The word “Digital Marketing” in the healthcare industry may sound a little too outlandish. How exactly can physicians, surgeons, among several medical practitioners utilize digital marketing strategies?
Does it mean patients can chat about oral hygiene tips with their dentists through a public patient portal anytime? Will your heart surgeon share videos of patients that have made a miraculous recovery from open-heart surgery? Does it also mean that a local private clinician can compete with well-established doctors?
It sounds like a 21st-century humblebrag, but the answer to all three questions is Yes. Which means if you want to sell healthcare products online and are yet to hop on this digital marketing bandwagon, you’re falling behind.
Do not worry, we’ve laid out everything you need to know about marketing your healthcare practice below.
Top 10 Digital Marketing Strategies For Healthcare Industry
Here’s a list of 10 most effective digital marketing strategies that can help you attract new patients and keep the old ones in the loop.
1. A Patient-Centric SEO Strategy
The art of Googling has evolved. Patients now want quality, reliable search results online. Here’s how you can develop an evolved patient-centric online experience –
a. Use Helping-intent Keywords
Remember, you’re talking to a patient even if your end goal is to sell healthcare products online. Understand their query, then provide context, catering to all human instincts to establish a relationship between you and your patient.
b. Focus on Voice Search Optimization
According to SEO Expert Brad, 58% of people would rather ask than type when performing “near me” searches. This settles any doubts about why healthcare practices should use voice searches.
c. Write For Humans
We talk a lot about what Google wants, but the goal is to write for humans. Picture your patients. How do they cope with their daily lives? How can you help them live healthier lives or get the medical care they need? Make sure your language reflects their needs.
2. Intent-based Content Marketing
Consider content marketing like long-form messaging.
It is a timely and intent-based creation and distribution of content targeted to influence the end user’s decision-making power. You can utilize content marketing in a variety of ways, such as blogs, videos, infographics, and case studies.
For example, a dentist could write informative blogs about oral hygiene tips, top home remedies, and various other tips & tricks. Blogs are a great way to build trust — no wonder why 58% of healthcare companies use blogs in their digital marketing strategy.
But you’re free to experiment with variety. Just make sure your content provides “value” to your patients and is not merely meant for self-promotion.
3. A Robust Social Media Content Strategy To Drive Conversions
Over 4 billion people use social media worldwide. There isn’t a better place on the web to interact with your consumers other than social media, especially for healthcare workers.
So, if you also sell healthcare products online, these social media strategies will help you keep ahead:
a. Refrain From Promotional Content
No longer do repetitive, salesy content like promotional ads work on social media. Nor do fake stock photo libraries. Your patients want to see you, your team, and behind-the-scenes. Not some AI-generated images that are far from reality.
So, you need to create content that reflects who you are, what you do, and why they should choose you over others.
b. Is Your Content On Schedule?
Content that lacks consistency won’t reach your target audience. As the algorithms evolve to favor consistency over popularity, you need to stick to your schedule real tight. Timely content helps online readers become frequent visitors who then convert into loyal customers.
4. Healthcare Videos – The Ultimate Crowd Magnet
Overall, videos are a great marketing tool in general, but even more important in healthcare. The more visible and transparent you are, the more patients believe in you and will feel inclined to invest in your services.
To tap into the full potential of videos for healthcare digital marketing, here are a few strategies:
a. Be Informative
You need to create educational, informative content that provides clear, concise, and authoritative answers to the public queries.
See how Mayo’s Clinic teaches educational content like the importance of fitness, uses of cosmetics, how to prevent allergies, etc. Do note the non-transactional tone.
b. Check The Tone
Showing behind-the-scenes of an operation procedure can be both informative and sensitive for the common public. So, you must be mindful of the tone of the videos. They must be calm and reassuring like this Miami’s Children Hospital video on heart surgery.
c. Keep It Personalized
One surefire way to utilize personalization is through storytelling.
Here’s how Bupa UK uses the well-known story about the tooth fairy to teach the importance of dental hygiene. By using a narrative storytelling approach, this campaign shows that intimate relationships can be established with children and adults alike.
5. Pay Per Click (PPC) Ads For Quick Results
SEO doesn’t happen overnight. You’ve heard it, right? It takes time and a lot of tweaks to see results in your favor.
This is where you need to appreciate the beauty of Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising.
Pay Per Click, as the name suggests, means you pay for an actual result, a click. If no one clicks your ad, you won’t be charged.
But Pay-per-click marketing involves many complex operations to hit the right target at the right time. Which is why you need to consider a few factors:
a. Patient-friendly Keywords list
Spend time developing your PPC keyword list. Knowing what words and phrases will trigger your ad campaign is crucial. Remember that patients’ search terms are likely to be conversational, rather than clinical jargon.
b. PPC is not a Set-and-forget Campaign
PPC needs constant monitoring and frequent adjustments. The ease of PPC can sometimes lead to a “set and forget” mentality. This doesn’t work very well. So, it is wise to be alert at every stage of a PPC campaign.
6. Focus on Social Proofs To Build Trust
There was a time you could turn heads to uncle Joe or a school friend for a doctor recommendation. Today, people compare healthcare providers based on ratings, reviews, and testimonials.
As someone selling healthcare products online, you can try out these few formats to build an attractive social proof:
Ways to Build Social Proof
- Ratings and reviews on online marketplaces, directories such as Yelp, vital, etc.
- Patient testimonials (blogs, videos, etc.)
- Community Engagement on Reddit, Quora, etc.
- Live streams on social media
- Vlogs (Watch this: A Day in The Life of a Heart Surgeon)
7. A Dollar Spent On Emails Can Get You $44 Back
Did someone say emails are dead?
Atleast, statistics say otherwise. With more than 4 billion users, email is the king of marketing channels. So, are you leveraging the full potential of email marketing? If not, follow these practices:
a. Email Automation
Using automation, you can send welcome emails to every new subscriber and/or set alarms to send annual appointment reminders. Check how Mayo’s Clinic keeps its goals and value proposition consistent with this welcome email.
b. Segmented Customer List
When you build online store, consider segmenting your customers. Segmentation helps you divide your patient contact list into different segments based on their needs and preferences.
For example, if you receive leads interested in healthy eating habits, you can only send them emails related to that niche. Just like this information-rich dieting newsletter.
c. Personalized Messages
How do you address your contacts? Do you use “first names”? Do you use your updated photo in emails? Do you wish your contacts on their birthdays?
These are all email personalization strategies you shouldn’t ignore. Here’s a perfect example of a personalized email by a Chiropractic Center.
8. Local SEO Matters For Your Healthcare Firm
A fancy website experience or email marketing is useless unless complimented by a solid Local SEO strategy. Think about it –
A patient sitting 500 miles away can’t avail your healthcare services, but a local resident can. So, wouldn’t it be wise to apply certain optimization practices to make your website more visible and accessible to your local patients?
Here’s how you can work on your local SEO —
a. Manage Google My Business Profile Listing
Businesses with optimized Google My Business profiles are 70% more likely to attract customers. An optimized Google My Business listing means patients can find your hospital for all your locations whenever they search on Google.
b. Optimize Local Listings too
Your healthcare business will be listed on multiple online directories and websites. They might contain inconsistencies. So, make sure to claim and update these listings.
c. Use Location-specific Keywords
Local SEO also involves using keywords with your city’s name as the suffix throughout the content.
For example, if you are an orthopedic surgeon from San Diego, then an appropriate keyword could be “best knee surgery in San Diego.”
9. Build a Responsive Website Design
A responsive eCommerce platform should be the top priority for the healthcare industry. Doing it wrong may result in recurring expenses.
So, to avoid the hassle, you need a target approach to website design:
Questions to Ask Before Designing The Website
- Is it mobile-friendly?
- How long does it take to load?
- Does the content follow the visual hierarchy?
- Does it have clear, intent-based CTAs (calls to actions)?
- Is the color scheme of the website readable?
These questions will help you wrap your website into a responsive, user-friendly design.
10. Automate Manual Efforts with Digital Solutions
Artificial Intelligence is taking over our lives, and the eCommerce industry is no exception. Here’s how tech solutions can enhance your healthcare eCommerce platform:
a. To Improve Customer Service
You can employ Telehealth, Patient Portals, and Chatbots to enhance patient access to the care, information, and service they need.
b. To Track Calls & Searches
Digital marketing is all about real-time adjustments. You can track call or search sources, such as organic search, ads, social media, affiliate links, referrals, etc., with dynamic tracking solutions.
c. To Evaluate Customer’s Journey
Your Patients Are In The Driver’s Seat – Give Them The Keys!
Back in 200 AD, health practitioners hung woodblocks outside their wagons to let people know that they were open. That is far too primitive.
But no matter how far we’ve moved on, one thing hasn’t changed — Patients still want a high-quality healthcare service that is genuinely caring and produces excellent results.
What’s changed is how patients interact with healthcare information. The more satisfied they are, the stronger your business will grow.
All of 2022 and beyond is going to be about staying top-of-mind with consumers. The question is, are you ready to recognize and act on this change?