Did you know that 77% of patients said they used search engines to find their next doctor? And that 75% of those people visited the doctor’s website before calling? So, if you’re not using the power of the internet to reach your next patient then you’re missing out on three-fourths of your potential patient list.
Don’t worry if you’re confused about digital marketing and how to use it for your health care practice. You’re in the right place because we have everything you need to know about how to use digital marketing to grow your practice. So keep reading to learn how you can grow your business by growing your presence online.
What Is Digital Marketing?
In short, digital marketing is an umbrella term that covers any marketing that happens online. Everyone is online today. So, whether your healthcare practice covers geriatrics to pediatrics and alternative medicine to weight loss or eye care your patients are online.
You need to leverage the various digital mediums to reach your audience. This includes ranking in the search engines to posting on social media. It also entails email marketing, video marketing, and paid advertising.
The amazing capabilities of digital marketing include how specifically you can target your ideal audience. When you run an ad spot on TV you’re hoping that your potential clients will see it and respond. However, with digital marketing, you can tailor your campaigns to reach exactly the demographic you serve.
Additionally, digital marketing is much more affordable than traditional advertising. So, regardless of how large or small your private practice is you can afford to jump into the digital marketing game.
Types of Digital Marketing
There are dozens of different types of digital marketing. For healthcare digital marketers, the main six types of marketing include:
- Creating a responsive website based on SEO best practices
- Creating valuable content for your potential patients
- Nail your local SEO strategy
- Staying social on social media
- Email marketing
- Collaborative marketing and guest posts
When your healthcare practice successfully implements these six important aspects of digital marketing you will create a continual flow of new leads and future patients.
Why Digital Marketing Is Important In Healthcare
As we mentioned the number of people online is growing every day. And people are becoming more inclined to turn to their phones for information about their healthcare rather than asking around for advice or referrals.
And more and more people who utilize healthcare services have attended at least two years of college. They want to work with professionals and your website allows you to show that you’re an authority in your field. When you create valuable content that answers your patients’ most pressing questions you can establish that expertise your patients are looking for.
Additionally, many people are busy these days. It can be hard to remember to schedule their annual eye exam or whether or not they’re taking the best supplements for their health. But you can ensure that your practice stays top of mind when you show up consistently in their inboxes and social media feed.
Overall, the cost to implement digital marketing remains very affordable. When you use location-based, data-driven marketing methods you can slash your overall spending on advertising and marketing. This is why more and more medical practices are realizing the benefits of digital marketing and implementing it successfully.
How Is Digital Marketing Used in Healthcare?
Earlier we briefly touched on the different types of digital marketing. But let’s dive into some specifics so you can see just how you can start to use digital marketing in your health care practice.
Healthcare digital marketing has surged with more and more people turning to quick Google searches for their healthcare information. This is why your number one priority should be to create a responsive and professional website that you can rank at the top of the search engines.
In addition, content marketing is more than just blog posts and white papers. You can also create video content, infographics, and podcasts.
People are active and busy, they don’t always have time to read a long blog article. However, they can download your podcasts and listen to them on the go. This is a great way to reach more people through audio content marketing.
Regardless of the medium you use, the key to content marketing is to create valuable content that answers your patient’s most pressing questions. Think of the questions you always seem to answer a hundred times every day. These will be the first topics you cover.
Then take the time to research what topics are already being searched for online every day. When you create content that answers these questions you will start to rank in the search engines. And your website will organically bring you new potential patients day in and day out for free.
As you start to do your keyword research for your content marketing you’ll start to see that you’re competing with large national brands. However, as a small local business, you don’t need to worry about competing with these large companies. You’re only interested in target your local audience.
This is where the power of local search engine optimization comes in. You don’t need to worry about finding patients that live multiple states away from you. You need to target the people that live within a certain geographic range near your practice.
And the best way to do that is to optimize your Google My Business profile. So, if you haven’t claimed your business yet this needs to be the first thing you focus on to improve your local search engine optimization strategy. And if you have claimed your business but didn’t enter much more information other than your name, address, and phone number then you still have a lot of work to do.
Did you know that you can create content for your GMB profile as well as your website? Your posts on your GMB profile don’t need to be any longer than around 200-300 words so take short snippets of the content you created for your blog, vlog, or podcast and repurpose them into short posts here.
Additionally, you can add images to your profile. And you can set up text messaging so that when someone is interested in your services they can message directly from their phones. Did you know that mobile “near me” searches have grown over 500% in recent years?
This is why it’s imperative that your practice shows up each time someone searches for a weight loss clinic or eye care specialist near them.
Too many small business owners have heard the phrase that email marketing is dead. But the truth is that it has only changed. Email marketing still gives business owners the highest ROI when it comes to digital marketing today.
And your health care practice can’t afford to neglect this important aspect of your digital marketing strategy. People might miss your social media posts and they might not have time to download your video or podcast each week. But everyone checks their email multiple times a day.
The key to today’s email marketing success is to remember that the majority are checking their emails on their phones. So keep your emails brief and to the point. Include images and always have a call to action at the end.
These tips are how you can ensure that your email marketing campaigns are in fact not dead. And that you can see the same amazing conversions of successful email marketers.
Social Media Marketing
Never before have business owners had such close and personal access like they do with social media. You can reach your patients right where they are, regardless of where they are or what they’re doing. When the busy soccer mom checks Instagram at her kids’ practice or when the overworked employee mindlessly scrolls Facebook on the train ride home after work, you can reach them right through their phones.
To successfully get your practice in front of your target audience you want to create regular posts that entertain and educate your followers. Don’t constantly post that you’re looking for new patients. Instead, use your social media platforms to provide quick tips about health. And answer short questions about certain health concerns your audience has.
Social media is also a great way to share short videos of you sharing your expertise with your audience. This is a valuable tool to build rapport with your patients and show your authority in your industry. Because social media is so interactive, these platforms give you an amazing opportunity to engage with your audience online.
In addition, with the ability to target specific demographics, locations, and look-a-like audiences your social media advertising can pinpoint exactly who you want to target. And don’t just think about Google Ad Words or Facebook marketing. YouTube marketing offers a plethora of untapped potential along with Instagram and LinkedIn advertising.
Collaborate With Other Medical Professionals
You might wonder why competing medical professionals would like to collaborate with you to find new patients. But the truth is that more and more specialists are also trying to improve their brand online. And they’re willing to work together so you both can grow your digital presence and improve your brand authority.
The key to collaborations is not to talk with your direct competitors. So, as a chiropractor, you won’t pitch a collaboration with other chiropractors. Instead, you want to work with other practitioners with similar patients.
For example, talk with local nutritionists or physical therapists. Get to know various naturopathic doctors in your area or athletic trainers. All of these practitioners will be grateful to expand their reach online as well and will be receptive to working with you.
You can exchange guest blog posts on your websites. Or if one of you has a podcast you can interview the other one. And don’t forget to collaborate on social media as well.
For example, you can have a “resident expert day” on your Facebook feed where a local nutritionist shares dietary tips with your audience. And in return, you can share posts on their Facebook feed sharing your top tips for spine health.
As you can see there are several ways you can work with other local professionals to expand your reach online and grow your patient list.
How Can Healthcare Digital Marketers Maximize Their Strategies?
As you can see there are several ways to grow your business online. But how are you supposed to implement each of these strategies while you’re also running your busy practice?
The key to successfully maximizing these strategies is to work with an expert. You don’t have time to learn the various intricacies of ranking online. And spending all day on Facebook and Instagram isn’t a high ROI activity for you.
However, we’ve also shown that you can’t ignore the importance of digital marketing in today’s digital world. That’s why you should outsource these vital tasks.
And when you work with an expert you know that your digital marketing strategy will be on point and up to date. The key to finding expert digital marketers that can take your marketing strategy to the next level is to work with someone who has experience in healthcare marketing.
When you work with someone who specializes in healthcare digital marketing you can ensure that their strategies will work for your specific practice.
Grow Your Health Care Business With Online Marketing Today
These digital marketing strategies can help you grow your business and increase your reach online. However, knowing the strategies and implementing them can be two very different things.
So, if you find yourself having trouble deciding the best topics to cover on your website. Or you realize that you keep forgetting to post regularly on social media then consider getting help. Your digital marketing campaigns are too important to ignore but they also don’t have to be done by you.
And you can’t afford to hire your teenager to help you with this. You need to work with experts who understand both the digital marketing aspect and the healthcare industry. And that is what we offer our clients every day.
We’ve worked with hundreds of healthcare practitioners just like you. And we can help you grow your business through online marketing today. So, reach out to us to request your free digital marketing strategy session now.