Today, patients are digitally empowered to make their health decisions. If you aren’t investing your time and efforts in digital marketing, chances are high that you will be left behind and may lose to the competition.
Almost all businesses consider the Internet as a vast laboratory, launching experiment after experiment — to crack the code that generates sales and customer loyalty. The purpose of Internet marketing in healthcare is about making potential patients aware of your presence and your area of expertize.
Recent findings from Pew Internet and Google Think provide statistical evidence of the increased consumption and dependence of healthcare-related digital information. Per Pew research, about one in three American adults have gone online to figure out a medical condition and 72 percent of Internet users have looked online for health information within the past year. A Google Think key study states about 77 percent of patients used search prior to booking an appointment. These soaring numbers clearly demonstrate that patients have taken responsibility for their health and the decisions that affect it. With such a change in scenarios, physicians are left with no option but to embrace this change. Healthcare providers that understand this evolution are now rethinking their priorities and carefully moving digital interactivity toward the center of their marketing strategies.
Let’s have a look at some reasons why healthcare physicians should invest in Internet marketing
Healthcare Consumers Are Diagnosed With Online Obsession
Americans are turning to the Internet like never before to make their health decisions and to self-diagnose their medical conditions. A recent report by the National Research Corporation states, “Americans are ‘always on’: nearly nine in ten consumers (87 per cent) access the Internet regularly (PEW American Life, 2014). Within the context of healthcare, two in five consumers (39 per cent) (Market Insights consumer study, 2015) visited WebMD.com in the past year and one in five consumers (22 per cent) stopped at a local hospital or health system website.”
The numbers are soaring higher and higher. Patients or potential patients reverse-engineer the marketing strategies and conduct their own research, from the comfort and privacy of their screens or mobiles.
Take the first step to protect your online reputation and request your Online Reputation Assessment.
Now, digital experience is prior to the physical experience
These changes are driving radical reforms in the way patients now choose their physicians. The Internet and social media are now the first stop for patients seeking information about a physician recommendation, service quality and patient experiences. Furthermore, the digital experiences have even driven the need for physicians to have a positive online reputation, as people now choose a physician based on the reviews posted by others.
Compelling numbers of social media usage
Some years ago, it may have been an absolute matter of choice to market your practice and healthcare services on the Internet. But now, it’s an absolute must in order to survive and thrive. The numbers are compelling and are just too large to be ignored.
For the first quarter of 2015, Facebook users were about 1.44 billion, LinkedIn users were approximately 364 million and Twitter had about 236 million users. So for all the physicians, dentists, physiotherapist and hospitals, do you really have a choice of not putting efforts into marketing your practice online?
For physicians, dentists and other healthcare practitioners, online marketing is now an essential “must have” in their marketing strategy. It plays an indispensible role in connecting with patients and potential patients and helps develop a relationship of trust and credibility. More than at any time in the past, Internet marketing through digital channels is of utmost importance now.