With the economy barely crawling, trying to just survive somehow, the businesses are on the verge of crashing. The only hope that is showing a silver lining is online marketing.
Before I get into online marketing I want to ask – “What is marketing for you?” Most people would say marketing is the art of selling products/services to the customers.
Well, this is right, but only to some extent. Marketing is the process of selling your products/services along with understanding your customer and building and sustaining a trustworthy relationship with them. Marketers usually miss put the later part, knowing your customer is equally important in marketing.
You will be able to pitch your products/services better when you know what your customers want and how. Basically it is just being where your customer is, and approaching them to sell your products/services, the way they want it.
And today, your customers are in the digital world, therefore, you need to have a digital presence. People were already living in the virtual world and now, with all the lockdown and pandemic in the country, lives are practically depending on the digital world.
You want to buy groceries – Go Online!
You want to do shopping – Go Online!
You want to buy gadgets – Go Online!
You want to sell products – Go Online!
You want to promote your work/business/services – Go Online!
You want to work from home – Go Online!
You want to connect with your family and friends – Go Online!
I mean, whatever you want to do you go to the digital world. And all the more now because people are locked up in the house, they are scared of stepping out of the house, everyone is preferring to do everything from the safety of their houses.
Now in situations like this or even otherwise, the importance of the virtual or digital world increases even more. If you have an online presence, you exist. If you don’t, you are as good as not being alive, people don’t know you.
The same applies to all professions. As it is earlier also, people were living in the virtual world, but now with Corona creating havoc in the physical world, people have taken refuge in the digital world.
The current scenario seems to be like a film set of some sci-fi movie. Some demon virus has taken over the control of earth and in order to save the lives, humans are running away to a different planet – the digital planet. Seems interesting and to some extent exciting also.
But fiction apart, it is mandatory to have an online presence in the 21st century now more than ever. And especially for the doctors.
I am sure you know the reason why. I mean, I would prefer consulting a doctor online, rather than taking the risk of stepping out of the house and visiting the hospital.
Well, this situation is for now because of the lockdown and people are scared of being infected with the virus, they prefer online consultation.
Now, you might be thinking, that this condition is not going to go forever, things will get back to normal like before. Then what is the point of having an online presence just for a few months, when ultimately people are going to come down to the hospital/clinics?
Well, things will get back to normal but not exactly back to being the way it was pre-corona period. And lockdown or no lockdown, there are several other reasons why doctors need a strong online business.
Don’t blindly trust on what I have to say, read the numbers.
According to the study of doctor.com, 63% of the patient chose a doctor based on his online presence.
67% of the people above the age of 60 years chose a doctor on the strength of his online presence.
90% of the respondents between the age of 18 – 24 agreed that they would trust a doctor recommended by others on social media channels.
19% of the smartphone users have installed at least one health-related app on their phones.
60% of the doctors have agreed that online presence improves the quality of services provided to the patient.
81% of the respondents will check online reviews about a doctor before actually consulting him/her.
The numbers speak it all. And it just does not end here, there is more to it on why doctors need a strong online presence.
According to the study, 9 out of 10 patients want frequent health updates regarding medical conditions. And your online presence can just add to it. You can easily share medical information through, blog posts, online health library, newsletters, patient portals, etc. This will help the patient to stay updated and make a better decision regarding their health.
Having an online presence develops a personal connection, which ultimately builds trust. If you are actively responding to your patients digitally, they will believe in you. You can also ask dor testimonials form your patients. Displaying these feedbacks will help other patients also trust your credibility.
Your online presence makes it easier for the patient to reach out to you immediately and seek advice regarding any medical issue. Most patients also prefer booking online appointments and your online presence makes things convenient for them.
Now that we know, why doctors need a strong online presence, let us understand the
Having an online presence is only the first step. You will have to climb up the ladder step by step to reach the top. Even if you are present online and have no visibility, nobody will know you. Surviving in the digital world is far difficult than in the real world.
But there is a solution to every problem and here comes in the role of digital marketing. With the help of digital marketing tools and strategy, you will not only ve visible but also be able to climb the ladder faster and reach to the top.
Let us have a look at how to promote medical practices through digital marketing strategies?
Getting a professional website designed is the first step to having a strong online presence. The website will be your virtual clinic. Make sure it gives the right impression to the visitors. It is easy to navigate through and at the same time, it is creative and appealing.
Only getting a website designed is not going to solve the problem, if you are not visible on the search engines. You will have to optimize your website to be found on the search engines. Hire a professional SEO company and rant your website on the 1st page of the SERPs.
PPC can be a real advantage to increase your visibility. With the help of pay per click strategy, you can get a spot when people search for health information or medical issues or online doctors etc. When you start appearing in the spots, the chances of getting more visitors to your site increases.
Just like SEO, SMO is equally important. Make sure to have a presence on the important social platforms. If you are active on social media, people are more interested in knowing about your services. You can, of course, hire an SMO expert to handle your accounts.
Email marketing is again another important digital marketing strategy. It can be the best way to inform the patients about your online presence and inform them everything that they need to know about the medical world, health issues, health news, health tips, precautions, etc.
Sharing the feedback and testimonials of your patients is one of the best ways to gain trust and attract new patients. Mostly before going for the actual consultation, people like to see the reviews and then decide whether to contact you or not. Get patient reviews on sites like Practo, GMB, social media channels, our website, everywhere.
As the rule goes for every business, you need to be where your customer is. Your patient is online and therefore, it is mandatory for doctors, medical practitioners and hospitals to be present online as well.
According to a recent study, half of the patients look up the Internet for any medical symptoms and their cure, before actually visiting a doctor. If you have an online presence, they will probably land up booking an appointment with you for further assistance.
This change in consumer behaviour and the opportunities that the multiple digital platforms provide are opening multiple doors for the medical industry. Being online will not only provide you with platforms to address the health problems of your patient quickly but also directly by providing them with various digital content and help.
The competition in the medical field is no less than in any other industry. And to beat this competition you need to be a step ahead by being online. The doctors, hospitals and medical practitioners should make the most of the latest digital marketing techniques and strategies to increase your patient leads.
Digital marketing offers many benefits to doctors and healthcare professionals. It makes their services known to a wider audience and helps to better manage the brand image, by attracting new customers to the business.
Digital marketing also allows the doctors, medical practitioners and hospitals to access a multitude of new tools and techniques to serve patients in a professional and more efficient manner.
Doctors can now benefit from exceptional exposure and reach millions of people through social media, SEO, PPC, Affiliate marketing, Email marketing and other digital techniques, compared to traditional advertising methods that gave fewer results.
Digital marketing techniques for doctors, medical practitioners and hospitals include email marketing campaigns, blogs, articles with keywords, newsletters, creative websites with optimization for the search engines.
All of this, combined with social media campaigns, can give a huge boost to the remarkable results of doctors’ digital marketing efforts. Every medical professional should take advantage of the digital techniques and mark their strong presence in the digital era.
Digital marketing may sound a little odd for the medical industry, however, I am sure by now, you would be convinced that why doctors need a strong online presence.
According to the study, only 4.3% of doctors are taking advantage of digital marketing strategies. This is quite a low number. You may be the best in your field, but it does not make much sense if people don’t know about you. Therefore, having a digital presence in this virtual world is an unavoidable necessity.
Let me quickly share top 10 digital marketing tips for the doctors.
Like I said earlier, the first step to enter into the digital world is to get a website designed. It should be enough appealing and at the same time informative to make the user want to stick to it. The user will decide in less than 0.5 seconds whether he wants to continue with your site or switch to the next one. Therefore, your website should be:
Do not take digital marketing as an extra expenditure. In fact, it is an investment that is going to bring you back higher ROI. Patients are the customers for doctors and digital marketing techniques help you increase this customer base. Build your strategies on proven techniques, with goals and plans to measure the ROI.
With the help of online presence, you will not only be able to get new patients but also retain the older ones, by providing your digital service to them anywhere, anytime.
Video marketing strategy is rapidly growing and people are more interested in watching a video rather than reading long texts. Digital marketing is all about being visible on the search engines. After Google, YouTube is the second largest search engine and therefore, doctors cannot afford to ignore this.
Moreover, videos leave a higher and better impact on the viewer in comparison to texts and posts. You can use this tip by:
Not everyone will believe you if you keep bragging about yourself. The best way to build trust and confidence is to let your patients speak for you. 72% of the online viewer, first checks the reviews of other patients before making an appointment.
Do not hesitate in asking your current patients to leave genuine reviews about you. And make sure to respond to the reviews regularly. If you have any negative review, do not ignore it. Address and resolve the issue immediately.
When anyone is searching for a doctor, medical practitioner or a hospital on Google, 4 to 5 lists of results will be displayed above the organic results. On mobile devices, these are the only search results that the viewer will see without scrolling down. It is important to appear in local directories such as Google Business so that patients can easily find you.
Use the same contact details for your medical practice listed on different platforms to demonstrate that your business is legitimate.
According to the numbers, 41% of healthcare customers say that the content they find on social media has an impact on the choice of treatment centre they will visit. Sharing quality content on social media helps keep your audience engaged and can be a great way to reach large numbers of potential customers.
However, not all social media platforms are created equal. Therefore, take the time and evaluate the best platform for your marketing campaigns.
While videos leave a larger impact, blogging has its own advantages. Regular blogging will help you build your brand as a doctor. Blogging almost serves as a bridge between you and your patients. Regular blogging can help increase the volume of patients. Create content that users want to read and share. Writing blogs does not mean writing anything and everything. You will have to write about your niche that is up to date.
You can also share various patient experiences that you have treated. If you are writing about a serious illness, be sure to write it down in way polite way, so that patients are not afraid or worried after reading it.
According to the study, 66% of people check their emails in the morning. In addition, 90% of adult patients want their doctor to improve the way they communicate with them by email.
Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to market your practice and acquire leads because it is inexpensive, easy to customize, and easy to implement. Encourage your patients to subscribe to your newsletter. Share the latest news from your practice, discounts and important health care information with your subscribers.
Also, let the email messages be consistent and relevant to your practice. In this way, your practice will always be in the minds of your patients.
Tracking your marketing campaigns can help you know if your efforts are paying off. Some of the steps you can take include:
Tracking helps you identify the best performing campaigns and those that need improvement to increase your return on investment.
In addition to implementing the above strategies to achieve your sales goals. The most important marketing tip is to maintain a winning attitude.
Spend enough time and resources to stay one step ahead of your competitors Remember that small marketing activity are worse than nothing. Adopt digital marketing strategies to enhance your medical practice with an attitude to win. Because it is rightly said, you will win the game only if you play with the attitude to win it.
Doctors will do what they have to do, you are ones who will be treating the patients and interacting with them. Digital marketing is not going to replace or take over your work. You are the expert of your field and you will remain, adopting and implementing digital marketing services in your field will only enhance your work, bring in more patients and place you in the virtual world as a brand.
If you are interested in making the most of digital marketing services, do not hesitate to contact me anytime, I will be more than happy to help you.
And before ending this article, I would like to express huge gratitude to the doctors, nurses and the entire medical staff for providing their services in tough times like this. This battle against Covid-19 would have been lost if we did not have brave soldiers like you fighting in the front. No words will be enough to thank all of you for saving humanity.