Service line marketing campaigns are a great way to generate wins for your healthcare organization. However, building a successful campaign can be tricky – especially if you’re new to the game. As you begin to formulate your plan and strategy, start by asking the following questions (and in this order, I think):

  • How will you evaluate the success of your efforts?
  • What audience are you trying to reach?
  • Which channels does this audience respond to most?
  • And, what type of content works best on each channel?

Finding the answers to these questions is a good start and knowing the answer, especially to the first question, is necessary to help you continue on the right path. We’ve put together the following list of best practices for planning your next service line marketing campaign.

1) Clarify your goals – When planning a multi-channel campaign, start by clearly defining your organizational and service line goals. Goals should be specific and focused on measurable elements, such as expected increase in qualified leads, return on investment, revenue, or profitability. When beginning your campaign, try try try to capture benchmarks based on internal goals and previous experience. No two campaigns are exactly alike, so comparing yourself to others across the country is certainly helpful, but we find the greatest success when we partner with organizations that know where they have been and now know where they want to go!

As your service line campaign carries on, clear goals will help keep you on track. Decide up front how you will measure success. Is it by number of clicks, leads, sign-ups, or something else? With clear goals in place, you know when it’s time to make adjustments.

You’ll also want to set goals around your content’s purpose. For example, if you’re running a Facebook ad campaign to capture leads, you’ll want to offer valuable content that consumers are willing to exchange personal information for (e.g. health risk assessments). For help getting started with goal setting and tracking, check out our goals template in the Healthcare Digital Marketing Toolkit.

2) Create consumer personas – The first step in creating incredible value for consumers is to understand them. Creating personas that include general demographics and specific descriptions of your target audience is a good starting point for building a strong service line marketing strategy.

You can also use consumer data from your CRM to build personas and content that speaks to your audience. As you learn more about them, you can use that information to further refine your personas. This template, featured in our Healthcare Digital Marketing Toolkit, will help gather the information you’ll need to start building your personas.

3) Map consumer journeys – Once you’ve created your personas, you’ll want to map the
journey through your service line. Take a careful look at every touchpoint – from the moment a prospective lead becomes aware of your physicians or services – to earning a patient’s loyalty for return visits. The more you know about the consumer journey, the more effectively you’ll be able to lead them through every interaction within your service line and organization. On average there are 8-15 different people consumers must engage with in order to be ingested in your health system. You need to understand your consumer in order to create a consumer experience that is intimate, empathetic, and personalized.

4) Create quality content – What makes some marketing campaigns successful, while others fail? It may come down to the quality of your content. If you want your content to stand out, it needs to be relevant, useful, and interesting. Each piece should be designed specifically for the channel you’re using.

Every channel has an audience with different expectations and content preferences. One common mistake is to create a single piece of content and post it everywhere from Twitter to Facebook to Google Display. A better approach is to find out what your target audience responds to on each channel and plan your content and messaging accordingly.

5) Manage your leads – Before you launch your campaign, make sure your service line is prepared to respond to new leads in a timely fashion. If your campaign is driving leads to schedule appointments, make sure the providers, staff, and front office team have the capacity to handle a sudden influx of new patients.

6) Optimize your efforts – In order to improve your campaign results, you need to measure for both performance and effectiveness. Testing can help you determine whether your marketing is reaching the right audience and leading them to take the desired action. Testing will also help you understand what content your consumers find compelling.

Your service line marketing strategy should cover the elements you’ll be testing, when you’ll be making decisions and/or making changes to what you’re doing, and what milestones you’ll count as a measure of success.

For example, you may want to perform monthly A/B tests of your images, headlines, and link copy. While on a bi-weekly basis, you’ll probably want to evaluate your click-through rate, cost-per-lead, and how many times consumers have seen your ad. Even daily, you’ll want to monitor spend and overall account health.

7) Deliver Measurable ROI – Without measurement, you can never really prove how your marketing efforts lead to downstream revenue – whether that’s scheduled appointments and procedures or seminar and class signups.

So, how do you decide what metrics really matter? And, how do you track that data through to downstream ROI?

When measuring the results of your search and social campaigns, ask yourself:

  • Are you seeing positive lead indicators to downstream success like high click through rates, increase in mobile click-to-calls, increase in clicks on get directions extensions?
  • Are you seeing that your share of voice in your market is increasing – are your ads showing more often and with more relevance to your audience than your competitors?
  • Is there more volume coming to your service line? Typically, we’re not fans of anecdotalytics, but this often a great indicator and hopefully will lead to a discussion about the importance of lead management.
  • Are you collecting enough information from consumers that have engaged or expressed interest in their moment of need so that you can match lead information to your CRM for downstream revenue impact?

By linking your campaigns to revenue, you should have an easier time when it comes time for budget approval.

8) Find a partner to support your efforts – Like any marketing effort; success in service-line marketing begins with a strong understanding of your audience and the content they most respond to on a given marketing channel. Partnering with a technology provider that includes an experienced services team is one way to maximize your service line marketing efforts. With a team to help with the big lifting of research, assessment, implementation, and monitoring – you can spend more of your time building an exceptional service line marketing strategy.

Want more insight into service line marketing specifics? Download our Playbook for Facebook.