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Nowadays, patients are becoming more and more digitally aware and empowered consumers. They have access to extensive health-related information and selection of services online.
A recent study reveals that almost half of the internet users search online for symptoms of their ailments and medical conditions even before visiting the doctors or hospitals. They browse the internet and hospital websites to find the suitable healthcare facilities before booking an appointment.
These trends reflect the fact that the digital marketing channels are now overtaking the traditional marketing channels. The various digital marketing channels include social media, digital advertisements and digital sales materials, besides numerous consumer-focussed mobile applications.
This change in consumer behavior and proliferation of multiple digital channels present an unprecedented opportunity for doctors and medical professionals to reach and to retain a much wider section of patients, in two ways: First, they can address the patients’ healthcare concerns directly by providing them with informative and relevant digital content. Secondly, they can connect directly with those who search online for doctor-specific information by building a strong and authoritative online presence.
What are the Challenges?
The main challenge that doctors and clinical practices face today is to gain visibility in a highly competitive market. Therefore, the doctors and medical practitioners should explore the latest marketing techniques to gain patient leads. They need to build a strong brand, maintain a high reputation, both online and offline, and proactively keep in touch with the existing and prospective patient base. Hospitals need to make their websites very engaging by answering the audiences’ queries and resolving their problems.
They need to optimize their websites keeping in view both the aesthetics and the ease of use, while making them SEO friendly. After all, the doctors’ websites are excellent relationship building tools.
The websites should devise better ways to streamline the patients’ appointments and reduce their waiting time. Several mobile-friendly applications are now available for scheduling patients’ appointments and to make the patients’ experience overall a fruitful satisfactory one.
Patients nowadays want to access a single window for resolving the multiplicity of their medical problems. It would be helpful if a single website serves the whole spectrum of medical specialties covering various ailments such as: different types of cancers, cardiac problems, plastic and cosmetic surgeries, dental, chiropractic, and several other forms of treatments.
How Digital Marketing can bring value to a clinical practice?
Digital marketing brings several benefits to doctors and medical professionals. It advertises their services to a wider range of public and helps in better managing their brand image, attracting new customers to their business. Digital marketing also enables the doctors’ clinics to access a host of new tools and techniques to serve the patients and healthcare seekers in a professional and more efficient manner.
The doctors can now get tremendous exposure and reach millions of people through social media and strategic search engine optimization (SEO) techniques in comparison to the traditional advertising methods.
Digital marketing techniques for doctors include email marketing campaigns, keywords-sprinkled blog posts, along with artfully designed and SEO-tuned websites. All these combined with social media campaigns can give tremendous boost with remarkable results to doctors’ digital marketing efforts. Thus, every doctor’s office needs to take advantage of digital marketing in order to obtain sterling returns on their investments.
Top Digital Marketing Tips for Doctors
Digital marketing complements other modes of traditional marketing modes, having strong local focus, such as direct mail-outs and personal referrals.
However, digital marketing need not necessarily be complicated. You can even outsource the entire process to professional marketers, if you do not want to be bothered by any of its hassles. Your prime goal is to build a strong online presence so that the website of your hospital or clinical practice pops up whenever prospective patients search online concerning their medical problems.
Following are some tips for medical professionals venturing into the digital marketing arena:
- Build an Online Brand: Your website is the chief tool of your digital marketing efforts. That is the place where you can share your digital content and direct online traffic seeking clinical advice. It is the place where you can establish a transparent and trustworthy profile of your clinical practice. Get the assistance of a professional web developer to create a great-looking website. Here you can post your blog articles, connect to social media networks, and can easily establish contacts with your existing and prospective customers.
In addition, your website helps you in building your online reputation. You can subscribe to paid, high-profile business listings on search engines like Google for greater exposure.
- The Power of SEO in Digital Content Marketing: Keep in mind the good SEO (Search Engine Optimization) practices, in order to funnel all the related online traffic to your website.
- Social Media Platforms: Many people access Twitter and Facebook to search individual medical practitioners. An effective social media strategy can help you in attracting more patients and can earn you valuable referrals. Online campaigns based on informative web content, along with paid advertisements to specially targeted audience, can further boost your presence in social media circles.
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