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Is inbound marketing right for companies in the health sector?

3 mins read

We’ve all been there, Googling symptoms online as soon as we feel a shiver, a lump, or a slight ache. Most of the time it’s not fatal.

And as a company within the health sector, you need to be where your patients or clients are; if you’re not, the long-term prognosis for your business could be fatal. Online searches are now the first step many people take at the first indications of health and wellness problems, big and small. Providing helpful information will grab their attention and keep your company top of mind. 

How? By using inbound marketing.

Do you remember the days when you chose a doctor or treatment facility based on how close they were to where you lived? In those days it was difficult to know anything about the quality of the help you were getting compared to elsewhere.

Today, on the other hand, people have the option to travel a little (or much) further, in order to get the treatment they want and need. With this mobility, they have also become better at comparing services and quality, just as they have with any other type of service. 

However, people don’t just search for symptoms online or read articles about diseases, but also information about doctors, hospitals and treatment facilities. A whole range of criteria now goes into considering who the client will choose, including range of services, reviews and location. 

This is why companies within the health industry need to recognise these changes and how to meet clients in the places where they actually as they’re making their choice. This is where inbound marketing comes in. 

[TEST]: How well does inbound marketing fit your company?

The whole point of inbound marketing is to attract customers through content that is relevant and useful - not disruptive. By working with content in this way, potential clients can find you through various channels such as blogs, articles, social media and search engine results. 

Not sure if it is a good fit for your industry? Let’s take a look at some of the most common questions we get about inbound marketing from companies in the health sector: 

1. Is inbound marketing right for companies managing sensitive information?

The short answer: yes! 

GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) will come into effect in May 2018. It regulates how companies can store and manage data and personal information, and give individuals new rights.

Amongst other things, it means that it will be illegal to email people who have not given their permission for you to do so. Bye bye paid-for email lists and hello to permission based marketing. 

One of the goals for the new legislation is to ensure that personal information is stored and managed correctly. And as you will know, keeping sensitive information secure is imperative for creating trust between you and your patients and establishing good fundamental healthcare practices.


Want to know more about GDPR? 

Inbound is perfect for this scenario. The inbound methodology for attracting people, rather than force-feeding them information they have neither asked about or said they’re interested in.

It’s about a creating the opportunity for a value-exchange, so by offering relevant, useful information to readers, in return for their interest, they provide you with valuable contact details. Those using inbound marketing will never send an email to someone without having their permission. This is why it is called inbound and not outbound

In order to follow the new regulations, it is important to inform those leaving information what it will be used for, how it will be stored and how they can access the information that companies have about them. They should also be able to easily request that you delete all information you have on them. 

Visitors will also have to actively give consent in order for you to save and use information about them. This means that if someone fills out a form, they have to actively check a box stating that they want to be contacted in order for you to do so. 

It is essential that companies are transparent about what the information will be used for and that they have a privacy policy that is easy to understand. 

Take a look at HubSpot’s privacy policy as an example of how it can be done.

2. What should we write about?

Just admit it! You have Googled symptoms you have felt at some point. Haven’t we all? As a company working within the health sector you probably have a wealth of knowledge that should be shared with potential patients or clients. 

And we’re not saying to encourage everyone to self-diagnose online; instead, an informative blog post or article, or a downloadable piece of content, can help the reader understand the situation better and better seek out the correct expert help, rather than believe every website telling them they have six weeks to live. 

Write about what you know. Whether it’s about illness, medicines, treatments etc, show your knowledge and the quality of your solutions. Reassure and inform people to show they can trust your company when they need help. 

Prophecy Healthcare Inc. is a great example of an international company that has had fantastic success with the inbound marketing route. Read more about their results here.

3. Can we be in social media?

Of course, it’s important for healthcare professionals to remain just that, professional. But everything you share doesn’t have to be so formal. You’re dealing with humans after all. 

Consider social media the opportunity people need to get to know those who work in your organisation. 

To show more personality can be extremely important when you want to make people trust you and feel comfortable enough to come meet you. It can also help people understand the challenges they are faced with better. 

Do you want to know why companies in the health industry should use social media? Read more on HubSpot’s blog here

Do you need to market your company through email?

The most traditional channel of contact between a health professional and patient is either by phone or face-to-face. But expanding the communication to a weekly or monthly newsletter can be useful. Sharing health tips, updates from the office or other information can inspire people to come see you more often. 

Email marketing is the perfect way to keep in touch with existing patients, as well as reaching out to those who have been interested in your content. 

All questions we have touched on in this post are important factors in helping people choose a health care provider. Now it is up to you to make sure that your company stands out and attracts their attention when they need you. 

Want to know more about inbound marketing? Sign up to our breakfast seminar, and we will answer any questions you might have. 

[TEST]: How well does inbound marketing fit your company?