How Digital Marketing Can Help Healthcare Providers Reach Diverse Patient Groups

Digital marketing strategies that emphasize inclusivity can help your healthcare practice reach diverse audience segments.

As the U.S. patient population becomes increasingly diverse, many physicians have struggled to keep up with the changing needs of multicultural audiences. Numerous studies have shown that black, Hispanic, and Asian patients tend to feel at least slightly uncomfortable receiving care from white doctors. Even worse, minority patient groups sometimes receive lower-quality care than their white counterparts.

For these reasons and more, it’s often difficult for healthcare practices to attract a diverse patient base. Though, ultimately, retaining patients from a variety of backgrounds will require thorough and empathetic treatment, recruiting them is all about your marketing message — and many marketers are struggling to connect with diverse audiences.

Even if you’re already committed to being inclusive to all patients, it’s possible that your own unconscious biases may be creating blind spots in your advertising efforts. Here’s how to ensure that you’re reaching all audience segments and recruiting a truly multicultural group of patients through your digital marketing campaigns.

Invest in Research to Reach More Diverse Patient Populations

Different audiences are likely to use the internet differently and respond to certain images or texts more or less strongly. It’s worth investing some time and resources into determining exactly how each segment uses social media or searches for health information, and tailoring your images and copy accordingly.

Though it’s vital to determine exactly how these demographics play out for your target region, in the U.S. as a whole, Facebook tends to have an older audience than platforms like Twitter and Instagram, where it’s easier to reach Millennials and Gen Z.

Similarly, ethnic demographics can change based on the social media platform. A survey from Pew Research revealed that, nationwide, Latinx and black patients are more likely than white patients to use Instagram and Twitter, while the audience on LinkedIn and Pinterest is largely Caucasian. 

But beyond simple demographics, it’s necessary to understand how, exactly, your audience engages with these platforms. That’s why it’s important to track metrics, engagement, and responses from each audience on each channel to determine what’s working where and with whom. Once you’ve gathered these insights, you can cater your content accordingly.

Create a More Inclusive Presence

In addition to your organic and paid digital marketing efforts, it’s vital to cultivate a welcoming practice where patients of all backgrounds feel comfortable. This begins with your website, which is the first impression many potential patients will have of your practice. That’s why it’s important to feature images of diverse patient and doctor populations throughout your site.

You may also want to invest in one or more translators in order to make your site accessible for people who speak English as a second language, or who don’t speak English at all. Of course, it’s also wise to hire multilingual staff members, so that these patients will have someone in your office who can understand them in face-to-face interactions.

Ultimately, taking a few steps to make your practice and its digital presence more inclusive can go a long way in helping you reach demographics you may have unintentionally neglected in the past. By embracing digital marketing, you can boost diversity and establish your brand as an open and inclusive environment for patients.

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