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Digital Marketing to Engage New Patients

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Not so long ago, the best ads that caught our attention were those run on radios or giant posters we encounter in our way to the grocery store. Marketers understood that media has a great power to influence buyers and readily used it to implement their marketing campaigns.

However, the whole world is moving toward a digital marketplace and practices are expanding their reach through digital marketing tactics. We spend a lot more time on our laptops than listening to radio stations. And, with the boom of the “last mile delivery” industry, we are more likely to shop online.

I always like to recall the story of Amazon, the giant online retailer. Starting off as an online book retailer in 1993, when most people thought of the Internet as a bubble, Amazon came from afar. In fact, Jeff Bezos went on to warn his early investors that there will be a 70% chance of failure within a few years.

However, in 2017, Amazon’s net sales revenue were $177 billion USD of which $3 billion USD come from online book sales. It soared 46% up from $2.3 billion USD in 2016. On the other hand, Barnes and Noble, a company founded in 1917, and an iconic book retailer, accumulated $3.89 billion USD in revenues in 2017. The profits plummeted 7% from $ 4.16 billion USD in 2016.

Speculations aside, Amazon is progressively establishing itself as the biggest book retailer worldwide. We are increasingly busy, and looking for an easy way to shop. Although there is no data to back my claim, I’m sure that most millennials bought their books on Amazon. (Personally, all the books I bought in 2018 were from Amazon).

This goes without saying that Amazon’s business model is transferrable to other industries. Take healthcare for instance, it’s obvious that most people rely on online reviews and digital ads before choosing a medical practice. This does not mean that healthcare providers should ignore the traditional print ads, especially if a practice is seeing a great response from these types of ads, in a given area.

It’s about leveraging digital tactics in combination with traditional marketing strategies. A medical practice that optimizes its ad campaign would reap far more benefits: it’s a fact; one that is backed by industry statistics.

Let’s check our numbers first!

Numbers Don't Lie

Checking out the numbers and statistics uncovers a telling story: the digital era is evolving pretty fast:

  • 41% of people   responded that social media affects their choice of a medical facility or hospital.

  • Parents are the most likely of all groups to seek medical information on  Facebook (22%) and YouTube (20%).

  • 60% of doctors  believe social media actually improves the care delivered to patients.

  • YouTube traffic to hospital websites has increased 119% year-over-year.

Unfortunately, healthcare professional are struggling to embrace the change, and seem to ignore the great benefits that come with digital marketing.

A great piece of information that appeared in “The real-time event” provides even more proof:

Source: The Realtime Event

Back to my personal experience on the matter, considering myself an average burger-loving, Saturday-Night-Football-devotee Joe, I bought my last two teeth cleaning appointments on Groupon. I didn’t need a radio for that; I just clicked on a promotional Facebook ad with an irresistible price tag (and a promise of a free MRI!).

A Digital Marketing Strategy

Without a well planned, tailor-made, and effective marketing strategy, your practice will not be heard or seen enough to get curious patients in.

To set the basis of a successful digital media strategy, content is key. It’s mandatory to focus on creating engaging and informative content, enhancing search engine optimization and integrating social media presence.

Let’s bear in mind that 41% of people confirm that social media affects their choice of healthcare provider. This gives 41 reasons to hire a community manager that focuses on creating, maintaining and promoting social media channels. Live videos or Youtube and Instagram seem to bring wide viewership and engage more followers to your channels. A live Q&A session with the practice’s head doctor, or a webinar with great advice about some health problems in the community are a great starting point.

Furthermore, an interview with a patient can be the icing to the cale and would make for a successful digital campaign.  It’s the power of “Visual Content Marketing” to increase brand awareness and ultimately boost sales.

Get Social (Media)

Eventually, when people start recognizing your brand, it will be a lot easier to market your services at lower costs. Twitter and Facebook are powerful platforms where healthcare patients are likely to spend a great deal of their time.

You can also take advantage of popular social messaging apps such as WhatsApp and Snapchat as they allow real-time conversations between doctor and patients.

The point here is to transform the experience of going to a healthcare provider form one that reminds pain to an appealing one that celebrates healing. Isn’t that what healthcare is all about?

 

 

 

Pictures: Pixabay, Unsplash

Tags: Healthcare, Digital Marketing

 

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