Digital marketing for healthcare providers (HCPs) is no longer a choice, either for clinics or hospitals, as it has become a basic tool for every medical organization to reach its marketing goals. Google has conducted an extensive research to learn more about the patients’ journey in searching for healthcare services under the name of: “The digital journey to wellness“.
The research concluded the presence of three main methods used by patients in order to choose a suitable clinic, hospital or a medical center, patients may use one method of them or more, these methods include:
1- Online Search: In which 52% to 77% of patients are using different online tools.
2- Asking relatives or friends: In which 34% to 49% were found to use that method.
3- Other Marketing Options: That include TV, magazines and others, in which 18% to 32% of patients were found to be using them.
So we can conclude that your digital presence is crucial to your visibility as a choice for healthcare seekers, but how can they reach you effectively?
Your digital healthcare marketing strategy should include the following:
First: Website for your healthcare services
Mayoclinic.org is considered to be one of the best healthcare services in the world, we can learn a lot regarding the process of establishing an effective healthcare website that attracts healthcare seekers.
Among the features that are characterizing Mayo Clinic Website:
- Fast and Easy pages surfing
- Easy to find topics and services
- Clear presentation of clinic’s services
- Professional, yet simple user interface
- Professional presentation of medical staff
- Presenting all clinic’s contacts and locations clearly
- Appointments booking service
- Valuable medical blog that educates healthcare seekers
Second: Search Engine Optimization
Definition: It is the process that makes your website appears throughout the first results on search engines upon healthcare seekers search for healthcare services providers.
This can be achieved through the choice and use of right keywords throughout your website and blog posts.
Third: Medical Content
Creating interesting, easy to understand and valuable medical content for your patients and healthcare seekers is an important aspect throughout your entire healthcare digital marketing process that would help your audience to find your organization. It can also increase your appearance within search engine results, increase your ranking and build trust with your potential clients.
In order to create valuable medical content, you have to:
- Present medical information for your very targeted customers (i.e. Patients you do serve)
- Provide your audience with solutions: You have to address real solutions for your patients problems, not just targeting them to visit your clinic for answering every simple question.
- Choose attractive titles for your posts: The ones that really are important for your audience, interesting titles will lead to better engagement.
- Make it easy for your patients: You have to positive when you are talking about diseases and their treatment options in order to motivate them continuing their treatment and looking forward to a healthy life.
- Talk about your patients and what they have experienced: A physician has to mention his experience to gain the trust of his patients but he also has to mention patients’ experiences themselves and talk much more about them, one can tell successful treatment cases to show patients’ bravery and strong will.
Fourth: Social Media Platforms
Social media platforms are considered to be the most visited websites worldwide, where visitors can engage with each other, share there experiences together, read topics of interest and follow their beloved celebrities or brands.
There are some notes you have to consider upon your decision of establishing your social media presence:
- These websites are designed for humans engagement purposes, not designed as a market.
- You can use them in posting your medical content to your targeted healthcare seekers.
- Try to include interesting topics that would drive your audience to engage with you through asking and answering of questions.
- Use attractive images that are related to your topics.
- The use of videos is currently very important as visitors engage seven more times with videos than any other types of posts.
Fifth: Online Advertising
After you have established your digital existence through search engines and social media platforms, you have to support your online assets with paid online advertising, as the organic reach of Facebook posts – without any paid ads – is nearly reaching zero!
How to maximize your ROI (Return on Investment) through using Facebook ads?
The answer is: “Accurate targeting of your audience”. Accurate targeting decreases ads costs and increases conversions to your website or page. Throughout Facebook, you can target healthcare seekers using: Age, interests, job titles,sex and demographics. After analyzing your audience and extracting its main characteristics (Audience Characters), detailed and accurate targeting will be leading to exceptional results.
Sixth: Continuous Measurement of Results
What can not be measured, can not be improved! There are a lot of free and easy to use tools that can measure the effectiveness of your digital marketing process, they include: Facebook Insights, that is used to analyze your overall Facebook page performance and campaigns effectiveness, Google Trends for detecting your performance within Google search engine and Google Analytics that analyze your website overall performance.