Online Medical Marketing

If you are considering any form of online medical marketing in 2016, it’s important that develop and execute a healthcare marketing strategy that returns the best ROI. Whether you are responsible for marketing your own company, or handling the advertising and marketing needs of a larger corporation, the advertising world is changing fast, and practices that may have worked in the past, are becoming redundant as technology changes and adapts to the faster pace of life in 2016.

Focusing on last years tactics may work in 2016, people still watch the television, read newspapers and listen to the radio, you may do some or all of these yourself. However, how often have you really taken notice of what is written, or being said ? Many people have learnt to block out adverts, skimming over them when reading the newspaper, or leaving the room just as the television company screens your expensive commercial. The established forms of medical marketing that were once so successful, are now struggling to encourage new clients for both themselves, and their promoted business.

Why? The answer is simple, as technology has advanced and made information easier and faster to obtain, potential patients and clients can now view far more information regarding any goods or services online, than they are given in any form of advertisement.  Successful businesses are built by looking forward into the future, and not by simply repeating the same processes as the previous year. Your medical marketing 2016 schedule should include an understanding of current, relevant market dynamics, and include strategies that will be effective for throughout the coming year.

During 2013, studies of internet traffic showed an increasing dependence on digital platforms, providing reviews, information and help with making decisions. With the huge rise in popularity of Smart phones and tablets, digital platforms are becoming the primary influence on many future patients decision making process. Therefore, if you wish to have any influence on their decision, it is vital that you have a presence where the decision is made. Advertising your name, company or services has been proven to be most effective when the client or patient is ready to make the decision, not when they are watching the television or reading the newspaper.

Your future planning for medical marketing in 2016 must contain a strategy that promotes your services on these digital platforms. Already this year the month by month comparisons with last year’s medical searches are far in excess of those recorded in 2013, and they are only going to increase.  Planning any forward thinking medical marketing strategy for 2016 must include these digital platforms, companies that do not may well find themselves left behind as more and more people search online for what they need and pay even less attention to more traditional advertising methods.

2016 will see several changes to the healthcare ecosystem, using the most economical and efficient methods of connecting with future patients will be vital. Unless a company has a strong digital presence, it may find itself left behind by the end of the year as more Americans are using the internet when requiring information on health matters.

Studies by Pew Internet show that 1 in 3 American adults have looked online to learn more about health concerns, with 84% of patients using both online and traditional sources for information. Google report that 77% of patients polled reported using a search engine, 76% using hospital websites and 52% using health information websites.

Undoubtedly, traditional, offline advertising still works, although the latest figures show an alarming drop, with 32% of patients reportedly using TV for research, while 20% relied on magazines and 18% on newspapers, figures courtesy of Google Think.

Developing a strong presence in the searches that future patients are making will continue to grow more important in the decision making process. Any medical marketing 2016 strategy must include all aspects of website management, social signals and platforms, such as Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, etc., as well as understanding current SEO practices and working strategies.

Pew Internet studies report that 77% of online health seekers started their last session with a search engine, ie. Google, Yahoo and Bing, to name the biggest three. Health tracking is becoming more popular with 70% of adults in the United States using a health indicator for themselves or for someone else. Future medical marketing in 2016 needs to answer and address these patients as sources of advertising, especially when figures from Pew Internet show that 34% of these proactive patients share their health tracking records and notes in online communities and groups, freely advertising the good work their doctor has performed.

Any medical marketing 2016 strategy must understand where the searches are coming from, and what devices are being used. The latest figures from Google Think show that approximately 30% of all patients used a mobile phone or tablet on a daily basis for research, with 44% of patients who found hospitals booking an appointment. With many people using mobiles to search the internet for medical information and to make appointments, it is becoming increasingly more important to ensure your website is mobile-friendly and can be viewed correctly on all devices.

Google Think report that 1 in 8 patients have viewed an online video of the Doctor or Hospital they were researching. That may not seem a large percentage, 12.5%, but 3 years ago the figure was Zero, none, nobody. Video marketing will only get bigger and have a bigger influence in future patients decision making process. Having a dedicated Youtube channel, with content management and optimization will enable future patients to find and view your services.

Planning Your Medical Marketing Strategy

For many individuals, whether it’s for their own company, or as a marketing manager for a larger firm, the older, traditional marketing ways still remain the way to progress in 2016. For the more forward thinking, digital is the future, where a strong presence will ensure a strong and growing client base and patient list. Understanding all the aspects of medical marketing 2016 on digital platforms takes time, patience and a degree of dedication, similar to many other careers.

Here at US Medical Marketing we understand the needs of healthcare professionals and are dedicated to promoting both individuals and companies online. By keeping up-to-date on the latest changes and advancements, together with analyzing Google’s own figures and reports, we can help to negotiate the minefield of medical marketing in 2016 for your medical practice. Call today and discover how we can help grow your healthcare business and reputation online.