The goal of any business, whether it be a medical practice or otherwise, is to gain profit. To gain profit, aside from other factors, you would need to get customers. In order to get customers, they would need to know about you and what you have to offer.
This part is where many organizations get stumped, especially since traditional sales and marketing strategies are now at worst outdated and at best inefficient when it comes to reaching the new crop of potential customers.
While you may think that your medical practice would not need to dive into this new form of marketing, here are some reasons as to why digital marketing is one aspect of your business that you should not ignore if you want to keep your practice afloat.
A Rising Number of Internet Users
Research has shown that 80% of patients look for health-related matters online. Without a digital presence, this means that you are potentially looking at a maximum of 20% total market share. The rest can figuratively feast on the remaining 80%. Who’s on the losing end of this? You.
This is because your competitors, from large hospitals to small medical practices, have already been using digital marketing. In fact, many of them have been doing so for several years. With that, you should join in the bandwagon as soon as possible, most of the time, the sooner that you get your brand online the better your chances of getting patients.
It is relatively easy to start advertising online. The difficult part is being and staying, relevant. That is why you would also need to invest in SEO, social media specialists, website creation, domain hosting, and other services to make sure that your target audience can easily find you.
Instant Access to Services and You
Imagine the days when ordering pizza using phones was the norm. Unless you are ordering the usual, you would need to have a menu or ask what’s available to the person on the other line. Now, there are pizza delivery sites where you’ll just need to click on what you want, enter your delivery details, and you’ll have hot fresh pizza delivered to your door.
Digital marketing can provide that for you. You can take advantage of technology to use your digital marketing materials such as blog posts or LinkedIn accounts to automatically connect you to your main site where they can set appointments or chat with you if they have questions about your practice.
Of course, never fail to provide other means of communication as well. Include emails and phone numbers in your digital marketing materials. This provides patients with more avenues to contact you, and they can do so using the channel that they prefer. Still, a link to a portal that allows them to do just that will be very convenient for them as well.
It Helps Build Credibility
Anyone can advertise online, but building a reputation and being credible can give you an edge. Due to the static nature of traditional marketing materials, digital marketing allows you to update information that can be useful to your audience. It will also show genuine care and provide more value for you in their eyes.
An analogy of this is newsletters that are sent by mail to existing to potential patients. Digital marketing, however, expands your reach tremendously. You can create a blog and provide tips on self-care, or you can start an email newsletter and send articles about relevant health issues as well as promotions.
Constantly updating your content, even in the form of Facebook or Instagram feeds, will make you stand out when compared to your competitors that rely on static websites that don’t change month in and month out. By providing up-to-date information, you will be able to increase value and interest in your practice.
It Is Cheaper Than Traditional Marketing
Not only is digital marketing better for the environment, but it is also less expensive than traditional marketing materials. It also has the bonus of reaching a much wider market than other alternatives. Facebook boosts, website hosting, and domains can be purchased for literally a few dollars, and it has the potential to reach thousands in days.
Compare that figure to printing out thousands of brochures that will just get thrown away, or hiring someone to do marketing calls and who may not even know a thing about your practice. You can even buy TV time for a commercial on your local channel.
Using traditional marketing methods, how many people will you reach? How much will you spend? Will the numbers be worth it? More often than not, the answer is no.
Of course, this is not saying that digital marketing costs are immaterial. If you want to establish your digital footprint online and if you want to be among the top-ranked results in search engines whenever targeted keywords are queried, then you would have to invest hundreds or even thousands of dollars for SEO and brand marketing. The upsides, however, are well worth it.
It Has Diverse Channels
There are 2.6 billion users of Facebook. Twitter has 330 million users, while Instagram has over a billion users. LinkedIn has over 600 million users. Additionally, some other sites and groups allow you to connect with literally millions of users, and some of them are focused primarily on the health care industry.
With proper SEO practices, you can have access to over one billion users who search about health-related topics each and every day. Obviously, this is a massive market that you would be missing out on if you rely only on calls, pamphlets, or commercials.
The Internet is an amazing gateway to promote your practice, and there is no shortage of people that can potentially become your patient. The challenge is to make them be aware of you, as well as to make them want to avail of your services. With proper digital marketing strategies, that can happen and it will spell success for your business for the long term.