Like many of your health system marketing colleagues, you may be feeling backed into a corner because of competing deliverables: Provide a marketing experience for patients and prospects that’s unique to the individual, serve it up wherever and whenever they look to your brand for information, and drive conversions.
Achieving all that could be virtually impossible – especially if you’re relying on a multichannel marketing approach. Why not try omnichannel marketing instead?
What’s the Difference Between Multichannel and Omnichannel Marketing?
Multichannel and omnichannel marketing strategies are similar, but omnichannel marketing is an extension of multichannel marketing. Multichannel marketing sends the same message or content across multiple channels to broaden reach. It’s a channel-centric approach that can be effective and cost-efficient due to its straightforwardness. It usually only requires one call to action and one main piece of content. Many businesses like CVS, Apple, and Vrbo are already engaged in multichannel marketing, sending similar content across print, digital, and environmental channels.
Omnichannel marketing expands and improves upon that concept in ways that benefit health systems. Omnichannel marketing is a consumer- or patient-centric marketing strategy that usually has one cohesive, overarching goal (like promoting a new service). However, it targets many audiences and offers multiple conversion paths, giving consumers a more personalized and positive experience. Instead of the same content and call to action, unique content is created for each channel to optimize reach and impact. However, content on all channels is coordinated, and the channels work together to provide a seamless user experience.
How Omnichannel Marketing Benefits Health Systems
One major challenge facing healthcare marketing strategies is a varied target audience. Where many brands typically have a narrow target audience – such as a sneaker company targeting athletic women in their 30s – health systems serve entire communities with multiple target populations. A multichannel approach that funnels the same content through various channels will connect only with a small segment of patient populations, resulting in little engagement and few conversions.
Omnichannel marketing is more effective for health systems. It allows you to target multiple audiences through a coordinated strategy. With more content and engagement options, this approach can connect with multiple populations while still providing a personalized experience, driving more conversions. Omnichannel marketing can also increase brand awareness and recognition in the community by making sure all content consistently represents your health system’s brand, which can contribute to future conversions.
5 Tips for Implementing a Successful Omnichannel Marketing Strategy
Adopting an omnichannel healthcare marketing plan takes some work, but these steps can help you craft one that’s effective and successful.
- Analyze Your Data: Analyzing your data should give you more information on what channels your audiences use, when users are most active, and what kind of content they engage with. With this information, you can plan strategic content that will appeal to users and reach them at the right time, on the right channels. Analyzing the data can also help you segment users into groups based on their behaviors, so you can deliver more personalized content.
- Map the User Experience: For each group of users that you want to target, explore your content from their perspective. Navigate all of your health system’s marketing channels as users would, from first seeing an ad to post-appointment follow-up communications. Understanding how users perceive your health organization at every stage of their journey can help you enhance their experience and identify problems. Make sure each link or next funnel stage makes sense for the user and where they’re at in the journey. Correct any dead ends, like broken links or pages that don’t give users a clear way to interact or move forward. Each path should lead to a conversion opportunity and offer more information for the user.
- Be Consistent: The most effective omnichannel marketing strategies are ones that offer a consistent, cohesive experience for all users across all channels. Discrepancies in information and brand markers like tone and colors can confuse readers or reduce your brand recognition. A consistent experience will also help your audience flow through the marketing funnel smoothly, leading to more conversions.
- Repurpose Valuable Content: While you never want to copy and paste your content word for word, take note of the content that drives the most traffic, interactions, and conversions. When you have content that performs well, it means that it’s valuable to your audience and connects with them effectively. Repurpose that content into other formats – like blog posts, mailed pamphlets, downloadable guides, or a short thread of informational tweets – to capitalize on its value. Repurposing content saves time and resources while boosting SEO, improving consistency, and gaining more conversions.
- Use the Right Tools: Automation can be a valuable component in an omnichannel strategy. Omnichannel strategies are most effective when appropriate content is sent at the right time and in the right context, but identifying the right timing, context, and user can be time- and resource-consuming. Omnichannel automation platforms can help integrate your marketing channels so they work together to optimize the user experience, freeing up time and resources to monitor and analyze your campaign’s success.
Omnichannel healthcare marketing strategies can help your marketing message cut through the noise of competing brands. By putting your audience at the center of your strategy and creating a cohesive experience across all channels, omnichannel marketing helps you develop more personalized content that connects with more users. If you’re ready to implement an effective and robust marketing plan to boost engagement, build loyalty, and develop long-term patient relationships, reach out to LIGHTSTREAM.