Is Your Medical Practice Making the Most of Digital Marketing?
Many industries have successfully employed digital marketing strategies to increase online visibility, improve brand awareness, engage and retain customers, and develop an enviable reputation. Is your medical practice making the most of digital marketing?
Digital Marketing for the Healthcare Industry
Digital technologies and marketing strategies have percolated many industries, including healthcare services. Newer technologies, such as mobile apps, customized websites, and social media, have resulted in a paradigm shift in how patients manage their own health. Digital platforms influence decision-making by offering in-depth analysis and up-to-date information. Patients are increasingly using social media and the internet to obtain health-related information. For physicians, digital channels offer a means to grow their patient base, improve communication, and enhance patient engagement and retention.
A Paradigm Shift in Healthcare Marketing
Perhaps the biggest change brought about by the digital revolution is that physicians can no longer expect patients to blindly accept what they are told. Statistics from Google Think and Pew Internet Research show that more and more people are seeking healthcare-related information online. In fact, it is estimated that one in three adult Americans has searched online for information related to a medical condition. More than 70 percent of Internet users have looked for health information online in the past year. Even more interesting, more than 75 percent of patients seek information online before booking a doctor’s appointment. With patients taking a more active interest in their own health, physicians have no choice but to embrace this seismic shift in healthcare.
Digital Marketing: An Exceptional Opportunity for Medical Practices
Digital channels offer many opportunities to physicians and medical facilities. If you rely solely on traditional marketing strategies, such as word-of-mouth, to keep your practice running, then you’re missing out on an exceptional opportunity. Digital outreach is not only effective, but also economical. It allows you to reach your target audience and market your practice to healthcare consumers who are most likely to benefit from it.
Marketing is not the forte of most physicians, however. Adapting and channeling efforts towards internet and social media marketing is not second nature to most doctors, but with competition reaching unprecedented levels, there is no better time than now to learn the ropes of online marketing.
Medical practices can benefit from the experience of other industries. Online marketing has empowered consumers and patients are more likely to seek care from a physician with a positive online reputation or multiple 5-star scores on a review website than what they hear through word of mouth.
Social Media Marketing: A Must-Do for Medical Practices
Social media marketing is a must-do for medical practices because of its indispensable role in establishing credibility and fostering trust between physicians and patients. Patients are now digital decision makers and physicians need a comprehensive approach to influence these decisions. This can be achieved through a versatile presence on social media, including platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. In addition, physicians should also pay attention to their online reputation on review websites such as Healthgrades, RateMyMD, Yelp, and Vitals. Being active on these sites allows physicians to address any negative patient experiences and demonstrate a caring nature. This helps build lasting relationships with patients. Finally, social media offers a channel of direct communication with patients and an effective way to drive decision making.
If your practice is not making the most of digital marketing yet, you need to think like a marketing professional and develop a better understand of the digital space. This will not only improve your “brand” perception but do wonders for your online reputation. In time, it will translate to a growing number of satisfied patients.