If you’ve been practicing medicine for any length of time, you probably remember the days when you could rely on insurance companies and personal referrals to keep your pipeline filled with new patients. Back then, marketing wasn’t even required to grow a practice and in many cases was even seen as “unprofessional.”
Well, to say that times have changed is an overwhelming understatement. Today’s medical professionals recognize that marketing is critical to driving practice growth. Yet few still understand how digital marketing fits into the scenario.
The truth is the healthcare landscape has become extremely competitive and practice owners are all vying for the same patients. This means physicians need to put themselves wherever their prospects may be, and that means online.
Easy enough, right?
Well, what does online even mean? Does this mean have a website? Do they have to blog consistently? Do they need to engage on social media platforms? Email market?
Navigating digital marketing can sometimes be a prescription for a headache!
To alleviate the pain, we recommend staying hydrated, getting plenty of rest, and reading this entire blog post that will uncover the 5 biggest myths about digital healthcare marketing.
Myth #1: Digital Marketing is Expensive
Not sure where this one got started. We work with both digital and traditional channels and we can tell you for a fact, traditional channels like TV, radio, and billboards are going to cost you far more than running some Facebook ads, where you can often reach 1,000 people for under $5.
Now, we’re not suggesting that traditional channels play no part in your media mix. In fact, we often use print channels like newspapers and magazines to help medical professionals get themselves in front of their local market. The point we’re making is, there are plenty of affordable digital advertising strategies that medical professionals can use to attract new patients. And, when multiple digital and print channels are integrated, you amplify that exposure for even healthier outcomes and ROI.
And speaking of ROI…
Myth #2: ROI Cannot be Measured Online
Another head-shaker, because EVERYTHING within digital marketing is measurable. Email marketing, pay-per-click (PPC), social media and SMS (text) can all be easily tracked so you can adjust campaigns and scale when necessary. You’ll not only know basic metrics such as reach and impressions, but you can also track who has engaged with your ad, how many seconds of video someone has watched, and the demographics of your audience. Not only is digital marketing measurable, it provides actionable insights for you to get the most from your ad spend.
Myth #3: Digital Marketing isn’t Effective
That’s a bit like saying eating right and exercising aren’t effective at helping someone lose weight and get healthy. If someone takes the right steps, they WILL lose weight and get healthier.
The same is true with digital marketing. If done “correctly,” it will bring excellent results in the form of new patients walking in your door. But what often happens is, someone decides to go it alone and handle their own digital marketing. They become overwhelmed by it, try a few things willy-nilly and end up seeing subpar results.
The bottom line is, with the right strategies, digital marketing can have a direct positive impact on the growth of your practice.
Myth# 4: Website Design Doesn’t Really Matter
For years practice owners were told, “It doesn’t really matter what your website looks like or how it functions, just get one up!” Granted, there was a time not long ago when if you had no online presence people dismissed you immediately. And sure, “just getting one up” made sense at the time. Or at least people thought it did.
But consumers are becoming incredibly savvy and it’s no longer enough to have a slapped-together website. What consumers really want nowadays is an experience of you. Who are you? What do you know? How can you help them? And they want to be able to find these answers easily.
All of this means your website needs to represent you well. It must offer answers to their questions and be easily navigated by users. Your website should also offer other patient testimonials and feedback.
And finally, make it incredibly easy for prospective patients to contact you. Make your phone number front and center and have a contact form or appointment setter on their as well, with any paperwork needed to be completed downloadable so they may fill it out before they come to see you.
Myth #5: Only Millennials Really Care if You’re Online
If you think that older generations aren’t going online to research health conditions and potential providers in their area, you are very mistaken. Yes, Millennials are far more attached to their mobile devices, but the 50+ crowd has gotten very used to heading online to get answers and find what they need.
Did you know that research from 2020Health shows that people between the ages of 55 and 75 have already begun to embrace the digital transformation happening in healthcare? They are using online medication reminders and patient portals to communicate with their provider.
If you yourself have bought in to any of these myths, you are not alone. But 2020 is the year to let the myths go and focus on getting your digital strategies as healthy as possible. Need some help to make your digital marketing pain go away? Just get in touch with us. We work with healthcare providers to help them grow their practice.