Small Business Digital Marketing for Healthcare Providers
Digital marketing has completely transformed the healthcare industry, making it easier for practices of every size and specialty to attract new patients. Before booking an appointment with a new doctor, many healthcare consumers read online reviews, visit web pages about their symptoms and ask fellow social media users for referrals.
Now that consumers have access to so much information about their mental and physical health, it’s important for healthcare professionals to establish an online presence. Digital marketing allows healthcare organizations of all sizes to connect with consumers and grow their patient bases.
Whether you own a small practice or handle digital marketing for a large health system, Online Marketing Standard can help.
Types of Healthcare Digital Marketing
Healthcare content marketing is one of the most important aspects of digital marketing for healthcare. According to the Content Marketing Institute, content marketing is a marketing strategy that focuses on creating valuable content and distributing it to people in your target audience. For best results, health organizations need to publish content consistently.
These are some of the most common types of content used in healthcare marketing:
- Blog posts: A blog is a critical component of your digital marketing strategy. Each post can be used to educate audience members, share more about your healthcare services and position your organization as a leader in the healthcare industry. Posts are usually displayed in reverse chronological order so readers see the most recent information first.
- Video: Many people prefer watching videos to reading blog posts or articles. If you want to connect with those people, your healthcare digital marketing strategy needs to include video. For digital healthcare marketing, explainer videos are especially helpful. These videos educate people on a topic related to your practice, such as common symptoms of influenza or lifestyle changes to reduce the risk of heart disease. Many healthcare video marketers also benefit from posting video interviews with staff members or video tours of their facilities.
- Email marketing: Short email messages can help you keep patients engaged between appointments, making them a highly effective aspect of any digital marketing plan. With email marketing, it’s possible to promote your healthcare services, educate readers about common health conditions and remind patients when it’s time to make an appointment for important health screenings.
- Guides: Detailed guides are helpful for educating patients about their health and promoting your healthcare services to a large audience. Guides are much longer than traditional blog posts, but they usually focus on a narrow topic. A cardiology practice implementing digital marketing strategies, for example, might publish a guide titled “Top 10 Tips for Preventing Heart Attacks.”
In digital marketing for healthcare, pay-per-click marketing is one of the most effective ways to promote a private practice or hospital. With PPC marketing, you pay only when someone clicks on one of your ads, making it easier to manage your digital marketing costs. For healthcare marketers, a major benefit of PPC marketing is that it can get a site to the top of the search rankings much faster than traditional search engine optimization, generating quick results.
Search Engine Optimization
When potential patients want information on health-related topics, they use keywords to find what they need. Someone searching for information on breast cancer, for example, might search for “symptoms of breast cancer in men” or “risk factors for breast cancer.” Search engine optimization (SEO) makes a website more visible to the search engines, making it easier for users to find your site when they perform these searches.
When it comes to online healthcare marketing, SEO offers some of the greatest return on investment. Once a prospective patient finds you via a search engine, you have additional opportunities to connect with them via your blog, email messages, videos and other forms of content. You can also encourage them to schedule an appointment or contact your office for more information.
Local SEO is a type of search engine optimization that focuses on increasing visibility to users in a certain geographic area. Some businesses, such as sites selling digital downloads, are global. They can serve customers without regard for where they live and work. Other businesses are highly localized, including medical practices, restaurants, law firms and retail shopping centers. These businesses serve people in a well-defined geographic area, such as the city of Boston or the western Pennsylvania region.
For healthcare business owners, local SEO is essential for connecting with patients in a specific city or state. Google and other search engines take proximity into account when returning results for certain keyword searches, such as “primary care providers in Miami” and “best oncologists in Pasadena.” For best results, websites in the healthcare sector should make it clear that they’re located in a specific city or even a specific neighborhood. Mentions of local landmarks are also helpful, as they make it easier for Google and other search engines to determine if your practice is near the user’s location.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is highly effective because it allows you to connect directly with current and potential patients without spending as much as you would on digital advertising or other digital marketing efforts. This type of marketing involves publishing content on social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
Unlike some forms of traditional marketing, social media campaigns don’t need to go through an intermediary. When you write a new post, it’s shared with your followers, making it easier to build connections that can translate into increased patient volume.
Maintaining an active social media presence has many benefits for healthcare practitioners. The more you post about health-related topics, the more people in your target audience will see you as an expert they can trust. Social media also allows you to gather feedback from audience members, giving you information you can use to make your practice more attractive to prospective patients.
Tracking Marketing Results in the Healthcare Industry
Even if you follow all the current digital marketing trends, many prospective patients still want to call your practice and speak with a human being about their healthcare needs. Online Marketing Standard offers call tracking to all clients, making it easier to determine which healthcare digital marketing strategies are the most effective.
Tracking digital marketing campaigns closely makes it easier to determine where you should focus your efforts. Whether we’re running a paid search marketing campaign, concentrating on lead generation or managing a complete digital marketing campaign, Online Marketing Standard tracks each channel individually and uses data analytics to calculate ROI for every activity.
Grow Your Practice with a Digital Marketing Strategy
Our marketing agency has extensive experience helping healthcare companies attract new patients and position themselves as leaders in the healthcare industry. Whether you need help publishing health-related information on your blog or setting up paid search ads, we have the knowledge needed to maximize your return on investment.
To learn more about how we can help you create an effective digital marketing strategy that brings in new patients while helping you keep your marketing costs in check, contact Online Marketing Standard at (407) 604-0990.