Recent developments in digital technology have changed the way physicians and other healthcare providers communicate with their patients, as well as reach out to new patients for education, and to answer questions they may have before they make an appointment. As part of these changes, digital marketing for healthcare providers is becoming the best way to invite people to find out about your medical practice and make an appointment as a new patient. Most healthcare providers get new patients through referrals from other healthcare providers. This is especially true for healthcare specialists. However, if you are trying to grow your healthcare practice, looking for new patients, or opening a new office, the best way to spread the word is through digital marketing.
What is Digital Marketing for Healthcare Providers?
is more affordable than traditional marketing and advertising. In essence, it is establishing a presence online through digital means – website, content, SEO – and reaching out to people who need your services to invite them to visit your website or contact you in another way.
Why is Digital Marketing Important?
The main reason that digital marketing is important for healthcare professionals to pay attention to is that people are looking for answers to their healthcare questions online. A 2021 survey for the American Hospital Association, showed that:
68% of respondents went online to search for information on a healthcare provider.
In 2020, conversions on Google My Business increased by 25%.
38.9% consider ratings and reviews when choosing a healthcare location online.
57% said that online appointment scheduling is important.
50.8% of respondents said they selected a doctor or facility based on reviews.
46.7% of respondents aged 27 – 34 used Google to find ratings and reviews.
Since the COVID-19 outbreak, 33.7% consider virtual visits or telemedicine options when choosing a healthcare facility or doctor.
58% say virtual care options are important when choosing a primary care doctor.
All of these survey responses point to the fact that people are using the internet to get information about healthcare and healthcare providers.
What are the Benefits of Digital Marketing?
Traditional marketing such as print ads, or TV and radio ads, don’t provide you with any way to find out how successful they are at driving new business. Digital marketing gives you the ability to track your marketing and find out where website visitors are coming from and where they go when they visit your website. This allows you to spend your marketing budget where you have the most success. Other benefits include:
1. Receiving Feedback
Receiving feedback from patients is helpful in two ways. The first is that you can see how patients view you and your facility, giving you the opportunity to make improvements that patients ask for.
The second reason is that reviews and ratings are a prominent way that new patients select doctors and other healthcare providers. The top healthcare review sites are:
2. Establishes and Builds Trust
Having an easy-to-navigate website with helpful healthcare information in your field gives new patients a reason to trust you as a healthcare provider. When patients trust their healthcare provider, it is easier to have conversations about their health.
3. Improves Patient Experience
Customer service is important in any field, but in healthcare, it is a key factor in building a positive relationship with your patient. Anything that can improve the experience is a plus. Patients who are used to researching on the internet like the easy access they get to their healthcare provider. The internet makes communication much easier because doctors can check messages throughout the day or after their office hours are over. You don’t have to get your doctor on the phone.
4. Increases Patient Retention
Digital marketing can keep your doctor-patient relationship active. This is true for internal VPN or engaging your patients on social media. With these communication channels, you can keep patients updated, remind them of future appointments, and let them know of new treatments they might be interested in. You can also use these channels as a way to message patients and vice versa, as long as you comply with HIPAA requirements.
5. Targets Specific Patient Groups
Digital marketing for healthcare providers is also good for sending appropriate information to segments or subgroups of patients. You can set up these segments by any criteria you choose, and then use them for sending treatment-specific or disease-specific information. These kinds of communications are required to be private according to HIPAA, but they’re easy to set up within a VPN.
6. Reduce Cost Per Patient Acquisition (CPA)
Marketing to patients through digital channels is much more cost-effective than traditional print media or television advertising. You can also reach out to a larger number of people, who become qualified when they visit your website because they are already interested in finding a primary doctor or a specialist in your field. When someone reaches your website through a search engine, they have chosen to click on the link because it meets a need. Then, if they call or contact you through your website, they have further qualified themselves as someone interested in information or an appointment. All of this happens before you ever talk to them.
7. Grow Your Practice Better Than Competitors
Being a healthcare provider is a business, one that provides a service and employs a lot of people. To keep consistent earnings to support your practice, you need to continually add new patients, because some patients leave for various reasons – moving away, no longer having children, no longer needing treatment. If you can consistently add new patients through digital marketing, you will have a healthier practice, and you might beat the competition. You’ll also have the income to upgrade your technology inside your office, staying updated and offering patients the latest in treatments and communication.