Digital marketing is growing every year in importance. The medical field alone is projected to spend $118 billion on their digital presence. Medical digital marketing is a wide-ranging arena, with different implications for a surgical practice than for a wellness center or day spa. But there are 6 common elements that any successful campaign will have.
1. Website design
There’s no point investing time and money into your campaign until you’ve first ensured that visitors have a nice place to come and visit. The first need of a medical website is for the design to convey a professional aesthetic. It’s a vital first step in building trust, and the imagery you use needs to convey that.
Obvious no-nos would be having pop-up ads. That might be appropriate for a news content publisher that needs to generate millions of page views to create ad revenue. It doesn’t work for a local office that wants a smaller number of visitors to have confidence in their service. Photos of the doctors to create a personal connection and presentation of credentials are a much better use of digital space.
2. Organic SEO
The ideal way to get people to find you is through the organic search results. If they search on a topic that’s related to your practice, you want to be at or near the top of the search engine listings they’re presented with.
Search engines value good content that’s keyword-optimized. Decide what medical topics your office deals with most frequently. There are free tools available to help you find out what the buzz-phrases are that people use in search engines.
Then write content about those topics and use those keywords. This should be evergreen content, able to provide a steady supply of traffic long after it’s been written.
3. Content marketing
You can’t rely exclusively on evergreen content. You’ll also want a vibrant blog, updated a minimum of 1-2x monthly. You might talk about the same topics that you wrote your organic SEO content for, but in its current context (i.e. what is this year’s strain of flu). Link to your evergreen content.
Also, make good use of video—even if it’s as basic as the doctor reading the post that was written for the blog and embedding the video within the content. Ideally, have the doctor(s) do original video content. It can be as basic as 5 minutes talking about a pertinent subject and serves to facilitate the doctor’s personal connection with the community.
4. Social media
Creating all this content is going to make establishing a vibrant social presence easier. You can share that content to your Facebook or Twitter feeds. Photos of the office and the staff can go on Instagram. All of this further serves the goal of humanizing the office in general and the doctors in particular.
More important is getting happy patients to post positive reviews of your office on Yelp and other online directories, along with responding professionally to the rare (hopefully!) negative reviews you get.
5. Email marketing
When you get people to your website, ask them to sign up for a newsletter. The newsletter can be as basic as aggregating your published content. Maybe the person wasn’t sick when they first visited your website, but if you keep your name in front of them, they might call you when necessary.
6. Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising
It’s not cheap and it takes time to refine and get right, but PPC advertising is becoming necessary in a competitive arena. Paid ads now get at least the top 3 places on a Google search before the organic results appear. That’s not a trend likely to change.