Congratulations on launching your healthcare marketing campaign! After months of planning, you finally get to see your efforts come to life. At Evolve, we know this can be both exciting and nerve-wracking. However, it’s important to remember that a healthcare campaign’s success is determined not by the launch day but by its duration.
As a healthcare digital marketing agency that’s led over 70 clients through this process, we’ve seen and heard it all, and we want to share some key tips on handling the post-launch period.
1. Be Patient! Results Take Time
You should be wary of any agency that promises instant results. Unlike selling mascara or a trendy water bottle, healthcare sells services and products related to people’s well-being. That alone entails a longer sales cycle, as patients need time to research and get second opinions before they decide to trust your business.
From our experience, the timeline for a successful campaign depends on its size and scope as well as the type of business. Our B2C campaigns tend to take 3 months to mature, while our B2B campaigns take at least 4 months. During that time, your agency should track data and keep you informed. To give you a clearer picture, here is Evolve’s timeline. While this is specifically for Google Ads, Facebook and LinkedIn Ads follow a similar format:
- 30 Days: Collecting and analyzing the first month of ad performance, adjusting various ad qualities and monitoring how they impact data.
- 60 Days: Adjusting features to optimize ad campaign based on data from the first month.
- 90 – 120 days: This is when we typically start seeing results. If a client likes the results, we recommend doing a larger-scale campaign.
- 120 days and beyond: Sometime in 4 to 12 months, the campaign becomes strong, i.e., it reaches its full potential.
Digital ads are a long-term investment, and investments take time and refinement. We recommend allowing your campaign to run its course before making any major changes.
2. Metrics Take Time to Form
In the same vein as point 1, campaigns are a marathon, not a sprint. For healthcare digital marketing campaigns, metrics take time to set. Google Ads needs time to figure out your audience and the best way to display your ads to that audience. For Facebook and LinkedIn, your marketer(s) manually target a specific audience, then must monitor the campaign closely to see if any changes should be made.
You may see initial metrics like clickthrough rate (CTR), impressions, and average cost-per-click (CPC) within the first week or two. But ad platforms like Google are constantly learning, so you shouldn’t get hung up on those early numbers. Month by month, you’ll see an improvement in your conversion rate as your ads reach the right audience.
Depending on the cost of your product or service and the budget, you may expect to see a positive return on investment (ROI) within 6-12 months.
3. If You Change Strategy, The Process Repeats
After reading points 1 and 2, if you still decide to go ahead with a new strategy, you should understand that you’re essentially beginning a new campaign. As such, the cycle will restart. For Google, it now must refigure your audience and the best way to target that audience.
Continuously changing your strategy before the campaign has time to strengthen will result in a much lengthier campaign timeline.
4. Keep Messaging Consistent
The key to healthcare digital marketing is consistency. Brand consistency leads to brand recognition, which encourages patient conversion. Make sure any of your efforts outside of your agency, i.e., social media posts, align with the messaging of your digital ads.
Keep in mind that continuously changing the key messaging of your campaign(s) may confuse your audience.
5. Keep Track of Your Conversions
Healthcare digital marketers are at the very top of the sales funnel, meaning we capture a large quantity of leads. However, your marketer will need your help to ensure you’re attracting high-quality leads.
Your point-of-contact from your agency, which should be someone designated to handle client relations, such as a director of client success, should ask you about the types of conversions you’ve received and what has resulted from them. If you’ve been keeping track, you might say, for example, that out of the 67 phone calls you’ve received: 40 were new patients that scheduled, 20 were new patients that didn’t schedule, and the rest are returning patients. If your goal is to schedule new patients, your agency knows you’re on the right track.
Essentially, this data helps inform your agency of any changes that need to be made. One of our clients stated that they were getting a lot of calls for kids, and they don’t treat pediatrics. So, we adjusted the campaign to attract more of the right kind of leads.
It may also be beneficial to keep up to date on your campaign’s metrics. Ideally, your agency will give you access to a reporting dashboard and talk you through the stats so you can make informed decisions. At Evolve Healthcare Marketing, we provide clients with a proprietary business intelligence dashboard that delivers real-time visibility into their campaign’s performance. Ensure your agency uses a reliable analytics tool that tracks meaningful measurements.
6. Heed the Advice of Your Marketing Expert(s)
Healthcare is specialized, and so is healthcare digital marketing. The point of hiring an agency or freelancer is so you can focus on running your business. You should freely communicate any worries or questions to your agency’s point-of-contact, so they can adequately address them and ease your mind.
Your agency’s expertise should come from experience, skills, and proven results. If you feel you cannot entrust your marketing efforts to your agency, perhaps it is time to hire a new one.
In conclusion, launching a healthcare marketing campaign is an exciting and rewarding experience, but it’s important to remember that success takes time. With these tips, you can ensure a successful healthcare digital marketing campaign that drives results.