This article highlights 8 reasons why digital marketing can be an effective tool to generate awareness and create a source of sales for healthcare practices.
If you’re not embracing digital marketing to its fullest in 2020, you may be missing out on some substantial growth opportunities for your practice.
The proof is in the numbers. 78% of people seek out health-related information by asking questions online (Source: AIHW 2018). According to Google, 1 in 20 Australian searches are health-related (Google, 2018).
Digital marketing has rapidly become a powerful tool for businesses of all sizes. Digital marketing has proved itself to be an absolutely necessary tool for those in the healthcare industry as a means to reach more patients, educate audiences about specific health topics or conditions, and to offer access to health services.
Here are 8 reasons why your healthcare practice should adopt digital marketing:
1. Patients and Professionals Use Digital Tools to Find Health Information
The way patients find health information is evolving. More and more patients are turning to the Internet first for information on treatment options, condition-specific information and to find their local healthcare provider.
But it’s not just patients turning online for health information. Here are some stats that may surprise you:
- 90% of physicians think digital therapeutics could help patients take greater control of their health(Source: Sermo)
- 85% of oncologists use the Internet for clinical news (Source: Cardinal Health).
2. Digital Marketing Enables You to Target Specific Patient Groups
Traditional print and broadcast advertising are mass marketing mediums, able to deliver a marketing message to a wide audience. For mass marketing to work effectively though, you need to keep repeating the same ad with the same design – and that’s costly. You’re paying to advertise to a huge group of people, knowing that your ad is only relevant to some of them. Your practice can’t sustain that kind of marketing cost for such low returns.
Digital marketing enables you to target patients with specific conditions, and even those in specific geographic locations, in a cost-effective manner.
3. Digital Marketing Enables You to Work Smarter
The very nature of digital marketing creates a data feedback loop. Every patient lead generated, or every appointment booking made, provides useful data. The more data you accrue, the smarter you can work, making marketing decisions based on facts and trends gathered from this data. It’s evidence-based marketing.
4. Online Reach is Important
Google search statistics indicate that 1 in 20 Australian searches are health related. Furthermore, 70% of those searches result in one of the results on the first page getting clicked for more information. If you are not using digital marketing techniques such as Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) to ensure you appear in search results, you are clearly losing out on visibility and potential sales.
5. Digital Marketing Will Increase Patient Retention Rates
Patient retention strategies should be a key part of any digital marketing strategy – it is far cheaper and easier to retain a patient than it is to gain a new one. Reducing ‘doctor shopping’, otherwise known as your patient-attrition rate, is one of the most effective ways to improve revenue for any business. Digital marketing offers unbeatable opportunities for patient engagement, which helps build loyalty to your practice.
6. Digital Marketing Improves Patient Experience
Social networking sites are particularly valuable digital channels for generating word-of-mouth referrals from existing patients. These types of digital communities, if managed and nurtured effectively, can become extremely valuable sources of new patients.
7. Digital Marketing Improves Patient Experience
One of the core methodologies of Patient Experience Management (PXM) is the creation of a single patient journey, which begins with digital marketing channels.
Each touchpoint (touchpoint being an interaction) along that patient journey is a chance for your practice to demonstrate to a patient that you offer the very best service.
A prospective patient may be looking online for someone with your skills in their areas. They find your practice, browse your website, like what they see and book an appointment (do you offer online bookings?). They meet you in person and appreciate the care you offer. They might then like your Facebook page or start following your Instagram feed, valuing your informative posts on topics that interest them. Their respect for your expertise increases. Next time they need care, they go straight back to you because they’d never go anywhere else now.
It’s a smooth journey, that reinforces their positive impression of your practice at each touchpoint. Furthermore, the use of simple patient satisfaction surveys will enable you to continuously improve this journey.
8. Digital Marketing Helps You Build Patient Communities
A well-managed Facebook page or Instagram timeline can turn passive patients into active community members. Furthermore, having a branded social community helps to boost brand reach, and raise perceived levels of authority on the internet.
We don’t want you to lose out on market share to your competitors because you haven’t adopted digital marketing strategies. If you are keen to leverage digital marketing and want to do it in the most cost-effective and efficient way, speak to us about our digital marketing strategy service.
We offer a free 30-minute strategy session where we unlock what’s working well and what’s holding you back with your digital marketing. It gives you the evidence you need to make confident choices about marketing your practice effectively. Call us today on 1300 918 842.