For Beaufort Memorial, an integrated digital marketing strategy guided by True North Custom has proven to be effective in driving patient volumes and consumer engagement. In today’s post-pandemic environment, capturing and maintaining consumer relationships is a mission critical task, and one that Beaufort and True North have bravely tackled together.
Discover how a growth mindset and responsible digital strategy has been instrumental in both guiding the community and generating leads for key service lines.
Serving a tri-county area in the Lowcountry region of South Carolina, Beaufort Memorial includes a 197-bed, acute care hospital, a freestanding outpatient surgery center located on the hospital campus, a full-service cancer center, three urgent care locations and multiple outpatient medical office buildings.
“True North is a true partner
in every sense of the word.
We communicate openly and
frequently; there is no problem
we can’t tackle together; they
are extremely creative and
responsive; and, they think
about our needs proactively
— Courtney McDermott,
Director of Marketing at
Beaufort Memorial Hospital
Beaufort Memorial turned to True North in 2019 to re-think digital strategy and build effective content and campaign plans designed to drive growth across key service lines like orthopedics, vascular, OB/GYN, oncology and access care. COVID-19 certainly had other plans in mind for 2020, but agility and dedication to serving the community by both Beaufort and True North drove continued engagement to build loyalty and set the stage for an effective rebound strategy in 2021.
Together with True North, Beaufort Memorial developed an integrated digital marketing strategy that includes paid search, display and social media advertising, email marketing, retargeting, SEO and organic social media plans.
These tactics were designed to target the right consumers with the right message at the right time to encourage them to engage with Beaufort Memorial for various healthcare concerns.
COVID 19 Response Strategies
From late 2019 — March 2020, campaigns had just begun to ramp up and prove success. The pandemic upended our plans together, requiring pivots in how we promoted services and engaged with the community. Here’s a summary of our successes from March — August 2020.
Telehealth: BMH Care Anywhere
Beaufort Memorial offers telehealth via their BMH Care Anywhere platform. Like many other health systems in 2020, expanded utilization of telehealth was a major priority for Beaufort in an effort to continue serving their community’s health needs while minimizing physical contact. Through just paid search, in March and April, BMH Care Anywhere registrants increased by 1,500% with a cost per lead that fell from $12 to $3. New registrations continued to grow from May — August, and cost per lead stayed under $8.
As a trusted local healthcare provider, we also believed it would be critical to stay in touch with consumers about the evolving situation. True North and Beaufort quickly developed a landing page highlighting Beaufort’s response to the pandemic that encouraged consumers to sign up for weekly COVID-19 updates via email from the health system. The campaign generated 1,000 leads in just the first 2 weeks at a $0.72 cost per lead. As of August 30, 2,050 leads total had been generated at a $1.61 cost per lead. The ongoing weekly emails shifted to bi-weekly in the fall of 2020, but continue to perform well with open rates consistently over 30%, with many particularly timely messages with open rates over 60%.
Post-Pandemic Service Line Growth
In the fall of 2020, Beaufort and True North turned attention back to driving volumes across key service lines like primary care, OB/GYN and orthopedics. By leveraging the engagement and trust build during COVID-19, we were able to quickly prove success in our ability to drive revenue for Beaufort Memorial.
Note: As you review these metrics, check out our post on best practices for patient acquisition campaigns to understand what these numbers mean, and what the averages in healthcare look like. For paid search specifically in Primary Care and Women’s Health, our metrics compared to industry averages of a 3.3% CTR, 3.4% CVR and $78 CPL are representative of our ability to connect the right consumers with the right messages at the right time to drive campaign performance and efficiency.
A major emphasis for Beaufort Memorial has always been primary care and family medicine services. From Sept. 1, 2020 — April 31, 2021, our teams have effectively driven volumes these providers as evidenced by the following performance:
- Over 4,000 ad clicks at an 11.2% click-through rate (CTR)
- 22.84% landing page conversion rate (CVR)
- 885 qualified new patient leads at an average cost per lead (CPL) of $9.63
- Over 8,400 ad clicks at a 1.1% CTR
- 11.2% landing page CVR
- 946 qualified new patient leads at a $5.63 CPL
As the primary healthcare decision maker in the home, capturing the loyalty of women in the Lowcountry is time and resources well spent. From general women’s health to maternity care to healthy aging, True North and Beaufort have executed effective patient acquisition campaigns for these key demographics.
- Over 4,000 ad clicks at an 14.24% CTR
- 27.23% landing page CVR
- 1,036 qualified new patient leads at an $8.06 CPL
- Over 5,400 ad clicks at a .9% CTR
- 5% landing page CVR
- 274 qualified new patient leads at a $18.84 CPL
With the steep decline in elective volumes during the pandemic, Beaufort Memorial orthopedic providers were chomping at the bit to see patients again. In January 2021, we re-implemented a digital strategy designed to capture volumes that ignited an uptick in momentum for joint replacement.
- Over 1,000 ad clicks at an 8.16% CTR
- 7.73% landing page CVR for joint replacement consults
- 81 qualified joint replacement candidates at an $84.77 CPL
Paid Social—downloadable guide strategy to capture mid-funnel leads
- Over 2,500 ad clicks at a 1.16% CTR
- 8.2% landing page CVR
- 206 guide downloads at a $9.63 CPL
- 42.72% average email open rate with 39 bottom of funnel conversions from email tactics
Blog and Organic Social Strategies
Leveraging Beaufort’s engaged providers and consumer base, True North and BMH believed in the opportunity to leverage blog and organic social media marketing as a strategic brand effort.
We began our work together on this effort in early 2021, and from May 1, 2020 — April 30, 2021, we’ve made significant progress:
- 64% year over year increase in blog sessions
- 500% increase in blog sessions driven by organic search—indicative of success in driving SEO performance
- 1,371% increase in social post reactions
- 1,783% increase in social post comments
- 350% increase in social post shares
While COVID-19 related content certainly drove some of this impressive improvement, hallmarks of non-COVID related content that’s performed well include:
- Peripheral Vascular Disease vs. Peripheral Artery Disease
- Know your lemons: How to do a breast self-exam
- Home remedies for bug bites
- Symptoms of perimenopause: what you need to know
- Your colonoscopy prep diet
The True North and Beaufort Memorial teams continue to collaborate on new ways to engage with target consumers and drive revenue across priority service lines. As digital marketing evolves, we’re continuously testing new channels as well as new tactics for old channels. We’re also thoughtful about the evolution of Beaufort’s brand, and how that extends to traditional marketing.
Here are a few things we’ll be excited to report on in the coming months:
- Brand campaign launch with updated traditional media creative and TV spots focused on Orthopedics and Cancer, specifically, with messaging extending across service lines
- Inclusion of Pandora, Spotify and YouTube advertising to support brand campaign roll out and test the effectiveness of these digital brand channels
- Comprehensive orthopedics campaign with a microsite experience to engage with consumers with a variety of joint health concerns and connect them with the right provider
- Expansion of native advertising to support service line growth initiatives
- Additional downloadable guides for women’s health to create more mid-funnel conversion opportunities unique to specific demographics and healthcare needs
- Optimized website content to drive organic traffic and conversions and boost SEO performance
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