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Innovative PPC Campaign Strategies for Healthcare: Rethinking The Norm

Updated: Jun 28, 2023

ppc for healthcare

In the vast ocean of online advertising, Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaigns have emerged as the lighthouse guiding businesses to the shore of consumer attention. A critical tool in the arsenal of marketing, PPC has transformed industries, and healthcare is no exception.

The healthcare industry is tasked with a mission of singular importance: promoting health and wellness. As a result, its approach to PPC needs to be as unique as its mission, especially considering the challenges that come with it. Unlike other sectors, healthcare is not allowed to implement pixels from Facebook, LinkedIn, TikTok etc. or remarketing pixels on their website because of the strict privacy regulations, especially in Europe.

We have been able to test a world with only first-party cookies many years before other industries.

Sounds like an uphill battle. But here's the catch. When traditional roads close, new paths open for exploration. Here are some creative, outside-the-box PPC campaign ideas for the healthcare sector, all achievable with fewer tracking possibilities.

Curated Content Campaigns

Craft a PPC campaign that emphasises the power of content. In the healthcare industry, the thirst for knowledge is universal, from preventive measures to the latest advancements in treatment. Establish yourself as an authoritative voice in healthcare by delivering valuable content.

One way to achieve this could be through Google Ads. A well-optimised Google Ad campaign highlighting valuable content (such as an eBook on healthy living or a webinar on mental health) can effectively drive traffic, generate leads, and build trust in your brand. The secret here lies in creating informative, compelling content that addresses the specific needs of your audience.

Cross-Promotion with Complementary Businesses

Healthcare doesn't exist in a vacuum; it overlaps several sectors, like fitness, nutrition, and mental wellness. Collaborating with these non-competitive but related sectors can open avenues for a mutual PPC campaign.

For instance, if you are a hospital, you could team up with a local gym and run a joint PPC campaign emphasising exercise's importance in disease prevention. The ad could lead to a landing page featuring health tips, gym membership discounts, or a wellness program sign-up. It's about creating a holistic health narrative that resonates with the users.

Geo-targeted Campaigns

Remember, local is the new global. Localised PPC campaigns can play a significant role in the healthcare sector, considering most patients prefer nearby facilities for their medical needs.

Geo-targeting in Google Ads allows healthcare providers to display their ads to potential patients within a specific radius. The ads could highlight services unique to your facility or timely health alerts, like flu vaccination clinics during winter. This improves the relevance of your ads and increases the likelihood of conversions.

SEO and PPC - The Dynamic Duo

While SEO is not a PPC strategy per se, combining it with PPC can yield incredible results. Find out what health-related content is organically ranking high and create PPC campaigns to target these keywords on Google. The combined power of organic and paid ranking can solidify your brand's position and add credibility. Remember, Google isn't forbidden fruit here; only tracking pixels are off the table.

Voice Search Optimisation

Voice search is on the rise, and it's time healthcare PPC campaigns ride this wave. Many people use voice assistants like Alexa or Google Home to search for health-related information. You can effectively reach this audience segment by optimising your PPC campaigns for voice search.

Use long-tail keywords that reflect natural language patterns and questions often asked verbally. For example, instead of using "dermatologist Cologne" as your keyword, opt for "Who is the best dermatologist in Cologne?".

Patient Testimonial Campaigns

Trust is a cornerstone in healthcare, and what better way to build it than through authentic patient testimonials? Craft a PPC campaign that highlights real patient experiences with your facility.

You can create and promote video testimonials through platforms like YouTube Tik Tok. PPC ads featuring real stories from real people can establish an emotional connection with potential patients, setting your healthcare organisation apart from the crowd.

ppc for healthcare

The Power of Personas in the Healthcare Sector for PPC Campaigns

Understanding your target audience is a pillar of successful PPC campaigns. This truth resonates more deeply in the healthcare industry. Why? Because healthcare isn't a one-size-fits-all industry; it's deeply personal, individual, and emotional.

This is where the magic of personas comes into play. Personas are fictional, generalised representations of your ideal patients based on market research and accurate data about your existing patients. They help you better understand your patients, allowing you to tailor your content and messaging to their needs, behaviours, and concerns.

Consider the healthcare spectrum; it stretches from young adults searching for mental health resources and busy professionals seeking convenient medical care to seniors exploring assisted living options. Each segment is a unique persona with different motivations, needs, and media consumption habits. You can craft PPC campaigns that resonate when you understand who they are.

Creating Personalised PPC Campaigns with Personas

Let's consider an example. Meet Persona A: "Healthy Vroni", a busy professional in her 30s who values wellness and preventive care. A PPC campaign targeting Vroni might focus on quick online appointment scheduling, wellness programs, or virtual health consultations.

On the other hand, Persona B might be "Senior Stefan", a retiree managing a chronic condition. A campaign for Stefan might highlight your healthcare centre's speciality care, patient support services, or home health offerings.

You can segment your PPC campaigns by developing personas based on your audience's unique characteristics. Consequently, your campaigns become more targeted, personalised, and successful.

Personas can also guide keyword strategy and ad copy. A campaign for "Healthy Vroni" might use keywords like "online health consultations" or "preventive health check-ups", while "Senior Stefan" might respond to "chronic care management" or "home healthcare".

Importance of Personas in Content Creation

Understanding your audience's information needs is paramount in a world where content is queen. A persona-driven PPC campaign can guide you in creating valuable content.

Using our earlier personas, "Healthy Vroni" might appreciate an eBook on "Work-life Balance and Wellness". At the same time, "Senior Stefan" might find value in a webinar discussing "Living Well with Chronic Conditions". By aligning your content with personas, your healthcare organisation becomes a valuable resource, attracting and retaining patients.

Additionally, consider the ad platforms that align with your personas' media habits. For instance, if "Healthy Vroni" is a regular YouTube user, your video testimonial campaign could find an ideal home there.

In conclusion, using personas in healthcare PPC campaigns helps ensure your messaging hits home. It's not about reaching the masses; it's about reaching the right person at the right time with the right message. Personalisation, backed by a deep understanding of your personas, becomes your key to unlocking the full potential of your PPC campaigns.

You're probably wondering how you can create meaningful personas when you don't have any data. We do it this way:

Step 1: Competitor Analysis

An effective persona-building exercise begins by scrutinising your competitors. Who are they targeting? How are they positioning their services? What kind of language and tone do they use? Tools like SEMRush and SpyFu can provide detailed insights into your competitors' PPC strategies, helping you understand the tactics that work in your industry.

Look for gaps in their strategies. Are there underserved segments of the market? Maybe your competitor's messaging appeals to older adults but not to millennials, providing an opportunity for your campaign. These observations will form the foundation of your personas.

Step 2: Hashtag Analysis

To further refine your personas, turn to social media and observe the conversations happening there. Tools like Brand24, RiteTag, and Hashtagify help you analyse popular hashtags in the health sector.

  • What are the common topics?

  • Who is participating in these discussions?

  • What are their concerns, opinions, or aspirations related to health?

These insights give you a deeper understanding of your target audience's mindset and allow you to craft personas that reflect their realities.

Step 3: Social Media Groups

Dive into the social media groups that discuss health-related topics. LinkedIn and Reddit have numerous health-focused groups that are gold mines of information. You can find out what people are talking about, their pain points, recommendations, and even their language nuances.

  • Are they frustrated with long waiting times at the clinic?

  • Do they wish Doctors should have more digital communication options?

These real-world problems and needs can form the core of your PPC personas.

Creating powerful PPC campaigns with fewer data example, Meta Universe

Let's assume you're a one-person or one-woman show - don't have time to go that deep into creating a persona - then you can, of course, also go other creative ways, such as this one:

For small or new advertising accounts

Conversion ongoing Campaign:

  1. Core Audience—Broad Interests

  2. Open targeting (only demographic if it is needed)

Conversions – Test Campaign

  1. Open Targeting: Testing new ads and creatives

  2. before they are included in the Ongoing setup

  3. Note: Plan at least 5% to 10% of your daily budget

Catalogue Sales all Products

  1. Open targeting

  2. Note: use Dynamic ads as the basis of your product catalogue, booked into large/prospecting target groups

Be brave; use only campaigns with open targeting! In this way, the funnel stages of prospecting and retargeting are mixed. Even if you do not actively book retargeting target groups into your ad groups, these Ads will be displayed in your target groups – have faith.

Campaigns set up for large Accounts ….

In the privacy-first world, it also says here: Two funnel stages merge into one


Conversions ongoing Campaign

  1. 10% or 15% Super lookalikes, value-based lookalikes & lookalikes based on CRM data

  2. Core Audience—Broad Interests open targeting

Conversions Sale/Launch/Promo Campaign

  1. Top Performer ad group from an ongoing campaign

  2. Note: To promote promotions or the launch

  3. To push new products in a targeted manner, you use another campaign at the same time with the top two performing ad sets from your ongoing campaign.

Catalogue Sales all Products

  1. Open targeting

  2. Note: Dynamic ads based on your product catalogue, booked in on large/prospecting audiences.

Conversion Testing Campaign

  1. Open targeting: Testing of new ads & creatives before they are transferred to the ongoing setup

  2. Note: Plan at least 5% to 10% of the total budget for this

Now it's time to scale your campaigns.

We create two Conversions Campaigns, one for example, product A and one for product B

Conversions Campaign Topic/ Product A

  1. 5% to 10% category lookalikes (based on a custom Audience of buyers of a product or category A)

  2. 5% up to 10% Super Lookalike Audiences

  3. Core Audience: Interest/Behavior characteristics based on buyers persona of Product/Category A

  4. Open targeting (only demographics)

Conversions Campaign Topic/Product B

  1. 5% to 10% category lookalikes (based on a custom Audience of buyers of a product or category B)

  2. 5% to 10% Super Lookalike Audiences

  3. Core Audience: Interest/Behavior characteristics based on buyers

  4. Core Audience: Interest/Behavior characteristics based on buyers

  5. The persona of Product/Category B open targeting

Embracing the world of available targeting in Meta's advertising suite breathes new life into your digital marketing strategy. The power of open targeting lies in its ability to bypass the traditional pixel code, seamlessly pinpointing your audience based on their online behaviour and interests. In doing so, you unravel a treasure trove of potential new audiences that were invisible to you.

This approach broadens your horizon, allowing your brand message to reach diverse users, possibly uncovering niche sectors you need to know.

Overall, open targeting effectively enhances your reach, increases campaign effectiveness, and reveals the uncharted territories of your market landscape.

In conclusion, PPC in the health sector comes with its challenges. However, you only have to replace the "Can we do it?" with "How! "

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