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Open Enrollment Advertising: Don’t Miss Out on the Best Time to Attract New Patients

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What’s one of the most commonly missed opportunities for attracting new patients in the healthcare industry? Here’s the answer in two words: Open Enrollment.

According to a 2016 study by Aflac, more than half (58%) of employees choosing workplace benefits spend the most time learning about their benefits during open enrollment, as opposed to other times throughout the year. That means open enrollment season is prime time to capture the attention of these consumers—as they’re already spending a great amount of time and energy researching their healthcare options!

One major decision policyholders are making is which doctors to select for the coming year. They’re also checking out different healthcare facilities and services. If your healthcare organization isn’t using this critical time to promote your physicians and services, you are likely missing out on important opportunities to attract new patients.

If you want to boost your organization’s visibility, try running open enrollment digital advertising campaigns.

Reaching Targeted Audiences in Search

What do people do when they want to find a doctor? Today, they often do their research on the web. In many cases, the consumer will perform a general search in Google or Bing for primary care physicians or specialists in their local community.

This is especially true for Millennials. According to a 2015 survey, 54% of Millennials look online before choosing a doctor. (The survey defined Millennials as 18- to 24-year-olds.) In comparison, the global average for all patients was 39%.

To leverage this search activity, your healthcare organization can run pay-per-click (PPC) ads, which appear right at the top of the search engine results page. In these ads, you can use compelling copy to entice searchers to click on a link to your physician directory. This is appealing to the prospective patient because they can easily begin their doctor search with a simple click of a button. You can also create ad campaigns that focus on your organization’s specialty services.

With PPC, you're able to show your ads to the right audience through various targeting methods, such as targeting by location, device, and even time of the day.

Gaining Exposure in Social Media

Social media is another great place to gain exposure during open enrollment—especially because it’s now considered the most popular online activity, according to comScore’s 2017 U.S. Cross-Platform Future in Focus report. The report found that Millennials (defined by comScore as people ages 18-34) use several social networks regularly, with Facebook taking the lead in popularity and engagement levels. (Facebook is also very popular among people ages 35 and older.)

Unlike search engines, social platforms are more focused on raising awareness about your physicians and services—even when people aren’t actively searching for them. Your healthcare brand can show up in a social media user’s news feed, remind them that they need to find a doctor or other provider, and then give them an easy way to do that. The goal is to get people to go from browsing their social media profiles to searching your physician network. Similar to PPC, social media also provides a variety of targeting options, such as demographic targeting. This comes in handy when you’re looking to target specific audiences such as Millennials or women who act as the healthcare decision makers in their households.

Tracking Your Results

Both paid search and social media advertising offer the benefit of easy tracking. At Scorpion, we not only manage our clients’ ad campaigns, but we also provide them with an online dashboard where they can easily access their campaign performance data. They can see how many times their ads are being clicked on, how many calls they’re generating, their costs, their conversion rates, and more. Data tracking is essential for ensuring your campaigns are actually delivering the results you want and providing the right return on investment (ROI).

If you’d like to learn more about how Scorpion can help increase your exposure during open enrollment season, reach out to a member of our team!


About the Author
Katy Towe is a Marketing Account Manager at Scorpion who helps healthcare organizations build their online presence and use targeted digital marketing strategies to achieve their goals. She has more than 8 years of experience in marketing and a passion for seeing her clients succeed. When she’s not working, Katy enjoys golfing, trying new foods, hanging out with friends, and spending time with her husband, Ryan, and their dog, Charlie.