5 Healthcare Marketing Examples + Marketing Plan

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Healthcare marketing is one of the most effective ways to engage new and existing patients. The right marketing techniques can significantly expand an organization’s reach and attract a steady stream of customers. Marketing also influences how the public perceives a healthcare business’s brand, products, and services. For example, Carilion Clinic’s creative Yes, Mamm! campaign raised awareness of the importance of mammograms and helped hundreds of women access preventative care.  

However, creating a stellar marketing campaign in the healthcare industry is often easier said than done. You may struggle to invent catchy slogans or feel disappointed if your lovingly crafted Instagram posts only get a few likes. But don’t give up. Case studies can provide inspiration and help you master the elusive marketing formula. By analyzing successful healthcare marketing examples, you’ll learn top strategies to incorporate in your own campaigns. 

This guide explores five healthcare marketing campaigns from real and fictional organizations. We also provide a comprehensive healthcare marketing plan example you can use to elevate your brand and medical practice. 

Understanding Healthcare Marketing

Healthcare marketing uses communication channels and techniques to attract customers and promote medical services.

This process involves a broad scope of marketing efforts, such as: 

  • Buying pay-per-click advertisements to promote specific treatments 
  • Creating educational blog posts and videos
  • Developing a monthly e-newsletter with health news
  • Inviting patients to share testimonials about their experiences 
  • Producing fun videos featuring healthcare providers 
  • Sharing health tips on social media 
  • Using search engine optimization (SEO) techniques to improve a website’s visibility 

Of course, your healthcare organization doesn’t need to use every marketing technique, especially not at the same time. Most marketing teams combine a few strategies that resonate with their audiences. 

Marketing allows healthcare organizations to build trusting relationships with prospective and current patients. It also helps companies reach new audiences and build loyal followings. For example, a cancer patient may see success stories posted on an oncology clinic’s social media accounts and decide to seek treatment there. 

Marketing also helps healthcare professionals educate the public. Organizations frequently use marketing tactics to raise awareness of health conditions and safety concerns. Additionally, they share evidence-based health content and resources, such as nutritious recipes and exercise tips. This information can improve patient outcomes and strengthen brand reputation. 

Healthcare marketing involves these key components: 

  • Branding: The process of creating a clear, distinct, and uniform brand identity
  • Digital presence: Improving an organization’s visibility in search engine results, social media, and other online locations
  • Patient engagement: Strategies that empower patients to take charge of their health and actively seek the necessary services
  • Marketing channels: Traditional and digital mediums used to communicate messages to target audiences 

Real-Life Healthcare Marketing Examples

Many healthcare organizations have launched highly successful marketing campaigns. Here are three top case studies demonstrating a broad range of healthcare marketing strategies.

Mayo Clinic’s Digital Presence

The Mayo Clinic is one of the most recognizable and trustworthy healthcare systems in the United States. The organization’s top website and social media strategies have contributed to its strong reputation as a leading healthcare provider. 

Spend a few minutes on the Mayo Clinic website, and you’ll discover a wealth of resources. The website features an accessible health library with thousands of diseases and conditions, from absence seizures to Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. This interactive tool provides in-depth information about each condition’s symptoms, treatments, and risk factors. Visitors can explore the database to learn more about their health or expand their medical knowledge. 

The website also highlights the Mayo Clinic’s featured care areas. A slogan on the home page declares, “We solve the world’s most serious and complex medical challenges.” This claim instantly establishes the Mayo Clinic’s authority and builds the audience’s trust. The company reinforces its expertise by including a separate webpage for each area of specialty with information about available treatments and care teams. 

Additionally, the Mayo Clinic uses Instagram, Facebook, and other social media platforms to engage patients. For example, the “Mayo Clinic Minute” Instagram series consists of short educational videos about diverse healthcare topics. This informative content features Mayo Clinic experts who provide research-backed advice. 

The Mayo Clinic’s comprehensive marketing approach gives patients the knowledge and resources they need to make informed healthcare decisions. They can explore their symptoms and get access to a network of specialists. Additionally, the Mayo Clinic’s robust digital presence makes it easy for patients to discover its services through search engines or social media. 

Cleveland Clinic’s Content Marketing

The Cleveland Clinic is a national leader in healthcare delivery, education, and research. The healthcare system uses several types of content marketing to inform patients and strengthen its brand reputation. 

The company’s Health Essentials blog shares hundreds of articles about healthcare topics. These posts contain expert health and wellness tips about diet, disease prevention, exercise, skincare, and other aspects of health. They also explain complex or scary medical concepts in accessible ways. For example, “Can You Stop a Heart Attack Once It Starts?” suggests practical ways to help people experiencing cardiac arrest. 

Along with blog posts, the Cleveland Clinic produces a weekly Health Essentials podcast. These short episodes, which range from 10 to 30 minutes, feature Cleveland Clinic healthcare providers from diverse specialties. The clinicians demystify healthcare concepts and share wellness tips with the audience. For instance, in “Facelifts: Can They Turn Back Time?”, Dr. James Zins explains the benefits and limitations of the popular cosmetic surgery. 

Finally, the Cleveland Clinic has shared thousands of educational videos on TikTok, YouTube, and other social media platforms. These videos include clinician interviews, patient spotlights, and footage from surgical procedures.

These content marketing methods establish the Cleveland Clinic’s expertise and underscore its long track record of providing quality care. Patients can trust that the organization provides reliable, expert–vetted medical information. The approachable content also strengthens the Cleveland Clinic’s reputation as a compassionate, patient-centric healthcare institution. 

Zocdoc’s User-Friendly Platform

Zocdoc is a leading online appointment service. The platform allows users to book appointments with local healthcare providers in over one hundred specialties. Two factors have contributed significantly to Zocdoc’s success: its accessible user interface and its multi-channel digital marketing strategy. 

The Zocdoc website includes many features designed to make it as easy as possible for users to book appointments. Visitors can search for available appointments by location, specialty, type of service, and insurance plan. These filters let users quickly narrow the results to find the healthcare providers who best fit their needs. 

The website also integrates patient reviews and profiles into its search results. Users can quickly see each clinician’s overall rating and read reviews from verified patients. Additionally, the website includes information about the healthcare providers’ educational backgrounds, board certifications, and other qualifications. These features build trust and allow users to compare options quickly. 

Zocdoc improves convenience by displaying each clinician’s availability in one location. Provider calendars update in real-time so visitors can locate healthcare services that fit their schedules or access same-day care for emergencies. Once users choose a provider and timeslot, they book their appointments directly through Zocdoc — with no patient booking fees. The convenient service saves time because users don’t need to call individual healthcare providers to ask about available appointments. 

Beyond the website, Zocdoc uses a strategic healthcare marketing plan to attract users and increase brand visibility. The company shares humorous commercials on podcasts, national television, and social media. These relatable advertisements shed light on common challenges patients encounter and encourage them to visit Zocdoc to seek medical care. 

Additionally, Zocdoc uses localized keywords to drive organic traffic. Say, for example, a patient searches for “dentists in Atlanta.” Zocdoc appears near the top of the Google search engine results with the headline “Book 100+ of the best dentists near me in Atlanta, GA.” This strategy helps Zocdoc catch the attention of users who may not have heard of its services, broadening its audience. 

Fictionalized Healthcare Marketing Examples

Now that we’ve explored real case studies, let’s brainstorm marketing strategies for fictional companies. These examples can help you understand how organizations of all sizes and specialties can use marketing techniques effectively. 

Telehealth Service Provider’s Social Media Strategy

Suppose you’ve launched a telehealth service targeted at busy young professionals who want convenient yet personalized care. A creative social media strategy can help you engage this target audience and promote your services. 

With influencer collaborations, you can gain instant access to established audiences. Partner with influencers who create relevant health and wellness content. You should also choose people in your target demographic, such as young professionals passionate about fitness or skincare. That way, your collaborative content will be authentic and relevant to your audience. 

Work with the influencers to develop creative or educational content about your brand. For instance, they could share day-in-the-life vlogs showing them visiting a telehealth doctor between work meetings. They could also create how-to videos that highlight the service’s key features. Additionally, influencers can share exclusive coupons or promotional codes for your services with followers. 

You can also raise awareness by sharing educational content on your brand’s social media accounts. Create infographics and videos that explain the benefits of telehealth. Hold interactive Q&A sessions to address users’ questions and concerns. These strategies help potential clients discover your services and boost usage. 

Specialty Clinic’s Email Marketing

Established specialty clinics often focus more on retaining existing patients than recruiting new ones. Email marketing can help you build long-term relationships with clients and encourage repeat appointments. 

Start by designing personalized email campaigns. Segment your patients based on their demographics, medical history, or interests. Tailor your email content for each group. 

For example, a dermatologist could create a weekly newsletter with skincare tips and product recommendations for patients with eczema. Meanwhile, patients with skin cancer could receive newsletters with inspirational survivor stories and treatment updates. This personalization lets you deliver highly relevant content to patients based on their individual needs. 

Automated email sequences also boost retention. A simple chain could include these messages: 

  • A friendly reminder to schedule annual preventative care
  • An upcoming appointment reminder
  • An invitation to schedule a follow-up appointment if necessary
  • Periodic educational emails with wellness tips 

These recurrent messages help patients feel connected to and valued by your clinic. They can also improve patient outcomes by reminding them to schedule necessary medical services. 

Healthcare Marketing Plan Example

Creating a healthcare marketing strategy may seem intimidating, especially if you’re just starting. But don’t worry. You don’t need a huge budget or a full-fledged marketing team to reach your audience.

Any organization can achieve results by following these simple steps.  

Step 1: Market Research

Before you jump into planning, spend time researching your target audience and competitors. This process will help you understand how to connect with patients and stand out from other brands. 

Identify your target audience’s demographics, healthcare needs, and interests. Consider these factors: 

  • Age
  • Gender 
  • Hobbies 
  • Lifestyle
  • Medical history 
  • Race and ethnicity 
  • Treatment preferences 

Conduct focus groups and surveys to gain in-depth insights about your audience. For example, you may discover that women want to read articles about cardio workouts, while men prefer videos about supplements. 

Next, investigate how similar organizations market their services to patients. Assess the strengths and weaknesses of their marketing plans, and look for opportunities to distinguish your brand. For instance, you may notice that none of your competitors create educational podcasts, even though patients express interest in this content. 

Step 2: Marketing Objectives

Set SMART goals to guide your decision-making as you create your healthcare marketing campaign. SMART goals are: 

  • Specific 
  • Measurable
  • Achievable 
  • Relevant 
  • Time-bound 

For example, you could aim to increase your website traffic by 20% or grow your social media followers by 30% within one year. 

Step 3: Marketing Strategies and Tactics

Choose the tactics you’ll use to engage customers and promote your brand. Here are a few common marketing strategies: 

  • Community engagement: Build local connections by hosting or sponsoring in-person events. For example, your organization could host an open house so community members can meet your staff and learn about your services. 
  • Content marketing: Share educational content through blog posts, infographics, and videos. 
  • Email marketing: Add a subscription form to your website and invite patients to join your email list. The form can collect demographic data that you can use to segment your list and create personalized content. 
  • Website SEO: Use relevant keywords, alt-text, and other SEO strategies to increase your website’s visibility in the search engine results pages. 
  • Social media marketing: Choose platforms used by your target demographic and create relevant content. For example, TikTok videos referencing viral trends will appeal to Gen Z patients, while older professionals may prefer informative LinkedIn posts. Engage your audience by responding to comments and inviting them to share user-generated content. 

As you mix and match marketing strategies, develop a consistent brand message and visual identity across channels. For instance, you should use the same font colors, logos, and tone on social media and your website. This approach builds familiarity and creates a consistent user experience. 

Step 4: Budgeting and Resource Allocation

Marketing expenses can vary drastically. Companies can create simple social media posts for free, while in-person events may cost thousands. Research the costs for each marketing activity and set a strict budget. 

You should also create a plan to allocate your resources efficiently. For instance, you could use email marketing software to automate and personalize campaigns quickly. 

Step 5: Implementation Timeline

Develop a detailed timeline to execute your marketing plan. This schedule should include: 

  • Research and planning phase
  • Campaign launch date
  • Content creation deadlines 
  • Key milestones 
  • Periodic strategy review meetings 

Delegate tasks upfront so everyone understands their responsibilities and plans accordingly. 

Step 6: Monitoring and Evaluation

Healthcare marketing doesn’t always produce immediate or obvious results. Track key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure the success of your campaign over time. These KPIs can provide useful insights: 

  • Email open rate
  • Patient acquisition cost 
  • Patient retention rate
  • Return on investment for each marketing tactic 
  • Search engine rankings 
  • Social media engagement rates
  • Social media follower growth 
  • Video watch time 
  • Website traffic 

Adjust your marketing strategies based on performance data and feedback. For instance, if short videos get more engagement than podcast episodes, you can shift your focus to the top-performing content. 

Work With Markitors on Your Healthcare Marketing Plan

Healthcare marketing lets organizations form meaningful connections with existing and potential patients. The Cleveland Clinic and other top healthcare systems use marketing tactics to educate patients and establish themselves as industry leaders. 

Like these titans, small businesses can apply top marketing strategies to achieve success. These techniques will broaden your reach and enable you to distinguish yourself from competitors. They can also help you nurture lasting relationships with your patients. 

Markitors can assist you with every step of healthcare marketing, from conducting research to producing SEO content. Contact us to schedule a free consultation. 

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