digital marketing for doctors

Online Marketing For Doctors | What’s the Benefit?

online marketing for doctores

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The revolutionary impact of digitalization has been felt across industries, and healthcare is no exception. Consumer behavior, or in this case, patient behavior, is almost unrecognizable from just a few years ago.

Patients depend heavily on the internet to search for and choose their care providers. And doctors need to start taking notice.

As a doctor, digital medical marketing might seem like an additional headache, one you might not feel very enthusiastic about. But online marketing is no longer a luxury in today’s hyper-connected and always-online world. Today, doctors need to don multiple hats – that of a caregiver and an influencer.

Your potential customers no longer rely solely on word-of-mouth recommendations to make healthcare decisions. They are taking their medical needs into their own hands, conducting their research on mobile devices, and judging your medical practice based on your online credibility.

And all this is happening online, every second of every day. Hence, you need to be present where they are to ensure you don’t lose out to the competition.

Importance of Digital Marketing

In the healthcare industry, digital marketing is more commonly known as medical marketing or healthcare marketing. It’s a blanket term encompassing all outreach activities performed by doctors or medical practices to reach new patients and retain current patients through communication and branding.

These activities include traditional marketing methods such as newspapers, TV, radio, and billboards. And of course, digital marketing techniques like SEO, Social Media Marketing, Email Marketing, and Content Marketing.

According to a report, 77% of online health queries originate from search engines. Add to this the time spent on social media apps and the significance of having a quality website, and you have a lot of stuff to master if you want to stand apart from the noise.

As a 2020 survey showed, more than 90% of healthcare organizations utilize digital marketing strategies for their business. With your competitors leaving no stone unturned to reach new customers and grow their brand, you need a digital marketing strategy.

Why Doctors Need Online Marketing

Digital marketing is much more than an indispensable channel to reach your customers. Utilizing the various online marketing strategies we’ll be discussing can reap massive benefits for your medical business.

Medical marketing grows your business and your brand and helps you save costs better utilized in other areas of your practice.

Let’s take a deep dive into the benefits of digital marketing for doctors:

Enhanced Service Awareness

Spreading awareness is a no-brainer when it comes to growing a medical business. With hundreds of clinics, hospitals, and platforms in your vicinity vying for the same patients, your online communication strategy will make you stand out.

People expect all healthcare practices to have their information readily available online. If your potential customers need to struggle to find you online, they’re not going to award you their business.

With more than 90% of people trusting online reviews and word-of-mouth recommendations, digital marketing offers the most lucrative way to be present where your customers are looking for you and increase traffic to all your online channels.

Improved Access to Patients

The core objective of marketing, offline or online, is to reach the people already looking for you in the most effective way possible. What digital marketing does brilliantly allows you to control, to a granular level, the customer segments you want to target.

With platforms like Google and Facebook providing highly-customizable campaign generation tools, you have more control over the exact people you want to reach with your messaging.

Moreover, social media apps and platforms account for almost 2.5 hours of an average person’s daily time online. If your doctors and medical practice management connect with patients with relevant and engaging content, they will become valuable customers.

Reduced Marketing Budget

For all the promise that medical marketing holds, it would be reasonable to assume that it would cost an arm and a leg. Fortunately, that’s not the case. Digital marketing strategies offer a cost-effective way of building awareness and your brand.

With options like Pay-per-click (PPC) advertisements, you have to pay only when a customer clicks on your ads. Compared to costly traditional marketing strategies like print ads and TV ads, you can save a ton of costs that can be redirected to improving patient outcomes, thereby unlocking additional patient retention and brand growth advantages.

You can further maximize your return on investment (ROI) by consulting with a full-service medical marketing agency like Turnkey Mate, leveraging the perks of expert digital marketing services and an online marketing plan that’s tailored to your needs.

Increased Digital Presence

Digital marketing for doctors builds awareness and provides access to more patients cost-effectively, but it also establishes them as thought leaders in the medical community.

This leads to trust among your potential patients, and in atry where people’s health is involved, trust is an invaluable currency.

By publishing relevant content to your target audience and providing them with helpful information, you can gradually build a lasting lead generation channel for your practice.

Different Types of Digital Marketing Strategy for your Medical Practice

Knowing that healthcare marketing is essential for your business is one thing, but how do you decide which digital marketing tactics to choose for your overall strategy?

You need a focused strategy built around a few online marketing tactics best proven to generate the maximum value for medical practices.

These tactics cover all the different channels you can use to reach more patients and establish yourself as a reputed brand in the medical community.

Let’s discuss how leveraging digital marketing tactics can help you grow your practice.

Search Engine Optimization

Patients will rarely go past the first page of search results when looking for local physicians, and that’s where you need to appear.

Studies also indicate that people purchase goods or services 78% of the time after a location-based Google search. Local search results account for most new patients coming through your doors.

Search engine optimization (SEO) simply aims to optimize the online presence of your excellent practice based on the online behavior of your potential patients. For example, your Google My Business (GMB) page should be updated and provide comprehensive contact information and details of your services to people.

Your practice should also have a Facebook page and organic backlinks to your website from high-authority websites. Together, both will increase the Domain Authority (DA) of your website and boost your organic ranking on search engines.

Social Media Marketing

Your future patients spend vast amounts of their daily time on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Social media has become the go-to hub for people to find and talk about anything they care deeply about – and that extends to service providers, including physicians and medical practices.

social media marketing

Nurturing engagement with existing and new patients through your social media channels creates a unique stickiness to platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Using consistent, highly-relevant content and paid advertisements in tandem can grow awareness for your brand, reach newer patient segments, and increase your social proof.

Email Marketing

Email is still one of the cheapest and most effective marketing methods for doctors who want to grow their medical practice online. With an exciting and relevant subject line, you stand a decent chance of your email being opened by users.

According to a recent Hubspot report, email marketing has the highest ROI for small businesses.        Emails offer a quick and cost-effective way to communicate informational or promotional messages to your existing and potential patients relatively non-intrusive manner.

According to the same Hubspot report, personalizing your email message is the number one tactic that can improve your click-through rates.

The open email rate for healthcare marketing is 23.4%, more than 5% higher than the average across industries. You’re already in an advantageous position. You just need to nail your email personalization and subject line strategies to perfect your email marketing strategy.

Pay-Per-Click Advertisements

Pay-per-click or PPC advertising is a time-tested method to appear right at the top of Google’s search results, thereby being featured in prime virtual real estate. With the right bidding strategy, you can outcompete others to generate a significant increase in patient appointments.

As the name suggests, you only pay when users click on your ads. Hence, you’re getting your money’s worth, and you can be sure that your marketing campaigns are working. PPC ads are a great way to complement your organic SEO efforts to kickstart your digital marketing efforts.

Content Marketing

Content marketing uses the power of patient-focused content to market both healthcare practices and medical practitioners. It is at the core of inbound marketing and helps establish your routine as an authority in your specialization.

Publishing a blog post or POV on relevant industry trends can skyrocket the reputation of both your physicians and your brand. This can be done on your website, your physicians’ LinkedIn profiles, or their Facebook pages. Social media platforms are used by 94% of businesses for content distribution.

Being the second largest search engine, YouTube has become a valuable part of any content marketing strategy. With video overtaking blogs as the most widely used content format, you simply cannot afford to miss the powerful impact video content can have on your patient acquisition.

Bottom Line

With digital marketing for doctors becoming a necessity, your medical practice not only needs to have a detailed strategy but constantly needs to refine it to succeed and stay relevant.

You can also consider hiring marketing professionals to help manage all your online marketing efforts while you continue to provide excellent services to patients. The right mix of inbound and outbound marketing strategies will supercharge your marketing campaigns to reach potential patients online and build your brand.

Digital Marketing For Doctors | How To Grow Your Medical Practice?

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It won’t be an overstatement to say we’re living in the age of information. The sheer number of sources and channels of communication available to today’s consumers is mind-boggling. This information overload brings it with newer, digital challenges of reaching your target audience.

For doctors, this inevitably translates to mastering the art of digital marketing — to not only ensure they don’t miss out on a highly lucrative marketing channel but also to proactively grow their medical practice.

Relying solely on traditional media like TV, print, and radio is simply not sustainable in today’s healthcare market, especially when your competitors are actively putting themselves out there using every strategy possible. This is not to say traditional media is a thing of the past; far from it.

What is Digital Marketing for Doctors

When it comes to marketing healthcare practices, simply following industry-standard practices may not be the best choice. Medical marketing differs from, say, retail marketing or financial marketing as it deals with sensitive patient data and moreover, aims to capture mindshare around personal health, which patients regard as an expertise-driven business.

Medical marketing is a blanket term for all digital marketing activities undertaken by a healthcare practice to reach new patients and retain existing patients through a combination of communication and branding strategies.

A medical marketing strategy is an indispensable tool for any medical practice aiming to grow itself. Through a combination of inbound and outbound marketing, and leveraging both traditional and modern techniques, medical practices can chalk out a digital marketing strategy that’s unique to their practice.

Why Do Doctors Need Digital Marketing?

As a physician, you might be forgiven to assume that physician referrals and word-of-mouth is enough to generate new leads for your practice. But, as the data stands today, these strategies need to be supplemented with modern digital outreach strategies.

According to a 2020 survey of over 270 healthcare organizations, more than 90% use a variety of digital marketing techniques. And over 65% of them have a CRM system in place. Healthcare marketers are increasingly showing confidence in their website, social media, and SEO efforts. They’re also leveraging Facebook and Google advertising to increase awareness for their medical practices.

77% of online health searches start from search engines. People are dependent on Google search results for discovering doctors in their vicinity.

Hence, it’s only obvious that you need to meet your potential patients where they are. From website optimization and search engine optimization to a social media strategy and a content marketing plan, digital marketing for doctors needs a comprehensive approach.

A full-service medical marketing agency like Turnkey Mate can help you craft a robust digital marketing strategy perfectly suited for your healthcare practice.

Benefits of Digital Marketing for Your Medical Practice

It sounds well and good that digital marketing is essential. But what are the concrete benefits that can be derived from digital marketing for doctors? Read on:

  1. Target the right audience at the right place: What digital marketing does better than any other type of marketing is customization. With the help of platforms like Google and Facebook, you can tailor your campaigns to granular customer segments and skyrocket your marketing ROI
  2. Improve brand awareness: As a medical practice, your brand is your most important asset. By establishing yourself as an authority in your field and strengthening your online presence, you can organically grow your brand and translate that into leads and sales.
  3. Enhance patient loyalty and retention: Not only do you need to acquire more patients but you also need to retain your existing ones. No matter how impressive your care delivery is, if you’re not leveraging CRM and other online tools to enhance patient experience for your existing patients, they are sure to leave.
  4. Skyrocket your conversion rates: Digital marketing provides a cost-effective way to boost your conversion rates, decreasing your patient acquisition costs. Owing to the highly powerful customization tools at your disposal, you’re no longer wasting precious resources advertising to irrelevant leads.
  5. Measure your ROI: With access to advanced analytics tools and native CRM features, you always have a handle on how effective your marketing campaigns are. You can easily double down on what’s working and rectify what isn’t.

10 Effective Digital Marketing Strategies For Your Practice

The importance of a digital marketing strategy cannot be overstated but how exactly should you go about making one? With literally dozens of strategies available to you and the information overload rearing its head yet again, how do you decide what to choose for your unique medical practice?

We’ve put together a list of 10 simple but effective strategies you can start using today to build the foundation of your medical marketing strategy. And as always, you can reach out to a medical marketing agency to offload the heavy lifting.

1. Utilize Local SEO – The Heart of Digital Marketing

Local SEO refers to optimizing your online presence with the specific aim of ranking high for local search queries i.e. people near your practice looking for doctors online.

Get this — Google searches containing the keywords ‘near me’ or ‘close by’ grew by more than 900% over the past two years. This, more than anything else, shows the tremendous potential of local SEO for growing your business online.

Your medical practice should have a Google My Business (GMB) page showing complete information about the specialties you have and your address & contact information. Plus, your website should have individual landing pages for every specialty you have and every location you’re present at.

2. Optimize your Website Content – Make It Relevant

Your practice website is your number one salesperson, working 24×7 as a spokesperson for your business. You need to ensure that not only does it load fast, it’s also optimized for mobile devices, considering around half of the global web traffic comes from mobile phones.

Your website also needs to provide useful information to patients in an easily navigable manner and should provide an enriching experience to them. Make sure you have content on your website that’s relevant to what your target audience is searching for.

3. Invest in a Social Media Marketing Strategy

People spend, on average, around 2 hours 25 minutes daily on social media apps like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. This presents to you a highly targeted opportunity to market your medical practice yourself to your desired demographic.

Have a look at the graphic below from The Infinite Dial 2021 report:

Based on such analyses, you can easily choose the social platform best suited for your practice and publish relevant, consistent content to generate genuine engagement from potential patients.

4. Use Online Advertising to Generate Leads

Digital advertising represents a powerful tool to reach highly targeted audiences, owing to platforms like Google and Facebook, among others. In fact, advertising on Google and Facebook is the preferred choice by healthcare marketers by far, with 80% and 90% of surveyed practices using the tool respectively.

Using parameters like age, geography, and interests, you can create highly customized ad campaigns and also track their performance using powerful analytics tools provided by Google and Facebook.

Digital advertising also provides a significant advantage over TV and print advertising as you can create interactive forms where users can provide their contact information.

5. Cultivate Patient Reviews – Social Proof Matters

A 2020 report showed that 91% of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Patient reviews on your GMB page can make or break the online reputation of your practice. Potential patients will rarely choose a provider with low review scores.

Hence, it’s essential to cultivate reviews by encouraging your existing patients to leave their genuine comments on your business page. You should also make it a point to reply to their reviews, especially if someone faced a problem.

Automating this exercise using CRM software can greatly enhance the number of reviews you get from patients.

6. Build an Active Content Marketing Plan

Content marketing is at the core of establishing yourself as an authority in your field. If patients regard your physicians and your practice as experts in your particular specialty, they will not only choose you over the competition but spread positive word-of-mouth as well.

Publishing opinions on relevant industry trends can skyrocket the reputation of both your physicians and your medical practice. This can be done on your website, on your physicians’ LinkedIn profiles, or their Facebook pages.

YouTube also presents a unique and interactive thought leadership opportunity for your physicians. Let’s discuss it in-depth in the next section.

7. Use YouTube Marketing for Thought Leadership

Video content is the fastest-growing medium in today’s hyper-interactive internet. Users actually reported they’re 4 times more likely to use YouTube than other platforms to find information about a brand, product, or service. YouTube is famously the world’s second-largest search engine behind Google.

You can leverage this trend to build your YouTube presence by answering patient queries with highly engaging and informative videos. You can also document successful patient treatment journeys with their consent.

Lastly, you can feature your physicians in explainer videos to increase engagement and physician recalls.

8. Use Organic Backlinks to Increase Your Website Authority

When your target audience notices friends and family using a particular brand or vouching for a service provider, it saves them the work of researching for one themselves.

High-authority backlinks can increase your website DA (domain authority) and bump up your SEO ranking. You should generate backlinks from relevant websites that have a high DA themselves.

These can be prominent medical blogs, your practice’s Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn profiles, and relevant medical directories.

You can automatically earn relevant backlinks from other websites if you publish genuinely useful and quality content on your website.

9. Refresh Your Business & Practitioner Listings

Your GMB page is not the only calling card you have online. Platforms like Facebook, Yelp, and many other websites host business information for millions of service providers.

Ensuring that your listings across the web are uniform and up-to-date will benefit your SEO ranking and prompt Google to recommend your practice over the competition.

You should also focus on updating the individual physician listings for your doctors on Google and their Facebook page. Often physician listings are outdated due to their frequent movement between practices.

10. Use CRM to Track Your Marketing Analytics

Measuring the performance of your marketing campaigns is paramount so you can do more of the stuff that works well and re-think that which doesn’t.

Using a reputed CRM software can provide you with real-time dashboards to track your marketing funnel and ad campaigns so you can make data-driven decisions. Google Data Studio is another powerful tool to create visual dashboards. And, it’s free.

Is Digital Marketing for Doctors Enough?

Digital Marketing is undoubtedly a gamechanger for doctors and medical practices looking to supercharge their growth. But it is not the holy grail of marketing.

Medical practices also need to experiment with traditional media like TV, print, and radio and see what works for them. Investing in a physician referral program with a dedicated team should also be part of the overall marketing strategy.

With a combination of digital marketing and traditional marketing, medical practices can unlock scalable growth and deliver better patient outcomes.

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