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Adjusting Your Healthcare Marketing Strategy to Make the Most of HIMSS 2018

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Author: Kathryn McMahon Arrigg, Vice President, Healthcare at PAN Communications, headshot
Kathryn McMahon ArriggVice President, Healthcare

Are you a healthcare marketer that has their eye on attending HIMSS this year? If so, we’re sure you’ve thought about your plans in terms of who you’ll target to brief on company updates, product innovation and industry vision. But have you thought about your integrated content marketing strategy, ways to elevate social media engagement and boost connections with healthcare influencers to maximize your attendance?

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We’ve broken down our essential tips for an effective, multi-channel approach designed to help today’s marketers connect with target audiences, build brand equity and grow awareness by capitalizing on the largest HIT conference of the year.

1. Don’t overlook influencers: Meeting with journalists during the show can be an important part of every conference, but don’t forget to arrange 1:1s with influencers as well. Earned media has changed over the years. Stakeholders evolve the way they consume information. Therefore, it’s more important than ever to build relationships with media, bloggers AND influencers who can amplify your efforts and lend credibility to your story. Be on the lookout for PAN’s list of the top influencers to follow on social during HIMSS in coming weeks. Speaking of social….

2. Amplify your presence on social: No matter what your role at the show, whether you’re a keynote speaker or an attendee, become part of the conversation by sharing your insights and experience before, during and after the show. Content can include anecdotes, quotes from presentations, perspective on key trends, and perhaps most importantly, photos and short videos of you in action. Visual content is more than 40X more likely to get shared on social media than other types of content. Top-engaging content also tees up an idea or observation, asks for feedback and opinions and highlights actionable content, such as downloadable assets. The ability to create dialogue is a critical aspect of a true integrated content marketing and thought leadership strategy. Use your social channels to their fullest potential.

Learn more about integrated marketing and PR, read: Implementing an Integrated Marketing and PR Strategy for Healthcare Brands.

3. Blog about your experience: With social channels driving your micro syndication network and calls-to-action, balance and populate them with long-form content before, during and after the conference as part of your amplification strategy. 45% of marketers say blogging is their #1 most important content strategy, and companies and marketers that prioritize maintaining a blog are 13x more likely to enjoy positive ROI. What better time to pull together content than during a conference rich with ideas, trends and innovations? Blogs don’t need to be long – a few hundred words is sufficient to provide readers with an idea of what you are experiencing at the show and your perspective on key trends. Further, blogs are easily searchable and can boost SEO.

4. Post show engagement: So, you had a successful show. Now what do you do with your leads? Complement your premium content strategy with an email marketing campaign that can drive prospects toward the path to purchase. A common misconception these days is that email marketing is antiquated – but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. In fact, 77% of buyers and customers prefer email marketing for communication, and with a marketing ROI of 4,300%, this type of personalized communication is just as relevant for nurturing your leads as it’s ever been.

Pro tip: Leverage earned media efforts as part of your email campaigns. Did you secure coverage around your company’s latest cool initiative during HIMSS? Promote it by pulling out specific stats and quotes from the article to maximize awareness through your communications. Additionally, use your email marketing as an opportunity to promote and showcase key themes from blogs based on content from the show.

Of course, the strategies and tactics we recommend applying at HIMSS and other shows are part of a larger marketing effort. For more on the key ingredients to effectively reach and engage your target audience—be it patients, providers, health plans, policymakers or investors—download our free eBook, “Keeping Pace with Digital Health Transformation Through Integrated Marketing & PR,” or email us with any questions about how to maximize your presence at shows or take your program to the next level with PAN.

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