Thousands of new doctors are graduating and entering medical practice every year, and the number of medical organizations keeps increasing. In this competitive landscape, hospitals need to step up and get involved in digital marketing.
Digital marketing has helped businesses in various industries, irrespective of their size, to be a step ahead of their competitors and attract more customers.
The data-driven approach and proven results have made digital marketing a marketing method all brands incorporate into their marketing strategies.
What Is Healthcare Digital Marketing?
Healthcare digital marketing is the marketing strategy healthcare professionals use to reach their patients through online mode. They use various digital media platforms, like social media, search engines, email, etc., and give their audience the information they seek.
According to studies, almost 60-80% of patients use Google to search for hospitals near them. So, to reach these patients, a hospital needs to be active on various online platforms.
Healthcare digital marketing focuses on the growth of a hospital. It aims to create marketing campaigns that ensure a long-term, loyal customer base for the organization.
This, in turn, increases customer lifetime value and generates revenue for the hospitals.
Why Do Hospitals Need Digital Marketing Services?
People choose online mode to look for hospitals mainly because they can get instant answers to their queries and communicate with the concerned personnel without going to the hospital in person.
Apart from this, there are several reasons why healthcare organizations need to invest in digital marketing services. Given below are some of them.
1. Become more accessible to patients
As seen above, people prefer online services because they can communicate with their doctors more efficiently.
It is also convenient for hospitals to provide 24/7 medical assistance to their patients anywhere and anytime.
They can share critical information about a disease, preventive measures, or any service updates with their patients.
2. Most patients search for doctors or hospitals online
Every time someone gets sick and needs to go to the hospital, their first reaction would be to take their smartphone and search “hospital near me.” They believe that they can get answers from Google faster than their neighbors.
This being the case, hospitals can reach their patients far better and quicker when they have an online presence. They don’t have to do much. As long as they have a website and a Google Business Profile, they can easily appear in the search results of patients in their location.
3. Raise awareness about the hospitals
Digital marketing includes all types of marketing services, including SEO, social media, content marketing, email marketing, etc.
The main concept behind using all these services is to make as many people aware of the hospital as possible.
People will seek treatment from a hospital only if they know there is one near their location.
4. Builds authority and reputation for hospitals
Nowadays, most patients look into a hospital’s reputation before deciding to get treated there.
A strong online presence and authority can show patients they are a trustworthy organization. It can also aid in building the reputation of the hospitals.
5. Reduce cost-per-acquisition (CPA)
Investing in digital marketing services can help medical organizations reduce their cost per acquisition fee by a large degree. They don’t have to guess and invest a large amount in television ads or newspapers.
Instead, they can use data-driven strategies to target their audience and create personalized campaigns. This can reduce the marketing campaign’s overall cost and increase the chance of conversions.
Hospitals can also repurpose content from one platform and use it to market on other platforms. For example, they can create a single ad and post it on various platforms like social media, PPC, etc.
6. Make data-driven decisions
Digital marketing allows hospitals to make data-driven decisions based on the data they have collected about their patients. They can analyze how many patients interact with their brand and how they feel about their services.
Hospitals can also analyze the latest trends or updates in medicine and provide the best medical care for their patients.
How to promote a hospital through digital marketing
The scope of digital marketing services is growing rapidly, and there are many healthcare organizations that hire the services of digital marketing agencies to promote their hospitals to the general public.
Here are some strategies that healthcare marketers use to attract their relevant target audience.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO helps healthcare organizations optimize their website so that they can rank higher in search results. It helps hospitals gain more organic traffic and makes them more visible to people who are searching for terms that they wish to rank for.
When a person is searching for something on the Internet, Google shows them pages that are relevant to their queries. And more often than not, people only look at pages that are ranked on the first page of the search results.
SEO may seem like a long process and may consume more time, but it is essential if one wishes to get long-term, organic results for their websites. The SEO process includes
- customer analysis,
- SEO audit, followed by fixing technical errors,
- competitor analysis,
- keyword research,
- site architecture,
- content writing, editing, and optimization
- on-page SEO,
- link building,
- featured snippet optimization,
- conversion rate optimization, and many more.
Researching these areas and creating an SEO strategy based on these data can help hospitals rank higher and get discovered by the right audience at the right time.
Hospitals often create and publish content to inform and educate their audience about their services or updates in medicine and diseases. These contents should be engaging and be able to attract and sustain the reader’s attention.
Most times, the types of content marketing used in healthcare are blogging, video logs, infographics, eBooks, etc. Hospitals publish this content to generate more leads for their website and get more loyal customers for their brand.
Social media marketing
One of the best ways to market a product or service nowadays is through social media. In today’s digital world, most people actively participate in at least one social media platform.
Be it Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, or other social media platforms, they all are very powerful tools to reach the desired target audience and grow the hospital.
Adding social media to their digital marketing strategies can help hospitals be where their audiences are and engage them to get more organic traffic for their websites.
Email has been one of the most effective and popular digital marketing strategies for healthcare organizations. Emails are a more professional method for hospitals to attract, engage, and market their services to their audience.
Hospitals can send regular newsletters on diseases and medicines, provide health tips, and provide updates on their medical services. This can help keep their audience informed and increase the subscriber list for hospitals.
Through this digital marketing strategy, hospitals can collaborate with well-known celebrities to promote their services and make their fan followers become customers of their services.
Hospitals can use influencers of different niches and tap into their audience to gain more exposure. It is one of the effective ways to gain more followers for a brand.
Steps to Create a Digital Marketing Strategy for Hospitals
Before creating any type of marketing strategy to boost their online presence, hospitals should first understand some fundamentals that can help them get the maximum results out of their strategies.
A well-planned digital marketing strategy should be created based on the following steps:
- Level of online presence
- Target audience
- Methods (organic/paid)
- Marketing channels
- Timeline /frequency
- Performance tracking
- Some best practices
Before beginning to create a digital marketing strategy, one should know why they are creating the strategy. The objective or purpose of the marketing strategy will define what results they wish to obtain from it.
For example, the objectives may be brand awareness, lead generation, or even getting more people to subscribe to their newsletters. The marketing strategies differ for each objective.
Level of online presence
Hospitals should first analyze the level of their online presence before planning how to proceed with their strategies. Here are some points to help them analyze their online situation.
- Hospitals should know if they already have a digital presence and, if so, how effective it is.
- They should know how much they currently spend on digital marketing.
- They should note the marketing channels they use currently and if their target audience is active in those channels.
- Finally, they should analyze where they are lacking or going wrong in their digital marketing efforts and how they can rectify them.
Hospitals should be able to identify their target audience and create targeted strategies to gain more conversions and save marketing costs.
Creating personas for potential customers based on the data collected can help greatly with creating personalized marketing strategies.
Below is some information that hospitals can collect to create the ideal buyer persona for their brand.
- Age group
- Social class
- Family status (single/married/parents)
- Job, income
The marketing methods (organic/paid) and the marketing channels play a great part in racing the desired audience and getting the desired results.
When it comes to organic marketing methods, SEO usually plays a part in it. When a website is optimized and it gets ranked in the search results, people will automatically click on it without hospitals having to pay a single penny. Social media also sometimes come into organic marketing.
Paid advertising is usually pay-per-click (PPC) ads where hospitals have to pay for each click they get through these ads. Hospitals can also use other types of paid advertising methods to advertise their services.
After deciding on the marketing methods, the next would be choosing the marketing channels.
If the hospitals are already active in some marketing channels, they should analyze whether their target audience is also present in those channels.
If they are not present, it is time for the hospitals to choose marketing channels that their audience frequents and create strategies that suit those channels.
For hospitals, the prominent digital marketing channels that work are
- SEO services
- Performance Marketing
- Content Marketing
- YouTube Marketing
- Instagram Marketing
- Email marketing, etc.
In digital marketing, one can choose cost-effective methods, but one definitely cannot choose cost-free methods if one wishes to get the outcome they wants to see.
So, hospitals should allocate how much they are willing to spend on digital marketing services. If they don’t wish to do everything themselves and pay every single time, they can hire a digital marketing agency and decide on a package for these services.
After looking into all the above steps, hospitals should also decide how long and how frequently they wish to run their marketing campaigns.
It would help to have a content calendar and schedule for when to start and stop a marketing campaign. It can also be used to decide the frequency of the campaigns.
- There are currently billions of people who use the Internet for their needs, and several industries are moving towards these platforms to establish themselves in their respective industries. In such a landscape, it would end in loss if one does not have a presence on online platforms.
- The number of healthcare organizations that are establishing themselves online is increasing every day, and hospitals should make haste and quickly enter digital growth marketing.
- There are several tools and methods that one can use to engage with their customers, so digital marketing is a must-have for all organizations.
- Choose our growth marketing services to grow your hospital 10x without wasting the budget on unwanted campaigns.
- As a growth marketing agency, we work on any campaign by analyzing the data and making sure you hold a number of retainers and referring patients.
Frequently Asked Questions
Healthcare digital marketing is the marketing strategy healthcare professionals use to reach their patients through online. They use various digital media, like social media, search engines, email, etc., and give their audience the information they seek.
Healthcare digital marketing focuses on the growth of a hospital. It aims to create marketing campaigns that ensure a long-term, loyal customer base for the organization. This, in turn, increases customer lifetime value and generates revenue for the hospitals.
Digital marketing can aid hospitals in making data-driven marketing decisions that are proven to show the desired results.
It gives them access to information they can collect through past strategies and optimize their content to achieve maximum conversions.
Hospitals can also make their audience aware of their organizations and also learn what their patients think about their services.
There are several benefits that hospitals can reap by using digital marketing services. Below are a few of them.
- Become more accessible to patients.
- Most patients search for doctors or hospitals online.
- Raise awareness about the hospitals.
- Build authority and reputation for hospitals.
- Reduce cost-per-acquisition (CPA).
- Make data-driven decisions.