The coronavirus pandemic has brought to light a critical need for fast-moving, adaptive decision-making, and creativity in our response to the changing health care landscape.
As the pandemic progresses, many health care organizations are turning to digital advertising to attract patients, advertise immediate job openings or share information about COVID-19-related news, testing or safety measures. In fact, health care and pharmaceutical companies are expected to spend $9.53 billion on digital advertising by the end of 2020.
In today’s fast-paced, mobile-first world, digital advertising can be a highly effective method of reaching the right people at the right time for the right price.
Though digital ads can be launched with only a few clicks, the success of any campaign hinges on the proper preparation and set up. Follow these steps before launch to achieve the best results.
- Know your audience. Pay-per-click ads like Google AdWords and display ads are successful because they provide a solution to a specific online search. To ensure you reach your intended audience, research the search terms they are using to find your business online. (Hint: you may be surprised by what you find!) Understanding what your target customers are looking for, how they are searching for you online and the information they expect to find during this search will help you tailor your content to meet their needs (and drive your leads).
- Organize your assets. Before you launch a campaign, make sure you have the right tools and technology in place to measure performance and success. Connect Google Analytics to your website, set up customized tracking URLs and phone numbers to use in ads and ensure any lead generation form integrates directly with your customer relationship management software. If you are launching graphic display ads, make sure the ad copy and design work well across multiple browsers and devices.
- Understand your budget. While some digital ad campaigns can be less expensive than traditional print or TV placements and achieving a low cost-per-click metric is often the goal, digital advertising is not always a low-cost option. Certain segments of the health care industry, geographies or keywords are very competitive and costs to operate successful campaigns could run in the tens of thousands. Know what your organization is comfortable spending each month and refine your targeting parameters to work within your budget. But recognize that in some instances you may be outbid by competitors with deeper pockets.
- Be patient. While digital advertising can be a quick win, campaigns take time to produce results. Most campaigns need to be live for at least 90 days and undergo continuous iteration and optimization before enough data is available to measure the true long-term ROI.
- Repeat what works. When you find the right combination of keywords, creative designs and calls-to-action to attract the right people to your business—keep going! Build on these successes, introduce additional service lines into your campaigns or increase your ad budget to reach more users. Apply what works to other campaigns to keep your digital funnel full – and remember to monitor and measure success (in visits, volumes and revenues, not just clicks and calls) all along the way.