How to Make a Marketing Plan for Your Health Business

If you have an online business, the gold is in people “visiting” you online— which means them checking out your website, following you on IG, or joining your email list, for example. 

Sounds simple enough, right? But the trick is in HOW you actually get people to your business’s door. It’s also in the level of ease and simplicity of the “journey” they take to get to you.

Keep reading to learn how to make a marketing plan for your health business that creates a blue-sky, top-down, open-road journey from where they are to where you are— and leaves them eager to work with you upon arrival!

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Your digital country needs digital tourists

Okay, hear us out on this one:

Asking someone online to visit your business is kind of like asking them to visit you in your own little digital country. And too many business owners have the “build it and they will come” mentality, or a “good enough” approach to getting people to travel to them. This isn’t wrong, but in our opinion, it isn’t enough, either.

If you just “let them come,” by having one half-decent social media channel and a one-page website that aren’t clearly linked (and thus, don’t create a clear journey), then you’re leaving your would-be tourists to fend for themselves. You’re sending them on a digital goose chase that to them, feels like taking a ferry with no available timetable, arriving somewhere they don’t speak the language, and then having to fumble their way through public transit schedules until they hop on a random bus that they hope takes them to you!

Will some still come? Sure! You’re worth it. But, will more fall off or give up at some point along the way? Absolutely.

Good news is that you can decrease the likelihood of people bailing or getting lost by simply being a good host and creating a seamless journey on their behalf. With a few simple tweaks to your marketing plan, you can guide them from where they are to where you are, doing everything for them except for literally holding their hands and carrying their bags! We’re talking direct, first-class access to you, with a warm hug and a frozen cocktail waiting for them upon arrival!

Point is, if you want to be a good host and have a booming business, then you should be the one working hardest— not your customers.

Cover all stages of the customer journey

Plot twist! This fictional journey we’ve been referring to so far isn’t actually fictional at all— it’s your customer journey. In other words, it’s the phases people go through from the time they first hear about you all the way through to when they become loyal, raving fans.

If you want to create a seamless customer experience, then you need marketing materials that cover every phase of the journey.

If we go back to our travel analogy, you could think of it like this: by creating content for every phase of the journey, you’re meeting people where they’re at. You’re giving them exactly what they need while they plan the trip on Pinterest, pack their bags, travel to the airport, fly, take a boat, walk, and then finally, arrive at your door!

Remember, no matter where your visitors are starting from, there will be drop-off at every stage. That’s part of what creates the “funnel” shape we refer to in sales funnels— lots at the top/beginning, fewer at the bottom/end. It’s important to cast a wide net at the beginning of your customer journey so that you still have enough people with you by the end to let you meet your goals.

Let’s take a look at what the phases of the customer journey are, and what it looks like to create content for each one. 

Phase #1 Awareness

The people who are new to you usually are not problem aware. They know something isn’t working, but they don’t know the real reason why.

  • If you’re a pelvic health physio, a customer at the awareness phase might say something like, “Wow, I can barely make it to the bathroom anymore. I guess this is normal though, I do have 2 kids.”
  • For an anti-diet dietitian, “I keep quitting on my diets. I just need to find the right one!”
  • For an SLP, “My 2-year-old only says 3 words, but we’re on the waitlist for speech therapy, so I guess there’s not much we can do.”

They’re not actively looking for solutions quite yet, they just have a problem. Our goal is to make them aware of what their problem really is. They might see ads online that pique their interest or speak to them. 

Maybe they stumble on a post through a hashtag they follow. Or, maybe some influencers they follow have similar experiences and are talking about them in a way that makes them aware. Point is, something has to happen to show them that they actually do have a problem. Ideally, that “something” is them coming across your awareness-focused content!

Phase #2 Engagement

Now, they’re problem-aware, so they know that they need to do something. They’re just not sure what. 

  • If you’re a pelvic health physio, an engaged customer might think, “I can’t run or go to spin anymore, I need to find a way to make this better.”
  • For a dietitian, “I need to make a change— diets just aren’t working. How can I make sustainable healthy change?”
  • For an SLP, “How can I support my child at home?”

This person is actively looking for information and education, but they’re not booking or buying yet. These people are probably talking to their friends and family about what they’re experiencing and getting some advice, they’re googling, searching out online experts on social media, and wanting to learn about their problem. This is why you need a blog and some type of social media presence— to educate your audience and answer their questions. 

Phase #3 Consideration

The next step is to make your people solution-aware. They now know they have a problem, so it’s time to educate them on your solution. Think: what you do, and how it differs from other solutions out there. 

  • Physio: Educate them on the roles of the pelvic floor and how what’s “common” isn’t necessarily “normal.” Or, explain how physio is different from other therapies.
  • Dietitian: Educate them on intuitive eating and what a healthy relationship with food and your body can look like.
  • For an SLP: Share tips, tricks, and information about the benefits of supporting your child’s language development at home!

Once they’re in consideration, they’re going to make a change, you need to educate them on your solution. This often means that you meet them where they’re at — your website, your FAQs, your program story highlights, etc. — and offering some free, informative, downloadable freebies that help them learn more about what you do and how you do it. 

Phase #4 Conversion

Conversion is the last step before they purchase or convert. Here, you need to outline why you are the best person for them. They know they’re looking for a physiotherapist, or a dietitian, or a speech pathologist, but now they’re trying to sniff out the right one for them

They’ll consider your client testimonials, they’ll read more about your areas of expertise, and they’ll look through case studies or client stories you put online.

By creating content that serves all of these phases that lead up to a purchase or a booking, you’re ensuring that your customer has a smooth transition to not even knowing they have a problem, to seeing you as their first choice for a solution.

Make your marketing plan sustainable

Okay, so before you run off and create a ton of new content for the customer journey, let’s make sure that the content and the marketing tactics you’re investing time or money into are sustainable.

You can make sure your marketing plan is sustainable by building mainly on platforms you own, and using a variety of marketing tactics (instead of just one or two).

Build it on platforms you own

We see too many business owners building their ENTIRE businesses on social media and other platforms they don’t own. These platforms are great and should be used— but not as the be all and end all. Here’s why:

  • They can shut down, start charging, or kick you out any time
  • You can’t control what happens (like algorithm changes)
  • You can’t organize or monetize your content the way you want to

Support your social media-based business by ALSO developing content on platforms you fully own and control— ones that don’t leave you at the mercy of the algorithm. We’re talkin’ your website, your blog, and your email list, among others.

Pssst! Have you been putting off that website? Consider this the sign you’ve been waiting for to get back at it!

Use different tactics & sources

You should never have all of your eggs in one marketing basket. That means ALL of your content should not live solely on IG, and all of your marketing dollars/hours should not be going into one tactic, like ads.

By diversifying your marketing, you’ll ensure that:

  • If one platform shuts down, your entire business won’t.
  • You have tactics in place that cover all phases of the customer journey (if you only cover one or two platforms, you’re not pulling people all the way through)

And yes, of course you can still use other means. We’re by no means anti-social media! Just note their volatility, and consider how much effort and time you put there vs. into the platforms you can control.

Related: Is Your Marketing Sustainable or Unsustainable?

Let’s get you some clarity!

You started your business yourself, and you’re doing great so far. But what comes next? Do you prioritize ads? Social? Blogging? Pinterest? YouTube? ALL OF THEM!? We know it can be so overwhelming. 

I mean, who do you get to help you? A Pinterest expert? A writer? Someone who does FB ads? Even if budget allows you to hire ALL the people, how would they each know what the other is doing?

Thankfully, a customer journey and your marketing plan — built to help you achieve your big goals — will help you make these decisions from a grounded, level-headed place.

Get a leg up on your marketing

There’s a world where you are in control of your marketing and content efforts. Where everything works together cohesively, where you feel in control, and where you’re setting clear goals and reaching them on realistic timelines. Where your content marketing lifts you up instead of making you feel like you’re drowning. We can help you get there!

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Get data-driven marketing insights and exclusive resources right to your inbox.

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