- One in every 20 searches made on Google is related to medical issues and information.
- 77% of the total medical consumers refer the search engines before making an appointment.
- 83% of the total medical consumers check a hospital’s website before visiting the place.
These stats are self-explanatory about the importance of digital marketing for healthcare industry. This might be tough to digest, but it is true – the majority of the patients tend to search online before selecting an ideal medical care center and hospital.
This pretty much explains why it is necessary for healthcare institutes, hospitals, clinics and pharma companies to maintain their presence online. Let’s have an in-depth look to understand the importance of digital marketing for healthcare industry.
Why Does Healthcare Industry Need to Focus on Digital Marketing?
To connect better with the target consumers, we would say. Let’s have a closer look as to why digital marketing for healthcare industry is important.
Consumers are smart and conduct research
This is probably one of the biggest progressions made in the last decade or so. Most patients and medical consumers now prefer to conduct a thorough research before deciding on any medical choice.
It is not uncommon for patients and their care takers to look for the prescribed medicine online before purchasing it. This practice is making the consumers more and more aware of the medical details.
Do not take it otherwise. This consumer behavior is in no way undermining the authenticity of the doctors. Instead, it is better to put it this way that consumers of today are more involved and like to know the symptoms, the remedies, and drugs. And most part of this research is conducted online. This makes digital marketing imperative for the healthcare sector.
Digital marketing has overtaken traditional marketing
Gone are the days when traditional offline marketing was sufficient for the healthcare industry and its professionals. Hospitals and related sectors have been observing tremendous growth in their operations.
The medical industry is also making use of digital content and marketing strategies in order to make itself visible to the public. Once the organic traffic on your site is taken care of, the healthcare industry becomes more capable of making an impact, both on the local and global scale.
Digital health advertising is not for the young guns only
It is a misconception that only the youth has switched to digital. Come to think of it, the senior citizens are also making use of their mobile phones and tablets to have access to proper healthcare.
61% of the Americans, above 65 years of age are active on the internet. This number was a meager 14% in 2000 and has increased leaps and bounds over the last few years.
Having said that, we should also note that the use of social media has gone up three times since 2010 for the age group of 65 years and older. Thus, if senior citizens are your targeted market, digital health advertising could be the right choice.
Online content does influence the patients’ decisions
Needless to say, online content impacts the overall decision of the patients. Before any medical treatment, they tend to look up their symptoms online and then make a call.
According to the consumers, 41% of the people are influenced by the presence of medical content on social media platforms.
Physicians research as well!
We believe that only consumers and patients resort to the internet to conduct their medical research – this is far from the truth. Physicians around the globe put in a continuous effort to update their information base by researching up newer technologies and inventions online.
This helps in facilitating smoother diagnosis and better treatment. This is the influence of the internet on the physicians. Reading up blogs is a common practice for doctors to be updated with more advanced technologies.
The Emergence of Mobile Health Services
In the 21st century, we are experiencing a gradual shift from the desktop operations to the mobile operations. More and more people are taking up to the idea of accessing the virtual platform on their mobile phones. The medical industry is not an exception too.
The consumers are increasingly moving towards accessing their healthcare services on the move, on the phones, for as much as possible! Here are some facts to demonstrate the use of cell phones in accessing healthcare services.
- 64% of the total number of patients now opt for mhealth services for their benefit.
- The percentage of users having at least one healthcare application installed on their phones has increased over the last few years. In fact, since 2013, this number has actually doubled. At present, 32% of the consumers have a medical app.
- 62% of all smartphone users make use of their phones to research the healthcare industry and its facilities.
- Considering the age group of 18-29 years, 75% of the population resort to their phones for looking up medical information.
- 59% of patients believe mhealth and related facilities can have a serious impact on how consumers conduct their medical research.
How Can Healthcare Industry Make the Most Out of Online Technology?
Online technology is gradually bridging the gap between private practices and hospital services. As long as you can market yourself well on the website, your services are just as good as anyone else’s! Let us see how the online media is making its way into the healthcare world.
As a hospital or clinic, you can now use online contact forms in order to get the patients registered. This form is a simple sheet asking for information like name, address and contact details. This would save your patients from any hassles and would ease up the process.
Call for action statement
It is highly recommended to include call-to-action statements on your healthcare website in order to reach out to your target audience. The use of phone numbers on the footers and contact us pages can also prove to be beneficial.
You can help your patients book an appointment with the doctor without actually asking them to physically visit the place.
Steps To Build the Right Digital Marketing Strategy
Just having a healthcare company website is not a sound enough digital marketing strategy. You would require a lot more in order to connect with the right potential audience.
Here are key ideas to help you get your digital strategy right.
A website that is easy to navigate
Your website serves essentially as the welcome mat to your house. This is the first place that the visitors will come across and typically, this is the influencing factor to help your consumers decide.
The point is, when people visit your website, they are probably looking for answers or solutions to existing medical problems. If you are able to cater to those, you are already set to be a good marketing strategist.
A blog that is informative
Along with your company’s website, it is a good idea to be active on a blog. Having rich content on these blogs can help you draw the right kind of attention from the audience. One of the best practices here is to feature useful information on several health issues.
Besides, you could also include a section with possible questions and answers. You can also include success stories from doctors and patients as a part of this blog.
Staying connected with your potential consumer base is an important aspect of digital marketing. If you are able to send out a weekly or monthly newsletter to your customers, you can keep them informed and updated.
This way they will have easier access to information about their questions and you would be able to solve their queries sooner. You could focus on the current healthcare topics in the newsletter, share success stories, and provide updates about your organization and the likes.
Videos are another great way to reach out your potential customers. And when it comes to the healthcare sector, this becomes all the more important. Since one-third of the total online activity is devoted to watching videos, introducing a video on your website is a useful digital marketing strategy.
Something as simple as your organization’s physician talking about some medical condition could prove to be useful. Visual content goes a long way in striking the right cords with the viewers.
Digital marketing is incomplete without a strong SEO. Being in the medical profession, you should be aiming to increase organic traffic both on your website and your blogs in order to reach out to the right people.
Focusing on some specific keywords for building a strong SEO would the ideal option here. Whatever be the service, you could figure out some keywords and then work on them to build the most relevant and attention-seeking content for your business!
Social media is one of the biggest assets for all digital marketing strategists. When you are looking to promote your healthcare organization, social media is your biggest weapon. You could get your organization active on every social media platform and connect with your audiences.
Be it sharing posts, media, reviews, success stories and similar content, social media is one platform that could help you a lot!
Globalization is bringing about a constant change in the business world. When it comes to the healthcare industry, the change in technological devices and ideas is changing the way physicians practice their trade. The idea is to cater to the online audience, solve their problems with the help of content and reach out to convert them into consumers.
This is perhaps why digital marketing for healthcare industry is important, no matter what! To discuss more on this, and to delve deeper into the implementation of these strategies, consult our digital marketing expert today!