Importance of online marketing for the health sector
Staying up to date with online trends can be laborious. This is compounded even further for an industry such as healthcare, another ever-changing industry. Digital marketing can make healthcare services findable and trustworthy online in the face of changing legal restrictions, medical guidelines and consumer behaviour.
However, one this must always remain clear: online marketing does not operate with the ‘one glove fits all’ rule. Online marketing blossoms when it is personalised and individualised for that specific healthcare service or provider.
It is essential for healthcare services to establish expectations and form a trustworthy relationship with patients. Online marketing will help you advertise your promises, run social media campaigns touting your expertise and reach new patients across numerous channels. Online marketing also keeps patients engaged and lets you target local leads using SEO and PPC.
Why is online marketing essential for doctors, hospitals and clinics?
The medical industry has too much going on right now, and in general, to be worried about patients, leads and conversions on social networks and websites. And despite their immense intelligence, healthcare experts are not substitutes for marketing experts.
In modern society, before anyone visits a GP, a hospital or clinic, they will browse their symptoms online and for reference reviews before booking an appointment. Therefore, it is vital for the healthcare industry to employ digital marketers to build a strong, trustworthy and authoritative online presence.
The best marketers will use all social media channels, SEO tools, website management and other special techniques to ensure patients can find your service.
What are the benefits of Digital Marketing for the healthcare industry?
- Audience Reach and Service Awareness: Like any industry, the healthcare industry is uber-competitive. Google reveals that, on average, online visits to a healthcare site leads to around 44% of the visitors making an appointment online or calling in directly. Patients conducting online research before choosing a particular service is not a trend – it is the way the world works now!
Using digital marketing for your healthcare service can help you reach a wider audience and give you an online presence. Remember: your service may be amazing but if nobody can find you, is it worth it?
- Convenience of access for patients: Whilst some healthcare services avoid any form of marketing, digital marketing can help make things more convenient and accessible for patients. For example, if a hospital has a well-designed website with all services, clinicians and wards detailed correctly, this can make patients more trusting of your service. Not only will trust increase, so will the peace of mind for your patient.
- 24/7 Billboard: The internet never turns off … unless someone knocks out your router that is. Joking aside, the internet is a fantastic platform to showcase your service’s offerings. You can highlight health packages on your website and social media platforms, you can leave booking portals open 24/7 and you can sit back and watch the leads come through.
An online presence works as an extension of your brand and, unlike a human, it never gets tired or needs to sleep. You can rest easy knowing that potential patients can find and book with your service no matter the time. Every prospective patient lives in the digital world – it is paramount you have a presence in that world.
- Maintaining Accuracy and informing patients: The healthcare industry can often find it hard to keep patients informed. By employing expert digital marketers, these services can employ email blasts, social media campaigns and copywriting services to keep patients up to date. The landscape is always changing so it is vital for your service to keep promoting accurate information – a veteran marketing agency can swiftly update medical information and advice when it is subjected to amendments.
Furthermore, your social media feed works as a notice board alongside your website. Digital marketers will ensure your site speed is sufficient and keep your social networks up to date with important announcements.
- Build patient loyalty and a referral system: When a patient tells you that the consultation was excellent and that they would recommend you, what is your next step? Ordinarily, you would simply ask for positive word of mouth and hope more patients sign up to your service.
Digital marketers can create pages and spaces for patients to post positive reviews thus creating a referral system. The best online marketers will curate and maintain social spaces for your patients to advertise your service for you. By referring your satisfied patients to a review portal or social media channel, you can employ online marketers to turn successful leads into a successful referral point.
It is also important to remember that reviews inform nearly every decision when it comes to healthcare service choice. Marketers make sure you have a string standing in this area.
- Cost-Effective Information: Can you really believe that when healthcare services wanted to send out important information to their patients, they would do so by letter and post for years? Can you further believe that this is still happening?
Online marketing arms healthcare services with multiple channels to reach your client base for updates. You can contact patients using email lists, blogging on your official website and sending out social media blasts across all channels.
Online marketing is an excellent cost-effect way of sending out information instantly to thousands of people.
- Individualised Marketing Strategy: You may think marketing is just extravagant promotional videos and flashy ads. Well, you would be wrong. Online marketing is always customisable and individualised for the client. Content marketing, which includes copywriting services and social media management, may be the way to go for a specific service. Whilst, PPC (Pay-Per-Click) advertising may be the only way to go for an entirely different service.
Digital Marketing is not a ‘one glove fits all’ industry. This means you need to employ an experienced online marketing agency that can tailor their methods to your goals and target consumer.
- Accurate Tracking: Traditional marketing (i.e. paper ads and billboards) don’t provide clients with the ability to track profits, leads and return of investments. One of the biggest advantages of digital marketing is the ability to track and analyse results. You will no longer be guessing what works and what doesn’t work, you will be able to see exactly what isn’t working. This level of data can then help inform your service as well as maximise your marketing methods.
- SEO Benefits: Ask yourself, how far down Google do you usually scroll? SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) allows healthcare services to pop up at the top of search engine results. With the proliferation of location based searches in modern society, Google estimates that 45% of searches are for local services.
It is paramount that these services employ the help of an online marketing agency with SEO professionals that can optimise your website for search engines.
A refined SEO strategy can optimize your digital efforts around topics your actual audience is typing into search engine result pages.
SEO is essential for drawing traffic to your sites and channels because if it is ignored, no one will be able to find your service online.
- PPC (Pay-Per-Click): PPC advertising enables organisations to pay for targeted ads across geographic locations. For example, a sexual health clinic could invest in Google Ads to target a specific location—such as, sexual health clinic London—to bring patients to the clinic. PPC gives health services immediate visibility on search results which then leads to increased awareness and new leads. PPC ensures that local users are able to find your practice.
Are you ready to grow your service through online marketing?
There are many benefits of online marketing for your healthcare service. It is the best way to reach patients and also the most likely way for your service to be found. The online landscape is loud and hard to wrangle, enlisting the help of online aficionados gives you a trusted route to the top of search results, a 24/7 online portal for potential clients and a persistent space you can use to reassure patients of your standing in the industry.
Grow your service with Digital Aesthetics
88% of people look online for health information. Also, 70% of people report that the health information they find online influences their decisions. As for social media, studies show that 41% of consumers say that content on social media networks has influenced their choice in a hospital or treatment centre. Online marketing keeps you connected to current patients and connects services to new patients efficiently.
For healthcare professionals who want to grow their patient base, expand their search potential or just form a trustworthy online presence, Digital Aesthetics is here for you. We understand that you are always busy and the idea of patient engagement and communication isn’t necessarily high on your list, but it can be on ours!
Contact Digital Aesthetics today and let us give your online presence a face lift.