Posted: October 3, 2017

What does it take to be a successful healthcare marketer in 2017? How important is creativity? Analytical Skills? Social Media Savvy? If you’re looking to up your healthcare marketing game, take a look at this list of essential skills gathered from the Digital Marketing Institute, Mashable, and Forbes.com.

#1. A Head for Data
Any successful healthcare marketer should have a deep understanding of what makes their consumers tick. However, digital marketing success requires more than a knack for creating compelling personas. You need to dive deep into your healthcare consumers’ data – not just once, but on an ongoing basis. Success in this area requires not only ability to interpret data, but also the knowledge to put that information to use.

Once you’ve mastered data analytics, you’ll have a better understanding of your consumers buying behaviors, challenges, and motivations, which will ultimately have a positive impact on your marketing budget.

Where do you start? Knowing your way around Google Analytics is important, but to truly shine, you’ll need to take your skills a step further.

According to the Digital Marketing Institute the new healthcare marketer should:

  • Know how to interpret and implement social media marketing analytics (using native platforms, online tools, and insights from any digital marketing technology you use.
  • Be able to leverage data from email service providers and paid search campaigns
  • Consider using heat maps and real-time website analytics

#2. Social Media Savvy
As a healthcare marketing professional, social media is probably already a major focus of your day. Success on social means not only engaging with consumers through the channels you own, but also monitoring others to know what is being said about your organization online and responding accordingly.

In a recent Mashable post, Miles Jennings urged digital marketers to hone their skills in paid social media advertising. This includes: 1) Having the ability to understand and implement Facebook analytics and insights; 2) knowing how to create “lookalike” and custom audiences; and 3) understanding how to test creative campaigns and images.

The Digital Marketing Institute offered the following tips to help up your social media game:

  • Learn how to use social listening tools to gain insights that will help you decide what content you should share and when.
  • Be able to set up alerts and make use of advanced search functions, so that you can monitor relevant messages and respond quickly.
  • Create and implement a crisis management plan so that you can react appropriately and protect your brand.

#3. SEO Skills
For the new healthcare marketer, search engine optimization might just be the most difficult skill to master. SEO best practices are constantly changing, as are search engine algorithms. As challenging as it may be, mastering SEO is essential if you want to drive more traffic and more conversions through your site, especially when it comes to local searches.

As we discussed in a previous post, consumers are searching for healthcare providers and facilities online, making Google the primary referral channel to your website. Showing up near the top of the results is important for visibility, so you must manage what you can to improve your ranking. Thankfully, much of the heavy lifting – putting html/markup and meta data in the right order and in the right context – can be done with the help of a good content management system.

Upping your SEO game also means upping both your creative and technical skills. DMI encourages digital marketers to:

  • Know the importance of keyword research and implementation
  • Understand the nuances of content (how much is too much, and what is relevant)
  • Recognize the best methods for acquiring quality links

The extra important step for healthcare, in particular, is ensuring your local listings are correct across the entire search ecosystem. Maintaining consistent, accurate directory listings will also boost your SEO rankings.

#4. Video Expertise
Video skills are becoming more valuable by the minute – mostly because the projected growth of video is staggering. DMI predicts that in 2017, video marketing will account for 69% of all consumer traffic, mobile video ads will grow 5 times faster than desktop, and landing pages with videos can lead to 800% higher conversions. And according to Forbes, “engaging videos are more likely to be shared than any other content,” which makes an even more compelling argument for mastering this skill.

Like SEO, becoming an online video expert can have a steep learning curve. A good place to start, according to DMI, is by learning how to storyboard and execute videos that anticipate your target audience’s needs and interests while also conveying your brand in a creative, humanizing way. Also, don’t forget to use meta-descriptions and keyword tags to optimize your videos for search.

#5. Content Creativity
According to recent survey published by Marketing Profs, Content Creation & Curation (38%) and Content Strategy (34%) are two of the most sought after digital marketing areas of expertise with employers. (Only digital advertising ranked higher at 46%.)

Forbes also reported that many organizations are still struggling with ways to create content that truly engages their audience. So, if you can help your organization plan an effective content strategy AND produce content that your audience views and shares, you are well on your way towards building a successful career in healthcare marketing.

As we discussed in this recent post, successful content marketing requires a healthy combination of creative and analytical skills. Producing content without an understanding of your consumers’ needs is wasted effort and noise. This is where you can draw upon your data skills to better understand your customer and use that information to create content that speaks to their challenges and motivations.

Want an extra boost of healthcare marketing know-how that can help drive growth for your specific organization? Request a free healthcare marketing assessment.