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How to Build a Successful Digital Healthcare Marketing Strategy for Software

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How to Build a Successful Digital Marketing Strategy

There’s no doubt, the healthcare software industry is tough. The purchasing cycle is painfully slow, the marketplace is crowded, your competitors have big names and deep pockets. 

But there is some good news too. Global healthcare spending is on the rise - in fact, Deloitte predicts that it will hit USD $8.7 trillion by 2020. The healthcare industry - always slow to change - is starting to invest in new technologies, and software is playing a leading role in transforming the healthcare sector worldwide.

So how can you make sure your healthcare software is the one that your buyers turn to? It all comes down to creating a solid marketing strategy. Here’s how to make that happen.

How to Build a Successful Digital Healthcare Marketing Strategy for Software


Stay Ahead of Healthcare Marketing Trends

Building a solid digital strategy means staying abreast of the latest developments in software marketing and using them to your advantage. Although they are always changing, here are some key trends that healthcare marketers should get ahead of:  

User experience is rapidly becoming a key competitive advantage that all healthcare software marketers need to consider. In other words, every interaction that customers have with healthcare software companies should be optimized to be user-friendly, engaging, and cohesive. 

In terms of healthcare marketing, this might translate to optimizing your website for mobile, polishing up your patient portals, or providing a higher-quality level of customer support.

Creating a better user experience means keeping up to date with the latest technology:

  • Artificial intelligence is now a key part of a modern healthcare marketing strategy:

    from chatbots that handle routine customer queries to analytics tools that show your leads the optimal content and product offers.
  • Voice search continues to be on the rise,

    which has changed how marketers optimize for search engines: as more users search using Siri or Alexa, search terms become more conversational, and healthcare content marketing must therefore consider user intent instead of only basic keyword research.
  • You may already be using text analytics in your healthcare SaaS; consider also applying it to your healthcare software marketing strategy.

    Some examples might be analyzing previous email strategies to create a predictive model to optimize your healthcare email marketing results; or parsing vast numbers of websites of potential clients to find suitable matches for your healthcare software.
  • Virtual reality has also become increasingly applicable to B2B healthcare marketing recently:

    applications include creating more powerful product demonstrations, which include visual cues to highlight key features or simulations of real-world product use or creating “webinars on steroids” which enable you to literally walk your customer through your presentation.

How Marketers Can Get the Most Mileage from Healthcare Content Marketing

Content continues to play a critical role in the healthcare IT buyer’s customer journey, according to joint research by the Content Marketing Institute. The study found that 77% of B2B respondents reported that their organization has a content marketing strategy. Of those, 58% said their strategy is moderately or slightly different now versus pre-pandemic. Valuable content drives action by healthcare software buyers, such as conducting product research, sharing the information with colleagues, or beginning a purchase discussion with colleagues, after viewing high-quality healthcare technology-related information. The critical term there is “high-quality” – healthcare IT buyers often find it hard to locate the information they are looking for. They favor content that included industry knowledge, demonstrated authority, and illustrated the information provided with case studies, and they were turned off by jargon, sales pitches, and buzzwords. 

It’s also important to consider how healthcare IT buyers prefer to access their content. The top five most effective channels are:

Healthcare Content Marketing Types

Healthcare Digital Marketing Data

No discussion of modern-day marketing would be complete without looking at the huge impact of data. This is particularly the case with the healthcare industry, where data security is at a premium - but data analytics can also produce exceptional results for healthcare software marketing. 

Analysis of the behavior of your web users can help tell you what healthcare marketing content is working best, and how to keep people coming back to your site; analysis of your sales portal can help you optimize the site and avoid sales falling through at the last hurdle. 

Taking a more advanced approach, intent data analysis can help your sales team connect with prospects at an earlier stage of the buying cycle, by tracking surges in research into healthcare SaaS solutions by your target prospects which would suggest an intent to purchase a solution. Healthcare marketing data can be used to create highly targeted content campaigns, using behavioral analytics to provide content at exactly the moment the customer is ready to buy.

A healthcare software agency can help you use rich data to hyper target and predict customer behavior. Your marketing budget can go further when you market to the right people at the right time.

One thing is clear - healthcare software companies will need a solid digital marketing strategy to stay ahead of the charge 

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Components of a Digital Marketing Strategy for Healthcare SaaS

Attracting leads in a competitive industry like healthcare software means creating an outstanding digital strategy. Here’s our guide to how you can make that happen:

  1. A successful digital healthcare marketing strategy should include both outbound and inbound techniques. Hubspot's State of Inbound Marketing Trends Report found that B2B marketers across multiple industries (including healthcare, manufacturing and technology) are still relying heavily on outbound techniques, including tradeshows and industry events, PPC advertising, print advertising in industry journals, and telemarketing. These methods can be highly effective. However, they can also be expensive: for instance, 31% of B2B marketers reported that virtual events were their top marketing spend. 

    We would therefore recommend that your digital strategy also include an inbound approach. Inbound marketing involves creating and sharing valuable healthcare software content - such as blogs, articles, white papers, research, or videos, that enable the leads you target to find you. Inbound marketing costs 61% less than traditional marketing for triple the leads. Effective content can help you reach multiple stakeholders at the same time, and keep you front of mind through the long healthcare software purchasing cycle.

  2. The first step to creating a winning digital healthcare marketing strategy is to define your buyer personas. The term can sound like pure marketing jargon - but it just means clearly defining who your customers are, what problems they are looking to solve, and how your software solves those problems. Once you have a clearly articulated expression of who you are trying to sell to, what triggers them to start searching for a solution, and why they would be interested in your product, you can also begin to research and plan what information might appeal to them, what content would be most relevant, where they would be likely to view your content, and what types of content you need to include in your healthcare content marketing strategy. 

  3. Once you have your buyer personas and their buyer’s journey well-defined, you can dive into your healthcare software content strategy. The first step is to build a marketing calendar, which should include all the channels you’re planning to use (your own blog, guest posts on other sites, social media, industry forums, etc.), topics, titles, writers, authors, and due dates.

  4. Start Putting Together Your Digital Marketing Content

    We’ve looked at the Who, and the When - now it’s time to think about the What: what content will your target market find most valuable? What information will they engage with, read, and share? 

    Here are some formats to consider:

Long-Form Content


Long-form content is one of the most effective ways to generate inbound leads. Long-form content could be a 1,000+ word blog post, an eBook, a white paper, or a full-length case study. This kind of content builds your reputation as an authority in healthcare SaaS, gives your brand a boost, and helps drive future customers to your door. 

A blog that you update regularly makes you more likely to rank highly in searches. You should be aiming to post frequently: quantity correlates strongly with results. The majority of successful bloggers are posting several times a month. Make sure you don’t sacrifice quality in pursuit of frequency – shareable, useful content is far more valuable to your business. Use your content marketing calendar to keep you on track – having content planned will make sure you post regularly. If you’re struggling with sticking to your schedule, consider hiring an expert – an experienced healthcare marketing agency can create high-quality, targeted blog posts for you. 

Social Media


Harness the power of social media to get your long-form content in front of your target market. To reach healthcare software buyers, you’ll need to build a strong brand presence on at least a handful of appropriate social media channels: LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are the most popular for B2B marketing.

  1. Get SMART about your goals

    - To build a social media strategy that will deliver real return on investment, you need to be very clear about what success would look like, and what your main objectives are. HubSpot recommends that you create SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely) objectives before you start on social.
  2. Create content that converts

    - When it comes to social media, people have clear preferences on the kinds of content they want to see. Avoid anything that sounds like sales, and don’t bore people with lists of features. Basically, try not to talk about yourself too much. Consider the interests of your target customers, even if they don’t directly relate to your product.
  3. Listen to your customers

    - Social media isn’t just a great way to talk to your customers – it’s also an excellent way to listen. “Social listening”, as it’s called, involves tuning in to what people are saying online – about your company and products, about your industry, about your competition.
  4. Establish your authority

    - Harnessing the power of social media to establish your company’s expertise is key to building a reputation as an authority in your field, which in turn is critical for getting in front of healthcare decision-makers. 
Web Content


Put your website to work with high-impact web content that drives sales:

  1. First, consider your web strategy – define your target market, your website goals, and your unique selling point (why should users prefer your healthcare software to any other?)
  2. Create polished, effective copy that delivers your messages. Avoid jargon, and prioritize simple, relevant language.
  3. Simplify complex healthcare software solutions with explainer videos. Choose an attractive design and layout to increase the impact of your main messages. Add infographics and other videos to engage web visitors and turn them into interested leads.
  4. Trust is critical in the healthcare SaaS industry, and your website is a great place to establish authority. Use your website to showcase certificates, awards, case studies, reviews, and testimonials.
Email Marketing


So, what makes email marketing so effective for a competitive industry like healthcare software? For one thing, unlike social media, pretty much everyone uses it! For another thing, email marketing is uniquely suited to the three most effective digital marketing techniques: segmentation, automation, and personalization. With an email marketing campaign, you control how and when you interact with your target customers. In the healthcare market, where building trust is particularly essential, being able to customize your interactions with your prospects is a very effective way to start building a relationship. In the long buying cycles involved in healthcare purchasing, email can help you keep in front of multiple stakeholders over the weeks or months it can take to reach final sales closure.

  1. No content marketing strategy would be complete without a carefully considered SEO plan. In a crowded market like healthcare software, you need to make sure that your content is seen by the right people at the right time. Search engine optimization has been changing radically, so it’s more important than ever to get this right.

  2. Some tips to get you started:

Topic Clusters


To improve your search rankings, choose a few topics that are most relevant to your healthcare software brand - for example, “healthcare IT.” Then create several blog posts that relate to that key topic and that would appeal to your target market. In this case, they could be “Managing a healthcare IT department,” “How to choose healthcare IT solutions,” and so on. Finally, create a pillar page - a top-level page on your website that unites all your blog posts into one long, high-value resource. 

Responsive Design


Responsive Design

A responsive healthcare SaaS website is a website that transforms, depending on how the user is viewing it –on a desktop, a tablet, or a smartphone. Responsiveness has become increasingly important now that more than 79% of internet usage is mobile. Make sure your website is well-optimized for mobile, loads quickly, and has well-organized, easy to find content, or risk losing significant traffic: 80% of customers will stop interacting with a website that doesn’t load well on their device of choice.

Keyword Research


Keyword Research

Healthcare SEO is changing, but keyword research is still important. Make sure you’ve identified long-tail keywords that are most relevant to your niche; these are 3-4 word keywords that relate to what users would enter into a search bar (or voice search field) - for example, “healthcare software solutions” or “medical data software.”

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How to Build a Successful Digital Healthcare Marketing Strategy for Software
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How to Build a Successful Digital Healthcare Marketing Strategy for Software


The Do's and Dont's of Marketing AutomationMarketing automation can be a highly effective way to boost your results and cut down on repetitive tasks. When you’re building a healthcare marketing strategy, using automation tools wisely could save you significant time and money.  

On the other hand, overusing automation can backfire - for instance, shooting off too many automated email campaigns can make your leads feel overwhelmed or get your company blacklisted as a spammer.

Here are a few of the best ways to use marketing automation effectively:

  1. Set up workflows to automatically begin when a contact takes a specific action

    - for instance, downloading a specific e-book or case study could trigger a series of related email content.
  2. Set up an automatic trigger to notify sales

    when someone downloads healthcare software content that suggests an intent to purchase.
  3. Use a lead-scoring system that assigns points to a lead based on their behavior

    (such as downloading a certain number of pieces of content or viewing a certain number of blog posts) – then automatically notify sales once a lead receives a high enough score.
  4. Send an automatic request for feedback into your software

    to make sure you get as much customer information as possible.
  5. Improve your time management with automated marketing processes,

    such as making sure all your leads are added to your database or creating repeatable healthcare marketing workflows.
  6. Set up automatic report generation to stay on top of your marketing performance.

    Detailed reporting can be extremely helpful for both your sales team and your client onboarding team.

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One of the critical factors in a successful healthcare software marketing strategy is creating a strong relationship between your sales, marketing, and software development teams.

Align Your TeamsIf your company culture is aligned around common goals, you’ll have a win-win situation – your sales and marketing teams will have a clear understanding of what makes your software unique, and your development team will know which features are most important to your target market.

If you’re developing software for the healthcare industry, a close integration between product development and product marketing can make or break outcomes.

To create a close working relationship between development, sales, and marketing, start with these simple steps:

  1. Set common goals for all teams - then drill down to create more function-specific tasks.

  2. Involve all teams in joint research projects to make sure your product meets your customers' needs. 

  3. Incorporate issues raised by prospective clients when they talk to your sales team into your development decisions.

  4. Bring both marketing and product development personnel into your QA process. 

  5. Consider creating product teams, rather than function teams, that meet regularly to keep everyone on the same page.

Create a close working relationship

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How to Build a Successful Digital Healthcare Marketing Strategy for Software
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How to Build a Successful Digital Healthcare Marketing Strategy for Software


Personalize your marketing strategyFinally, you’ve developed a powerful digital marketing strategy, organized your content calendar, chosen your channels, and started sharing useful, high-quality content. You’ve united your product marketing and development teams around common goals, made your marketing processes as efficient as possible, and started drilling down into your customer data. But you’re still not connecting with your market.

At this point, you may need to consider personalizing your marketing strategy.

Traditionally, this meant thinking about your buyer personas, and creating different marketing content for each persona - sending a different set of emails to different types of lead, for instance, or offering different content to potential customers depending on their stage in the buyer journey.

81% of consumers want brands to understand themHowever, people are more hyper-connected than ever before, and thus have increasingly higher expectations for personalized user experiences. Of course we expect companies touse our names when they email us – but we also expect them to consider our behavior before they send us information. For instance, Accenture found that 81% of consumers want brands to understand them and know when, and more importantly, when not to approach them.

How to Make a Human Connection When Marketing Healthcare Software

But personalization doesn’t have to be high-tech. When it comes to marketing healthcare software, it can be as simple as remembering that your buyer personas are people - and so are you. Provide content that appeals to human beings, which could include testimonials, stories, original research, helpful tips, and other information they can identify with. Connect with them over social media; respond quickly to questions; listen to feedback and address it promptly. Make every interaction with your company effortless, enjoyable, and positive.

Market Strategy Personalization

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Putting together a healthcare marketing strategy takes time, effort, and money - so how do you make sure you get a return on your investment? Of course, there’s no such thing as guaranteed results - in marketing or in any other area of business - but there are definitely things you can do to maximize your chances of success.

Think Long-Term


Think Long-Term

A quick-win mentality can do more harm than good in the healthcare SaaS business. Train your customers to expect special offers, seasonal discounts, or low-cost deals on your products, and they’ll simply wait for the next price drop to buy.

Stay Consistent


Stay Consistent

Digital marketing is the best way to get a solid return on your initial marketing investment. A digital strategy is typically cheaper, more effective, and more engaging than old-school hard-sell outbound methods - but you must stay consistent to see results. 

Keep the Faith


Keep the Faith

You’ll need to allow 6-12 months of consistent, high-quality inbound marketing effort to see your traffic grow and your leads pipeline start to fill up. But the leads that start to flow in are already pre-qualified, engaged with your company, and connected with your brand.

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Working with a Healthcare Marketing Agency

Marketing to healthcare professionals is never easy. They are constantly bombarded with information, making it hard to stand out from the crowd. Strict regulations mean that trust comes at a premium and entering the market as a new contender is correspondingly challenging. 

To market your healthcare software, you may need to engage multiple stakeholders at different levels of the organization, then maintain their interest and buy-in throughout the long sales cycle.

Marketing to Software to Healthcare Professionals

There are many challenges when it comes to marketing to healthcare professionals that agencies are well-equipped to overcome. The right marketing partner can navigate the complexities of the industry and help you to understand your market thoroughly.  For example, if you're targeting hospitals, you'll need to position your product as a solution for both doctors and purchasing departments alike – and demonstrate how you solve problems in a way that is both cost-effective and medically safe. An agency knows just how to accomplish this. In this change-resistant industry where trust is hard to come by, you’ll need to be up on the latest healthcare tech news. An agency with healthcare software experience can keep you abreast of the latest trends.  

In addition, a healthcare software digital marketing agency can design effective lead nurturing that keeps healthcare customers interested during a slow purchasing process that may last weeks or even months. 

Even if you do overcome these challenges, how can you tell if your strategy is working?

Signs You May Need Help with Your Healthcare Software Marketing Strategy

Obviously, if you’re seeing leads flooding in, effortless converting, and coming back for more, you’ll know you’re doing something right - but how about if you’re just starting out and can’t tell if you’re on the right path? What are the warning signs that you need to sharpen up your strategy - or risk full-on marketing failure? 

  1. You’re not all on the same page - and it shows. 

    If I stop anyone in your company and ask them what makes your product different, who your target market is, and what your big goals are - will they all give me the same answer? If not, you should definitely consider going back to the drawing board. 

  2. You don’t know what’s working and what's not. 

    On its own, a marketing campaign that flops isn’t a disaster. Used wisely, a failed marketing campaign can be a learning experience. A more serious problem is when you don’t know why something isn’t working - or even if it’s working or not. 

    It’s possible you aren’t tracking the right metrics, for example, so you know that sales are dropping, but you don’t know if lead numbers or conversion rates are the issue. Or you know you need to be tracking more data - but your tools aren’t up to the job. You may not even be 100% clear which numbers are really important to your business - some marketing teams, especially for small companies, find themselves drowning in data but unable to find a way to use it to make decisions.  

  3. You’re attracting the wrong audience.

    You find that you’re getting the traffic to the site - but no one sticks around. Your web visitors arrive - and bounce away immediately. Your sales team complains that the people they’re talking to have no decision-making power, or don’t really need your product. If this keeps happening, it’s a clear sign you need to step back and look at the big picture.

If any of these issues come up frequently, we can help. At Spot On, we create high-quality, personalized content with a well-aligned team, an efficient use of automation, and a long-term approach based on building relationships and delivering value to your target market. If you’d like our help taking your healthcare digital marketing strategy to the next level, don’t hesitate to get in touch

Marketing Strategy Success


How to Build a Successful Digital Healthcare Marketing Strategy for Software
Download the PDF Version

How to Build a Successful Digital Healthcare Marketing Strategy for Software