Constant regulatory changes and significant technological advances have made the healthcare industry more competitive than ever. Exceptional service alone can no longer keep you ahead of your competitors; instead, success depends on your ability to position yourself as the go-to provider.
A 2018 survey released by Doctors.com estimated that nearly 80% of adults searched the internet for healthcare information. 63% of those surveyed said they would choose a healthcare provider who had a more compelling online presence. What was even more interesting was that this dependency on digital media wasn’t just a millennial phenomenon – 76% of respondents over the age of 60 said they have conducted a healthcare-related search online in the past year.1
In a world dominated by technology, it’s natural for people to use search engines to learn more about their health. And as consumers continue to become increasingly connected, we can expect patient journeys not simply to begin online but to evolve online.
The writing on the wall has never been more evident. If people are searching online for information about your industry and services, it is imperative not simply to be present where they are, but actively visible. While personal contact is at the core of effective patient care, only by utilizing online platforms can you engage your existing patients and attract new ones.
If you’ve been holding off from investing into digital marketing, here are a few great reasons to reconsider your digital marketing budget.
1. Makes Your Practice Stand Out on SERP (Search Engine Results Page)
It is estimated that there are over 70,000 Google searches each second 2. That’s almost 227 million an hour and about 5.4 billion Google searches per day. According to Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, 72% of U.S. Internet users search for health-related information online, and 77% begin their search with the search engine3. Search drives nearly three times more visitors to hospital websites when compared to non-search visitors.4 What’s more, the first page tends to get between 70% to 92% of clicks.5
In less than six months, some of our medical clients have grown their organic traffic by more than 500% by ranking on Google’s first page, a feat enabled by our thoughtful execution and planned Medical SEO strategy.
2. Improves the Patient Experience
Unlike traditional marketing, which is one-sided, digital marketing offers plenty of opportunities for interaction and engagement. Not only does this make it easier for your users to interact directly with your practice, but it also allows you to send out reminders, reach out on important dates, directly address common concern areas through a blog and take surveys to gauge patients’ satisfaction.
Being present on social media networks such as Facebook will also help you interact with your patients, gain insight into their preferences, and create a more robust digital healthcare marketing strategy. This was corroborated by research from PwC–41% of patients said that social media engagement affected their choice of a specific doctor, hospital, or medical facility 6. In addition to enhancing your brand image and online reputation, your digital insights can improve patient experience, increase retention and drive referrals.
3. Decreases the Cost-Per-Patient Acquisition Rate
Many doctors struggle to lower their cost per acquisition. According to a seminal survey of US vein doctors, the most common media channels used–print (68%) and TV (30%)–cost $314 and $348 per patient. Online digital marketing costs a lot less than traditional methods and has the potential to reduce advertising costs by 50% to $149.7
According to another research, healthcare practices can acquire new patients through Google Ads for about $77 on average 8.
One of the primary reasons we’ve been able to reduce the CPA of our clients is because the digital marketing medium empowers us to track data precisely. You can figure out your best-performing campaigns, keywords, and advertising messages, invest in channels with the highest conversion rate, discard ideas that don’t seem to be providing good ROI and so on. None of this would be possible with traditional marketing.
4. Compels You to Become More Targeted
One of the most significant advantages of digital marketing is that it helps you think through your marketing strategy and clarify who exactly you’re targeting. By defining parameters like gender, age, interests, behaviour and demographics, you’d be able to narrow down your target audience and get the maximum out of your budget. You can ensure that your practice shows up for relevant search queries by optimizing campaigns for specific keywords. By publishing content and optimizing listings for local audiences, you can ensure that your practice shows up first among relevant local search queries.
97% of consumers use the web to shop locally 9. Using highly-targeted keywords, you can reach patients looking for specific treatments in your area, an advantage that traditional marketing does not offer.
5. Establishes Your Practice’s Authority
In the US alone, there are nearly 800,000 healthcare companies. Global healthcare spending is projected to exceed $10 trillion by 2024.10 Most likely, your potential customers are among this percentage, and they are trying to find solutions to their problems. With a smart healthcare digital marketing strategy, you can stand out without flouting any healthcare regulations.
By creating well-researched, SEO-optimized content and sharing it on your website, you can position yourself as a medical authority. Moreover, healthcare practices that answer questions on Quora, Twitter, and LinkedIn and provide viable solutions online do more than impress their target audience; they also establish themselves as industry leaders. Staying active on these forums can help you acquire new patients and retain existing ones.
6. Helps Leverage HIPAA Compliant Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Ads and Review Marketing
In addition to being one of the most popular forms of advertising, Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising can help you target audiences based on their intent. You’ll only be charged when someone in your targeted audience clicks the ad. Paid advertising is cost-effective and relatively easy to launch; however, the healthcare sector has specific sensitivities. Your ads could be rejected due to images, content or topic, and it can sometimes take several attempts to publish your ads. Google too errs on the side of caution and prohibits ads related to several health topics such as:
- Physical or mental health conditions, including diseases, chronic illnesses and sexual health
- Health condition-related services or procedures
- Products for treating or managing health conditions, including over-the-counter medications for health conditions and medical devices
- Long or short-term health issues associated with intimate body parts or functions, including genital, bowel or urinary functions
- Invasive medical procedures, including cosmetic surgery, and
- Disabilities, even if the content is targeting the user’s primary caretaker
At Wisevu, our writers and keyword experts are trained in HIPAA compliance and know precisely what to say to avoid having your ads rejected. We also have powerful HIPAA-compliant tools to handle your calls and respond to reviews without revealing any PHI.
Kickstart Your Digital Marketing Journey
Healthcare providers often tend to fear marketing, especially in the context of healthcare regulations. Such fears are often not misplaced. Healthcare marketing, when done wrong can attract penalties and lawsuits. Choosing a digital marketing agency that is certified HIPAA-compliant can help you reap the benefits of healthcare marketing without its drawbacks.
Contact us today for a free no-obligation consultation.GET A QUOTE
- Doctor.com. “Customer Experience Trends in Healthcare 2018.” Doctor.com, 2018, https://cms.doctor.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/patienttrends_report_v1.4.pdf. Accessed 27 10 2021.
- Review 42. “111+ Google Statistics and Facts That Reveal Everything About the Tech Giant.” Review 42, 2021, https://review42.com/resources/google-statistics-and-facts/. Accessed 27 10 2021.
- Duggan, Maeve, and Susannah Fox. “Information Triage.” PEW RESEARCH CENTER, 2013, https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/2013/01/15/information-triage/. Accessed 27 10 2021.
- Think with Google. “The Digital Journey to Wellness: Hospital Selection.” Think with Google, 2012, https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/marketing-strategies/search/the-digital-journey-to-wellness-hospital-selection/. Accessed 27 10 2021.
- Shelton, Kelly. “The Value Of Search Results Rankings.” Forbes, 2017, https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesagencycouncil/2017/10/30/the-value-of-search-results-rankings/. Accessed 27 10 2021.
- PwC. “Social media “likes” healthcare.” FormsBank, 2012, https://www.formsbank.com/template/397002/social-media-likes-healthcare-from-marketing-to-social-business-health-research-institute-april-2012.html. Accessed 27 10 2021.
- VeinLine. “2009 US Vein Practice Marketing Audit: A Profile of ACP Membership Practices’ Marketing Investment and Return during the Recession.” VeinLine, 2009, https://cdn2.hubspot.net/hub/291282/file-219918939-pdf/documents/VeinLine-Article.pdf?submissionGuid=6e2e5352-4366-4e44-9501-504f34e95a11. Accessed 27 10 2021.
- Heerwagen, Austin. “Healthcare Marketing Ad Spend 101 [with Video].” Koda Digital, 2020, https://kodadigital.com/healthcare-marketing-ad-spend-101/. Accessed 27 10 2021.
- “Nearly All Consumers (97%) Now Use Online Media to Shop Locally, According to BIA/Kelsey and ConStat.” Cision PR Newswire, 2010, https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/nearly-all-consumers-97-now-use-online-media-to-shop-locally-according-to-biakelsey-and-constat-87221242.html. Accessed 27 10 2021.
- Advisors, RBSA. “Global healthcare spending expected to reach over $10 trillion by 2024 on account of COVID-19.” Healthcare Radius, 2021, https://www.healthcareradius.in/28852-global-healthcare-spending-expected-to-reach-over-10-trillion-by-2024-on-account-of-covid-19. Accessed 27 10 2021.