5 Digital Strategy Tips for Health and Wellness Marketers
Readying for the new digital normal
The “New Normal” that everyone is talking about is already here. It comes on the heels of facing some harsh realities over the past few months about the fragility of our personal health and well-being and the health and well-being of our businesses. Specific to our businesses, many of those realities had to do with digital strategy readiness to meet consumers where they were (and largely still are) in the midst of the Coronavirus – at home, on their desktops and on their phones.
While moving swiftly has always been a virtue, time is really of the essence now to ensure that your health and wellness business’ digital marketing strategies are focused on the new “digital normal.” Part of this focus, particularly at this very tough time, is being mindful of the power of empathy, humanity, and personalization. As Magith Noohukhan pointed out in a recent Drum article, “Capturing customer behavior data and analytics in real-time is really crucial to brilliant customer engagement, and personalization is key.”
The urgency to assess digital readiness
The overarching lesson learned for health and wellness marketing teams over the past few months is that you need to make it easier for customers to do business with you. While customer flight to digital was already underway, the unfolding of recent events has quickened the pace. Case in point are the findings from this Gartner COVID-19 Marketing Quick Poll asking marketers about changing customer behaviors they expect to endure beyond the crisis – indicating increased use of social media to engage with brands (84%), increased preference for digital commerce (78%), increased expectation for proactive brand communications (78%), heightened aversion to risk (59%), etc.
To develop the right digital marketing strategy and craft the appropriate tactical action plan, it’s important to step back now and assess your readiness with your team:
- How are your existing customers experiencing this new normal
- What can we do to remain worthy of their trust and to demonstrate that we “get” what their needs are now
- Do we have a deep understanding of their interactions with our company and brands, not only vis-a-vis our website, but on mobile and social
- What are the major components of our digital footprint today
- Do we have the right digital tools in place to implement our plan
- Are we nimble enough to adopt a more fluid process of testing and learning and selecting new digital platforms?
5 practical digital strategy steps to take right now
The Coronavirus crisis has shattered many of the assumptions and marginalized the tools that healthcare and wellness marketing teams relied on for conducting business. To restart their business engines, the following five digital marketing tactics should help prove effective in reviving engagement and demand.
1. Use data to inform your marketing decisions
They say that in life two things are certain: death and taxes. But there’s one other thing that is certain – the data doesn’t lie. Now is the time for you to embrace each and every data point that you can collect on your business and the behavior of your customers. The more you are able to collect, the more you will know about the effectiveness of your digital assets and digital marketing programs – independently and in concert with each other. Of course, as far as data is concerned, you’ll want to start with Google Analytics.
Top data points you’ll want to focus on are:
- Behavior Flows
With this information in hand you can:
- Analyze and assess the implications of the data
- Strategize the best way for your brand to benefit from this information
- Optimize the digital content on your website, social media channels and email marketing
- Continuously track performance to stay relevant and stay ahead of competition
Beyond Google Analytics, there are some other rich platforms to pull data from. The digital platforms that stand out and that you should take a look at are:
- Tableau is a strong data visualization platform
- Looker invites greater interactivity with your data
- Domo integrates cloud-based business intelligence, analytics, and data
2. Conversion rate optimizations
Increasing conversions on your website is one of your most important metrics in digital marketing. But, what exactly are your website conversion points? Neil Patel, the internet’s master of online optimization and monetization, points out in a recent article that while conversion rate optimization – CRO – can seem daunting it doesn’t have to be. According to Neil, Wikipedia (of all sources) nailed it when they succinctly stated:
“In internet marketing, conversion optimization, or conversion rate optimization (CRO) is a system for increasing the percentage of visitors to a website that convert into customers, or more generally, take any desired action on a webpage. It is commonly referred to as CRO.”
As broad and complex as it can be, focusing on some key core actions will keep you on the right path. Here are the top things you can focus on:
- A/B Testing – takes some time but well worth the effort given the learning and actionability. Some of the things you can look at testing:
- Different headlines
- Integration of different media, e.g. videos, photos, graphics
- Call-to-action: locations on the page and subtle language changes
- Page layouts – image placements, side menus, drop-downs
- Alternate copy approaches, e.g. how you present your services or products to customers
- Optimizing the copy on your site
- Optimizing your landing pages
- Updating forms being used for conversion
- Live chat, contact form fills
- Growing your social media
3. Keep your online content current
For your website to be visible and remain relevant to search engines like Google, it is important that you have updated content on your site as search engines continuously scan every page of the internet. Creating engaging and thought-provoking customer-focused content also keeps audiences coming back to your site in anticipation of what’s next.
To stay current and relevant these are some of the kinds of content you should be continually adding to maintain your digital presence:
- Blog posts are a natural way to provide value to site visitors, reinforce what you stand for and be seen as experts in your industry. Very relevant to this topic is our ongoing content development for infectious disease practice ID Care (the 2nd largest practice of its kind on the East Coast)
- Videos are an engaging method for sharing presentations, new services and products, and other valuable information
- Shareable eBooks impart your knowledge in long-form and contribute to building credibility
- Off-site, keep your social media content fresh and flowing with customer-relevant information, insights and calls to action that drive traffic to your website
4. Email marketing and messaging
While email has been around for a very long time, it is still a very effective vehicle. Email marketing offers you an incredible return on investment (ROI) as compared to many other health and wellness marketing tactics that company’s invest in. However, in order to do it right, you should be using a centralized CRM (customer relationship management) system like Salesforce, or Hubspot (where you can set up a pretty rich free account.) A properly set up company CRM system can provide unparalleled data collection and communications opportunities.
Just a few of the many benefits are:
- Email capture to get things started
- User name collection for creating segmented and personalized one to one dialogue
- Integrated lead generation tracking so you’ll know where your successes are
- Lead nurturing to get to know your customers and them to know you
- List management for building relationships
- Autoresponders so there is no gap in communications
- Drip campaigns for keeping the conversations going
- Conversion tracking to understand and optimize as needed
5. Go virtual
This New Normal we find ourselves in goes well beyond social distancing and working from home. We all are living and working virtually in ways that not too long ago would have been incomprehensible. Yet, we have all adapted to Zoom and Microsoft Team meetings, online happy hours, and family celebrations shared in virtual environments.
What was once shared celebrations in houses and halls filled with newlyweds, conference attendees, and trade shows are now relegated to laptops and desktop screens filled with checker boxes of family, friends, and co-workers. Knowing that staying connected with your customers or patients will forever be changed, you need to adapt and provide more virtual opportunities to stay connected.
In a recent video interview with Eric J. Savitz, from Barron’s, Stewart Butterfield, Co-Founder and CEO of Slack, shared insights on the global move to virtual business. A few of his ideas that stand out include:
- What we’re seeing is an acceleration of the digital transformation
- Only time will be able to tell if the sales relationship is forever changed
- We’ll need to be prepared for how salespeople interact with their customers
- Meetings, for the foreseeable future, will not be held at and attended in offices like they were before
- Business need to be prepared for this paradigm shift
If you haven’t already, you need to get set up on one of the many online conferencing platforms today in order to compete tomorrow.
Here are just a few to get you started. From free accounts for enterprise-level solutions, one of these options is sure to be a fit for your business to thrive:
The New Normal is Now
Without a doubt, the New Normal is already here. The five digital strategy tips discussed above represent just the tip of the iceberg of business growth opportunity as the New Normal becomes… normal. At our health and wellness New Jersey marketing agency Trajectory, we’re working closely with our clients to help them navigate through these challenging times and evolve their playbooks to reignite momentum for their brands and businesses.