7/11/2011 7:36 AM
As more healthcare companies move significant marketing spend to digital, it is important to understand how to leverage the power of the online channel. Not only does online marketing offer real-time consumer intelligence with the ability to adjust the mix, message or even the target, but it also offers real-time impact on the bottom-line as well.
Here are five critical ways to optimize your online channel, while also ensuring that you employ proven best-practices for any digital campaign.
1. Choose the Right Media Mix
When it comes to healthcare, search is still king. Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising will provide the most immediate and efficient impact and is the right place for testing and optimizing your messaging, landing pages and audience targeting.
Your PPC campaigns should be developed around the most effective keyword combinations—words and phrases that your target audience searches for most. And the different combinations of keywords, ad copy and landing pages that you deploy should be based on what drives new business, not just visitors. Once you learn which keywords are “buy terms,” you can optimize your content for those terms.
Remember too, that while consumers often search for broader terms, they may ultimately convert after searching for your brand. Never underestimate using your brand and variations of your brand as important search terms.
2. Learn First, then Expand
Before you bring your media expansion channels into the mix, make certain that you understand what works and what doesn’t work. This “one step at a time” approach is best explained visually (below).
3. Customize the Experience
All of your digital initiatives should be customized based on audience behavior—not only for current customers, but for potential prospects as well. These behavioral patterns include physical paths visitors follow before, during and after visiting your website. For example, if your ad copy targets caregivers, your landing page content should too. Your landing pages should also focus on converting inbound traffic into warm leads and, ultimately, sales. Don’t get carried away on the copywriting front—save something for the sales call.
Equally important when considering landing page development: avoid distractions. While it may be important to preserve the look and feel of your website on your landing pages, placing extraneous links to other sections of your site will distract the user from doing what you want them to do—provide a warm lead.
4. Nurture Real Opportunities
As data becomes available during your different digital initiatives, you’ll learn more about the wants and needs of your target as it relates to the online channel. The task of further segmenting your audience into meaningful groups based on demographic information, behavioral patterns and overall timing will become easier.
This segmentation will make real opportunities much easier to spot. And when you do locate such opportunities, it is important that you adjust the appropriate elements of your digital campaign to cater specifically to them without alienating future opportunities.
Remember, your goal is to convert opportunity into sale. Use the power of the online channel to nurture key traffic by providing more value, a customized experience and solutions to their specific wants and needs.
5. Track, Measure and Modify in Real-Time
A major advantage with the online channel is the ability to track everything. And based on available data, it is relatively simple to measure, compare and plot any trends that occur during and after a digital campaign concludes. As the data is analyzed, adjustments to the campaign itself can and should occur in real-time.
It is also important to understand that there is much more data available within the online channel than needs to be monitored. Tracking click-paths with the appropriate tags is key. If you don’t know which ads are resonating with people, you’ll find yourself making decisions based on assumptions rather than facts.
While there are dozens of important optimization strategies related to online channel development, these are the five most important based on our experience. To learn more about how we can turn your online channel into a successful lead-generation initiative, contact us today.