Women make about 80 percent of healthcare decisions for their families. Here are a few best practices for marketing OB GYN and other services to women and connecting with these key decision-makers at each stage of their healthcare journey.
When it comes to healthcare, women are in a powerful position. In the typical family, they make nearly 8 out of 10 healthcare decisions. They even hold 76% of all healthcare jobs — but despite having access to so much information, women are hungry for more. As a healthcare marketer, you’re uniquely positioned to empower women and be their trusted partner on the healthcare journey. So whether you’re marketing OB GYN services or just struggling to connect with women in meaningful ways, here are a few strategies for engaging women at each stage of the decision-making process.
Engaging Women at the Awareness Stage
Whether a soon to be mom is wondering what to expect or a middle-aged executive becomes a caregiver to her elderly parents, women at all stages of life are either candidates or influencers for care. To meet them on their individual pathways, join the conversation on their preferred channels for education, entertainment and social experiences.
Here are a few of the most effective ways to engage women at the awareness stage:
Traditional media — In an age where sophisticated digital marketing strategies are paramount, we sometimes forget about the value of brand building through traditional media. It’s important for women to have a general awareness of your brand through TV and radio, print materials at the brand level and more so they can form an opinion and develop affinity for you prior to needing your care.
Blog strategies — Develop blog appropriate content that helps women make sense of day to day health concerns they or their loved ones encounter. For example, here are a few of the most common health-related questions (terms with at least 100 search queries per month) that women are asking:
- How many steps a day do I take to stay healthy?
- How do I stay healthy during pregnancy?
- How to stay healthy after menopause?
- How can I stay motivated to eat healthy?
- How do I stay healthy at work?
Using a data-driven approach to content, which can be learned through free certifications and courses like these, to ensure every piece you develop aligns with the needs of your audience.
Social media efforts — Platforms like Facebook and Instagram build meaningful relationships by sharing blog content, stories about patients and caregivers, and key news and updates from the health system through organic, boosted, and paid posting. Take the time to thoughtfully respond when hand raisers comment on a post or ask questions—the “golden opportunity” to engage, according to CommonSpirit Health System Manager of Social Media Julie Rose.
For the 25–40 demographic in particular, spend 2021 leaning into Instagram. With evolving capabilities for advertisers and growing engagement, it’s becoming a critical platform when marketing OB GYN and other services to women.
Engaging Women at the Consideration Stage
Once the problem is identified, women narrow their focus and shift into active research mode. This often comes in the form of search, crowdsourcing on social media or reading consumer/patient reviews. Content at this stage should serve to guide women to the best option for care, and spotlighting your satisfied patients is a powerful way to ensure they choose you.
Summit Health Chief Marketing Officer Matt Gove illustrates the importance of social proof: “We are in this hyper-evolved world where referrals for everything matter. People won’t buy a pair of pants without asking 10 of their friends what they think. They sure aren’t going to choose something as important as life or death medical services without checking with other people.”
To enable women actively seeking solutions for themselves or loved ones, show up in these moments of need and deliver clarity through:
Content assets — Quizzes, assessments and downloadable guides that are promoted through paid social media efforts and search efforts help women understand their healthcare journey and make informed decisions.
SEO performance driven web content — Website content aligned to search trends and the consumer journey will position your brand as a resource when consumers are actively looking for healthcare answers. Remember that consumers are going to search first with the problem in mind, not the solution, so think about how you develop content to address symptoms and conditions, and how you guide that user to a solution.
Engaging Women at the Action Stage
It’s the moment of truth: The need is defined, the options narrowed, and now the only question is where to turn. While marketers have traditionally played it safe with generic messaging like “world-class healthcare close to home”, this is where a more direct approach that highlights your differentiating capabilities is more effective.
According to Dr. Zeev Neuwirth of Atrium Health, standing out in a sea of sameness will be mission critical for health systems to compete in the future.
“Healthcare systems are doing absolutely remarkable work; I just don’t believe they’ve actually differentiated themselves enough,” he says. “Of course, you can’t be everything so the question is: What do you really want to be, what do you want to do for the world? That segmented focus is part of differentiation.”
Here are a few proven, practical ways you can reach women at the action stage:
- Paid search campaigns — target the right consumers with the right message and empower them to access the care they need.
- Streamlined conversion paths in campaigns and through web content — these efforts reduce friction in the appointment scheduling process, ideally through tools like online scheduling and text reminders.
Common Threads throughout the Journey
By meeting women where they are with relevant content as outlined above, you can achieve the holy grail of healthcare marketing: reaching the right audience in the right channel with the right message at the right time.
It’s also important to remember that marketing to women isn’t a one-size-fits-all strategy. Yes, many women are moms and partners. Many of them love doting on their children and grandchildren. Some of them even like traditionally feminine colors. But not all. For decades, women have fought to be viewed as more than mothers. Women are professionals. They run more than their households. They run companies and their lives. They may be spouses or mothers, but they’re women first.
Let’s Connect with Women in Your Community
Our team of healthcare marketing experts can help you find, engage and convert decision makers for OB GYN and other women’s health services.