Digital health marketing

The digital health field is something of a double-edged sword for marketers.

It holds a huge opportunity: some of the top health sites on the web get over 100 million unique views in a month. It’s safe to say health is a topic both people and organizations spend a lot of time researching, especially in a time when digital transformation is affecting a significant portion of the field. The demand for good information about exercise, nutrition, and other facets of health provides a great opportunity for marketers to build relationships with prospects and clients.

On the other hand, the size of the field has raised the stakes for entry. Health is one of the most competitive areas of online marketing. PPC ads for terms related to any type of medicine tend to be some of the most expensive to bid on, and there are an endless number of businesses within every discipline of digital marketing claiming to specialize in health.

In this article, we’ll discuss what your organization needs to effectively stand out in such a crowded yet lucrative sector. The below tips will provide insights on what kinds of marketing activity resonates best with prospects in the field, as well as how to think about creating and distributing your marketing.

Offer authoritative sourcing

One of the first steps to success with health marketing is to ensure all of the information you present is from a reliable source. There is an unfortunately high amount of misinformation on the web in all sorts of popular areas, especially health. That’s not to say you have to agree with everything currently published in your field – in fact, it can be beneficial to take a stance that separates you in your industry.

But whatever position you are taking or advice you are providing, it’s important that you can back it up. A good rule of thumb is to back up everything you say with research studies from a reputable, objective organization – typically a university, hospital, or government.

What about B2B marketing? This tenet is especially true if your target customer is health businesses that serve individuals. B2B purchases are slower, more thought-out, and more researched than consumer buys. You’ll need to prove any claims or statements you make, even if they relate to your proprietary product or service.

Create valuable content

The health sector has all the necessary ingredients to be ripe for successful content marketing. First off, it’s a massive industry. Even when you break down health into specific segments such as nutrition, functional exercise, or stretching and mobility, there’s still a ton of information to digest to grasp even the basics. Health is also great for content marketing because it contains a built-in gatekeeper: medical training. For better or worse, people have a tendency to put more trust in those who are certified doctors, nurses, or physical therapists. And while this can lead to some questionable tactics by marketers with looser standards (think about all the commercials you’ve seen with actors wearing white coats), if you take advantage of this gatekeeper it can help you quickly grab the attention and respect of an audience – even if they’ve never heard of you.

For better or worse, people have a tendency to put more trust in those who are certified doctors, nurses, or physical therapists Click To Tweet

The other reason health is a great fit for content marketing is because it’s one of the most important things on a person’s radar, even as they go about their hectic day-to-day schedule. Even serious life pursuits like getting an education, finding a new job, or earning more money are put on the back burner if a person’s health isn’t in order. If you can prove that your offering will improve someone’s health – or in B2B health, improve the health of your audience’s customers – there is a high chance they will stop and pay attention to your marketing.

Communicate consistently via email

Over the last two decades, we’ve seen many different communication channels come and go. Even as new apps and platforms for networking crop up on a daily basis, one channel has remained steady and reliable: email. According to a McKinsey survey, 45% of medical technology marketers cited email as the most effective digital channel for generating new opportunities after a product launch.

People in every part of the health industry have email and probably check it frequently. From doctors and nurses to hospital executives and patients in every demographic bracket, an email is a universal tool that can be used to reach almost anyone.

Of course, the downside here is most people’s inboxes are deluged with spam and junk messages. It’s much harder to get someone’s attention via email than it was five or ten years ago, simply because of the sheer volume of messages we all get today. Research published in the Harvard Business Review says an average information worker gets 120 emails each day and spends 28% of their working hours answering them.

That’s why it’s important to have clear, relevant messaging when you reach out to people in their inboxes. If you consistently send emails with content that is helpful, makes their job easier or at least entertains them, you’ll have a great chance of standing out to your desired audience.

That brings us to our next point, one of the best tactics for creating helpful email content that also applies to marketing in general:

Personalize your messaging

Another reason health is such a great field for marketing: you can collect lots of data about your target audience. Medical practices, hospitals, physical therapists and others who market directly to people have all sorts of opportunities to gather information about their problems, symptoms, and other key details that define their situation. The same holds true if you’re a B2B marketer – when you drill down and get specific about the types of health businesses you’re targeting, you’ll find that a very particular set of challenges and obstacles comes up again and again.

Receiving all this information should help you create a few profiles of your ideal buyer, also known as a customer persona or avatar. For an excellent guide to help you get started with buyer personas, check out this resource from HubSpot. When you create and maintain an accurate buyer persona, it helps all facets of your marketing stay relevant and valuable to your target audience. You’ll know what kind of issues they face and how you can help them, whether related to personal health challenges or obstacles to growing their health-based businesses.

Keep these principles above all else

Digital health marketing may be a massive field with lucrative opportunities in almost every sector, but it’s also one that’s hard to stand out in if you don’t make the proper investment in your marketing efforts. No matter the specific channel – whether you’re using social media, search engine ads, SEO, or some combination of tactics – you need to provide high-quality content from a reputable source that adds value to your intended audience.

In many cases, these types of campaigns require guidance from a skilled leader who can make tough decisions and effectively deploy a team’s resources. If you are looking for veteran marketing leadership to help you get the most out of a new campaign or refresh your current ones to improve results, schedule an introductory call today to learn more about how’s fractional CMO services may be just what you need.

About the Author

Mosheh Poltorak

Mosheh is a growth consultant, advisor, and fractional-CMO to early-stage startups. His specialty is at the intersection of marketing and product, and the overlap between data and customer experience. Mosheh has successfully deployed these strategies for companies big and small, across B2B and B2C industries. He has served as CMO for a number of startups in healthcare, technology, and eCommerce verticals.