Is digital marketing just another fancy word or is it something that health care professionals should focus on? The question, why and how digital marketing should be made a part of the regular healthcare practise needs to be answered.
For that, the essence of what digital marketing is, should be understood.
What is digital marketing?
Digital marketing is any form of marketing products or services that involves electronic devices.
Sounds simple, right? As easy as it sounds, digital marketing has always been a part of our lives. Be it, 1896, when Guglielmo Macroni first demonstrated a public transmission of wireless signals or the 21st century, where the current blog can be shared within seconds, digital marketing has come a long way.
Online and offline modes of digital marketing have been and will be utilised to its fullest in both the past and future, respectively.
Why digital marketing?
What is the first image that comes to your mind when someone says, Times Square?
Isn’t it hard to not think of the humongous digital screens and billboards?
It is a known fact that, in the early 90s the roadside billboards used to catch the viewers’ attention within seconds.
According to a study done in United States, a total of 7 out of 10 drivers make shopping decisions while driving, making the billboards impossible to miss. A total of 3 out of 10 drivers are prompted to visit a shop, business or a restaurant by a billboard advertisement.
In the current scenario where, according to a report by Digital Marketing Philippines, 91% of adults always have their mobile devices within their reaching distance, it is wise to go for digital marketing.
Digital marketing has indeed been a boon for small businesses which include private clinics and setups. According to a report, small and medium enterprises using digital marketing have 3.3 times better chances of expanding their workforce and business.
Big shots in their fields which also comprise of corporate hospitals have 2.8 times better revenue growth expectancy by using digital marketing.
Apart from being efficient, digital marketing has also been proven to be cost-effective. According to Gartner’s Digital Marketing Spend Report, 40% users of digital marketing claimed getting considerable savings by using digital marketing methods of promotion for their products and services.
Due to this, 28% of business owners surveyed have shifted marketing budget allocations from traditional media channels and have invested them into digital online marketing tools and techniques.
Digital marketing provides a platform where social proof and testimonials can be shared with the customers as in the case of positive patient treatment feedback.
According to Nielsen Global Online Consumer Survey, 90% of respondents claimed they would trust information about a particular brand, product or service if the data comes from people they know. Hence, digital marketing helps in improving patient retention and increasing patient inflow.
How to market digitally?
The age-old phrase of too many cooks spoiling the broth holds good here, too. With a plethora of options available in the market today, it can be hard for professionals from the healthcare background to choose the right platform for marketing.
Digital marketing is seated on two pillars, online and offline marketing.
The four efficient and cost- effective digital marketing strategies can either be self- implemented via the hospital/clinic or may require a marketer.
Four Efficient Digital Marketing Strategies in HealthCare
As HealthCare professionals, it can become hard to invest time and energy into complicated marketing schemes. To be able to understand the core of digital marketing and then implement it in clinical practise can become challenging.
As it may sound doable for corporate hospitals, private clinics still shy away from publicising their practice using digital marketing. It is time to make virtual marketing a common adoption where, every healthcare practitioner in India can swiftly and effectively benefit from it.
1. Search Engine Marketing
An affordable and quick way to grow business is via search engine marketing. It includes pay per click advertisements where the advertiser has to pay every time a user clicks on the ad and is directed to the company’s website.
With more than 2 billion active users on a monthly basis, Google has become an ocean of information which is being widely used across the world.
It provides an efficient way of marketing via ads. Google gives a structured format where information regarding the product/service can be entered with ease.
It is recommended for private clinics and hospitals, who can leverage this quick way of marketing. It has a reach of 9,000-75,000 users with a shelling out of 3,000 to 25,000 rupees in totality.
2. Social Media Marketing
Social media has taken the digital world by storm. According to a recent study, there are 2.4 billion active users of Facebook in the world and 73 million users of Instagram in India alone. Cutting close is LinkedIn with 61 million users in India.
As video content is essential in digital marketing, YouTube presence is fundamental to the process. Approximately, 73% adults use YouTube daily.
Platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn provide an option of paid advertisements, too!
Facebook can help increase brand awareness effectively. These ads can be generated via Facebook Ads Manager and can cost around 3,000 to 30,000 rupees.
Instagram can also generate ads under the sponsored label with an option of call-to-action button to drive traffic to the website.
LinkedIn ads can be made using self-service solutions and managed by Campaign Manager.
YouTube being the second largest search engine in the world is a great way of promotion. Careful planning of videos is indispensable for a positive outcome.
3. Local Television Channels
This mode of marketing is suitable for established hospital chains and clinical practices. It can have a vast reach of 1-7 lakh users. Each advertisement can have a screen time of 30 seconds.
A German research has shown that, when added to a radio, outdoor or magazine campaign, TV boosts the return on investment (ROI) by +222%, +123% and +112% respectively.
Based on research, television reaches 70% of a country’s population in a day, 90% in a week and nearly everyone in a month. However, due to the current pandemic and social media surge the figures might take a dip.
4. Short Message Service Marketing
This strategy can be implemented by clinicians as well as hospitals. Sending an SMS is highly effective as it is usually opened within the first five minutes. It has a broad reach and is cost- effective. It can be helpful in providing reminders and alerts to patients.
With these four efficient strategies, any healthcare professional can aim to successfully uplift their practise. With the initiation of National Digital Health Mission, every practitioner can make the most of health-tech in healthcare.
Apart from the above mentioned techniques, an array of modes of digital marketing are now being made use of.