Healthcare marketing is an oftentimes confusing and frustrating endeavor. Despite being beset by patient demands, healthcare reforms, and insurance requirements, medical professionals are still expected to keep on top of rapidly-changing advances in marketing so that they can continue bringing patients into their practice. As soon as they think they feel comfortable with one digital form of communication, another comes along to further muddy the playing field. To help medical marketers keep up with the latest in digital marketing, here are five statistics every professional needs to know:
- 5% of Google searches are for health-related information: That is one in every twenty searches, which is a lot of patient-initiated medical searching. These are not just patients; they are people with similar habits to the rest of the adult population, and people are searching online for information now more than ever before. Any time they have a medical question, they turn to Google or the other search engines as the beginning source of all knowledge. In fact, a Google study revealed that 77% of patients used search prior to booking an appointment. If a medical practice, treatment, or medication doesn’t show up on Google, it almost doesn’t exist. This data points to the ongoing demand for physician marketing that utilizes the latest in search engine marketing to propel a practice to the top of search results.
- 62% of smartphone owners use their devices to look up information about a health condition: The web as we know it is evolving into a mobile entity. Not only do patients want information instantaneously, they want it wherever they are. They pull out a smartphone, punch in a query and expect an immediate response. Mobile marketing is different from traditional digital marketing, and requires a strategy of its own to attract these inquiring minds as they search on the run.
- 41% of patients say social media does influence their selection of a healthcare provider: The medical community will have to be more social and open to engaging in conversations with the patient community. Patients are looking for information about coping with a specific condition, improving their diet and exercise routines, and choosing a medical partner. In the digital age, sharing is indeed caring.
- 1 in 8 patients watched an online video: In their search for information and affirmation, patients are drawn to the sight, sound and emotion of online videos. They can be used to educate about medications or procedures, communicate about a particular practice, and motivate a prospective patient to visit a website or make an appointment. Online video is the easiest and fastest way to catch the attention of online searchers and draw them into a particular conversation.
- Inbound marketing can deliver 54% more leads into the marketing funnel: The traditional methods of outbound advertising are no longer effective in healthcare marketing. Consumers are turning to online sources, social media, videos and blogs to obtain information and research medical partners. The healthcare marketer who provides this information is often seen as a trusted resource in the search for information.
Today’s patients/consumers may be confused by the amount of medical information that is available online. It is up to the healthcare providers and marketers to make sure helpful information is provided in easily accessible forms to help sort through all the online noise and clutter.