The idea of creating marketing personas sounds great, but the process itself can be pretty time consuming. It requires digging into the nitty-gritty details about the clients you have now as well as the types of clients you hope to gain in the future. The complexity of that task is daunting and can cause healthcare marketing teams to wonder if taking the time and energy to create detailed personas is really that necessary.
Isn't it enough to do keyword homework, pay attention to the questions that bring visitors to your website, and repeat the types of posts or offers that seem to work? You understand the general scope of your marketing demographic, and that seems to be working well, so why spend more time further developing personas?
3 Unarguable Reasons Why Personas ARE Necessary For Healthcare Marketing
Patients want personal connections. A key element of successful inbound marketing is for your website and content to have an intuitive feel. Patients and clients who fit your ideal target niche will arrive on your website or blog and feel like you're writing specifically about them. "Yes," they will exclaim, "That is exactly what I was thinking, or I was feeling, or I was wondering." If you haven't done a thorough analysis of the personal ins-and-outs of key client populations, you can't create poignant content that resonates with them personally. In other words, it will be harder for them to connect with you – literally and figuratively – which may lead them elsewhere or leave them feeling less passionate about you in general.
Personal connections result in better referrals & reviews. When patients feel connected – like you and your team "get" them – they want the world to know about it. At the very least, they want others with similar conditions or health concerns to know about you. That kind of enthusiasm results in more word-of-mouth referrals and more positive online reviews. Patients and future clients are using the internet to find you, and they're consulting online sources – including your website – to determine whether or not you are the best healthcare provider for their needs. Where do they go first?
Well, one of their first stops will be online review sites to see what other patients say and how they feel about you. A 2013 patient survey by Digital Assent found that 72% of the 341 participants felt negative online reviews would prevent them from seeing a particular doctor. The majority of respondents said that positive online reviews are a necessity before they'll consider seeing a new healthcare provider. Your personal connections, forged through diligent marketing that targets specific personas, are key in curating a loyal patient-base who will provide the positive reviews future patients are looking for.
Better personas = increased profits. Inbound marketing is measured in terms of ROI. Yes, developing detailed personas takes notable time and energy, but the payoff will be worth it. In the process, your team will directly hone in on who your niche patient market really is. What age group are they? What are their worries or concerns? What needs do they have that you are exceptionally good at treating or servicing? Aha! You may see your patients (and future "should-be" patients) in a whole new light. Streamlining your services – and therefore your market – for very specific niches will result in an unmistakable ROI.
Don't bail out on target personas. Instead, use them to create a website that's more attractive, and intuitively specific than ever before. The end result will be a steady flow of new visitors, leads, and positive reviews and referrals – the perfect storm for successful healthcare marketing.