There was a time when medical marketing consisted of billboards, magazine ads, and flyers. These tactics still exist in today’s marketing climate, but they’re no longer your best option for a few reasons.
For one, traditional marketing can be expensive. In some regions, a billboard can cost anywhere from $3,000 to $23,000 for 4 weeks of exposure, according to telecommunications company Grasshopper. Even a direct mailing campaign can cost up to $7,200, according to digital marketing company WebFX.
With traditional medical marketing too expensive for many smaller practices, what are you to do? Medical online marketing is just what the doctor ordered.
Online marketing — also known as digital marketing — has taken the medical marketing world by storm, and for good reason: It’s affordable, accessible, and allows for targeting at every stage of the marketing funnel.
Let’s first break down online marketing.
As the name implies, online marketing is any form of marketing that’s done online. Medical online marketing, like traditional medical marketing, comes in many forms:
Medical online marketing has some key advantages over traditional medical marketing tactics.
Online marketing might have a lower entry cost than traditional marketing, but because of this it’s also competitive. Facebook ad spending alone has increased 62 percent year-on-year as of 2018, according to Econsultancy.
With more people buying ads and investing in online marketing, you’ll need every edge you can get to outpace the competition. Here are five steps to help you gain the lead on your competitors and get the most out of your online medical marketing efforts.
A strong web presence is key to any online medical marketing strategy. Make sure your web presence is up to par by claiming your practice listings on any local business and healthcare directories. If your site is already listed, audit them to ensure accuracy.
You also want to ensure you’re using high-quality photos on your listings. Provide an even better experience by offering one-click booking for appointments.
It’s not enough that you have a website in today’s marketing climate. You need to have an optimized site. This means several things:
Related: 5 pages your medical website needs
Plain and simple, you should be offering online appointment scheduling. It’s convenient for patients, and it can act as a selling point for those torn between two practices. If that’s not enough, nearly half of the people we surveyed in 2016 said they want online appointment scheduling to be offered by the practice they choose.
Online reviews and testimonials can do wonders for your practice. According to BrightLocal, 91 percent of 18 to 34-year-olds trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
To help build your online reputation, ask your patients to review your practice, and share their experiences online. Automating feedback collection will take the burden off your staff, and allow you to quickly review feedback.
Search engines also use reviews to determine rankings, so having a strong online reputation is paramount to success.
Writing quality content and sharing it on your site and social media sites can help your practice in many ways.
For more helpful information on the topic of medical online marketing, check out our webinar “5 ways your practice can outpace the competition.”
Instantly see how you compare to other practices in your local area and specialty.