Engaging Patients through Digital Marketing

Engaging Patients through Digital Marketing

A key demographic of the American healthcare system is more in tune with digital trends than your marketing strategy may have anticipated. According to Pew Research Center, 42% of senior citizens, or those over the age of 65 own smartphones. The rate at which seniors are adopting digital technology is unprecedented as the number of seniors that own smartphones has quadrupled in under five years’ time.

The expansion of the digital user demographic is not the only reason you should optimize a marketing strategy that has a strong focus on digital. A 2013 Pew Research Center Report states that “72% of internet users said they looked online for health information within the past year”. Over the past few years, digital advertising revenue across all digital entities (beyond news) has continued to grow, while non-digital advertising is seeing a decline.

 

Below are three key components to digital marketing and tips on tracking the ROI of your digital efforts:

 

Educate Your Target Audience

Digital marketing allows for new methods of education to better reach numerous target audiences. More than eight-in-ten U.S. adults (85%) now get news on a mobile device, while “72% of internet users said they looked online for health information within the past year”. Continuing the expansion of target audiences, about three-quarters of nonwhites (74%) get news on social media sites. Doctors, physicians, and healthcare organizations need to get with the times to increase their online presence and decrease missed opportunity that could have resulted in revenue.

Digital advertising is an opportunity to educate current and future patients on your organization’s values, goals, physicians, staff, services, and industry related news. A digital platform that focuses on engaging your target audience, tracking your reach and trending your results will better help your team review and increase their target efforts and output customized content for specific demographics easily.

 

Increase User Experience

Not only should your organization be providing patients with quality care but also quality experience. Is your online presence optimized for maximum user experience? According to Litmus “The 2017 Email Client Market Share” (Jan 2018), “Desktop represents 17% of all email opens, webmail 36% and mobile 47%.” Increasing user experiences expands a patient’s trust in your organization’s professionalism and willingness to research your product or service. This is especially prevalent among those less familiar with digital (such as seniors).

A prime example of good user experience is responsive web design and campaigns. Don’t be afraid to create a focus group to analyze your current user experience; a stranger is more likely to experience difficulty navigating your online presence than someone on your marketing team.

 

Take Advantage of Different Platforms

Blogs & Websites With SEO in play, search engines have become increasingly sophisticated in helping people find what they are looking for. A user, for example, can type medical specialists into a search engine to be shown the most high ranking medical practices and specialists near them. Through utilizing keywords on your website and blog, your organization is much more likely to be authoritative and appear highly ranked on search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo.

Social Media Marketing Despite negativity revolving around medical social media, 60% of doctors claim social media improves the quality of care delivered to patients and 41% of people said social media would affect their choice of a specific doctor, hospital, or medical facility. Utilize social media platforms to give a voice and face to your organization, demonstrate thought leadership, increase website traffic, and better respond to current and future patients.

 

Use Data to Analyze Efforts

Any strategy should be backed up with data to better ensure chances of ROI in your efforts. A strategy lacking data, lacks the insight to fully understand referral base – leading to unreliable network connections, potential physician misalignments and, ultimately, limiting growth.

Do you know who your ideal patient is and how they are finding you? Through utilizing a platform designed specifically to organize this data, an organization can better research what aspects of their marketing strategy to put more emphasis on and what strategies need to be reevaluated.

 

Closing Thoughts

As the number of marketing strategies and the mix of those strategies continue to spread across numerous outlets, it is important that medical marketing plans are adjusted accordingly. Understanding how to use digital outlets in a way that increases ROI starts with understanding data that reflects current and expanding target audiences and ends with implementing advanced marketing strategies.