The medical sector today is the one with many opportunities to increase revenue through digital media. Unlike other sectors, the competition is not so strong, but little by little new medical professionals, clinics, or medical centers are being incorporated into the online world.
This means that professionals who have already joined the new technologies and carry out digital marketing for doctors, have an advantage in the race to achieve greater visibility and better search engine positioning, being more difficult for those who lag behind to overcome them.
12 Digital Marketing Tips and Strategies for the Health Sector.
1. Have Your Own Medical Website
The basis of all online projects, we must have our own website where we can publish and give greater importance to our own content, which guarantees us flexibility when making decisions about what we want to do to improve our online reputation and to attract new patients to our query.
We cannot have this independence and flexibility if we depend on specialized portals, media, reviews on other web pages or Google, etc. The website is what we call Medical Marketing, the center of the digital medical ecosystem, that is, where all the marketing actions that we can carry out in the digital environment are directed.
2. Carry Out Digital Marketing Actions for Doctors
Having a website is just the first step. The next step is to make ourselves known. The website is like the place where we have our clinic or consultation, and now we have to make it known so that patients come to it.
The actions of digital marketing, we can distinguish the short – term actions and actions in the medium to long term.
Among the first would be above all (although not only), actions with a direct economic cost, which can be SEM campaigns in Google Adwords or payment campaigns in social networks or specialized media. In other words, we will be able to attract patients by having greater visibility directly where they seek us, but at a direct cost.
These actions are usually profitable and have a positive ROI, since competition is relatively low, although this depends on the specialties. There are specialties such as aesthetic medicine or psychology, whose competence is far superior to others such as otorhinolaryngology, internal medicine, or neurology.
At the same time that the CP actions are being worked on, the medium-long actions must be worked on, which are the ones that will generate recurring income and without direct cost, with SEO, Social Networks, or the generation of Database.
3. Develop Content Aimed at Potential Clients
Once we have the website, we cannot forget about it and leave it abandoned. Among the main points that Google takes into account when positioning a page and giving us visibility, is the continuous action of generating content on our website, either through new content pages or through posts or articles in the blog.
This will generate a series of benefits for us by having the possibility of positioning a greater number of keywords related to our specialty for which they can find us, and also Google will reward us when generating and updating content.
4. Encourage the Opinions and Evaluations of Our Patients
A fundamental issue when a patient decides to visit a doctor or another, are the assessments of other previous patients. As in other businesses such as hospitality or consumer products, users tend to trust the opinions of third parties, since they understand that they are not interested in opinions, such as those that the owner of the website could give.
There are many different sites where patients leave their opinions about our services. They can give their opinion in different forums on the web, in specialized portals.
For a long time, Google has strongly pursued its rating and opinions service to be the benchmark for any business, and also in the health sector. It has a powerful strategy in place for users to continuously value any product, service, or place.
It is essential to take care of the visibility of these evaluations, and for this, we can do many things, such as contacting our satisfied customers to encourage them to carry out some type of evaluation on portals, or through Google. In cases where someone has made a negative assessment, we must always respond, never shut up for an answer.
5. Collaborate with Other Doctors or the Media
A very good strategy is to collaborate with specialized media or with other opinion leaders doctors. This will give us a better reputation and generate greater confidence in us. From a strategic point of view, we can get links to our website from highly rated sites, which will increase the reputation of our website also for Google. It is what digital marketing we call link building.
6. Public and Social Relations.
Something that many doctors do not like to do today is to manage their own Social Networks or do public relations. Thanks to this, the professionals who do decide to do so have much greater visibility.
Learning to manage certain Social Networks, share content and have conversations in them, is something that should not give any fear to medical professionals, since patients and users are especially grateful to the professionals who perform these actions, and are very prone to share the contents since they understand that they come from a reliable source of authority.
7. Follow Up with Your Patients and Loyal Users.
It is not just about finding new patients, a satisfied patient will be our best prescriber without any doubt. Therefore we must take care of them in the real world and in the digital one. Online media offer us many tools to keep in touch with our patients with little effort.
We can carry out actions through Social Networks as we have said, but we can also make mailing lists of our patients (generate a Database) requesting it at the time they are in our consultation. Later we can send them information, remind them of upcoming visits, offer them advice published on the blog, or congratulate them on their birthday, etc.
All these actions can to a large extent be automated and will allow us to maintain continuous contact, and be in the minds of our patients for future visits and for them to be prescribed to us in their environment.
8. Educate and Attract Patients Through Audiovisual Media.
YouTube today is the second largest search engine worldwide, and the first medium in time of content consumption. If we have the capacity to make short videos about our specialty, with advice or giving information about it, YouTube will be a key digital marketing tool for doctors and clinics.
The consumption of audiovisual content has exploded in recent years, and the trend is unstoppable. The retention of content consumed in the video is much higher than the written one, and users prefer to watch a video with the information that we want to offer them, rather than having to read several pages with this information.
Therefore, making small videos without an excessively professional quality, today is easy and is a guarantee of success when it comes to spreading our image online
9. Share Knowledge.
Medical professionals are often wary of sharing their knowledge openly, either with other professionals or especially with patients. Something that medical professionals do not usually like is that patients already come with preconceived information about their ailment, but this is inevitable due to the ease and accessibility that the Internet offers to this information.
If we share our knowledge on the Internet, we will help patients not to “misinform” about their ailments and treatments in other less reliable and less qualified sources and will help us to be the reference for them about their ailment.
10. Participate In Specialized Portals.
We all know some of the portals that have the most visibility on the internet. Having an open profile on these portals, whether free or paid, and participating in the answers to the questions that many of the users ask in them, will give us on the one hand greater visibility, and on the other hand greater reputation and trust in the face of potential clients. This is a job that you have to dedicate time to, but financially it can be very profitable.
11. Put Yourself in the Hands of Professionals.
As medical professionals, we must focus on our activity, and this usually leaves us very little time for research and other work. Digital marketing is a continuously changing discipline just like medicine. When it comes to Digital Marketing for doctors, designing our website, and managing your online reputation, we cannot do it with our eyes closed and what happens or put ourselves in inexperienced hands.
We must trust people who have long experience and knowledge in digital media and in the discipline of health. That is why we always advise taking at least the first steps hand in hand with professionals in the digital world, and little by little try to train ourselves to be able to make decisions, and develop actions ourselves.
12. Take Care of the Tone and the Language Used.
Using a close tone is something that our patients usually require of us, and it is something that they often complain about since many times they do not understand what their doctor has told them. We are used to speaking with our own jargon, and in many cases, we do not know how to use the language of our patients when dealing with medical issues.
In the online world, it is even more important, since we do not have the patient in front of us to realize if they are understanding us or not, and they will not be able to interrupt us to ask.
Each digital medium has its own language, It is not the same to talk in a medical forum with other professionals, to publish information on our website, or to use the different Social Networks, which have their own tone and language depending on the type of user who uses it.
The Final Word!
In summary, we can say that everything is about generating visibility and trust.
It is essential when it comes to attracting patients. When a person has a health problem, they look for someone they trust to help them. Using digital media to generate visibility and trust through published content and articles, showing our curriculum and experience on our website, or sharing advice and knowledge, will be essential to generate trust so that they finally contact us.
Raunak is a Mechanical Engineer by qualification & Marketer by passion. He is the founder of Maiden Stride, a leading digital marketing company that provides world-class search engine marketing services and website & application development.