May 29, 2024



Seven Digital Advertising Strategies that Empower Women to Appoint

Here’s how strategic digital marketing can support women’s health journeys, enhance patient experiences, and boost your brand.

While everyone knows their health should be a priority, life often gets in the way—especially for women. According to Healthgrades research, over 50% of women have skipped or delayed preventive care in the previous year. Several factors contribute to women putting their care obligations on the back burner, including cost concerns (33% of women), forgetting to schedule appointments (19%), fearing bad news (16%), and inconvenient office hours or doctor availability (16%).

Life can get busy, but when patients don’t keep up with yearly exams and regular check-ups, they could miss out on early diagnoses that could save their lives. The problem isn’t that women are unaware of the preventive screenings they should get for their age group. They often just need a reminder or gentle motivation to make a phone call or book an online appointment. In this article, we’ll explore how health systems marketers can drive patient engagement—but first, it’s essential to understand what women truly need and expect from care teams to uncover what will lead them to appoint with confidence.

Connecting with Women for Better Care Confidence

Having more female staff can make a difference in making women feel more seen and understood when receiving care. Patients who visit healthcare professionals from similar backgrounds may feel more comfortable confiding in them and relaying their concerns. Several studies support this—recently, the Annals of Internal Medicine found that hospitalized women ages 65 and older are less likely to die or be readmitted to the hospital if they are treated by female doctors. Specifically, 8.15% of women treated by female physicians died within 30 days, compared to 8.38% of women treated by male physicians. Visually, this difference may seem minor, but statistically, closing this gap could save around 5,000 lives every year.

A Healthgrades BIPOC Healthcare Attitudes Study also points to the significance of a doctor’s gender identity among female patients. According to the study, a quarter of women agreed that having a doctor of the same gender was important, and they were 39% more likely to do so than men. Although men and women tend to trust their doctors at similar rates, patients who have a physician of their own gender report higher levels of trust (83% with same gender vs. 73% with different gender).

Beyond gender, women value transparency in how a physician or specialist treats patients. Nearly 81% of women read online reviews before booking a healthcare appointment, and 70% consider reviews to be a crucial tool in choosing a doctor. This means these patients are online when health needs arise, offering plenty of chances for your health system to meet them where they are and keep your brand top of mind. 

Our study also revealed that 48% of women (compared to 36% of men) prioritize a doctor’s listening skills when choosing healthcare, more than any other factor1. Women value clear communication, empathy, and a doctor’s ability to explain medical conditions and treatments in an understandable way. Health system marketers can address these concerns and meet the expectations and needs of women searching for care by highlighting their medical team’s strong communication skills and empathetic approach.

Empower Women With These Digital Advertising Strategies

Your hospital or practice may have an excellent reputation, but how can you demonstrate your performance and commitment to care in a way that captures the attention of your female audience and spurs them into action? Try implementing these seven strategies.

1. Paid Search

Organic search engine optimization (SEO) tactics are great for long-term brand exposure and awareness, but paid search can help amplify the impact of your outreach. By leveraging platforms like Google Ads in tandem with robust advertising solutions like Healthgrades, health systems can appear at the top of search results when potential patients search for care. With paid search accounting for 15% of web traffic, this is too large an audience to keep your ad dollars away from.

Investing some of your budget into Healthgrades can ensure you get the return you’re aiming for. According to seoClarity, our platform has more than 70% visibility within the top three positions on Google, making us 2x larger than the nearest competitor. Our syndication partners also regularly rank high on first-page Google results. How? We marry data from your brand’s site with prominent branding and calls to action on for premium brand placement that gets you results.

2. Social Media

For hospitals and practices, leveraging social media to keep prospective patients informed is the best way to build authority in the community. Start using your online accounts to educate women on health-related holidays like Breast Cancer Awareness Month or American Heart Month. Consult a healthcare observances calendar in advance and allot some space in your marketing calendar for these campaigns. During this time, remind patients to schedule necessary appointments.

Aside from awareness campaigns, consider tapping into the human aspect of healthcare. For instance, partner with patient influencers willing to share their health journeys and help bring awareness to conditions others may be facing. By highlighting these personal experiences, your content can resonate with prospects, enhance your brand’s credibility, and strengthen a sense of community.

Patient testimonials also help draw in new patients through your existing ones. Encourage your consumers to contribute to your brand’s blog and social media channels to boost trust in your health system, and introduce your team as the line of heroes behind the hard work that happens across your organization. Don’t forget to showcase the service lines that your doctors are performing well in—it gives patients extra reassurance about the quality of care your health system can provide.

3. Display Ads

Did you know that visual content is 40x more likely to be shared than other forms of media? Incorporate a mix of text, images, and videos to not only get your message across but also captivate your audience. The beauty of display advertising is that it’s also highly scalable, meaning you can choose to reach a broad audience or focus on a niche market by customizing ads to show up for specific groups of people based on what they like, where they browse, and who they are.

Healthgrades Brand Solutions places your brand in front of the industry’s most qualified and action-oriented audience across media platforms. We offer two solutions to help you hone in on prospective patients who would benefit the most from your health system: PatientConnect and PatienTarget. With PatientConnect, you can drive brand awareness with an engaged, contextually relevant audience at the time of most impact with hyper-targeted display advertising on Extend your reach further and eliminate wasteful impressions with PatienTarget—a strategically targeted omnichannel advertising solution that deploys your campaigns across the web, CTV, and podcast platforms. With today’s consumers mixing up the media they consume, Brand Solutions allows you to reach the right audience wherever they are without sacrificing scale or efficiency.

4. Programmatic Advertising and Connected TV (CTV)

As Americans age 50 and older are shifting to streaming platforms, advertisers are following suit and moving into the world of connected TV (CTV). In one survey, around 23% of CTV viewers revealed they’d made a purchase because of an ad they saw. Moreover, a report by Innovid found that 39% of marketers have seen an increase in returns on ad spend after switching to CTV. If you want to deploy your campaigns on TV, you can leave it all in Healthgrades’ hands. Using our Audience Intelligence proprietary data, we’ll help you target the right consumers wherever they watch TV without sacrificing scale or efficiency. Plus, with non-skippable brand messaging, your health system can stay top of mind when it matters.

5. Retargeting

If your potential audience is viewing your ads but not interacting with them, it’s time to retarget. Retargeting focuses on using ads to recapture the attention of potential leads based on their online behavior. Essentially, it helps those who’ve never heard of your health system understand how you fit into their lifestyle or solve a potential problem. It also helps make your messaging more personal and relatable. Prioritize consistent data analysis to gauge how your campaigns are performing, who they’re reaching, and where opportunities lie for more engagement. Then, tailor your ads accordingly to maximize impact.

6. Digital Events

In-person or digital events can help create opportunities for consumers to engage with your brand in a meaningful way. Organize online events like webinars, live Q&A sessions, and workshops focused on women’s health. Consider sponsoring a conference or attending one to represent your brand and answer questions in person. From pregnancy and nutrition to breast health, cover a wide range of topics and conditions so that all patients have something valuable to learn and take away from your health system or practice. This not only puts your brand on the map but also helps position your medical staff as experts who can connect patients’ needs with their offerings.

7. Digital Content

Last but not least, build up your brand’s content portfolio. Create a series of bite-sized compelling articles, infographics, and explainer videos addressing key women’s health topics such as fertility, menopause, breast and cervical cancer, and mental health. Distribute this content across social media platforms and boost its reach through paid digital advertising to reach women searching for more information about women’s health. In this way, your health system can be viewed as a reputable source of valuable educational information that patients can consistently rely on.

Helpful Tips for Optimizing Campaigns

Whether you choose to implement one of these strategies or all of them, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Market to women as both caregivers and care receivers. Since women make most healthcare decisions, tailor your marketing to their priorities. For example, make online reviews on your site easy to find, and be sure to respond to all feedback. Consider adding online scheduling, as 68% of patients prefer health systems with this convenient feature. Because women often prioritize their children’s care needs over their own, you should also explore using pediatrician visits as opportunities to reach women, such as providing mammogram brochures that emphasize the importance of these screenings for overall health.
  • Make it easy to connect with female doctors. A diverse staff of female healthcare professionals can motivate women to be more proactive and transparent about their care preferences. As a health systems marketer, consider enabling gender-based search filters on your site or through third-party platforms like that help elevate female voices and direct women to the professionals they seek.
  • Promote diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts. Integrating DEI into your hospital marketing strategies signals to women that your health system offers a safe, inclusive, and welcoming environment—no matter their background. While it takes time to build trust, this is one giant step towards fostering long-term loyalty among your patient base.

Need help revamping your digital strategy? Partner with Healthgrades. We’ll boost traffic to your women’s health-related service lines—conversions guaranteed.

Work to Improve Care Access for Women with Healthgrades

Half of all Americans who see a doctor this year will visit, and 69% of our audience is made up of women2. This is one reason our Advertising Solutions are so effective—they engage the largest audience searching for a doctor online. In addition, take a look at our standout features that bring results:

  • Increased visibility: Prominent branding and calls to action on physician search results pages and physician profiles.
  • Competitive intercept: Promote your brand and present your medical staff as alternative options directly on your competitors’ profiles.
  • Syndication network: Reach consumers where they are by extending your brand across the web with our partner sites’ look and feel to provide a seamless user experience.
  • Easy conversion. Integrate online appointment scheduling for in-person and telehealth services directly into your profiles to convert patients ready to appoint.
  • Expanded access to alternative doctors from the same practice. If prospective patients land on the sponsored profile of a doctor who is not accepting new patients, they are shown available alternatives from the same practice. This feature keeps consumers within your health system while resolving capacity issues—ultimately allowing patients to appoint.

Healthgrades Brand Solutions also helps improve your health system’s awareness by targeting qualified healthcare audiences across digital platforms. We use proprietary data that combines billions of consumer site interactions, anonymous data points, and machine-learning modeling to reach highly targeted audiences across media platforms. This includes our PatientConnect ads that display on, PatienTarget Connected TV that rolls your brand’s television commercials without skips, and PatienTarget omnichannel advertising across web, video, and podcast platforms. Here’s a breakdown of what else our Brand partnership offers:

  • Customized solutions: Healthgrades takes a consultative approach and works directly with your marketing team or agency to develop a tailored plan aligned with media and branding goals.
  • Superior audience quality: Healthgrades Intelligence uses cutting-edge machine learning to identify the consumers most likely to make an appointment soon. When measured by cost per qualified reach, we consistently outperform other targeting techniques.
  • Reach across the digital ecosystem: On Healthgrades, Brand Solutions’ contextually targeted advertising reaches a more highly qualified audience than programmatic or social media advertising. Off Healthgrades, Brand Solutions efficiently reach curated audience segments wherever they are across the digital ecosystem.
  • Future-proof targeting: Reach the right audience without relying on cookies, ensuring our clients can continue engaging with their target audience in the evolving digital landscape.

Craft a compelling brand your patients want to connect with—chat with us today to get started.

1.  Healthgrades Women’s Health Research, July 2022.
2. Healthgrades Site Study, 2022.