Healthcare Digital Marketing ROI: Boost It with Infographs -John G. Baresky
Infographs have powerful attributes to improve healthcare digital marketing, social sharing, brand awareness and sales performance
Social media and other digital channels offer an array of choices to engage consumer, patient, clinician, payer and other stakeholders. There are many resources and strategies to choose from. Infographs have powerful attributes as strategic assets to improve healthcare digital marketing performance, social sharing, brand awareness, sales / ROI. Well-designed and strategically deployed infographs can be a competitive edge in websites, social media (think Facebook, Google Plus, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Snapchat, Tumblr, Twitter) and other digital venues –with flexibility to bolster print communications as well.
…According to HubSpot, visual content is more than 40 times more likely to get shared on social media than other types of content…
- Well-designed infographs are frequently linked to; audiences have an affinity for sharing them -essential elements in digital / social media marketing
- Some processes or directions can be written in detail but not easily understood; infographs can effectively parallel text to be the ideal accessory so content is visualized and fully comprehended
- Infographs can be an integral feature in supporting a brand launch or be an addition to refresh and reinforce digital marketing initiatives of an established brand
- They provide differentiation but maintain brand consistency, integrity
- Infographs effectively engage audiences adverse to reading blocks of rhetoric and can even draw viewers into reading the accompanying text they otherwise would have skipped
- Can be targeted to specific consumer, patient, clinician (doctor, nurse, pharmacist), other stakeholder audiences and preferred social venues
Examples of infographs in healthcare digital marketing
- Administrative processes
- Clinical or financial data results, processes and workflows
- Disease awareness
- Disease management
- Drug delivery mechanisms
- Managed care
- Medical device use
- Organizational structures
- Patient populations
- Patient wellness
- Product access
- Program processes and steps
- Treatment guidelines
Funding limits are pivotal. Infographs can usually be developed inexpensively but depending on their design, how many are going to be produced, interactive features and where they are going to be used, costs can run up quickly. The necessary technical aspects for them to be shared and tracked across digital venues have to be incorporated within them from the start which requires additional financial resources. If funding gets tight and corners have to be cut, visual quality and technical performance may suffer.
How and why the infographs will be used needs to be defined early. This will make it much easier for them to be designed, deployed and shared across digital venues. It will also align them with overall brand and digital marketing strategies leading to improved sales performance and ROI. This will enable them to be designed for specific tasks in supporting the brand, engaging audiences, effective social sharing, generating leads while avoiding the creation of superfluous and ineffective content which wastes resources.
…Based on HubSpot data, as the number of images in an email increases, the clickthrough rate of the email tends to decrease…
How / where they will be viewed
It seems fundamental but it cannot be overlooked; each of the display venues where the infographs will be viewed (mobile, tablet, desktop, wall displays, conference exhibits, etc.) need to be accounted for. For added versatility, consider if the content will be issued via print as well. Keeping in mind the display venues and technical attributes of how the infographs will look or function from the start can avoid costly delays and re-designs later in the development process.
Conduct an audit of the text, graphics and other content currently being used by the brand as well as what has been used in the past. Determine what content can be re-purposed. In parallel, assess how competitors and others are using infographs and what can be adopted for your particular infograph initiative. Some of the advantages with re-purposing when developing infographs are consistency of messaging, savings in development costs and streamlining the medical / regulatory review processes since some of the content has already been approved. In parallel, assess how competitors and other entities are using infographs; adopt the best details and avoid the worst characteristics for your particular infograph initiatives.
Healthcare digital marketing encompasses an array of venues and target audiences. Where will the brand and sales performance benefit the most from the use of infographs? By targeting specific audience sectors and their preferred digital / social sharing venues, content can be developed with greater focus. Initial deployment via website and/or direct sharing can be strategically selective. Here are a few to consider in developing an infograph strategy:
- Clinicians (doctors, nurses, pharmacists) according to medical specialty and point of care
- Employee benefit consultants
- Hospitals, health systems, large practice group administrators, clinical / financial decision makers, etc.
- Managed care / managed markets (MCO, PBM, Home Infusion, LTC, Specialty Pharmacy, Surgery Centers, TRICARE, etc.)
- Wholesalers, distributors, medical suppliers, GPOs
Infographs travel well; while they can start out at a brand website, consider how else they may be shared once released. Consider more assertive strategies to deploy them directly via social media channels or other digital venues. This will enable the brand and its infographs to be present in the most strategic hubs to have quicker initial impact, accelerated sharing, direct / indirect sales or lead generation and even immediate ROI. Pack their bags with the right key word phrases and coding so their journeys are productively long with multiple sharing destinations beginning in the most strategic digital / social sharing venues.
Good visuals are critical in creating robust infographs. There’s an array of elements to think about, here are a few to start with:
- Brand alignment / cohesiveness
- Ease of reading / flow of information
- Distinctive without being distracting (unless that’s a goal!)
- Too simple? It may end up being a cluttering feature
- Too long? It may need to be simplified or require a second infograph
- Will it retain the right appearance and functionality as it’s shared across platforms?
- If animation is used (a great way to engage viewers), this will add costs, time to develop and require more medical/regulatory review –verify funding is not an issue
- Does it effectively fit in the presentation? Some infographs can be used as standalone communications but it’s advisable to feature them as supporting communicators of adjacent print content; assess what works best with each infograph
- Always test infographs carefully. Content flow may seem clear to brand teams, creatives and other insider stakeholders but confusing to consumers, patients, clinicians and other viewers; a little fine tuning based on outsider feedback can make a tremendous difference
- Be certain branding / messaging elements will remain reasonably constant in the foreseeable future before infographs are deployed — avoid the duress of having to retrofit color, messaging and other elements to align with new branding and/or messaging
- Does the aesthetic design and messaging content support technical needs and vice versa; be certain it is rich with strategic keyword content to accomplish SEO / SEM objectives
Throughout content development and design phases of infographs, SEO, SEM and other key elements of digital marketing must be accounted for; here are some tips:
- Be certain content supports a keyword phrase. Placement of a keyword phrase in the URL is important (this also applies to Meta Description, H1 headings); furthermore, it’s necessary for the Alt Text, too, as the standalone infograph is just an image; search engines can’t crawl image content, they need to be told what it is
- If multiple infographs are in a campaign; the keyword phrase should be incorporated within each but carefully differentiated or search engines may consider the group of infographs to be duplicates of one
- A website address should be featured within the image as well; no matter how/where the infograph is shared, it serves as a homing beacon
- Be certain the embedded code for the infograph is easy to copy so it’s easier for others to republish it and includes a link back to its original site
- Go the distance in making it easy to share; there are countless infographs and other content featured in blogs and websites not easily shared or push button friendly; invest in the coding required to facilitate its travel –skimping on this is brand, digital marketing and ROI neglect
- Make a list of primary social venues your infographs may be shared through (Facebook, Google Plus, Instagram, LinkedIn, Mobile Text, Pinterest, Reddit, Twitter, Tumblr, etc.) and secondary venues they may travel through such as consumer, patient, clinician sites, etc. Identify specific tools and strategies to track them; minimize dark social before the infographs are issued
Once infographs are deployed, evaluate their impact:
- Align their performance with pre-determined goals which include sales performance and customer awareness / engagement, assess effectiveness
- What expected / unexpected sharing developed?
- Track user engagement in primary / secondary venues; selectively refuel sharing by re-distributing them through initial venues and in new ones
- Evaluate competitive responses
- What learnings can be applied to other healthcare digital marketing initiatives to generate sales?
- Account for dark social; have a strategy to gain insights from discovering more about hidden sharing and abstract data, provide your infographs and digital marketing initiatives with a competitive edge and improve ROI
…Infographs are versatile high performers for digital healthcare marketing initiatives…
Their aesthetics can vary widely; the tandem of text and graphics enables them to appeal to a variety of healthcare audiences and potential sales opportunities. The inclination of audiences to share infographs and the digital mechanisms available to send them on travelling content journeys make them even more economically and assertively practical to deploy in healthcare digital marketing and sales initiatives. When evaluating options to challenge competitors, engage customers with meaningful, creative content and drive healthcare digital marketing ROI performance, be sure to consider the valuable attributes of infographs.
Thank you for reading this article; check out these other stories about healthcare digital marketing and healthcare social media strategy; connect with me further through reading my other Medium articles or through my social media links:
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Image of Mandarin Dragonet courtesy of independent photographer Luc Viatour, Brussels and Namur, Belgium