Digital advertising has become an essential component of healthcare marketing. With so many strategies available, determining the best approach can be challenging. While the debate between organic marketing (marketing material posted for free) and inorganic marketing (paid advertisements shown to a targeted audience) persists, both tools should be utilized accordingly.
In this article, we’ll delve into best practices for both organic and inorganic social media and search engine marketing.
Organic Social Media Marketing
An organic social media post is shared from your company’s account without cost. Regularly posting is good for establishing your brand and boosting brand exposure to your followers.
Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn utilize algorithms to determine the content that appears in users’ feeds. These algorithms take various factors into consideration, such as recency of the post and its relevance to the user. Facebook, in particular, is known for being the most challenging for businesses to achieve organic reach.
Some best practices for improving your organic reach:
- Call to action. Encourage followers to engage with posts, such as by asking for comments or shares.
- Post when your followers are most likely to be active. The American Marketing Association provided a guide for the best times to post by platform.
- Establish a brand voice. Your social media presence should be consistent in tone, style, and frequency.
- Engage with patients. Your practice should respond to comments and messages, ask questions, and encourage feedback.
- Use relevant hashtags. Adding popular hashtags related to your topic makes it easier for the right people to find your content.
While organic marketing can build brand consistency and visibility, reaching a wider audience may require inorganic methods.
Inorganic Social Media Marketing
Boosting Organic Posts
To make the most of your best posts, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn allow you to boost them. Boosting is paying for your post to appear higher in the feed or have it promoted to a targeted audience. Boosting is helpful for healthcare practices to promote a specific message without paying for a full-fledged ad campaign.
Social media advertising is a primary component of digital advertising.
Meta Platforms Inc. owns Facebook and Instagram, so any ads created in Facebook Ads Managers will also run on Instagram.
Both Facebook and LinkedIn allow businesses to create and target ads to specific audiences. These ads can be in various formats, including images, videos, carousels, and more. The advertiser sets a target audience based on various demographics, interests, and behaviors. For LinkedIn Ads, this can include company, skills, job title, etc. Targeting helps ensure the ads reach the people most likely to be interested in your product or service.
Some best practices for running a social media campaign:
- Target the right audience. Consider your patient demographics. For whom do you offer services? By adapting your ad targeting to those specific patients, you can increase the odds of conversion.
- Manage your keywords effectively. Doing keyword research and knowing the type of content users were searching for when they found your brand makes attracting traffic much easier.
- Have optimized landing pages. An effective landing page contains the information potential patients need to convert.
- Your ad copy matches your landing pages or keywords. When people click on an ad, they want to go straight to the content they’re anticipating.
For more tips on ensuring a successful social media campaign, please see optimizing your digital marketing efforts and tips for handling the post-launch period.
Google SEO – Organic Search Engine Marketing
Organic marketing via Google refers to optimizing your website or online content to improve its ranking in Google’s search engine results pages without paying for advertising. This is commonly referred to as search engine optimization (SEO).
Some best practices for optimizing your website or content for Google:
- Keyword research. Identify the keywords and phrases people search for when they find your business and incorporate them into your website content.
- Content creation. Creating high-quality, relevant, and engaging content you want to share and link to.
- User-friendly design. Create a positive user experience by improving site navigation, enhancing readability, and ensuring mobile responsiveness.
- Link building. Having other high-quality websites include your links helps to improve search rankings. Doing this effectively may require an SEO agency.
- Local SEO. Optimizing your website for local search results, including local keywords and phrases, Google My Business listings, and local backlinks.
Organic marketing via Google can take time and effort to produce results, but it’s an effective way to drive website traffic and boost your online credibility.
Inorganic Paid Search Marketing – Google Ads
With Google paid search, businesses create and run ads through Google Ads, bidding on specific keywords and targeting specific audiences. Advertisers pay every time someone clicks on their ad, and this cost per click can vary depending on the competition for the keyword or audience.
Google paid search can drive considerable traffic to your website or landing page, especially for businesses looking to achieve specific marketing objectives, such as lead generation. But keep in mind that a successful campaign is an investment, and investments require time and money.
Some best practices for running an ad campaign on Google:
- Take advantage of ad extensions. Extensions allow you to add extra information and links to your ads, such as site links, callouts, structured snippets, and call extensions. These extensions can improve ad visibility.
- Provide effective calls to action: A good call to action is clearly-worded and encourages patients to take immediate action.
- Test and experiment. Experiment with different ad formats, bidding strategies, targeting options, and messaging to discover what works best for your audience.
- Have optimized landing pages. Same as for social media campaigns, an effective landing page promotes patient conversion. Ensure yours has all the information a patient may need to convert.
- Google Analytics.Regularly review your data to identify areas for improvement and make improvements (even better if your agency or marketing expert provides you with a consolidated marketing dashboard).
While organic marketing enables practices to connect with their target audience authentically, inorganic marketing allows you to target specific demographics and achieve heightened visibility. By leveraging both approaches, your practice can achieve the best of both worlds and build a robust digital presence that attracts new patients in your healthcare field.