Smartphones, social media, and other technological advancements have made healthcare digital marketing all the more relevant today. Medical practices and healthcare organizations now find their customers more easily via digital platforms and social media, and generate more business online. There is a boom in digital marketing, with businesses striving to project themselves as the best in their niches. A strong online presence on search engines as well as social media will enable healthcare consumers to find you easily and utilize your services. Posting blogs and articles about good health on social media platforms, and posting good videos on YouTube will bring the targeted audience to you.
According to Manifest’s survey of 501 digital marketers, 64 percent of respondents expect to invest in social media while 55 percent plan to invest in websites. Digital marketers will invest more in digital marketing channels like
- Social media marketing
- email marketing
- mobile apps
- content marketing
Where to Invest
The survey shows that 99% of companies plan to increase their investment in at least one digital marketing channel next year. 42 percent of businesses are spending at least half of their budget on digital marketing and 38 percent are spending quarter to half of their budget on the same. 80 percent of healthcare marketers expect their marketing budget to stay the same or increase for 2019. The following are the three healthcare digital marketing channels that businesses can consider in 2019.
- Social media: Social media is one of the strongest marketing channels for healthcare marketers. According to a survey by Formstack, 30 percent of businesses said social media had been their main marketing channel in 2018 and 24 percent healthcare marketers expect social media to be the channel that would experience most growth in 2019. Around 80 percent of Americans use social media and therefore it is important for healthcare organizations to be visible on these channels. You can organically promote your healthcare business by being active on popular social media platforms. Although it is easy to create a social media account, it is difficult to manage all at once. A good amount of time should be spent on each channel to gain the best results. Make sure that you are active and promote relevant content to attract more potential patients. Investing in videos is also a good idea as it encourages more patient engagement. Video is a strong digital marketing tool for the healthcare industry, especially videos about patient success stories. Hospitals can post short videos on how they save lives or on tips to lead a healthy life. Posting videos will help you get higher in search ranking and better connect with potential patients.
- Healthcare SEO: Both SEO and social media are important for digital marketing in healthcare. Approximately 93 million Americans search for medical related topics online. If you want your organization to be on top of the search results page, then a strong SEO strategy is a must. Location-based searches and voice searches are gaining in popularity. Around 43 million people in the USA own a smart speaker and so you need to optimize for both voice searches and text searches. Using relevant keywords (including location-based keywords), use of natural language, valuable content that answers patient’s questions and focusing on reviews are the key to be SEO optimized.
- Reputation management: Posting positive reviews can improve your marketing efforts including paid, social and SEO. 80 percent of patients now go online and read reviews and rating before going to a physician. Reputation management refers to the practice of attempting to shape up public perception of a person or organization by influencing online information about the entity. Some healthcare marketers ignore reputation management but it is an important element to establish credibility. More than 88 percent of users trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from friends and family. Therefore, reputation management is important and you can also issue patient satisfaction surveys and solicit positive reviews.
The RACE method
An article by Influence Health suggests the RACE method for healthcare marketing. The Race framework helps healthcare marketers to develop a marketing plan that would allow them to manage their marketing activities in a structured manner. RACE stands for:
- Reach: Create awareness of your brand and make it more visible among your target customers
- Act: Encourage engagement from your consumers on your website or social media to develop interest. Work to maintain their attention long enough to persuade them to take the next action on their journey.
- Convert: Compel your audience to take the next step towards becoming a patient of your clinic by scheduling an appointment.
- Engage: Develop a long-term relationship with patients to build retention and brand loyalty as retained patients improve customer lifetime value for a healthcare organization.
Healthcare digital marketing is necessary to captivate patients and build a strong relationship with them. Consistently posting testimonials, social media images, infographics, videos, and blogs could go a long way to establish and maintain your reputation as a reliable provider of healthcare services. To implement a strong digital marketing strategy, you can approach a medical SEO service that can assist in optimizing your website with the best results.