In order to connect with patients, you need to meet them where they are… online.
When you discuss your services online, this is digital marketing.
What is digital marketing?
Digital marketing is any kind of marketing performed online, with the most effective digital campaigns spanning across multiple platforms, using a combination of both paid and free channels.
5 Digital Tactics
- Email marketingThis is a great way to stay in touch with your patients and hopefully you are collecting their email addresses at the time of their appointments. You can see an example of email marketing just about any time you open your mail server. If the subject line is enticing, or promising valuable information, you will capture people’s attention and email addresses as long as you are not overtly selling something to them. Rather, you are providing engaging information that is in sync with your services. Think of it the same way as the digital newsletters or Ezines that you send. Once subscribed, you can spread your messages to the patients who have raised their hands and said, “I want to hear from you”.
Leading digital media agency, BuzzFeed, shows that you can have effective marketing campaigns without “selling.”
2. Social media marketing
Social media now provides great opportunities for you by leveraging various platforms – like Pinterest, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Produce valued content and add to sites where your patients spend a good portion of their time each day.
An example of how social media has been used to boost brand awareness and loyalty is Frank Body, a skincare brand that leveraged content marketing (using Instagram as one of the main channels of customer communication and interaction) to make $20 million in sales.
I admit that some of the ads on Instagram were so enticing and relevant for me that even I made purchases from the vendors found there.
3. Brand marketing
Being found everywhere online boosts your visibility and strengthens your brand. You can spend a few minutes each day going into chat rooms or forums and provide solutions to problems that people are struggling with that are in alignment with your services.
Leading companies are turning to storytelling, and humor to create an emotional bond. Others use avatars that are memorable like the gecko for Geico. Another example is Airbnb who have built their entire business on their customer – whether host or guest, the customer is the hero. You can visibly see this in Stories from the Airbnb community, where the real story of Airbnb is told through the experience of the customers.
Another great example of this is Southwest air which you can see on YouTube videos. Check them out. They are heartwarming and entertaining. When done right, storytelling can be quite powerful. Can you create videos or stories like these? You can certainly model your story after theirs.
Acquisition marketing strategies work to drive traffic to your website which should be your goal so that patients can see your services and make appointments to see you or sign up for content that you provide. You could invest in search engine optimization (SEO) for content, (highlighting your keywords that reflect your practice and services). Consider outsourcing your needs by hiring a copywriter to produce content marketing (e.g. blog posts) so that you can be consistent without the stress of time crunches, or create a freemium product .
5. Affiliate marketing
This type of marketing is a little different than brand or acquisition marketing, and it has received a lot of negative attention over the years. Affiliate marketing works on customer referrals and sales and is best explained using an example. Think of it as a patient loyalty program that has been set up by your practice.
Affiliate marketing can work really well and there are a lot of trusted brands that use this form of marketing (or exist purely as an affiliate for other brands).
Contact me at Barbara@TheMedicalStrategist and we can set up a time to discuss your needs in a 30 minute discovery call.