Digital Marketing Strategies for Health Professionals 繁體中

In this ever-changing landscape of the healthcare industry, patients are using the internet more than ever before to do research on health services, health professionals, and even health conditions. Health professionals want their patients to have access to credible, reliable, and important information, as it relates to their health. However, with this communication channel being open worldwide, local health professionals and hospitals struggle in the competitive atmosphere. Let’s discuss what is most important in the healthcare industry as it relates to digital marketing.

Website

Having a responsive website is at the center-point of all digital marketing initiatives.  The website should be informative, engaging, and resource-rich.  With the population relying heavily on their mobile devices, it is also critical that the website is responsive and mobile-friendly.  From links to articles, biographical information on staff, to online forms, maps to locations, this is just the start for a strong website in the healthcare industry.  Many health professionals, however, are also considered with patient security and HIPPA regulations.  Having a password protected area for patient information should be a consideration, as well as a patient-portal login.

The website can also be used for a communication channel to let patients know about important updates on their health and their community.  Feeding information from social media channels, blogs, and news outlets onto the website creates patient loyalty.  The website should feature videos, images, slideshows and provide a credible location for information. The site should also inspire patients to subscribe to an email newsletter, further engaging and communicating with them about their health and well-being.

A patient’s time is as valuable to them as the health professionals time. Being able to offer relevant information for patients on a website, social media channels,and accessible through mobile devices is important, so patients feel that their needs can be regardless of the time they are in their health professional’s care.

“Live video speaks louder than text. Internet technology now supports online video delivery, with far more available options than YouTube. What’s more, video has a stronger audience appeal (about four to one) than text. Contemporary healthcare marketing can share stories by way of video content and live streaming video on websites, blogs and by way of social media platforms. The advantages include timeliness, immediacy and educational impact.” (http://www.healthcaresuccess.com/blog/advertising/healthcare-marketing-trends-in-2017.html)

Content becomes necessary to develop, curate, or even aggregate.  Having a content marketing strategy is important for your all of your digital and communication channels: website, emails, social media sites, and blogs.  With all of this content, it will also improve your search rankings, which we will discuss next.

Search

According to a Think with Google study, 84% of patients use both online and offline sources for hospital research. Likewise, search drives nearly 3x as many visitors to hospital sites compared to non-search visitors, and 44% of patients who research hospitals on a mobile device scheduled an appointment. “It is impossible to build a successful SEO strategy without the right content. To succeed in today’s developing healthcare industry, companies need to constantly produce new content that not only gets them found but also enables them to capture leads.” (https://blog.hubspot.com/insiders/digital-marketing-in-healthcare)

Think with Google’s ‘The Digital Journey to Wellness: Hospital Selection’

  • Search engines are used by 77% of the patients before booking appointments.
  • Search drives nearly 3 times as many visitors to hospital sites as compared to the number of visitors from other affiliate/referral sites.
  • 44% of patients schedule an appointment who research hospitals on a mobile device.
  • The decision process is empowered by digital content.

Before booking an appointment –

  • 77% of patients use search.
  • 26% used reviews generated by consumers.
  • 50% used health information sites.
  • 54% of the patients used health insurance company sites.
  • 83% used hospital sites.

(http://www.digitalvidya.com/blog/digital-marketing-healthcare-industry/)

Search Engine Marketing

Patients are searching online, so there must be a strategy in place.  And while website page titles, descriptions, and keyword-rich content is important, it’s still a highly competitive space.  With small practices competing with hospitals with healthy budgets, paid search marketing is a valuable way to increase search and social presence.  With a high return on investment, Google AdWords and Facebook Ad programs, deliver the right message to the right audience at the right time, making them highly effective.  Managing a program like this can be done within the office, but it is advised to work with a professional firm that understands how to increase the program’s performance, while maximizing the budget.

Online Reputation Management

Lastly, with patient’s ability to openly comment online, an online reputation management strategy should be considered as well.  Where is the practice or hospital mentioned?  What information do listing services provide?  Is it correct?  And what are people saying about products, services, the staff, the location, the facility online?  Online reviews are of supreme importance when it comes to selecting a health professional and office to visit.  Patients want to feel comfortable in their selection.  

In Conclusion

So whether it’s a hospital, small family practice, dental office, or an allied health professional, such as a chiropractor, massage therapist, or acupuncturist, digital marketing must be at the forefront of the patient/client acquisition conversation.  Once there is a solid foundation for content, it is imperative to be found and maintain a good perception in the community. For those health professional offices that are evaluating their current strategy and looking for ways to maximize their online presence without an enormous cost, we welcome you to a free consultation on what services you may be missing and how we can find solutions for those needs.  Contact us today to set-up a free digital marketing consultation with one of our specialists.

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