How is healthcare marketing changing?
From online medical consultation to the estimation of human cognition through artificial intelligence, technology in this digital age is continuously advancing. With that, patient needs and expectations are changing.
“75% of the UK population search the web for health information” – Nuffield Trust
The healthcare industry is a fast-evolving one. That’s why it’s so important to keep the healthcare industry at the forefront of change by honing in on digital marketing strategies. So how can healthcare embrace a more digital direction? By making use of powerful digital channels such as email marketing, search engine optimisation (SEO), pay per click (PPC) and social media.
Email marketing is a powerful digital channel that allows you to connect with all demographics. Whether you are trying to get a message across to patients, the healthcare community, sales professionals or any other healthcare professionals, email marketing remains a reliable tool.
Given that the average person in the UK spends more than a day a week online, it is now much easier to get important information across to them such as:
- Automated appointment reminders
- Health advisories
- Selling to healthcare providers
Not only is it an easy way to communicate with your customers but it is also fast and cost-effective. You don’t need to worry about paying for print, postage, ad space or any of the normal costs associated with traditional marketing efforts. Furthermore, it is highly targeted allowing you to choose who sees it and measurable as you can see the open rates.
Search engine optimisation is the process of helping a website get higher up on the search engine results pages (SERPs) which in turn boosts the traffic through to the site.
With so much of the population using the internet to search for health information and self-diagnosis, it is vital as a healthcare organisation to make sure that people are able to find what they need, thereby improving the patient experience.
As a GP or a hospital, getting your content in front of people who are actively searching for health related issues will help drive more patients to your healthcare website. On the other hand, if you aren’t producing any content or the content isn’t relevant to their search queries, they will not find you and possibly find someone else.
Social media marketing
The use of social platforms such as, Facebook, Instagram, video marketing platforms such as Youtube, Twitter and so on has resulted in social media becoming this generation’s ‘word of mouth’. With around 45 million people using social media in the UK and 3.484 billion in the world, it has become clear that we need to engage patients, providers and the public with relevant and timely information.
According to Deloitte’s 2018 global healthcare outlook, more and more healthcare providers are boosting their presence on social media. It begs the question, how can you reap the benefits of the growth and influence of social media?
The truth is, there are various paths you can take depending on your healthcare digital marketing strategy:
- Take the education stance – spread awareness of health issues, importance of health check-ups, prevention and treatment etc.
- Become the inspiration – share patient success stories to help other sufferers feel like part of a community.
- Use hashtags tastefully – research what’s trending and gets the most views to help your content get seen.
- Manage your reputation – most patients are starting to use reviews before selecting their GP, so it’s important to handle reviews with care ensuring that you show empathy to those who have not had a good experience at your practice.
Pay per click advertising is a form of online advertising where your ads show up in the SERPs above the organic results and you only pay when someone clicks on it.
This allows you to show ads on websites, search engines and content networks to people while they are searching for keywords relating to your healthcare business. It is considered one of the most cost-effective ways to get your products/services in front of consumers at the exact moment that they are searching for information relating to your target market.
If your healthcare organisation only provides care in a certain area, you can use geo-targeting to only show your ads to people in very specific areas, which in turn lowers your costs.
Additionally, whilst you’re working on building your organic rankings as part of your overall healthcare advertising strategy, PPC is helpful to get you showing up above all other organic results. This makes it a powerful digital tool for getting traffic to your site with immediate results.
Healthcare is a very complex topic to talk about. However, using digital media to break it down in a way that people can understand will build trust between patients/potential patients and healthcare professionals.
The industry has moved from being hesitant to adopt digital strategies to quickly adapting to the changes. Of course, it still works best when traditional marketing and digital marketing strategies are working together to give you the best results. So, feel free to get in touch with our marketing agency if you’d like to learn more about how we can help you with your healthcare digital marketing strategy.