Dec 8 2020
Basis Technologies

Digital Strategies for Healthcare Marketers


While few brands remain untouched by the impacts of COVID, healthcare marketers have been uniquely challenged to repeatedly adapt their digital strategies over the course of 2020.

At Basis, we’ve tapped into our years of experience in the healthcare vertical to support our clients through strategic shifts in messaging, campaign goals, and investment strategies. No two initiatives are the same, but a few key channels and ad variations can position any brand as a trusted voice in the healthcare conversation.

If you’re working with a budget that can support multiple channels, be discerning about maximizing that channel’s key offering, and play to its strengths. Here are a few ideas:

Paid Search

Maintain an evergreen brand presence with paid search. If any channel should be keeping the lights on all year round, it’s this one. Ensure that anyone searching for the brand or related services will be able to find yours.

Search learnings can also be invaluable. Keyword volume can tell you when people are most likely to be looking for certain content. For example—is January really the best time to run a weight loss campaign, or do people start looking for dieting tips in December? Spoiler Alert: Start that campaign in December!

Search traffic can also be a valuable tool for audience insights, showing you the age, gender, and interests of your most engaged audience(s).

Paid Social

Consider social—specifically Facebook—to increase your scale with lookalike audiences. CRM data and lookalike modeling can be especially difficult to maneuver in the healthcare space, where privacy is even more paramount. Facebook can be an incredible asset in that sense, allowing you to easily create lookalike audiences based on engagement with the landing page or ad variants.

Bolster your social learnings by including at least 3-5 variants of each creative. This doesn’t have to mean a significantly higher lift in creative production – instead, consider one image with a few different headlines, or a single headline with a few different images.

Once you’ve got a strong set of ads, let Facebook test them in every nook and cranny of their network – Instagram, Messenger, Stories, Marketplace – to find out which part of the platform your audience is most engaged.

Programmatic Display and Native

Reach niche audiences at scale with Programmatic Display and Native. By partnering with leading healthcare data partners like Crossix, Adstra, and Pulsepoint, Basis can implement behavioral targeting for your most niche audiences with Basis DSP. We’re talking segments for people with “grass allergies” or “osteoporosis of the knee”–incredible specificity!

All of Basis' data partners are entirely CCPA and HIPAA compliant, and trusted leaders in the audience data ecosystem. Learn more about our partnership with Adstra here!

Access to a wide range of audiences means you can more confidently test out-of-the-box audiences, and pivot quickly based on performance. For example:

  • Caretakers: Share your message with the people who spend the most time with potential patients. Adstra, specifically, offers a large taxonomy of specific caretaker segments, including “Caretakers of people with Type 1 Diabetes” or “Hospice caretakers.”
  • Physicians and Specialists: In addition to caretakers, build your reputation amongst the experts. Segments for medical professionals are increasingly specific – think “Pediatric Neurologists” or “Pain Management Specialists.”
  • Comorbidities: Consider additional symptoms or diagnoses that might accompany certain conditions. People diagnosed with Parkinson’s may also suffer from hypertension or diabetes. Patients seeking orthopedic care may be aging, experiencing joint pain, or have sustained a recent injury. Known Comorbidities and accompanying symptoms can be pivotal for engaging a wider audience.

Oh, and remember that lookalike audience targeting we mentioned before? That can also be done programmatically, using your landing page!

Cross-Channel Magic

Now that you’ve got a few channels in the mix, make sure they’re working together. Ask your media strategist to download a list of top-performing keywords from your Search campaign and use them to identify relevant content for your programmatic buy. If a specific behavioral segment is delivering the best performance on your Display campaign, consider testing similar interests on Facebook.

Maximize your Messaging

Our most successful clients don’t have the magic touch when it comes to finding the right words—they test and learn! There are so many cost-efficient and low-risk ways to test copy and imagery without going all the way back to the drawing board. Start by running a few versions of your headline or sub-copy and go from there.

Once you’ve started to gain an understanding of which ad formats resonate most with your audience, become an active participant in the conversation by swapping content regularly.

Many brands positioned themselves as thought-leaders in April, May, and June, informing their audiences of COVID regulations and news. Over the summer, they pivoted that messaging to begin encouraging patients to keep their regular appointments, advertising the health and safety precautions they’d instated to inspire confidence in the minds of patients and families.

Again, the best brands don’t get lucky by writing one headline that works all year long – they pay attention and promote consistently relevant, trustworthy content.

Want to learn more about how Basis can help take your healthcare initiative to the next level? Get in touch!