Digital marketing for doctors can be tricky. This is particularly because medical professionals need to go the extra mile to build a sense of trust and assurance with potential patients in the online space. Whether you are a practitioner or looking for ways to improve the visibility of your clinic, it is important to incorporate a digital-first marketing strategy to widen your clientele. Here are a few digital marketing tips for doctors to stay relevant and patient-centric.
Showcase your services through a website
The most important platform that serves as the first point of contact between you and a potential patient is your website or landing page. The user experience provided by your website will lay the foundation for the first impression created on visitors. To provide the best user experience, it is important to create a website or landing page that is extremely navigable and user-friendly. Furthermore, you must ensure it contains all the adequate information patients look for while searching for medical help. Important details such as doctors profile, consultation timings, health departments, courses of treatment and procedure to fix an appointment are extremely vital. Additionally, you can implement AMP-enabled pages for lightning-fast loading speed, to ensure visitors stay on your website and do not bounce off.
Featured below is a website developed for Dr Mohan’s Diabetes Centre – the nation’s leading diabetes clinic. From services to locations of clinics, the homepage covers all the aspects that patients are looking for, making it highly efficient and discoverable.
To add to that, featured below is a video on how AMP landing pages produced 33% lower CPL for India Home Health Care – a leading healthcare provider. When IHHC approached us to generate high-quality leads at lower cost-per-lead (CPL), we incorporated AMP-enabled landing pages that load faster, are mobile responsive and look great on both desktop and mobile. Within three months of launching, the total conversions increased by 20% with a 33% reduction in CPL.
Educate and enlighten with blogs
After creating a user-friendly website, the next area of focus is to build strong informational blogs that resonant with your medical practice. According to statistics, there are about 3.5 million medical searches on Google on a day-to-day basis. As a first step, you need to understand those subjects which are being constantly searched on the Internet. From informational content on symptoms and treatment options and FAQs to home remedies and simple tricks, you can use your blog as a platform to give simple advice to your customers. Additionally, there is no better place than blogs to feature the success stories of your patients. Customer testimonials can greatly influence your website traffic and readership. To stay relevant, it is important to plan an effective content strategy by identifying the important dates and months in the world of health.
Email marketing is yet another effective approach when it comes to digital marketing for doctors. Resourceful emailers help practitioners connect with their audience at a more personal level. Your patients will find it extremely useful as the information is right there in the inbox before even they plan to search for it.
Featured below is the blog page of Neuberg Diagnostics. Neuberg Diagnostics addresses a diverse range of healthcare concerns for its customers through an innovative content strategy. Their blogs are relevant, informative and highly engaging.
Leverage videos to invoke emotions
Recent statistics show that there are 5 million videos that are watched on YouTube every single day. Engaging videos generate 1200% more shares than images and texts combined. Videos are a great digital marketing strategy for building credibility and authenticity for your brand. There is nothing more engaging than watching a medical professional provide deep insights on a particular disease or treatment. It helps your patients feel at ease and assures them that they are in the hands of an experienced practitioner. Videos are also an appropriate place to feature your customer testimonials. The greatest advantage of videos is its ability to invoke a wide range of emotions like hope, passion and courage which pushes them further down the marketing funnel.
For example, here is a video created by Dr. Mohan’s on the concept of “What is it about the 90’s?”. It is an inspirationa; video of how a 90-year-old person with diabetes defies all norms.
Optimise to get discovered
Imagine you have a great website, blogs, emailer and videos. But, your patients can’t find you on Google. The best way to solve this problem is to adopt effective methods of search engine optimisation with a detailed on-page and off-page checklist. SEO is important when it comes to digital marketing for doctors since it helps in developing a content strategy based on specific keywords used by your patients for their searches. The first task that you need to implement before developing your content is to do a keyword research using tools like Google keyword research tool and LSI Keyword generator tool. It is always ideal to choose keywords that have a lower difficulty score and higher search volume. Although you need higher search volume for better ranking of your website, quality content is always the king.
Leverage local SEO for higher walk-ins
As per a recent survey, 39% of patients choose their practitioner from a Google search. These statistics prove that listing your clinic or medical practice on Google My Business Listings plays a huge role in increasing your visibility and footfalls. Ensure you provide ready information with updated phone numbers, complete address, services, working hours and a link to your website. GMB listings also offer reviews shared by older patients and visitors that add credibility to your practice. Additionally, you can also feature relevant blog posts in your listings, providing viewers with a detailed glance of what you have to offer.
For example, below is the GMB listing for Dr. Mohans with a link to their website, social media profiles and Wikipedia page.
Go Social for a strong connection
Digital marketing for doctors is incomplete without a strong social media marketing strategy. The most important factor that medical practitioners must keep in mind is the fact that every social media platform has a unique audience. The demographics and preferences of Facebook and Instagram are quite different than that of LinkedIn. So, it is always ideal to strategise your social media campaign based on the nature of the platform. There is no better tool than social media to address the complaints and concerns of your customers.
For instance, online communities and discussion forums are great tools to handle customer complaints. Hashtag campaigns, infographics, quizzes, memes, hangout interactions and live chats are other ways to effectively engage your audience through social media. Featured below is an innovative Facebook campaign done for Neuberg Diagnostics with the hashtag #Samjhoishare. The posts play around the concept of healthy living with a comic touch, covering all the aspects of a successful social media strategy.
Adopt a multilingual approach
Multilingual marketing is a great way to genuinely connect with your audience in a language they are comfortable in. By 2020, 9 out of every 10 Internet users will be consuming content in regional languages. Adopting a multilingual marketing strategy will give medical practitioners an early mover’s advantage to connect with their audience and stay ahead of their competitors. However, it is vital to take up an end-to-end multilingual strategy, from vernacular videos to regional ads, in order to create an impact and increase the credibility of your practice.
For example, featured below is a Facebook campaign on the Ten Commandments of Diabetes. While the English posts got an engagement of 8 likes, the same campaign in Tamil generated 6 shares and 2 comments, proving to be a much effective approach to reach your target audience.
The Womenwill Leadership Workshop was an initiative conducted by Google. The world’s most used search engine had invited its premium partners to nominate the inspiring female leaders of their organisations. Rachna Ganatra – Head of Strategy and Business Development – represented Social Beat in the workshop. The event was geared towards understanding gender disparity issues that women face at work. It also threw light on how to overcome systematic and personal barriers in career success, building confidence, recognising and creating strong connections and making a robust personal plan to move ahead.
The workshop was conducted by the very accomplished and vibrant team of woman entrepreneurs Jinny Riat and Neha Kalia who used a lot of storytelling and kept the audience engaged throughout the workshop. It was amazing how participants opened up about challenges, personal experiences and collectively worked on exercises that were geared towards a lot of self-reflection and taking ownership to drive solutions.
Key takeaways from the workshop
Understanding gender disparity in digital agencies
Women in digital agencies make up 53% of entry-level employees but only 19% become C-Level executives.
7% of leadership positions within Google Premier Partners are held by Women.
Campaign Diversity Research shows that only 9% of leadership positions within the industry are held by women, while 89% of women are motivated to lead.
Recognising our unconscious bias: This requires a lot of mindfulness to understand and classify the bias as it occurs in our own thoughts first. Brands need to use logic and build a common ground to deal with each of the following:
Performance Evaluation Bias
Performance Attribution Bias
Tips to get rid of self-doubt that most women suffer from: It was an eye-opener to learn from Google that women are the worst critics of themselves. As per recent Google statistics, a woman applies for a job when she has a requirement level of 90%, but a man applies when the level is just 60%. Also, women are bad negotiators when it comes to salary.
Accepting your achievements and owning them is clearly important and women should train themselves to understand that they deserve it all. The “I AM REMARKABLE” session, conducted by Sujatha Kumar, was specially designed to get participants to recognise their key qualities and why they were remarkable both at work and personal life.
The day-long workshop was a wonderful opportunity for self-learning and reflection. Additionally, the attendees shared space with other exceptional women in the industry, with a lot of bonding over wonderful personal experiences. Since Social Beat is an organisation which has more than 65% women in its workforce, the insights were really helpful and inspirational.
However, it was not all about learning. The venue, decor, goodies and food were all tastefully done with a thematic layout across. Not only was the workshop extremely enriching and enlightening, but it also had a vibrant ambience, accounting for a day of laughter and bonding.
According to HT Digital and IMRB Report (India) on “Student online behavior,” 93% of students access the Internet every day and 73% of students use the mobile phone. Nearly 91% access the internet to collect information about colleges and courses. Thus, going online for universities and colleges has become inevitable. Although this calls for investments in creating digital assets, building strategies and online advertising, the costs are quickly realized, easy to the track and attributable. The ROI is much higher in comparison to any traditional mediums used.
The following are 7 ways that universities and colleges can use digital medium in India.
1. Creating an SEO- friendly robust website to attract the right audience
A good website is a blend of three elements, namely aesthetics, functionality, and ease of use. A website is a very strong representation of any brand on the internet. The three elements are elaborated below
A well-designed website for a University or college needs to address the following factors-
Depict the values, mission, and vision of the institution
Demonstrate the key USP’s and highlight courses
Images to have an emotional connect with students/parents and represent the current look and feel of the institution concerned
The functionality of the website is what determines the final design aspects, these have to be defined ahead, and some of them are listed below
Provide Information on courses
Drive More applications from new students
Serve as a Medium of Communication for existing students, parents, and even donors
Build an Alumni Network
Unless a website is not created with the end user in mind, it will fail to give the results that it had intended to achieve. It has to be “easy to use” and intuitive. The following are key aspects to keep in mind. These aspects may not be always set right a 100%, but a study of user behavior over a period of time can help better these aspects
Quick rendering on desktop
Easily searchable on popular search engine
Developing a mobile version of the website is also a great way to boost the recruitment of students, as today many young people have access to a smartphone or mobile device. Also, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a key to drive organic traffic to the website, without traffic there is no point of having a website. The SEO will drive students/parents looking for relevant courses and information to the website.
2. Social media to connect, inform, educate, and create awareness:
Colleges and Universities must use social media to engage with current/ prospective students and parents. They should use social media to connect in a proactive manner, by engaging and demonstrating that the institution cares for its stakeholders. Content built with the right balance of words and visuals is well received and attractive to target audience. Several channels such as Facebook, Linkedin, YouTube, Twitter and new age channels such as Instagram can be tapped to achieve various goals. A mix of content and imagery
Making announcements: As a medium of communication of important events and matters, such as graduation/exam dates, new rules, new courses, etc.
Showcasing facilities, such as new infrastructure, e.g. library, swimming pools, dorm facilities, etc. that are an important part of the student life
Drawing feedback from students to make certain decisions that require stakeholder inputs
Serving as a thought leader by proactively providing interesting content around career and study areas
Showcasing important events in the campus, such as annual days, sports days, etc.
Driving awareness of world events and internal events (e.g. fundraisers, blood donation camps, etc.) that concern the student population
Building a strong and loyal alumni network and encouraging participation. Posts on career achievements, promotions, etc. will help reconnect alumni, grow the University’s exposure and increase the SEO value of alumni and the college/university
3. Social listening to build solutions and proactively connects with students:
Social listening enables universities and colleges to proactively listen to the students and their concerns across platforms. These tools can be used to build solutions to serve the students/ parents. Many universities in the west use twitter tools to engage with students and the community. Also, intercepting prospective/ current student conversations and directing them to the right information in real time/ quickly helps build a lasting impression about the educational institution
4. Digital advertising to drive admissions, placements and increase visibility:
Digital advertising can be used to drive admissions, reach out for campus placements and to improve visibility the in the short term on search engines. Digital Ads can be placed across the Google network and on social media, i.e. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and can be targeted and optimized to reach the right audience. In the current generation, the students rarely use the traditional press for information gathering and hence making any spends primarily on digital ads makes more sense. The ROI is both traceable and visible, making every penny spent, accounted.
5. Mailers for consistent contact and generating inquiries:
For communicating regularly with existing students, i.e. newsletters, announcements, etc.
Generating admission inquiries from databases of prospective students and their parents
6. Blogs to educate and drive traffic to the website:
Students are constantly looking for information to further their study and careers, much in advance of them even graduating from schools. They use the internet to help them prepare better for tests, chose educational institutions or look for career guidance. A University / college can plug into this requirement and serve as a thought leader in the educational space, thereby adding value to their branding. Blogs are a good way to attract prospective students and also improve search rankings on Google.
7. Using online for payments and application process:
It is a humongous task to have prospective applicants and current students pay fees and make other payments over bank counters. A college/university website can integrate this functionality into their website and increase application conversions as well as ensure compliance of fee and other payments on time by students. The website and Social Media can also be used to communicate deadlines periodically for the same purpose.
Going digital for University/College is not a decision anymore; it is just a “Must”. It is not what needs to be done, but “how to do it” that will make one university/college differentiate from the rest. It is important therefore to set the key USPs and define measurable goals before building a strategy and making expenses on the digital assets and advertisements.
Marketing real estate online is known to have shown a phenomenal increase in the number of leads(by~ 300%*) that property sellers have opportunities to convert as current buyers or as potential buyers for future projects. Since, buyers want a more personal buying experience on high monetary value purchases, B2B businesses or even businesses selling higher value products achieve greater impact on branding and lead generation from marketing than directly on sales. This is true to real estate selling, where all the marketing is directed towards generating leads, than on direct conversion
Lifestyle patterns of Key Demographic segments: Property buyers are now relying more on online, than on newspapers and other mediums to gather any information that can help make their purchase decision. This a definitely a true phenomenon when it comes to the metro cities where the target buyers are all hooked on to their smart phones, laptops and tablets. It’s more the “Pull marketing” than the push that seems to be working for this new generation of home buyers.
Cost Effective: Most of the push marketing strategies such as “full- page” advertisements in newspapers, previews in TV and advertising in movie halls cost a lot of advertising rupees. Although they do capture some mindshare and help in brand awareness, they completely fail in executing an immediate “call-to-action”. Also, there are no clear measurable outcomes of the advertising money spent, to keep the ROI to the optimum. Online marketing strategies on the other hand, are more cost effective- they are both targeted and measurable. Both social media outreach and online paid adds reach the right category of target audience- age group, tastes, geography etc. with a dual intent of creating brand awareness and driving prospective buyers to make inquiries
Branding Online is Personal: Reaching out to the target buyers and building an emotional connect on a one to one basis, especially when it involves high value purchases such as homes is imperative. social media serves as a potent channel where the prospective buyers can be educated about the brand, as well as guided through the process of purchasing a home. The emotional connect develops by having a mix of both formal and informal conversations with buyers, thereby creating a brand image that understands the sentiments of its buyers, rather than just hard selling the property
Burgeoning Third Party Platforms in Real Estate Domain:There are various third party platforms today that cater to helping the property buyers and sellers to make prudent purchase decisions by facilitating comparisons or serving as one-stop shop for educating the buyers and sellers about the various trends, pricing and newer developments in the domain. To name a few of them- Magic bricks, 99 acres, India Property, housing.com, etc. Integrating existing robust digital presence (website & landing pages), including an active social media presence with third party platforms, is making conversions much faster and easier.
Measurable conversions: Digital marketing allows to measure the value derived from each peny spent on the advertisements and on digital assets such as websites and landing pages. The key / basic three measures are
Registrations/ inquires on Websites and Landing pages
Traffic on Website
Path of Traffic
An uplift in the first two measures is indicative of the success of the digital campaign and the last measure “Path of traffic” allows to understand where the targets are arriving coming from. This measure allows modifying and enhancing marketing plans to achieve maximum ROI.
* Results from Digital Marketing Activities of Social Beat Client
India has reached a total of 205 million internet users in October 2013 (137 million in urban and 68 million in rural areas)*. Beyond Emails, communication and social media, internet has also become a medium to access a plethora of information in any domain. Webchutney findings from a survey** reported that 72% respondents admit to using internet to access healthcare related information and 8 out of 10 respondents have looked for information not only for themselves but others also.
The following are some key trends in the Internet Usage for Health & Medical Needs
Understanding Diseases, Diagnosis & Treatments
There is a huge amount of healthcare related information available online today, including journals, articles, YouTube Videos, blogs and publications by reputed healthcare providers, Institutions & Organizations. It is not uncommon today to search online and diagnose a medical condition using symptoms. The consumers of healthcare in the internet age want to be better informed before making any decision and hence, have a pro-active approach to resolving any medical condition. There are many online resources, particularly international web portals such as WebMD, Medicinenet, Mayo Clinic, rightdiagnosis, etc., that are popularly used to diagnose medical conditions, perhaps before making a doctors’ visit or after to confirm the diagnosis. These portals provide a plethora of other health related information in areas of disease research, drugs, treatments and healthy living etc.
Searching for Doctors/ Hospitals
Growing incomes, Knowledge and awareness have also fueled the sentiment to get the best available in healthcare. People are increasingly searching for doctors across locations, specialties and ratings to avail the best there to suit their requirements. Platforms like Practo and Medindia facilitate online search of doctors across such parameters
Awaiting on a phone line or in a queue outside the doctors clinic is soon becoming a thing of the past. Today majority of reputed hospitals and doctors are working on creating a strong online presence, not just to address their branding and marketing requirements but to also create a more seamless, direct and easy contact process with patients/public. Click on this link for more information in this area
Availing healthcare from your desktop is an emerging concept that intends to provide instant primary medical consultation/assistance irrespective of patient location. This could be extremely useful to time- starved/ busy people and the elderly who can save the effort on commuting to and fro the clinic. Consultations are given through video conferences, phones etc. on a one to one basis. However, this concept has its limitations in the type of medical conditions that can be treated, depending on the complication, tests required and where personal examination of the patients is indispensable. Some of the popular US online clinics are Teladoc, MDLIVE, American Well and Doctor on Demand. Many states in the US are reviewing their medical practice rules, so availability may change. In India too icliniccare is one such provider that offers 24/7 doctor consultation online
Booking Nurses/ Caretakers online
Given the growing aging population and the emergence of nuclear families in India, has increased the need to monitor the heath of the elderly / sick remotely, or to arrange for paid assistance at doorstep when required. In some cases, it is also the post- operative care that has moved from hospitals to home beds. Many companies have surfaced to meet this requirement. In India, industry estimates of the market size for home healthcare are aboutRs 12,600 crore***. Portea Medical, India Home Health Care, Health Care At Home, Homital all have websites and provide easy booking / contact to avail these services
**Indiasocial.in “Catching the e-Healthcare Bug Survey”2011
Most consumers today are not only just net savvy, but also explore better options and share their opinions and grievances online. It has become imperative to be able to compete in the online environment with an online presence that is robust in aesthetics, functionality and above all user friendly and targeted to keep the consumers engaged and loyal.
Clinics/ Hospitals are soon realizing the above trend and moving towards creating an online presence which helps them retain their existing patient base on one hand and broadening it on the other. The infographic above evaluates the current trends in online presence of clinics. Three categories of clinics- eye, dental and maternity were surveyed for the purpose. It shows that online booking is an important functionality enabled by most dental clinics; nearly 80%, also have a presence of Facebook. Key players in the maternity segment have maximum likes on their page from all the clinics surveyed. The average domain rank of eye clinics is the highest, implying better visibility on various search engines. The following are the three Key areas of focus in the digital strategy for clinics.
User Friendly website
Creating a website with the end-user and their pain points in mind is the first step to building a robust online presence. For example, one of the issues that patients face is to obtain doctor appointments, if this issue is addressed upfront by enabling online booking both the patients and clinics would benefit. Also, other functionalities like submitting patient queries can be enabled. An A/B tested website would ensure optimal use and low bounce rates.
Search Engine Optimization
With so many clinics competition for new visitor traffic online, having a website with both online and offline SEO will help drive new and targeted traffic to the website.
Social Media Presence
An impressive and interactive social media presence, is the best way to engage at an informal, yet at a high responsive mode with patients. While achieving brand awareness, reputation is built by sharing important/ useful information, responding to queries and interacting with patients regularly.