As a hearing healthcare professional, your top priority is serving your patients. However, there is no denying that your hearing practice is a business, and in order to gain new clients in 2019, digital marketing is a must. While traditional forms of marketing like direct mail, TV and radio ads, and billboards are still in use, the top place to get new patients is the Internet.
While you probably know that more and more people are turning to online solutions to their problems and questions – including those about healthcare and providers – the following numbers might surprise you. One study found that 50 percent of people search online for information about their health concerns and treatment options, as well as to learn about healthcare providers. Research has also shown that 77 percent of people use a search engine before they schedule an appointment with a local healthcare provider. In this climate, it is essential that you have a strong digital marketing plan in place for your practice.
In order to build a strong marketing plan, you need to know what is and is not true regarding digital marketing in healthcare. Here are four of the most popular misconceptions about digital marketing in the healthcare field in 2019:
- False: Online marketing is not effective. If online marketing weren’t effective, the Internet would be nearly obsolete. Just take a second look at the statistics referenced above to see how much people rely on the Internet, especially search results, when making decisions about healthcare. If your practice’s website is one of the top search results for those searches, you can quickly gain new patients.
- False: Digital marketing is too expensive. The truth is that digital marketing is often the least expensive marketing option. In this study of comparative media costs, based on cost per thousand impressions (CPM), online channels like websites, social media, and search engines cost significantly less than traditional marketing channels. Imagine how much money you can save by developing a coordinated, integrated online marketing plan that takes advantage of multiple digital channels.
- False: People like complex websites with everything you can think of within reach. While it’s true that people like helpful, informational websites, it is not true that complicated websites perform best. In fact, one of the best ways to keep your website user-friendly is to keep it simple and clear. Website visitors should be able to easily navigate your site and find the information they are looking for. Make contact information, especially your phone number, easy to find on the top of every page. Include calls to action for common tasks like contacting your practice, scheduling an appointment, paying a bill, or completing new patient paperwork.
- False: Healthcare professionals do not need to worry about their online presence. While your patients will always be your top priority, it’s important to also keep an eye on your reputation and presence online. A recent study found that nearly 75 percent of patients use online reviews when finding a new healthcare professional. In fact, that study showed that almost half of the surveyed patients would be willing to see a provider outside of their insurance network if that provider had good online reviews. You can’t ignore your online presence, so be sure to ask your satisfied patients to leave you a positive review online, and check your reviews regularly on Google, Healthgrades, and other review websites.
True: Online marketing is a great way to reach new patients. Contact us today at AudiologyPlus to learn the truth about the importance of digital marketing for hearing healthcare professionals. Our team has over 20 years of marketing experience, and we’re ready to help you succeed online.