Most practices in the healthcare industry might think that marketing is a concept that does not apply to their business model. However, this is far from the truth. Every commercial operation requires a strong marketing strategy to stay afloat in every competitive market place. The purpose of marketing in this field is to create awareness and change the way people look at healthcare services. Marketing can help inspire a patient to take action and this can generate a demand for your service.
The 2018 Marketing Survey Report completed by the IAPAM with 132 clinical practices with an average monthly marketing budget of $2,000 to $4,999 revealed which methods they found the most effective for promoting their practice. A whopping 35% of clinics said referrals from existing patients and word of mouth is the most effective marketing method, while social media marketing was preferred by 22% of the participants. However, Facebook alone had 18% of the votes and Instagram took 4%. Groupon also proved to be an effective tool for 13% of the clinics, the remaining TV and In-clinic marketing were identified by 4% of respondents.
Below are the popular digital marketing platforms that are the most successful methods for health care organizations, according to the IAPAM 2018 Marketing Survey.
Popular Digital Marketing Platforms
Google and Bing SEO Marketing
People use search engines to look up everything, whether it is a product they want or a service they require. A clinic’s potential patients are also Google and Bing Users and to get the attention of these users you need SEO marketing. SEO helps generate traffic and offers a high rate of conversion because the people who open your website by looking up SEO keywords are those who actually need your services. A practice can significantly benefit from using keywords targeted at the local audience and attract more patients to their clinic. 50% of the survey participants are highly satisfied with Google SEO results while only 20% said they found Bing SEO effective.
Google and Bing Paid Ads
Paid advertisements on Google and Bing increase the website’s visibility and direct more patients your way. The search engines also produce free real-time analytics that let the advertiser know exactly which type of internet user is clicking on your ad. Google Paid Ads were positively reviewed by 43% of the clinics while 33% of the Bing Paid Ad users were satisfied with their experience.
Facebook is one of the most popular social media platforms which is why businesses spend a lot of their time and effort in creating fresh and new consumable content for their Facebook pages. Facebook is very versatile and allows businesses to post images and videos as well, which are better at grabbing the user’s attention rather than plain text alone. Fans can be engaged with questions, challenges and new information through daily posts. 69% of medical practices in the survey say they are satisfied with their Facebook marketing campaign results.
Facebook Paid Ads
Pages that have established their presence on Facebook and regularly generate quality content can pay to have a higher engagement from existing and new followers. A paid campaign on Facebook does not cost a lot of money and helps your message reach more people, said 55% of survey participants. The posts can be targeted towards the ideal patient demographic and you can specify who you want your ads to reach, based on their location and age-bracket.
Twitter is a great way to engage with an audience from all over the world as testified by 43% of the clinics. The content created on Twitter is condensed and highly relevant to the services offered at your clinic. Informative tweets can result in more engagement from the audience and help you get retweeted, which is basically sharing of content. Twitter provides a built-in analytics tool that helps businesses view their progress and identify their top followers. You can learn more about who can be your potential patient and optimize the posts accordingly to expand your market reach.
Instagram helps clinics establish a connection with their target audience and 86% of the practices are satisfied with its results. Through videos and pictures they can provide the world a sneak preview of their operations. Instagram Stories is also great for posting live updates and behind-the-scenes content. Website links and clinic locations can be shared on the profile to attract more patients. On Instagram it is more profitable to hold competitions and contests to create organic engagement. You can acknowledge loyal followers and repost patient-generated content as well.
Instagram Paid Ads
Since Instagram is a large online community with users from diverse backgrounds there are a lot of potential patients to be converted from there. Instagram advertisements are successful in reeling in patients because they are non-intrusive or overbearing for the targeted user. There is a higher engagement rate on Instagram than any other social media platform which is why spending money on it is justified according to 33% survey participants. The success of each campaign is measured according to the reach, recall and awareness which in turn provides deeper marketing insights.
An invaluable digital marketing tool is LinkedIn that helped 75% of the marketing survey clinics make relevant connections, generate leads and establish business contacts. The audience on LinkedIn is completely different, therefore the approach used on this website is not the same as what you would use on Facebook. LinkedIn is useful for connecting with others in the same field and learning from their experience. It also is useful for building mailing lists and sending periodic newsletters or updates that you are unable to share through social media.
Through Yelp it is easier for small practices to attract new patients because it offers a reflection of what their existing patients think of them. Yelp attracts millions of users each month who are much more comfortable trusting the word of another human being, which is evident in the 73% satisfaction rate. The Yelp page boosts a practice’s online presence and also improves its rankings on search engines allowing prospective patients to easily find its location and contact details.
Yelp Paid Ads
Since Yelp is seen as an online review platform it serves well for a clinic to have a large number of positive reviews next to its name. Patients will not go to a practice that has lower ratings, so to remove this problem you can advertising your clinic on Yelp and appear on top of the search results. 40% of the clinics participating in the survey were satisfied with the results they achieved.
Healthcare organizations are also capable of producing high-quality video content in all types of formats. Whether it is short clips or full-length feature films, YouTube is the place to upload them, say 44% of the clinics. The clinic marketing teams are now utilizing this emerging trend to tell the story behind the practice and introduce its team and successful patient cases.
There are many topics that can be of keen interest to prospective patients and they can be used to make creative videos. Videos on the treatment service being offered can be posted on YouTube with relevant keywords which enables search success on the second biggest search engine they can access.
YouTube Paid Ads
The paid advertisements that run during a YouTube video are operated through Google AdWords. These are not as expensive as they might seem because you only have to pay if a user watches the complete advertisement or clicks on the link. This means that you are only spending money on an audience that is actually interested in your practice and 33% of the practices are satisfied with that.
One trending marketing method for health care organizations is live videos because it gives practices the freedom to experiment and improvise their content. A scripted video does not have that big of an impact on the audience. Taking questions from the audience without prepared answers or screening a major event can help you shed the cold and calculating impression patients have of clinics. Live Videos are used to tell stories and enrich the patients’ knowledge with informative content.
The most powerful form of advertising still remains word of mouth. All that has changed is that now this word is typed on computers and not just spoken in conversations. Social media has made it much easier to share opinions through reviews. Positive reviews on different websites such as Yelp improves the page rankings, because Google’s search engine algorithm takes into account data from a number of websites. It is important to encourage all reviews whether they are good or bad because that shows your clinic is not hiding anything.
Social Media Influencers
The fact is, building a social media presence can be difficult. This is why brands, as well as small businesses, are using social media influencers by tapping into their existing following. If you are looking to grow your brand and business, Social Media Influencers can help to make your business a success on platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.
If you are looking to grow you and your established practice, attend our annual Practice Growth Symposium. This unique program is for those with a growth mindset that want to keep growing! You will experience two phenomenal days with award-winning authors and industry experts as they reveal their strategies for building profitable practices.