By: Alyssa Hamm

Much of the healthcare information we obtain is via online sources. According to Forbes, more than 50% of Americans search online for health information, treatment options, health concerns, or care providers. Millennials take it one step further—half of millennials research symptoms and treatments online, and of that number 27% try to self-treat (TransAmerica Center for Health Studies, 2016). More and more people are doing digital research before consulting a doctor, making sites like WebMD and Healthline two of the most frequently visited healthcare sites (eMarketer, 2019). Align your advertiser’s healthcare messaging with this type of content and search behavior to reach new and prospective patients.

The array of healthcare options and services available make it more important than ever for healthcare advertisers to establish credible branding and use digital sources to put themselves in front of audiences that need healthcare now and into the future. First, it’s important to establish how the advertiser will measure success—review the three types of goals typically seen with a digital campaign:

  • Awareness – Is the advertiser looking to promote their facilities or services with the general population or even a specific audience? Awareness with an emphasis on impressions and eCPM may be a good match.
  • Site Traffic – Is the advertiser wanting to drive traffic to their site? They may have lots of information on their site or relevant patient information, so site traffic may be of the utmost importance.
  • User Action – Are they wanting patients to book appointments on their site or take other actions? If so, conversion data may be the best route.

When discussing media planning with a healthcare advertiser, know that specific targets and audiences will often be of interest. Ensure that you are building a well-rounded plan that reaches the targeted audiences, but also provides effective branding and outreach as well. Review some useful tactics for healthcare advertisers to consider when creating a media plan, below:

  • Audience Targeting – Find an audience who has behaviors or job titles related to the advertiser’s audience. Segments can include a variety of job titles, select general symptoms, select general conditions, prescription types, and general segments such as Women’s Health, Men’s Health, and Healthy Living.
  • Contextual Targeting – Find users actively consuming healthcare content with general segments such as healthy living, dental, alternative medicine, as well as more specific conditions, or content on psychology, physical therapy, and senior health.
  • Hyperlocal Targeting – Target people at clinics, hospitals, gyms, pharmacies.
  • Run of Network – This can be a great general branding tool for healthcare providers with a more general appeal; for example: general clinicians, dentists, and fitness centers.
  • Private Marketplaces – Utilize PMP deals with two of the most visited healthcare sites: WebMD and Healthline—to reach an audience heavily interested in healthcare.
  • Retargeting – Re-engage users who have already shown an interest in the advertiser.

Healthcare advertisers are just like any other brand or service—they need to build credibility and recognition within the general population. One of the best ways to do this is with a digital campaign! female wrestling