a blog is a long-term marketing effort so to do it well you have to be consistent.
There’s a reason we touched on SEO tactics first as once you have landed on your keywords that are targeted specifically to your audience, its time to seed them into your blog.
Whether your articles are long-form, short-form, or Q&A style, they will increase your organic traffic, so keep going!
For the healthcare sector it’s key to write posts that appeal to a wide audience, so even if you’re a doctor’s practice it won’t hurt to write a post on the top 5 recommended stethoscopes, or how to choose a health insurance provider.
Your entire audience will appreciate this, as will the other companies you have shouted out, and this may work in your favour in the future.
Whatever your stance within the healthcare industry, providing blog content that gives you a voice works every time, as it will help to add credibility to what you’re saying or advising.
Like we have mentioned throughout this post, healthcare companies have a duty to deliver on the promises they make as a brand, and when a promise concerns health and wellbeing, it shouldn’t be broken.
Using titles such as “What equipment do I need in my training kit?” and “How to choose the right practice” go a long way in building up trust between your company and prospective customers.
Social Media Marketing
Expanding your social channels doesn’t mean you have to lose your entire identity within the healthcare sector, it just makes it easier for customers to find you!
Like we said you don’t need a whole new identity for social media, your branding and brand identity should extend onto the channels you are using and your content should still remain relevant to your audience.
While its all fine and well posting about staff social events and company updates and achievements, care and compassion should be at the core of the way you come across even on social media.
So maybe don’t over post about a staff event, if you have an overflow of comments and queries about why the product pages on your website are down.
It doesn’t come across well, and doesn’t show you as a company sticking to their brand promise of “high-quality equipment and customer care”.
On the other hand more personal content can add personality to your brand, and that can be beneficial in supporting the idea that people buy from people.
Providing video interviews with doctors and nurses, warehouse staff, or professionals in research, helps to add an extra layer of personalisation to your company.
Of course it’s important to include statistics, company updates, customer support, and latest releases, as customers will no doubt appreciate this, however social media is where you can loosen the reins slightly to avoid coming across too corporate.
This doesn’t mean doing whatever whenever on your social channels and losing sight of who you are as a brand, but if you want to add a bit of personality, social media is often the right place to do it!
The Best Healthcare Marketing Examples
To round off our marketing section, it’s time to look into some of the best examples of healthcare marketing out there.
The best examples of healthcare marketing integrate online and offline methods so let’s take a look at some brands who do it well!
Credit to United Healthcare Newsroom
United Healthcare is a company that does marketing well, particularly social media marketing.
Their brand identity is clear on all of the channels they use, and each one is a brilliant extension of their initial website.
They include a variety of health statistics, tips, and images, mixed with volunteer and staff achievements and updates.
This is all encapsulated within the brand colours and typeface which keeps everything neat and tidy, and right off the bat it is easy to see that the company offers insurance for a diverse range of customers.
The most notable takeaway from the United Healthcare social media channels is the ways each one flows, this pairs up nicely with the idea of making the health system work better for everyone.
Credit to Franklyn
Capsule, branded as “Meds made easy”, is a pharmacy company that makes it easier for customers to order and receive prescriptions right to their door.
We have a confession, this healthcare business could have been included in all 3 of our “best examples” within this post as it really does have the full package, web design, branding and marketing.
But for now let’s focus on the marketing side of things as similarly to United Health, Capsule do a great job at extending their branding and voice to their social channels, particularly on Instagram.
The company posts FAQ’s, billboard and new location imagery, as well as customer reviews to show exactly why they’re different from all other pharmacies around.
What’s equally effective is the use of professional reviews from doctors and nurses who recommend the service, as this only boosts the positive conversation surrounding the brand.
The placement of information across the board by Capsule is extremely effective, for example having FAQs on the homepage along with a search bar to check if they can deliver to you.
Like we said we could go into the whole Capsule brand and company, but that’s for another post, now we are onto our final section of Tools to Help.
Tools to Help
We have touched on a few examples of tools already throughout this post, but here is a bit more detail on the ones we recommend for your brand in the healthcare industry.
Google Analytics, as we said before, helps you to get a complete understanding of customers across your platform such as your website.
This tool collates information to create reports to give you insight into what customers are clicking on, or clicking out from, when they visit your website.
This will help you to determine which of your products are most popular and often viewed, or which blog posts receive the most traffic.
We mentioned Ahrefs in our SEO marketing tactics section, and it is a brilliant tool for keyword research.
You can compare your website to those of industry competitors and make changes to optimise your site based on what your audience is searching for.
HotJar is another great tool tracking customer website journeys, as it provides you with the big picture of what pages your customers are visiting on your site and which areas are receiving the most clicks.
Whether that be visits to product pages or patients booking appointments.
ERM software of Electronic Medical Record softwares such as EPIC, Cerner and CareCloud, all help insurance companies or doctors practices access customer information in one quick click.
All medical details are stored on one platform that is easily installed onto systems and devices, making retrieving customer data so much easier.
You may be thinking we are going off on a tangent but, this data can be used to better understand your target audience by looking at the demographic of your patients!
The Ultimate Guide to Healthcare Marketing, Branding, and Website Design
And that brings us to the end of our ultimate guide to healthcare marketing, branding, and website design.
We know it’s been a long one, but we hope this post has inspired you to take control of your branding and bring it to life, whether that’s with a new business, or as part of a rebrand.
For all businesses in the healthcare sector, ranging from hospitals to insurance companies, it is vital to remember the promise you are making as a brand to your audience and customers.
Healthcare is an industry grown from care, compassion, and ultimately guarantees of high-quality, accurate results, when it comes to products and services.
Therefore, your customers are trusting you to deliver on your brand promise, which is instilled into every aspect of your branding and marketing.
Here at Canny, we have the knowledge and experience in how to boost your branding for the better, whether that be conducting a rebrand, or helping out with your marketing strategy.
We have worked with several companies in the healthcare sector, for example helping Health Matters update their branding to appeal to a corporate audience, without alienating the “people-focused” aspect of their brand.
If you feel your website needs a refresh, or your brand strategy isn’t right for your business, be sure to get in touch with our team!