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Five tips to jumpstart your digital marketing

The term “digital” is still a buzzword for the healthcare industry—and this was evident as ever at the Healthcare Marketing and Physicians Strategies Summit, which was held in Las Vegas this spring. But what does it really mean to “go digital”? And are brands just jumping on the bandwagon—or taking an approach that will get real results?

Clearly, digital is a must these days, but how brands go about strengthening their online presence and connecting with consumers can make all the difference.

If marketers are in a rush to communicate across channels—without a solid plan—it’s understandable. Like many of us, they are increasingly being asked to do more with less. They’re expected to achieve fast, measurable results and catch up to any and all competitors and innovations—and often without much in the way of resources.

However, with the right understanding of what digital can and can’t achieve for your brand and a smart strategy in place, you won’t just have a presence online, you’ll be using digital effectively to drive your business forward. Here are five tips to get you started:

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1. Understand your brand strategy

It’s challenging to prepare a digital strategy if you’re unclear about the core value proposition and mission of your brand. Digging deep into the reasons why your health system exists and stands apart from your competitors is crucial for developing your digital positioning and messages. Having a unified understanding of what your organization is, what its fundamental purpose is, and what it aims to deliver and achieve, creates consistency across your organization, which may be very large or silo-ed in its operations. Until there’s clarity around your brand and the business’s objectives, it is an uphill battle to develop an effective digital strategy, define your target audiences, and identify the metrics that will demonstrate success for your system.

2. Decide what digital is

Not all health systems include the same tactical arms under digital. Whether it’s a website, blogs, social media, podcasts, or all of the above—there needs to be agreement about what elements comprise “digital” for your organization and whose jurisdiction they are under. A marketer can’t be effective without knowing what channels he or she controls. Because digital strategy can touch so many different aspects of your business, organization and alignment are big challenges. Using the brand strategy as a template can be the best way to get alignment from your c-site and other department heads. It’s also a way to collaborate with them and position marketing as an aid to solving their challenges.

3. Spend some time with your website

Mobilegeddon is officially upon us. A sign of the times? Google announced that it will now give preferential SEO treatment to sites that have responsive design or are optimized for mobile. While making a change may be a burden on resources and finances, we can’t be mad at Google for this shift. The trend toward all things mobile-friendly is being driven by consumers—and Google is simply responding in kind. So, if your site isn’t up to snuff, it’s time to make that a priority for your organization.

4. Explore new ways to find your target consumer

With digital marketing comes a ton of data and the ability to slice and dice potential consumers like never before. Facebook has a number of advanced algorithms that allow you, for example, to target heart risk consumers and then to target potential heart risk consumers, just based on what they like, share, follow, and comment on. For smaller systems with limited budgets, this can lead to significant ROI for your digital team.

5. Measure, measure, measure

At InterbrandHealth, we’re always encouraging our clients to measure their brand value consistently to understand how their brands are performing in the marketplace and how they can make better investments in the future that drive brand value up and increase revenue. In our experience, measuring the results of your digital efforts is crucial. It’s a great opportunity to get senior buy-in on your marketing KPIs and the best way to demonstrate the value of investing in marketing efforts.

For more information on aligning your digital strategy with your brand strategy, reach out to InterbrandHealth.


Director of Marketing, InterbrandHealth