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Oncology Marketing: 3 Digital Marketing Tips to Better Promote Your Cancer Care Services


Is your hospital’s oncology department getting enough exposure? Are you reaching the right audiences and getting enough new patients through the door? If not, then it may be time to revamp your oncology marketing strategy—specifically on the Internet.

The web is where cancer patients and their loved ones are going for information about their conditions, potential treatments, and oncology specialists. If your hospital isn’t present in the right places at the right time online, you could miss out on opportunities to attract new patients.

Read the 3 tips below to learn how you can refine your hospital’s oncology marketing on the Internet and attract more patients.

Get Specific with Your Keywords

When marketing your hospital’s oncology department, it’s important to consider how people are searching for the specific services you offer. More often than not, people are not just searching Google for terms like “cancer treatment,” but they’re looking up certain types of cancer or cancer treatments. Their searches might include terms such as “breast cancer,” “prostate cancer,” or “head and neck cancer.” Or, they may be looking for particular treatments, such as minimally invasive surgery, surgery that uses CyberKnife® technology, or single-dose radiation therapy (e-IORT).

If there are specific types of cancer, treatments, and technology that your hospital specializes in, focus on keywords related to these in your digital ad campaigns. This can help you attract the type of new patients you want, and it also helps prospective patients easily find what they’re looking for.

Here at Scorpion, we use keyword search tools such as Google Trends to determine how much traffic a specific keyword is generating. If there’s a therapy or type of technology that is brand-new on the market and not driving enough search activity yet, we may find it more effective to focus on awareness campaigns. For example, we may boost exposure around these services by launching display and social media ad campaigns that people see when they’re browsing the web instead of when they’re actively searching for a term in search engines like Google and Bing.

Target the Right Decision Makers (Including Out-of-Towners)

Remember to think about who the decision makers are when you set up your digital campaigns. Sometimes this is the patient, and other times it’s a caregiver, such as the patient’s spouse or adult child. Oftentimes, an adult child will research cancer treatment options for a parent and will conduct the search in a completely different city or state. For example, someone in New York might be looking for treatment for a parent who is retired in Florida.

This is an important factor to take into account when it comes to your geographic targeting. If you are only targeting online users in your immediate area, your hospital might not be as visible to out-of-town decision makers.

So how do you know which geographic areas to target? Think about the population and behavior of your local community. Does your city get a lot of new residents from a particular area? You can also gather insight from patient surveys and check out your web analytics. Do you frequently receive return visitors from certain cities, states, or regions outside your own? A seasoned digital marketing professional can help you determine the right out-of-town areas to target.

Boost Credibility with Testimonials & Videos

Testimonials and videos are powerful ways to boost your cancer care center’s credibility in the minds of patients and caregivers as they research their care options. Add written or video testimonials of patients and their loved ones to your website to provide a sense of what others have experienced at your hospital. This helps build trust, which can lead to more booked appointments.

Another great tactic is to create informational videos that aid searchers in the research process. This may be an explanation of what a certain type of cancer therapy entails or how a new form of technology is innovating cancer treatment at your hospital. Use your videos to answer patients’ and caregivers’ common questions and let them know how your hospital stands out as a cancer treatment provider. Not only will you help someone in their patient journey, but you will also make it more likely that the individual will remember your hospital when it comes time to choose a care provider. You can share these videos on your website and on YouTube.

Our hospital marketing team would love to help you craft a targeted oncology marketing strategy for your hospital. Contact us to get started!

For more helpful digital marketing tips, check out our recent post: “6 Healthcare Advertising Mistakes: Pitfalls Your Hospital Should Avoid.”

About the Author
Desiree Davis is a Senior Marketing Account Manager at Scorpion. She helps healthcare organizations leverage strategic online marketing campaigns to achieve their goals, from brand awareness to patient attraction. Desiree has been working in digital marketing for nearly a decade and in client support for nearly two decades. When she is not working, she enjoys cooking for her family, traveling, and the occasional Star Wars movie marathon.