biggest mistakes in health marketing

How to save $1000s on medical advertising

This article is for you as a private practice owner or manager, with a focus on more ROI for your medical advertising or marketing. The biggest mistakes in health marketing relate to overspending on advertising and underinvesting in marketing.

biggest mistakes in health marketing

How to save $1000s on medical advertising

Kris Borgraeve - Co-founder Digital Practice

Kris Borgraeve

February 22, 2022

The life-changing distinction about health marketing

advertising for medical practice

If you have this firm intention of avoiding the common biggest mistakes in health marketing, the good news is that it’s simple. 

There is advertising. And then there is marketing.

I thought I would start by unpacking the metaphor that I always use: advertising is renting a place, content marketing is building an asset portfolio with properties that you own. And just like owning your house turns out to be a better investment compared to lifelong renting, the same logic applies to health marketing.

Why does it look like medical marketing is expensive?

cost of medical marketing

Right when you started to see the light and shift towards marketing instead of advertising, there’s another interesting experience many doctors have: scoping their marketing investment.v

In the past, setting up a quick website, asking a friend to do a page, and ‘doing some SEO’ through overseas outsourcing, were often good enough. It did the job, because your practice had a website and some peace of mind.

In the 2020s, setting up a professional medical marketing strategy is more demanding. Digital competition has matured, and quite often you will see that the younger doctors go full force in the digital space. If you have built a successful private practice based on word-of-mouth and GP referrals, you wouldn’t want to see that evaporate because all new incoming patient leads are going to your new competitors, would you?

I love the lightbulb moments when specialists or surgeons attend our online events and understand the requirements. You need experienced communication pros, who have the capacity to think strategically on your behalf, with you and almost ‘in your practice’. A content marketing investment pays off when it becomes a common journey. An exploration of your practice as a brand, as a business, resulting in an online profile that works.

This is the type of asset portfolio we often compare to when we say that content marketing is owning property and advertising is being a tenant.

Once you start building value in your practice as a business, you will also see that the brand creates lasting value for you. It becomes a vehicle to recruit staff, form partnerships, generate ongoing patient leads and increase your status as an educator.

The alternative? Cheap labour, juniors and amateurs, using only a fraction of the tools and skills that are needed to make your practice stand out. Still, in that scenario, a lack of results, a lack of progress and accumulated wasted budgets resulting in low visibility and poor quality: the biggest mistakes in health marketing that can cost you 1000s of dollars every year.

Because remember, all you can do is pay Google more to see your ads at the top. Not your content.

Why does it take time to build visibility?

ranking high on google

The one argument in favour of a Google Ads strategy is speed. You turn the tap on and it works. 

Content marketing is a slow-cooking process, allowing Google to index your content and compare it with competitors.

After a few months, subtle changes in your visibility for your main topics start occurring. You start appearing more often on page 1 when a patient looks for a particular condition, treatment, or surgery type.

As a result, you get more clicks and patient leads.

mistakes in health marketing

Google detects this new traffic and sees it as a validation of your genuine content and the value that you bring to the general public. Google also measures how long patients stay on each of your pages, which is yet another quality check if you want, confirming that it’s not just a big promise. You also deliver content that is worth reading or watching. And if patients click through to other articles or blogs, Google makes a mental note that your entire website must be offering great value. 

You are now one step closer to ranking even higher next month, with more traffic and more conversions telling Google that this website is really worth ranking in the top positions of Google Search.

By now you would also understand that this self-containing ecosystem will generate leads, provided that you also have a beautiful design, quality photos and a professionally developed website back-end that makes your website load fast on any device.

What is the ideal long-term strategy for a private practice?

marketing strategists for medical

The ideal long term strategy for a health practice has 4 legs to stand on:

  • Strategy: We help you get really clear about your service offerings, what your main income earners are and what patients actually google for in that area.
  • Content: We build content in line with the most common online searches for your medical specialty and for the specific services that you have identified as your main income earners.
  • Website: We build a top-notch website around that content, using the storytelling building blocks that help you convert: photos, magazine-style articles, videos, links and compelling animated elements and graphics.
  • Optimising: We measure your competitive visibility, what patients do on your website, and what can be improved further to create a spinning wheel of ongoing visibility growth and business development.

We always like to inform you about the ideal strategy. Then we can look at the most suitable foundation to get you on track towards this ideal situation.

Is there an easy first step if I want to grow?

free marketing consult

The first step is really simple.

We offer an obligation-free consultation to look at your strategic objectives, the current status of your private practice and the tactics and strategies that are available to help you grow.

We offer great content here in our ‘Grow!’ online magazine and on our YouTube channel.

These articles are a must-read if you want to spend some time improving your understanding of content marketing and the amazing ROIs you can expect:

Let's meet

Take the first step today

get more patients now

In our strategy session via Zoom, we will identify what successful marketing looks like for you.
It’s not just about avoiding the mistakes in health marketing, it’s about achieving your goals. And they are your own personal objectives, not a one-size-fits-all package. More patients? Status? Growing a team? Delegating more work to other team members? Rebranding? Preparing your legacy? Book the call now and we will discuss your path to an even stronger private practice very soon.

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