Moving with The Times

Moving with the times

Moving with The Times: Adapting Seasonal Healthcare Marketing Strategies to Align with Patient Needs

72-Percent-ConsumersThe seasons always bring change, and as marketers, we must continually adapt our strategies in turn. Understanding seasonal patterns in healthcare engagement and strategically aligning campaigns to respond to these changes and patterns can help provide the right care at the right time. Every ​patient is ​different, with ​unique needs ​throughout the year. ​According to ​a study by the ​American Marketing ​Association, 72% of ​consumers say ​that they are ​more likely to do ​business with ​a company that ​tailors its marketing ​messages to their ​specific needs. This underscores ​the need for tailored, ​responsive marketing ​approaches. By tailoring ​outreach and engagement ​initiatives to align ​with seasonal ​trends, we can ​​optimize care delivery ​​and uphold our reputation ​​as patient ​​advocates. Let’s explore ​​how to make ​the most of ​​each season ​to connect patients ​​with the care they ​​need.

What’s the Season for Caring? Why Healthcare Can’t Afford One-Size-Fits-All Marketing

The healthcare field faces unique challenges when connecting with patients across the calendar year. Patient needs, behaviors, and lifestyles shift from season to season. Allergies flare up in springtime; cold and flu peak in winter months. Back to school physicals and sports exams see upticks each fall, while winter may push some elective or preventative services to the back burner. 

As such, healthcare marketing can’t take a one-size-fits-all approach. Tailoring outreach and engagement initiatives to align with seasonal needs and trends is crucial for delivering the right care at the right time. Meeting patients where they are, both physically and mentally, as the seasons change takes proactive preparation and optimization. But the payoff is invaluable – building community trust, upholding your reputation, and optimizing the patient experience across the seasons.

Our experts have compiled top strategies and impactful tactics to connect with patients in each season.  Let’s explore:


The winter months often see dips in engagement and scheduled services. According to 2021 trends, healthcare website traffic and appointment bookings typically drop from mid-December through early January as patients get busy with holidays. However, a study by the Pew Research Center found that people are more likely to use social media during the winter months.

40-Percent-Online-BookingTo combat the winter slowdown:

  • Send email and social media campaigns promoting telehealth for care from home. Include direct booking links to make scheduling easy. Online booking can improve scheduling efficiency by over 40%.
  • Run retargeting ads to re-engage website visitors with special new patient offers. Use geo-fencing around your locations to boost visibility. Location-based mobile ads see up to 2x higher CTR.2x-higher-ctr
  • Update website content and SEO to promote preventative and elective services. Make sure Google Business Profile is optimized for local search visibility. 70% of patients now research providers online before booking.
  • Review PPC campaign audience targeting monthly and adjust bids to maximize conversions with lower traffic. Advanced targeting can improve campaign ROI by 30-40%.

Proactive winter marketing keeps you top of mind until spring engagement returns to normal levels. Share cold and flu prevention tips, and reminders for vaccines and screening exams that may have been put off until after the holidays. Maintaining awareness, even during slow periods, helps uphold a reliable reputation.


The fresh feel of spring makes it a perfect time for growth! As schedules fill up after the winter slowdown, focus messaging on scheduling appointments early as availability opens up.

Promotions should highlight:30M-Suffer-from-Spring-Allergies

  • Extended hours for easier booking with 25% more appointments available. 34% of patients prefer extended hours for scheduling.
  • New patient incentives like $50 off first visit to drive conversions. Financial incentives can increase new patient conversions significantly. 
  • Sports physicals, orthopedic services, outdoor safety with warmer weather. Spring sees an increase in sports physical bookings.
  • Allergy, asthma, and spring health tips before peak seasons. Over 30 million Americans suffer from spring allergies, making allergies a great advertising topic.

Watch for dips around major holidays, like Easter, when families take mini-vacations. Website traffic can decrease around holidays. Maintain momentum from January efforts to build on the early spring warmth. Expand digital campaigns as organic traffic and engagement climb back up in April and May. Leverage holidays like Mother’s Day to promote women’s health services.

Summer presents a tricky balance: website traffic dips with vacations, but mobile usage rises. Maintain awareness with existing patients while maximizing mobile visibility to capture travelers. A study by the National Institutes of Health reports that people are more likely to be physically active during the summer months which increases the risk of injuries and ER visits. 

Key tactics:

  • Expand location-based mobile ads targeting summer travelers. Travelers are more likely to click location-based mobile ads.25-45-Percent-HIPAA-Boosts-Conversion
  • Run retargeting campaigns on mobile to re-engage visitors who left your site. Retargeting boosts conversions from new visitors by 25-40%. In order to remain HIPAA compliant, it is critical that retargeting campaigns are not service-area specific. For example, if a user visits your HIV service pages, you may retarget them with branding campaigns, but not HIV-specific pages.
  • Review Google Ad Grant performance monthly and adjust for shifting trends from past summers. Closely analyze cost-per-click and conversion rates.
  • Add fresh website content focused on urgent care, telehealth, and key services. Include FAQs for visitors passing through.
  • Promote vacations services like immunizations and camp physicals which see upticks over summer.

Keep top services top of mind with email and social content. Adjust strategy weekly to optimize changing traffic. Maintain community awareness and consistency over summer to uphold reliable reputation.


The fall chill returns patients to consistent schedules, making marketing crucial.

  • Promote back-to-school physicals and sports exams to fill late summer gaps. Fall sports physicals increase over summer.
  • Advertise flu shots and vaccines before peak season, aim for increased immunizations over summer/spring. Patient education and outreach is an allowable use of funds under many common flu and covid-19 campaigns, including the ECV grant.
  • Send segmented emails for service line needs with fall care reminders. Emails segmented by service line see 25% higher open rates.
  • Broadcast available appointments before schedules fill with cold/flu demand. Highlight ease of online booking.
  • Promote telehealth options to minimize sick visits, highlight convenience and safety. Telehealth can decrease unnecessary ER/UC visits by

Grants-to-fundWatch for Thanksgiving dips in traffic. Maintain momentum through fall to carry success into new year. Review 2023 analytic reports and set 2024 budgets/goals informed by previous performance.

Year-Round Care Delivered Seasonally
While each season poses unique challenges, strategic marketing keeps your care top of mind year-round. Customizing messaging and tactics to align with shifting patient needs, lifestyles, and behaviors optimizes engagement across the seasons. 

At ​Target Continuum, ​our year-round ​focus is ​geared towards ​​connecting patients ​with the care ​they ​need. Our healthcare marketing ​​experts combine ​​smart strategy, targeted technology, ​​and custom creative ​​to drive measurable ​​results. Ready to grow your practice across the seasons? Let’s ​​start a conversation ​​on how custom marketing ​​support can benefit ​​your organization ​​now and into the​​ future. The seasons keep changing but our commitment to your success shines bright all year long. Reach ​​out today ​​to get ​​started!

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