The healthcare industry is more digital than ever before. Take a look at how digital marketing can transform your healthcare business.
Around the turn of the new millennium, connected devices and technology took off in an explosion of advancement not seen since the start of the industrial revolution. With computers getting cheaper, and everything from our cars to our coffee pots getting a wireless connection, it’s more important to have a digital presence, whether we’re talking about a business or an individual. With each passing year, digital marketing becomes more important for healthcare professionals--those who fail to adapt their approach to online marketing will quickly fall behind. This is especially true if you’re trying to promote yourself or your company. The days of print ads and radio spots are behind us, and the days of affiliate marketing, social media, and AdWords are here to stay. One of the industries hit hardest by this shift in advertising venues has been healthcare.
Doctors have been able to rely on word of mouth and analog advertising for the past several decades, but with an ever-increasing abundance of choice, and a growing (if misplaced) national mistrust of the healthcare industry more and more patients are doing extensive research on physicians and clinics before even coming in for a consultation. This means that now, to be competitive and to grow, marketing for healthcare professionals, in particular, has been forced to move into the digital space. If you have the best practice in the world, but no one knows about it because you don’t have a website and a solid social presence, lean times may be on the horizon. In other words, digital marketing is the gateway to running a successful healthcare business.
Fortunately, like most things, there are professionals out there who can help you build (and grow) your online presence, and in turn your business. Companies that operate in this brave new digital world are turning to online marketing professionals, like the experts here at Intact, to help them conquer the new web-focused business landscape. With Intact Info, you get the service and support of industry insiders who understand the importance of online marketing, and how it can help healthcare professionals grow their business through things like…
A fresh, Functional Website
These days, if your healthcare business doesn’t have a website, you better be happy with the customers you have, because it is often extremely difficult to attract new customers without one. In the digital age, your website is essentially a storefront. Healthcare providers in particular have to maintain a very stellar reputation, as well as project a competent professional appearance. In this day and age, a well-designed website is very much a part of that appearance. The tired old joke may be “never go to a doctor whose office plants have died” but “never go to a doctor who you can’t Google” is the 21st-century version. Any business without an online presence is going to be invisible to a large portion of their potential customers, and a business without a website may lose customers brought in by other forms of advertising when those customers can’t look up a website to get more information. Our health is our most valuable asset, and few if any patients are willing to risk theirs with a doctor they can’t look up online.
Search Engine Optimization
Of course, the most beautiful, easy-to-use, and informative website might as well be a billboard hidden away in a cave in the jungle if no one can find it. Healthcare information can often find itself buried deep in the digital world. This is why digital marketing for healthcare professionals is so fundamentally important.
Generally speaking, the first dozen or so results of a google search are most likely to get clicked, and the way to get your website there is through good search engine optimization (SEO). SEO is just the process of making your website look more attractive to Google, Bing, and other big search engines. This involves a lot of technical, back-end stuff that makes it easier for the programs these engines use to index and catalog your website and rank it against others in the same niche. For all practical purposes, you can think of this increasing the likelihood a potential patient will choose your website over a competitor’s. Most people tend to gravitate to their first option when presented with a list of equally appealing choices, so having a website come up nearer to the top of the search ranking list is never a bad thing. Think of it as being number one on your potential customer’s speed dial.
Facebook. Twitter. Instagram. LinkedIn. You may not be on any of them (why not?) but you’ve definitely heard about them. Every day they’re in the news, and every day they become increasingly important to a growing business. If a website is where you get customers, Social Media is where you keep them and build a relationship that can span years, and generations. Facebook and Twitter in particular allow you to reach customers 24/7, in an environment that promotes engagement by its very nature. These social media sites get customers involved and interacting with your brand, which makes them more likely to come back and more likely to help grow your business through word of mouth and referral. It also makes it extremely easy to get the word out about specials, and new services you offer.
All of this falls under the umbrella of "Content Marketing"
This is, in essence, what digital ad agencies do. We provide a measured, calculated approach across all aspects of your online presence, and we do this to help grow your business and improve your relationships with potential and current customers. Social Media, your website, and your blog (you do have a blog to keep people coming back to your website right?) are all key parts of this new business environment that’s been created by the digital age. We are the tip of the spear in the battle against obscurity, and life-preserver to help you stay afloat in the stormy seas of digital advertising. Content that converts website visitors and Facebook followers into paying customers is the order of the day, and a professional digital marketing agency is the best way to get that order filled. With more computers than people, and smartphones not far behind, more and more people are spending more and more time on the internet, and it’s not just funny YouTube clips they’re looking for. The plumber, the landscaper, the dentist, and the doctor all have to be vetted and approved online before they get a foot in the door, so it’s now more important than ever for healthcare providers to offer an online experience that matches their in-office experience. No one wants to put their faith in a doctor they aren’t sure about. With a comprehensive, expertly managed online presence, good healthcare providers can breathe easy knowing their waiting rooms and appointment books will never be empty for long. Digital marketing--for healthcare professionals and all others--is the future of communications.