While previously seen as an offline only industry, consumers are increasingly turning to the web to learn more about healthcare treatment options, reputation of the facilities, as well as information about their perceived ailment, in an attempt to self-diagnose. The onset of informational sites such as WebMD, EverydayHealth, as well as the further development of Wikipedia and Mayo Clinic’s information portal has brought an endless supply of healthcare related information to consumer’s fingertips.
With an increasingly discerning and informed consumer turning to a variety of mediums to choose their healthcare provider, our client came to us with a significant challenge; increase patient count, brand reputation, and ultimately launch them into two new markets. The incumbent competition in these markets were heavily funded, part of larger networks, and had a wider breadth of offering. Our client was specialized, had fewer locations, but owned an expertise unrivaled by their competitors, with a specific specialty.
With an exclusively offline ‘conversion’ and patient experience, our strategy needed to cross a variety of verticals, with a unified and omnichannel message, to maximize the effectiveness of our exposure.
Overall, our team was responsible for handling all digital initiatives, from SEO, Organic Social, Advertising, Video, and Paid Social. Relative to the Digital Advertising portion of the project, our goal was to increase patient acquisition, improve brand awareness, and ensure top of page placement for high intent, non-branded queries, within the geographic targets.
Since our client’s conversion happens offline, we needed to have a 3 pronged approach to our advertising. Earn bottom of funnel (high intent) clicks from search, improve brand awareness (recall) through search and paid social, as well as get more mileage out of our client’s offline advertising messages (TV, radio, and out of home). Unifying their message to a consistent, omnichannel message was key to help reinforce the brand values, improve recall, and initiate trial (appointment).
Relative to our Paid Search efforts, we looked to identify the types of queries a consumer is using just before they make an appointment. Since our client was a specialized provider, their product isn’t exactly top of mind, and quite nebulous. We took apart the entire appointment-making journey and when we rebuilt the journey, we identified the types of queries that would trigger a search. Since Google’s 2015 data states 43% of healthcare consumers interact with a search engine prior to making an appointment, this was our first target.
Our Paid Search efforts were highly performance driven, focusing on those consumers at the bottom of the funnel.
Our team also focused on utilizing display campaigns, for those consumers who have visited our client’s site, but didn’t initiate an appointment. This remarketing effort proved very successful, as our research uncovered that consumers would visit a healthcare provider’s website and then look for online reviews about that provider, as well as visit healthcare information sites (webmd, etc.) for more information relative to their perceived ailment.
Congruently, we wanted to get more mileage out of their offline media buys, so we embarked upon a large video advertising campaign, within our target geographic market. We utilized Paid Social and YouTube advertising to put our commercial (a condensed version of their 30 second TV spot) online and help drive home the awareness and message seen on the larger screen.
Our team understands the value their offline media buys have in driving awareness and understand that search and social play a significant role in the buying journey so ensuring the message is unified, helps improve trial and patient acquisition. Our strategy was for them to be present for relevant searches, and remain top of mind on a variety of mediums, to drive brand awareness and recall.
Our client’s previous agency dabbled in Paid Search advertising, but not to an advanced, sophisticated extent required to drive patient acquisition in the age of cross-device interactions. Our campaigns took into account the relatively long appointment setting journey to break down the account by geographic region, intent, and stage in the funnel, with the goal of nurturing the consumer further down the funnel with each subsequent search engine visit return.
Our ads utilized their TV ad schedule to ensure that we are showing ads subsequently after their TV ads ran, to help reinforce the message on search, display, YouTube, and social. This helps add another touchpoint to their high investment offline media buys.
Relative to conversions (conversions are counted as those making an appointment through the website and mobile phone call to appointment line), the results were extremely positive. Historically Paid Search and Social accounted for 3% of all conversions and within the first year of our new structure and account, Paid Search accounted for 19% of all conversions, and after the second year of our campaign, accounted for 26% of all conversions. The good news is that their top line conversions improved, meaning we didn’t cannibalize from other mediums to produce strong growth.
Overall, the conversion rate for their Search and Social Advertising campaigns improved significantly. The conversion rate from their performance advertising campaigns improved 380%, when compared to the start of the campaign.
Since lifetime value is extremely important to our client, we wanted to find the lowest possible cost per conversion, while maintaining the awareness goal. Historically, their cost per conversion for online advertising was $85. Twenty-four months into our campaign, their cost per conversion remains < $10.
Case Study Highlights
- Increase patient acquisition from Advertising
- Improve brand awareness and brand recall
- Decrease cost per conversion from performance advertising campaigns
- Increased patient acquisition from Digital Advertising by over 800%
- Decreased cost per conversion by 91%
- Improved conversion rate from Performance Advertising campaigns by 380%