Jul. 13, 2018
By Katie Stensberg, Digital Marketing Manager
In the past, healthcare marketers based their entire marketing strategy on fishing with large nets using only traditional tactics such as print, radio, billboards, direct mail and television. Now with the help of digital marketing, we are able to complement this approach by reaching target audiences on a more granular level. Specialty clinics, like your gastrointestinal practice, are now able to be found and provide relevant information at the very moment patients make healthcare decisions.
Studies have revealed that healthcare content is the second most-searched-for service online. Nearly 80% of Internet users, or about 93 million Americans, have searched for a health-related topic online, according to a study by the Pew Internet & American Life Project. Most frequently, people went online to look up information about a specific disease or medical problem (63%) or a particular medical treatment or procedure (47%).
There are many tactics to evaluate when identifying your goals and developing your marketing strategy. Here are seven digital techniques that have worked for our clients:
1. Local search presence
Search engines help Internet users find your clinic’s physical location. Create a free profile on search engines such as Google My Business and Bing. Be sure to complete the profile 100 percent, including photos of the building (inside and out) and the providers.
2. Online review sites
More than three-quarters (77%) of patients use online reviews as their first step in finding a new doctor and 80% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Visit popular physician review sites such as HealthGrades, Vitals and RateMDs to make sure your GI specialists’ information is up-to-date. If a specialist has a low number of review submissions, we recommend encouraging your patients to visit the sites and submit their own review. Handing out reminder cards to patients is a cost-effective tactic to increase reviews.
3. Google search sponsored ads
One in 20 Google searches are health-related and virtually all health needs begin with online research. With Google ads, advertisers are able to bid on ad placements above organic search results. This can be a somewhat complicated process. Before diving into a Google search campaign, do research on the process and best practices.
4. Remarketing and geo-fencing display ads
When users visit your website, we are able to “follow” them as they navigate online. During their navigation, we serve the user specific display ads. Geo-fencing ads, however, are served to online users when they are within a physical distance of your clinic’s and any competing clinic’s locations.
5. Streaming radio
Pandora and Spotify are examples of streaming radio services that allow advertisers to target their audience based on age and location. Unlike traditional radio, streaming radio includes a visual display ad with the audio component. Listeners are able to take immediate action and learn more.
6. Social media
With the increase in users, there has been an increase in businesses wanting their message in social media newsfeeds. To combat this huge wave of activity, it is strongly recommended to sponsor your social media updates. Social media allows advertisers to be granular with their target audience. Layers of targeting include: age, location, household income, education, purchasing behaviors, interests, job types and family roles.
7. Content marketing
An important piece to your digital strategy involves your website’s content and user experience. The majority of patients (83%) visit a hospital website before booking an appointment. Make sure that your website is a positive experience for visitors and is an accurate reflection of the services you offer. This also helps with SEO (search engine optimization).
Remember that digital strategies only work when it is part of a comprehensive, overall marketing strategy. Also keep in mind that digital tactics involve data. Be prepared to look through the performance-related data and make adjustments during the course of the plan.
Website by: Craig Erskine