8 Digital Healthcare Marketing Best Practices to Try Today

Hospitals face a unique challenge in digital advertising since they need to reach patients who need medical services but must do so in a way that doesn’t feel invasive. As a marketing and advertising partner to healthcare clients across the U.S. for over 90 years, we know how to promote patient-centric and privacy-compliant messages while still helping our clients reach new patients. Since 2013, we’ve successfully partnered with a leading hospital group in New Jersey on over 300 digital healthcare marketing initiatives, helping them promote a variety of their medical group practice areas while also enabling patients to get access to new services and the latest treatments in their area. To take advantage of all we have learned in the process and to emulate our recent medical marketing digital strategy results, follow these healthcare marketing best practices to prep, act and improve your next digital ad campaign:

Healthcare Marketing Campaign Best Practices


Determine the Right Keyword Combinations. Look back and see what keywords were the most successful for you on similar branding or geo-focused campaigns in the past. Then, use those for your current healthcare digital advertising initiative. Include Ad Extensions. Add a click-to-call extension or other ad extensions to your advertising to automatically improve your ad value, add urgency to your message, and encourage prospects to act at the same moment they see an ad. This is one easy way to get high-value prospects to reach out when they’re curious and most likely to make contact. When we added a click-to-call extension to our client’s digital advertising, interested prospects could connect with the hospital’s call center directly and quickly learn more about how to set up an appointment. We also included a site link extension on their digital ads that directed prospects to a customized mobile-friendly webpage where they could fill out a form on the go to receive more info. Use a Whitelist. Target only the top-performing sites for your brand. For every campaign you run, continually refine this list to make it more and more effective over time. Make Private Marketplace Buys (PMPs). Connect with premium preferred publishers so your display advertising can appear on well-known sites – WebMD, Healthline or AARP and the like – that resonate the most with your audience.


Search First. Then Display. Start your search campaign first to ramp up and achieve better quality scores. Over time as quality scores improve, your message will move up in the search results, which will have a positive impact on your results as you launch your display campaign. Test Your Healthcare Digital Ad Plan. To be as successful as you can be with your advertising initiative, A/B test different elements of your campaign on small audience segments before scaling to the wider group. This gives you the opportunity to try out and evaluate different strategies then easily adjust as needed for maximum impact upon full rollout. Also, this beta test approach can give you a quick bump in results, meaning you can increase your site traffic, campaign activities, and patient leads early on, all with less risk, time and money spent. Work Your Healthcare Digital Ad Plan. Once you test your campaign, apply the lessons you learned to your real campaign. Then, you can move forward with audience targeting that is on point and with media that is pre-optimized to achieve results most effectively.


Optimize Your Search and Display Campaigns. Once you get your search and display campaigns underway, carefully analyze results – your reporting, human insight and machine learning – to make incremental improvements to your campaigns. On all our campaigns, we optimize with our RealValue® machine-learning algorithm. It automatically reviews browser and ad size data then bids higher on the best-performing combinations of both variables. This algorithm’s findings paired with our media buyers’ expertise is the winning combination to helping us know what audience and media inventory will best impact campaign results. Using these eight tried-and-true best practices can give your healthcare digital advertising campaigns a boost: build better brand awareness, help you stand out from increasing competition, and generate new patient leads. For more expertise and support, let us share more about all the latest healthcare marketing strategies and tools you need to differentiate your services and achieve your campaign goals.

What Google’s Privacy Controls and Chrome Changes Mean for Advertisers

At their annual I/O developer conference in May, Google announced two new initiatives for its Chrome browser set to launch later this year. Google’s privacy controls and new cookie requirements previewed at the event are expected to increase user control over their data and prevent fingerprinting without user consent. This is great for consumer privacy, but how will these upcoming changes impact your advertising campaigns?

What’s Changed?

The first initiative tackles cookies and will require website owners to specify which kind of cookie they want to install on a user’s Chrome browser – a first-party single domain cookie (the kind that preserves user logins and settings) or a third-party cookie (which enables websites and advertisers to collect data on user preferences). To be clear, third-party cookies are not going away or getting banned by Google. Websites just have to identify the cookie category moving forward. However, unlike Safari’s recent ITP efforts, Google’s privacy controls are putting users at the helm, including giving users the ability to turn off or delete different types of cookies. In a blog post from Ben Galbraith, director of Chrome product management, and Justin Schuh, director of Chrome engineering, they explain, “This change will enable users to clear all [cross-site] cookies while leaving single domain cookies unaffected, preserving user logins and settings. It will also enable browsers to provide clear information about which sites are setting these cookies so users can make informed choices about how their data is used.” The second initiative addresses fingerprinting, which is a way for websites to collect information about users’ browsers, plugins, devices, and more. Because fingerprinting doesn’t use cookies, websites can access a user’s browser fingerprint without a user’s consent. As part of the preview, Google shared plans to more aggressively restrict these kinds of tracking technologies. While these announcements were made in May with the expectation of rolling out changes by the end of 2019, details surrounding the implementation for Google’s privacy controls have not been made public yet.

What Does This Mean for Advertisers?

While Chrome represents over two-thirds of desktop browser market share and 63% of mobile browser market share globally according to eMarketer, it’s difficult to precisely say how much Google’s changes will impact advertisers until we see how Google plans to promote the new features to consumers. If the capability to turn off cross-site cookies is user-friendly and prominently displayed, it may prompt some consumers to act. However, if the functions are hidden or buried in a settings menu like Chrome’s current functionality to erase all cookies from a user account, then the impact to advertisers will be minimal. Certain ad-supported businesses, like online publications who rely on cookies to learn information about their readers and sell advertising space, may have a hard time adjusting to Google’s privacy controls at first. This puts the onus on businesses to rely more heavily on first-party data and to ensure their compliance with privacy regulations to maintain those strong data sets.

How Is Goodway Responding?

No changes have gone into effect yet, and while this may result in the deletion of some data-tracking cookies, we aren’t expecting a significant impact at Goodway Group. However, our team is working closely with demand, supply and data partners to monitor this news and set up our clients and their campaigns for success throughout 2019. As any digital media buyer will tell you, data on the websites people visit and how they behave on different sites is critical to building a long-term successful campaign. Fortunately, we’re one step ahead to ensure your campaigns stay on track. Moreover, we support steps that the digital ecosystem takes to increase consumer consent and control, knowing these improve the overall online experience and trust between publishers, advertisers and consumers. The industry has been moving away from third-party cookies for some time now, but it takes time to develop a more efficient, privacy-friendly model. Besides Google’s new privacy controls, several other efforts are already underway to move the industry in the right direction, including The Trade Desk’s unified ID solution, The Advertising ID Consortium and the IAB’s DigiTrust ID. Continue to be among the first to hear about what’s trending in the industry and get expert advice on what it means for advertisers. Subscribe to our blog and keep up with the latest topics and changes in programmatic media.

5 Qualities to Look for in a Franchise Digital Marketing Consultant: A Checklist

According to Franchise Direct, in the United States, one in seven businesses is a franchise, on average one to two new brands launch each day, and an average of 300 new brands start franchising each year. In an increasingly crowded marketplace, how do you find a skilled franchise digital marketing consultant to help your multi-location brand or business stand out and stand above the competition? Here are the top five qualities you should look for and the questions you should ask before choosing the right franchise digital media partner for you:

Multi-location Digital Marketing Experience

Anyone can say they can handle your digital marketing, but few have the experience and expertise to streamline and support complex multi-location campaigns seamlessly, to handle all the moving parts. Ask potential partners what verticals and clients they have worked with in the past. Find out if they have relevant experience in your field. Learn about their big wins, their biggest challenges and opportunities. Know their track record. Ensure they have custom turnkey systems so your digital marketing campaigns can go off without a hitch. Are the systems scalable, meaning can they still run your campaigns smoothly when they must ramp up and handle more locations? Here are a few helpful turnkey programs your franchise digital marketing consultant should have in place: Multi-location Digital Media Program Enrollment: How do they handle digital marketing program enrollment? Is it through a web portal? If so, is the web portal well-designed, a breeze to navigate, and easy and quick to use? (Enrollment should take less than 10 minutes.) Multi-location Digital Advertising Creative and Offers: What’s the process to view and approve advertising programs, creative and offers? How quickly can they get digital advertising live? Make changes? Switch out limited-time offers or gear certain offers to specific markets? Multi-location Digital Media Campaign Performance Reporting: Can they provide daily performance reports that are easy on the eyes and easy to understand? Can you get more analytics if you need them? Getting this campaign data will not only help you understand how your campaign is faring but give you insight into how to improve. Your chosen consultant can then use these findings to optimize your campaign in real time. Multi-location Digital Media Campaign Billing: Billing is never fun. But, when many locations or individual business owners are involved, it can get downright complicated and confusing fast. Is your potential provider happy to wade through billing, compliance and corporate advertising reimbursements and handle it for you, for all your locations? How involved do you have to be? Is it a straightforward, simple process and headache-free?

Hyperlocal Marketing Knowledge

Consumers like to connect with local businesses through search engines. A Google report mentioned 50% of consumers who performed a local search on their mobile phone visited a store within a day. And, according to HubSpot, 72% of consumers who search for local businesses end up visiting stores within five miles. Does your potential franchise digital marketing consultant have the knowledge to help you hone your local marketing efforts to drive quality local leads to your door? Can they help you turn these leads into customers? Find out if your prospective digital partners can build microsites to promote different locations and individual advertising offers and promotions. Can they map your locations on all the major platforms and add current and consistent contact info to local business directory listings across the internet? This is so time-consuming to manage and keep up to date but is important so consumers can quickly find or contact you. Responding to customer inquiries and reviews in a timely manner can be tough to make time for in the day-to-day whirlwind of all you have to do. Can your potential partner help you monitor and respond quickly to your customers’ questions and their reviews? Can your potential franchise digital consultant advise and handle your paid search advertising and social media efforts? All these local marketing efforts can drive more qualified traffic to your locations.

Research- and Data-Driven

To grow your multi-location brand or business, capture leads, sell more to current customers, and pitch your prospects, you need excellent insights. Research and data can help you learn how to best speak to and reach your customers and prospects and tell you if your media strategy is effective and on target. Qualified franchise digital marketing consultants should be able to tell you where your customers and prospects go online and how they get there. They should be able to conduct audience targeting across devices using a variety of channels. Most of all, they should be transparent with you about your performance metrics and audience data (your target segments, channels, and tactics) and how they’re affecting you financially. Whatever your customers or prospects are doing, research and data can help you identify leads and reach them.

Media Savvy

Atlanta, Boston, Cleveland, Dallas, Miami, Tulsa. No market is the same, so taking a one-size-fits-all approach to the media plan doesn’t work with multi-location campaigns. Can your prospective franchise digital marketing consultant adapt and personalize digital marketing at the local level? No matter the market size, big or small, you need someone familiar with the entire country and with extensive regional and local knowledge to build a successful media plan specific to each market. Find out how well your potential digital consultants understand various markets and their opportunities. Do they know the markets’ circumstances, events, teams, landmarks, and such? Find out how well they understand the target audience for each – their characteristics, demographics, likes and dislikes, their income, education, challenges, needs, and desires. The franchise digital marketing consultant you choose must be nimble and flexible enough to take your overarching national plan and customize it, test it and optimize it for any area, using the best technology, the best channels and tactics to fit your unique needs.

Easy to Work With

Different clients and verticals can be challenging. How can you manage everything when marketing is only one of many things you need to do each day? Find a digital media partner that has extensive know-how, that cares about all the little details as much as you do, and that can answer all your questions and dive right in to help you. Look for one that truly cares about your unique challenges and can quickly give you the research, answers and solutions to help you succeed. Can your potential franchise digital media provider quickly learn about and support your brand standards across the country while supporting business owners’ local efforts as well? Building your national brand – your identity – helps customers and prospects learn about and become interested in you. Uniformity and consistency are key. Local markets should share and build on the national message so no matter where a consumer goes, all locations have a similar look and feel and extend the same customer experience. Is your prospective consultant transparent and willing to share their knowledge? Are they willing to take the time to teach you so you can understand the benefits of digital marketing for your brand or business and how your investment will drive growth and traffic now and in the years ahead? Your potential digital media provider should be approachable and accessible. Can they take your phone call and pop in regularly to meet with you in person? Can they help you sort out your day-to-day concerns and get involved with establishing and building your presence in local communities? Can they get you plugged in with prospects and customers so you can grow these relationships and build trust? When you’re scoping out franchise digital marketers and trying to select the best candidate for the job, it can be overwhelming and nerve-wracking. It’s too big of a decision to choose wrong. So, follow my must-have list to ensure you ask the right questions to make a well-informed decision:

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A franchise digital marketing consultant may be expected to coordinate and support up to hundreds (even thousands) of business owners’ needs, demands and individual programs around the country and around the clock at the same time. If that weren’t pressure enough, they must also provide the right strategies to successfully engage many different audiences in various markets at once to turn leads into sales. These tasks are incredibly hard to pull off, let alone do well. That’s why the one you pick must be well-rounded – must be media-savvy and research- and data-driven, must be easy to work with, and have the multi-location experience and hyperlocal marketing knowledge you need to succeed. When you discover one with all the qualities you’re after, one that seems to check all the boxes, you’ll know you’ve found the right fit, the right franchise digital marketing consultant for you. If you would like more franchise digital marketing tips and trends to maximize your budget and take your multi-location brand or business farther, we are enthusiastic to help.