Many healthcare brands that have existed over the years have had the benefit of being able to refine their message over time, through experience, before ever branching out to the digital world. That’s not to say they haven’t had their fair share of struggles adapting a formerly traditional method of marketing and messaging to a more modern, digitized strategy. In fact, many larger brands in the space are trailing behind because of how daunting this task is – and the liabilities it carries.
But for healthcare startups, these hurdles are uniquely difficult without a pre-existing foundation of clients, and have no fewer consequences when it comes to compliance. Yet the ability to adapt is far more flexible – and sometimes more impactful because of relativity. In order to compete in this space, maneuverability and strategy is key – especially when taking note of the following 5 considerations:
Has your brand refined your story & vision?
It may seem trivial, but many brands fall prey to vague advertising, muddled messaging and novice marketing mishaps. All manner of mistakes, such as targeting the wrong audience, failing to align your advertising with your brand message and casting too wide a net hoping you’ll catch “everyone” ultimately yield the same results: money spent, and minimal conversions. It’s important to take a deep dive into your brand, and stick to the unique voice that speaks to the heart. Fake brands are easily rooted out by consumers, and those whose services and products don’t align with their message will miss powerful opportunities to engage their consumers, let alone convert them.
Do you REALLY know who you’re targeting?
Casting a wide net might get you some nibbles, but effectively researching and defining your target audience is the first step in effectively utilizing your marketing budget. And don’t forget to TEST. Testing provides insightful variables such as when your audience is online, where they go, what they’re looking for, and how they behave. These are invaluable insights that allow you to cultivate a highly targeted approach, and maximizes your opportunity to engage with consumers. Surveying and collecting unbiased feedback will further refine your efforts, and are often the most insightful of all testing methods once you have a responsive audience.
Are you prepped for the long-term strategy?
Oftentimes the short term strategy wins out, because of initial responsiveness – but it’s important to not forget the big picture! Your strategy should be mapped out, several months to a year (if possible). It’s important to take into account the ad platforms that help diversify your efforts, and delineate between those that are best for short and long term plays. Once again, be sure to TEST! Even here, content can make the difference between the short and long term strategy – be sure to take note of engagement, performance, and conversions based on the language you use.
Might you be putting the wrong people in the wrong place?
While young startups have less to worry when it comes to social media mishaps, it’s very often we see interns taking charge of the marketing voice for larger organizations. This can be very risky, as interns no doubtedly will have little to no knowledge of healthcare specific compliance and regulation. And really, should the least experienced member of your team have access to the voice controls of your brand? Probably not. Be aware that in order to acquire the expertise needed to properly execute strategies via digital media, you will have to pay a fair price. Build effective, reliable relationships with the right agencies to maximize your search for these experts based on their skills, and not their price tag.
To be frank, healthcare startups have different and unique challenges due to some of their flexibility – but these 5 are just a few of many others. But we see these particularly often, and surprisingly they require adjustments that have a more favorable long term approach. So remember to look back on your successes and failures with strategy with the same frame of mind execution meets analysis, and always – if ever in doubt – test, test, and test some more. Nobody wants to succeed in the short term more so in the long term when it comes to building a viable brand.