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Building Your Health Plan Inbound Marketing Strategy

DATE PUBLISHED: January 26, 2015
Category: Inbound Marketing

Inbound_MarketingWe like to remind certain industries about just how lucky they are when it comes to inbound marketing. That's because inbound marketing is built on the premise of creating compelling content and certain industries are more naturally attuned to this goal than others. A retail-clothing outlet can post photos on their Instagram account or Tweet sales, but they can't publish intelligent white papers or eBooks on jeans (though we imagine many have tried.)

This type of content can help certain industries attract leads at the top of the customer-purchasing funnel by exuding trust and expertise. And health plan providers have a fantastic opportunity, post-Affordable Care Act, to reach these new customers. With that in mind, let's take a closer look at five key inputs of your health plan inbound marketing strategy.

* Buyer personas. The foundation of your strategy should be your buyer personas. Who are the types of customers that you're trying to reach? Someone who's purchasing insurance for the first time thanks to ACA? The head of a household switching jobs? What are their interests, concerns, and demographics? You'll tailor subsequent pieces of content to their individual needs.

* A blog. A must-have. Your blog, which should focus on educating customers, rather than overtly selling to them, is the best way to built trust.

* Content and marketing techniques attuned to the lead's location in the sales funnel.  In addition to your blog, you'll want to create other types of content that maps to the lead's location in the funnel. A white paper entitled "A Step-by-Step Guide for First-Time Buyers of Health Insurance" can attract leads, for example. The same logic goes for other elements of your health plan inbound marketing strategy. Once the lead engages with your brand, your next challenge is to convert them. A distinct set of tools that include calls to action, landing pages, forms, and contacts will help in this effort. For a handy step-by-step guide across the inbound purchasing funnel, click here to check out HubSpot's inbound marketing methodology. Print it out and tape it to your office wall.

* A content marketing strategy. Your fantastic white paper "How to Choose Between Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum Plans" won't have much resonance if no one reads it. That's why it's important to look at various inbound marketing tools and consider the possibility of paid advertising on platforms like Facebook and Twitter. And lastly...

* Remember the rules for social media for health plans. Social media will be an important platform for promoting content and attracting leads. So make sure to keep in mind important rules for proper social engagement, which include erring on the side of customer privacy, remaining objective and non-political, refraining from policy suggestions, and staying engaged with followers. 

Of course, there are more elements to your health plan inbound marketing strategy — like establishing metrics for successes, for example — but we hope the aforementioned list can at least help your team draw up a high-level roadmap. If this endeavor sound a bit daunting, don't worry, you're not alone. Many health and insurance firms opt to work with an inbound marketing agency, whether it's getting assistance in creating a strategy or actually outsourcing some inbound marketing work.

What do you think? What key elements of a health plan inbound marketing strategy did we neglect to mention? Does your firm work with an inbound marketing agency?