Optimizing your healthcare marketing efforts for mobile will be even more important in 2019, as patients continue to turn to smartphones and tablets for health information.
In 2015, mobile overtook desktop as Americans’ top source of digital content. Since then, mobile use has continued to rise; the average American now spends 5 hours per day on their mobile devices, and more searches take place on mobile than on desktop. Because healthcare consistently ranks among the top search categories, millions of healthcare searches inevitably take place on a mobile device every day.
It’s never been more important for healthcare providers to optimize their marketing efforts for mobile. Fortunately, reaching consumers on mobile may actually be easier than on desktop: mobile devices account for 53% of paid search clicks, phone-based CPCs are lower than for desktop, and mobile CTRs are higher than desktop. But ultimately, capitalizing on mobile marketing opportunities comes down to having the right strategies in place.
Know Your Mobile Audience
As with any other channel, medical marketers need to match their target audiences to the user base of the mobile platform. Mobile users tend to skew younger than desktop users: 94% of Americans aged 18 to 29 own smartphones, while only 45% of users over 65 own them. This makes mobile an especially important channel for practices with younger clientele, like pediatricians, fertility centers, or gynecologists.
The vast majority of mobile users are also on social media, so your mobile strategy should include a robust social strategy as well. “Snack ads,” or video ads under 10 seconds long, smoothly integrate with Facebook and Instagram’s interface and retain the vast majority of users’ attention.
Keep an eye on your mobile analytics to determine what types of ads work well with your audience. Digital ads are highly nimble, so it’s easy to run A/B tests to ensure that you’re optimizing them for your audience. Digital trends change frequently, so practices may want to tweak their messaging depending on current events, seasonality, or health news.
Optimize for Mobile Accessibility
Remember: what works well on desktop won’t necessarily work well on mobile. If you rely on your desktop site for mobile devices, you’re in for a UX nightmare. Mobile sites should play to the inherent strengths of the mobile format – quick scrolling, striking visuals, and instant feedback. Text should be large enough for patients to read without zooming in, pages should be easy to find on a mobile screen, and the site should load quickly.
Don’t forget about calls-to-action (CTAs)! It doesn’t make sense to ask mobile users to fill out a 10-step form. Instead, stick to one-click CTAs that keep the user on a path to conversion. Even better, incorporate CTAs that make use of mobile’s other functionalities. A CTA asking users to “Call Now” can auto-dial the number of your medical practice, for example.
Use Location Data Strategically
Thankfully, mobile devices gather a slew of location data, which is perfect for marketing to hospitals’ and medical practices’ highly localized customer base. If you have multiple locations, geotargeting can help your practice show different ads to different users depending on where they’re located. If you have a single office, location data can help you limit your ad spend solely to people in your area.
In addition, many mobile users are on the go and want search results that pertain to their current location. To attract nearby patients in real time, ensure that your practice name, hours, and contact information are updated on all relevant channels, including Google My Business and Yelp. Location data is especially important for voice search inquiries: when patients ask Siri for a “dentist near me,” Siri will offer them the name of the nearest dentist whose location information is consistent across all of these channels.
Mobile strategy for healthcare practices doesn’t need to be a mystery. By following these tips, you’ll be able to tap into new and existing audience with relevant and memorable information about your doctors and services.