Social media and healthcare sales are rarely viewed as a joint strategy. It feels like it should not be an effective way to reach healthcare providers and decision makers, but, when you dig into the dynamics of a practice, it makes complete sense. With the way information is distributed through the ranks within a practice, social media continually proves to be one of the most effective channels, especially when targeting small to medium provider groups.
As you may have seen in our latest ebook on healthcare’s digital transformation, the COVID-19 crisis combined with widespread adoption of digital communication in healthcare has made the traditional sales approach both socially challenging and financially unsustainable. Social media is a powerhouse for lead generation and solution education. In this post, I’ll explain why social media works and why it continually drives low costs leads when targeting the researcher at most practices.
Additionally, if our agency got a nickel every time we proved the statement “Our customer is B2B/Enterprise, they are not on Facebook” wrong, then we would be living on our own private island.
Researcher & End User vs. the Decision Maker
One of the biggest mistakes when targeting healthcare providers is not breaking down who the researcher is and who the decision maker is within a company. Your website, messaging, and value proposition should align with your audience and empower that person with the tools to convince the decision makers. At most practices, the researcher or solution influencer is either the general staff or practice manager. They are the gatekeepers to the decision maker. However, their problems and needs are often different — an office manager is often more interested in workflow improvement, while a physician/owner cares about the bottom line. Where social media excels is its ability to target the office manager and staff who fall in the prime demographic for social engagement..
Before any campaign is launched, make sure you’ve focused your value proposition for your target. We often add decision maker packets to our web experiences or post-conversion nurture emails to empower the researcher/influencer to effectively sell the solution to the final decision maker: The physician.
Staff and the Use of Social Media
Now that we understand how research happens inside a practice, our social strategy becomes more apparent. Where a physician’s demographic and daily behavior may not be heavily engaged in social media, the office staff does engage frequently. This creates a perfect opportunity to leverage social media to reach your audience, generate awareness, and drive intent. We use social media to effectively target these individuals and, with the rising cost of search marketing, we often see this as the most cost effective way to reach the right audience and drive action.
3 Effective Tactics:
- Funnel Your Office Managers to Find Intent: We funnel our audiences and start with engagement and video campaigns to find office managers that express interest, then focus our campaign on that audience and the lookalikes.
- The Use of Lookalike Audiences: Lookalikes of customers and decision makers achieve the lowest CPL up to 80% of the time.
- List-based Targeting to Support Outbound Campaigns: We target specific prospects with awareness campaigns to increase engagement and recognition of our client outbound sales initiatives.
Our mission is to drive the digital transformation of healthcare. Channels like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google can be extremely effective when done right, but very costly when done wrong. I encourage you to educate yourself, but enter with caution. When executing, have a team member or partner that truly understands the architecture and execution of these advertising mediums. Those that continue to rely on traditional marketing channels often lack the expertise to hire a team that can build a strong foundation, create a strategy, and generate demand. At OM, we recognized this gap and developed a performance marketing program for results-driven organizations that starts with a core foundation and scales up to world-class digital marketing.
We think of social media marketing and search engine marketing as interest/demographic (social) vs. intent (search). If you have an innovative solution that your audience does not know they need, social is a highly effective way to tell your story and drive action. However, when the solution is known (e.g., telemedicine software), a prospect rarely converts from a display impression. That is why we leverage social media to educate and generate interest, and search engine campaigns to drive conversions.