How to ensure healthcare campaigns reach there audience.


Healthcare and well being marketing is a sector offering from Sagittarius, and an area that we have seen growing steadily.

However, to ensure that your campaigns reach the right target audience it is vital to know who your audience are before you can reach them.

An effective paid search campaign needs to ensure that each of its components (i.e., keywords and messaging through to its landing page) speaks the language that your audience uses during their searches.

In healthcare this is difficult as doctors and consultants will generally use the clinical name for a treatment or procedure, but this is not likely to be what your target audience is using.

For example, is your target audience most likely to use Surgical excision of varicose veins in their searches? It is more likely they will use Varicose Veins Treatment so conduct your research and ensure that you are using the search terms a patient would.

You also need to know who the people are you are targeting with your ads. This is known as buyer persona and it is likely that there will be several types of personas within your target audience; each one will use a different type of language within their search. 

Before starting a digital marketing campaign, create relevant patient personas for the people you are targeting and name them. For example, one could be Bob a 45-year-old recently divorced man without children who works in an office where he is a manager who works long hours and has a ton of responsibilities.

The messaging you choose to target Bob will be different from say, Doris a 75 year-old married woman who is retired alongside her husband. It is also important to understand that each persona goes through various stages of the buyer journey during online searches, i.e. they could be at the beginning stage of their research weighing up options between surgeons, or in a more of urgent state-of-emergency mind-set where pricing and location are more important than the surgeon.

Perhaps they have been told that there is a year waiting list for their treatment on the NHS. Your digital marketing efforts need to be created to target each of these scenarios and personas.

In order to know how to reach your various audiences, you have to put yourself in their shoes:

  • What makes these people take notice of ads?
  • What grabs their attention?
  • What, exactly, are they looking for, when they go to Google in search of the services you offer?
  • Are they really looking for a surgery, or are they looking to make an improvement in their overall lifestyle or personal appearance?

The keywords, language, and images you use will dictate whether your paid ads ever get noticed but you’ll also need to make sure that you target your ads correctly by location, age, gender, interests etc.

Landing Pages

Ideally with landing pages the general rule is that less is more and audiences should get to the page, read the main information and convert.

But healthcare surgery prospects are different. They need a lot of information available in order to make an informed decision about their health and future. Unless they’re in the emergency state of mind and making a distressed purchase as discussed above, in-depth research is usually very important to them. The more information you can provide, the more likely you will earn their trust. 

But readers also don’t want lots and lots scrolling text so engaging videos can be an extremely effective strategy to try on the landing pages, especially ones that include interviews with the surgeon – they help to create like ability and trust. As a tip captions can be added to videos, as most mobile searchers have their volume off as they search.  

Images are also a great way of providing engaging content alongside video, the use of before and after images can help the potential patient understand what is being discussed and create impact.   

In summary to reach the right audience, it’s important to consider where in the journey your potential target audience is. Visual imagery and videos that engage with the viewer and bring peace of mind are incredibly helpful to people who are considering a major treatment, or who are ready to book their consultant meeting.

Building trust and showing how the treatments will improve their lifestyle will also help to guide a potential patient through the whole process. 

Whatever your business, be it a regional or global brand, the content you produce plays a vital role in your success. You know that… hence you’re reading this.

A well formulated and executed content strategy not only drives more traffic, at the core, it defines what your business is and helps build a strong connection between you and your audiences.

So let's quickly look at why developing a coherent content strategy is important and how setting clear goals and understanding your audience will elevate your online performance. 

What is a Content Strategy?

It's basic right? Content is at the core of how you define the way your business presents itself and an effective strategy should look to ensure that tone of voice, messaging and the core values are surfaced across all channels, from service or product pages on your website, to blog posts, through social media updates blah blah blah.

But let's keep it simple - your content strategy should be a clear roadmap that connects your marketing activities to your business goals. Align to your customer’s wants and needs and engage them at every interaction point and boom, you're in business. 

Who are my Audience?

You likely start all your projects with this chalked on the wall because your business knows “exactly” who its customers are right? Sounds obvious but we often find its not been done forensically enough (not based on data), is too old (more than 12 months ago - forget it) or its a spin off from some brand work that was legitimately aspirational but doesn’t face the reality of who you your business is actually engaging today.

So start (or circle back) with audience research, building out those personas to understand their ambitions, their lifestyle, their pain points or concerns, and crucially their wants and needs - in your context. 

Do I need to tailor content?

As part of your research find out where your audiences spend their time online and how they interact with content: Some may spend time thoroughly researching a product or service, whereas other audiences may want their content to be quick, snappy or easily digestible in the form of a video, infographic or short blog posts.


Ultimately, the key is to produce a strategy that creates the type of content your customers want to see:

  • What are the problems that your product or service will help them solve?

  • Who are they most influenced by?

  • What voices influence their behaviour?

  • What type of content do they consume?

  • Where do they consume content and engage with brands?

Different Content, Different Objectives

 All content is not born equal: When producing your strategy, it is important that the objectives for each individual piece are defined, that these fulfil your marketing objectives and tie to the overarching goals for your business.

There are various content frameworks that exist to aid content development in this way, but one that is popular and effective is Google’s hero, hub and hygiene method: It provides a framework on developing content to achieve different goals and gives guidance on the effort needed to create each type of content.

Hero Content

Hero content is essentially campaign content, it is big splash ideas designed to appeal to a large audience with the aim of telling your brand’s story at scale. 

Ways of measuring hero include the amount of PR mentions or links from authoritative domains plus social interactions and mentions of your brand across all channels. 

Considering the scale of hero campaigns, this content is not regularly produced and is reserved for peak promotional times where it’s important for a business to stand out from their competitors.

Hub Content

Hub content is the stuff that keeps your audience engaged, it expands on the themes of product or service level content, educates users and helps create a connection between themselves and your brand.

Hygiene Content

Hygiene content is the bread and butter of any website, it is the BAU content for products and services, it is SEO focused and targets important keywords at a product, service or guide level.

How do I manage all this?

Content development is only one part of the ongoing work needed when working with an effective content strategy. We call it “feeding the beast” because it really is the fuel in your brand vehicle and once you start you really can’t stop (if it’s delivering results) but that’s where performance measurement comes in.

Your greatest gift in managing the outputs from your hero/hub/hygiene style efforts is to understand If your content is working. To truly deliver results your business must first understand the objectives and goals of each piece of content to effectively measure its success. That as a guiding light from day 1 will let you slow down, speed up, stop or start new content briefs and projects.

Remember - content strategies are not set in stone. They are living breathing things and should adapt and pivot as insights become available and your brand naturally evolves.

If ever you want to chat content and explore new initiatives we’re always here to help.

want to speak to one of our experts?



02 Nov 2016 - 5 minute read
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