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Digital Marketing in Healthcare Industry: A Complete Guide

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Over the last few years, we have seen boom period of digital marketing. It has started infusing in almost every industry. While it was possible earlier to do things without digital marketing and go for more traditional methods, today, however, healthcare digital marketing are indispensable. Let’s have a look at the role of Digital Marketing in Healthcare Industry.

“Searching for health information is the 3rd most popular online activity”

Why Healthcare and Digital Marketing are Joining Hands?

healthcare

digital healthcare marketing

The main reason is a huge number of people are not only becoming active online but are also looking for solutions to their problems online. This being the case, healthcare industry cannot or in fact should not neglect digital marketing. It is safe to assume that digital marketing combined with healthcare has a pool of opportunities in it.

Things healthcare industry should know about digital marketing

Digital marketing includes mobile marketing, content marketing, search engine marketing, social media marketing, and more. Since digital marketing is an inexpensive as well as an effective way of marketing when compared to traditional methods, healthcare industry cannot miss out on digital marketing.

How Digital Marketing Affects Healthcare Industry?

Social Engine Marketing: Businesses that employ search engine marketing along with search engine optimization and ad campaigns gain higher visibility than those who don’t.

Social Media Marketing: People are active on social media and social media is equivalent to ‘word of mouth’ marketing. This type of marketing plays a huge role in the healthcare sector. If many people around you, recommend an XYZ doctor, you are more likely to consult that doctor.

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Statistics of Digital Marketing in Healthcare

1. Over 40% of consumers say that information found through social media affects the way they deal with their health (Mediabistro)

The professionals in the healthcare industry have an obligation to create educational content that could be shared across social media that will help consumers about health-related issues. Others’ opinions are often trusted but aren’t always accurate sources of insights especially when you are dealing with such a sensitive subject like health.

2. People in the age group of 18 to 24-year-olds are more than 2 times likely than 45 to 54-year-olds to discuss health-related things on social media.

This stats show that 18-24-year-olds adopt social media and new forms of communication easily which makes it important for healthcare professionals to join in on these conversations.

3. 90% of respondents, aged from18-24 years said they would trust medical information shared people on their social media networks (Search Engine Watch)

On social media, a network of millennial is a group of people that is well trusted online which gives an opportunity to connect with them as healthcare professional in an authentic and new way.

4. 19% of owners of a smartphone have at least one health app on their phone. The most popular types are weight, diet, and exercise apps (Demi & Cooper Advertising and DC Interactive Group)

This figure points out to the need for your healthcare organization to look into possibly launching a health related app focused on your specialty. This shows that digital marketing strategy for healthcare should have a strong mobile focus no matter what their industry size is.

5. According to a recent study conducted by Mediabistro, 54% of patients are more comfortable with their providers seeking advice from online communities to better treat their problems.

This shows that a lot of people are comfortable in perceiving the Internet to be beneficial for the exchange of relevant information even about their health.

6. According to MedTechMedia, 31% of healthcare professionals use social media for professional networking.

This shows the importance of social media and other applications which helps in professional development for healthcare workers from networks such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. This is undeniably an important factor of digital marketing for healthcare.

7. As per Demi & Cooper Advertising and DC Interactive Group, 41% of people reported that social media would affect their choice of a specific medical facility, hospital, or a doctor.

This statistic illustrates that social media can drive both negative and positive word of mouth. This makes it an important channel for organizations and individual in the healthcare industry to focus on in order to attract as well as retain patients.

8. About 60% of the doctors say social media improves the quality of care delivered to patients.

This shows that many doctors believe that the authenticity and transparency that social media helps spur is actually improving the quality of care provided by them to the patients.

9. Google’s Think Insights has shows 119% year-over-year increase in YouTube traffic to hospital sites.

This shows that video marketing could work better than other forms of content to convert traffic and leads with more efficiency. The hospital facilities should look to create video content based on patient stories, interviews, and others.

Trends in Healthcare Industry to Watch for in 2016

healthcare trends

Healthcare Market Trends

There has been a visible transformation in the healthcare industry that creates both opportunities and challenges for marketers. There are two variables which drive this transition. One is the rise of the digitally empowered healthcare consumer and the other is the shift from a fee for service payment to a healthcare delivery model on the basis of patient satisfaction, quality outcomes, and transparency.

It affects both the ‘who’ and ‘how’ of marketing strategies in the medical industry. Therefore, there has been a transformation in the role of physicians as decision-makers.

There are five key trends that should be considered by every healthcare marketer:

1. Consumers are now avid researchers

Today, the consumers are no longer satisfied to blindly accept what a doctor tells them. They prefer doing homework before visiting a doctor. This means that the doctor no longer has the only say on medications, hospitals, treatment, and more. Healthcare is more like the collaboration between the doctors and consumers, thus catering to the needs of digital marketing for hospitals.

2. Healthcare marketers to target payers and consumers

For healthcare marketers, there are different audiences. This segment is the primary ‘who’ on the basis of the product or service being offered. Not so surprisingly, doctors are the primary marketing target. And why not? They still recommend, prescribe, advocate, and buy products and services. However, doctor decision-making is gradually shrinking as decision-making shifts to healthcare consumers and payers. Therefore, the emerging trend is that healthcare marketers need to increasingly target payers and consumers.

3. Digital channels overshadowing traditional marketing

While digital marketing is infusing in almost every sector, the healthcare industry is one of them. The last couple of years has seen a huge jump in the preference of digital marketing over traditional marketing in the healthcare. According to MM&M study, the greatest growth for the biotech, medical, diagnostics, and pharmaceutical device marketing budgets is taking place in digital sales material, mobile apps, and social media. Since consumer marketing tricks are shifting greatly to digital ads, social media, and mobile apps, therefore, the shift to digital channels in the healthcare industry is no wonder.

4. Some insights by Think with Google’s ‘The Digital Journey to Wellness: Hospital Selection’

  • Search engines are used by 77% of the patients before booking appointments.
  • Search drives nearly 3 times as many visitors to hospital sites as compared to the number of visitors from other affiliate/referral sites.
  • 44% of patients schedule an appointment who research hospitals on a mobile device.
  • The decision process is empowered by digital content.

Before booking an appointment –

  • 77% of patients use search.
  • 26% used reviews generated by consumers.
  • 50% used health information sites.
  • 54% of the patients used health insurance company sites.
  • 83% used hospital sites.

5. Growth rate of Indian Healthcare Industry

As per the predictions of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India, the Indian healthcare market which is currently worth of US $100 billion will grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 23% to hit US $280 billion by 2020. This is due to increase in adoption of digital techniques. Seeing these growth trends in India, Google Health card offers health services in India

Also, the Healthcare Information Technology (IT) market which is currently valued at US $1 billion will grow 1.5 times more by 2020.

Healthcare Marketing Budget in 2016

Here is how digital marketing has affected healthcare marketing budgets in 2016:

Healthcare-Marketing-Budgets-Infographic

Healthcare Marketing Budget 2016

Case Studies

Let’s understand digital marketing in healthcare better with the following case studies…

Case Study 1: Lybrate App is India’s Number 1 Medical App By Leveraging Mobile

That said, let us understand the working of digital marketing and health sector with a case study on Lybrate, India’s first medical app.

LybratelogoIn a survey conducted by Lybrate, it was found that 52 percent of the Indians who are involved in self-medication have exposed themselves to dire health risk. With the objective to cut down self-medication prevalence, Lybrate app was started by former professionals, Saurabh Arora (Facebook) and Rahul Narang (Snapdeal).

Lybrate has more than 80,000 doctors from multiple specialties which enable them to address queries of the patients for free or get in touch with a patient privately on payment of a professional fee.

Looking at possible acquisitions for growth opportunities, Lybrate is number 1 medical app in India. Before digitization of healthcare industry, people used to visit a doctor when they were really sick. Well, even now, we Indians have a tendency to seek doctors only when our homemade tricks don’t work. Seeing these trends, Faridabad-based startup, Lybrate, came up with a motive to reduce the communication gap between doctors and patients. This is encouraging people to seek the opinion of a doctor for staying healthy and fit.

One of the features introduced by Lybrate is the Health Feed. One can get tips related to health which encourages the user to live healthy and fit. Also, it promotes the cautious side of medicine.lybrate_sms_settings

Lybrate’s business model unlike other platforms in the mHealth space is personalized according to the needs of the Indian audience. Being first mobile healthcare information, delivery, and access platform, Lybrate is fixing the root cause problem of the healthcare industry in India i.e. accessibility of doctors and communication gap between doctors and patients.

This medical app has planned a lot for transforming the future of healthcare industry in India. You can read the full case study on Lybrate here.

Case Study 2: How I-Am Care leveraged inbound marketing to increase its lead generation by 6 times

After the Swiss company, I-Am Care integrated inbound marketing in its marketing strategy, it’s total leads from the visitors increased by 347%. Learn the detailed case study of I-Am Care’s success.

Experts in the field of ‘Digitized Healthcare Industry’

Marie Ennis-O’Connor

marie-twitter

Marie Ennis-O’Connor

  • Twitter Handle: @JBBC, Website: hcsmonitor.com

Marie is a social media consultant and health blogger. You will find her tweets majorly focused on trends in healthcare marketing and the useful tools you could leverage.

Reed Smith

reedsmith.twitter

Reed Smith

  • Twitter handle: @reedsmith, Website: socialhealthinstitute.com

Reed is one of the best technology-focused health bloggers on Twitter providing creative and consistent content that focuses on the social technology and healthcare.

Stewart Gandolf

stewart-gandolf

Stewart Gandolf

  • Twitter handle: @stewartgandolf, Website: healthcaresuccess.com

If you wish to learn about health marketing, his website is one to look up to. Oh, his Twitter feed is even better. All thanks to #hcmktg stories from around the web.

Dan Dunlop

Dan_Dunlop

Dan Dunlop

  • Twitter handle: @dandunlop, Website: thehealthcaremarketer.wordpress.com

Being a healthcare marketing expert, Dan also publishes a Twitter newsletter namely the Dan Dunlop Daily that makes up some of the best articles on health marketing across the web.

Medical Web Experts

  • Twitter handle: @MedWebExperts, Website: medicalwebexperts.com

With the focus on digital and mobile marketing, Medical Web Experts help on marketing the patient portal or start off with a helpful blog.

Jonathan Catley

jonathan-catley

Jonathan Catley

  • Twitter handle: @jonathancatley, Website: MDConnectInc.com

Being an expert on connecting with patients through the web, Jonathan talks about marketing tactics, the power of SEO, direct communication, etc, largely centered on the healthcare industry.

Healthcare Magnet

  • Twitter handle: @HCmagnet

This is a company that sells physical marketing materials along with talking about marketing strategies focusing on open communication and accessibility.

Fergus Linskey

ferg-linskey

Fergus Linskey

  • Twitter handle: @FergusLinskey, Website: LevoHealth.com

The tweets by Linskey are targeted at practices and individual doctors with an emphasis on the doctors of different, complementary social media practices.

Forum for Healthcare Strategists

  • Twitter handle: @HCStrategists

If you are interested in healthcare marketing content along with articles by experts, Healthcare Strategies is one to follow.

Digital Marketing Course by Digital Vidya

Free Digital Marketing Webinar

Date: 13th Dec, 2017 (Wed)
Time: 3 PM to 4:30 PM (IST/GMT +5:30)

Events and Conferences of Healthcare Industry in 2016 and 2017

Here is a list of upcoming digital marketing in healthcare for 2016 and 2017:

1. North England Society for Healthcare Communications (NESHCo) Spring Conference

(June 7-9, 2017, Falmouth, MA)

NESHCo, a professional society for those in public affairs, advertising, marketing, public relations, and healthcare communications, comes up with the conference in a different location and for a different theme every year. Their May 2016 conference theme was ‘Reimagining Healthcare Communications”.

2. Digital Marketing in Healthcare Summit

(May 10-11, 2017 – Philadelphia, PA)

This summit will be hosted by Innovation Enterprise and has guest speakers that provide advice on various topics like digital, innovation, strategy, analytics, operations, and more. This time topics for the digital marketing in healthcare summit include digital marketing in health, building an online presence, social engagement, and wearable.

3. Healthcare Marketing and Physician Strategies Summit

(April 24-26, 2017 – Austin, TX)

Hosted by the Healthcare Strategy Institute, this conference is designed for health executives in communication, advertising, public relations, marketing, and other executives involved in marketing strategy.

The aim of the summit is to help healthcare marketers develop strategies in order to address emerging and new challenges via case studies of leading hands-on workshops, keynote speakers, and healthcare organizations.

4. Health IT Marketing & PR Conference (HITMC)

(Early April 2017 – Las Vegas, NV)

With a focus on PR and marketing in healthcare, including content marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), blogging, event public relations, lead generation, healthcare advertising, and social media marketing. Attendees include health IT executives focused on marketing, digital marketers in health IT, and PR professionals and marketing managers at health IT companies. Speakers include marketing and PR experts from outside of healthcare space, and health IT marketing and PR experts.

5. Carolinas Healthcare Public Relations & Marketing Society (CHPRMS) Fall Conference

(December 7-9, 2016)

CHPRMS provides resources for healthcare organizations’ members in South and North Carolina. At the annual fall conference of the organization, healthcare marketers and communicators can learn about the dynamic world of healthcare marketing and get to know the experience of leading experts. You will attend presentations from healthcare marketing experts at the conference.

6. Modern Healthcare’s Strategic Marketing Conference: Ahead of the Curve

(November 9, 2016 – Chicago, IL)

The aim of this conference is to bring together thought leaders, hospital executives, marketing, and communications professionals, to share knowledge on communications and marketing strategies. Topics covered include content marketing, social media, developing an effective digital strategy, safeguarding your brand, building reputation and trust, and using data in strategic marketing.

7. Healthcare Internet Conference

(November 7-9, 2016 – Las Vegas)

Hosted by Greystone, a web strategy, and digital marketing consulting firm, this conference is designed for health plans, integrated networks, group practices, health systems, and healthcare executives from hospitals.

Attendees include healthcare professionals, chief information officers, public relations directors, marketing directors, and web directors. You will learn about the latest developments in technology, and practices to accomplish marketing goals.

8. Mid-Atlantic Society for Healthcare Strategy and Market Development (MASHSMD) Fall Conference

(November 3-4, 2016 – Annapolis, MD)

MASHSMD members include service providers, healthcare consultants, physician groups, insurers, and healthcare systems and hospitals. Held twice in a year, each conference comes with a new theme. The theme of their most recent conference in fall 2015 was ‘Taking the Fear Out of Healthcare Marketing’. Topics included how to stand out in a highly competitive market, healthcare branding, and media training tips.

9. Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) Annual Conference

(October 30 – November 2, 2016 – San Francisco, CA)

An organization for medical practice administrators and executives, MGMA aims to help practice leaders move their practices forward by helping them find the services and products they need to reduce operating costs and give a better patient experience.

2nd Digital Health Summit 2016

(16th September 2016 – ITC Grand Maratha, Mumbai)

Happening in Mumbai, the healthcare IT Summit 2016 is the premier expo and conference for exploring what is new in mHealth, eHealth, IT implementation, and Telehealth in Government hospitals and organization.

HMPSS2015

Digital Marketing for Healthcare Companies

1. Omnicore – Digital Marketing Agency

It is a healthcare marketing and advertising agency where they help medical practices and organizations find their customers via digital and social media and generate more business online.

2. ABC Homeopathy

Another company that helps in finding the best possible medicine depending upon the symptoms you type in the search bar. It is one of the most leveraged upon healthcare companies in the digital field.

abchomeopathy

3. Pulse Digital Marketing

With an aim to bring ‘pulse’ to the healthcare and medical brands via digital as well as inbound marketing, Pulse Digital Marketing helps them better connect with the customers in this digitized world.

Take your business where patients are i.e. Online. The video below will explain the need for digital marketing for healthcare industry in a comprehensive manner.

If you are in healthcare sector but don’t know the what and why of Digital Marketing, then you might not survive in the market for long. There is a pool of opportunities waiting for you. Get started with digital marketing course to leverage the revolutionary marketing techniques in the health sector.

Image Credits: www.mdgadvertising.com, www.pinimg.com, www.healthcarestrategy.com, www.twitter.com, Xpedient Digital & www.mamsys.com.

Sakshi is a content marketer during the day and a reader by night. She writes content sprinkled with a twisted imagination. She has done her graduation in psychology from Delhi University and has an insane love for history.
  • Digital-Marketing


  • There are 17 comments


    • 1 year ago

      Satish Kharabe   /   Reply

      These are wonderful insights and resources on use of digital marketing in healthcare industry. Awesome article.

      Thanks DV!

      • 1 year ago

        Sakshi Behl   /   Reply

        It feels great when we are able to help our readers in one way or another. 🙂
        I would be glad to know if there’s any particular part or insight that you found useful and how you are planning to leverage digital marketing in the healthcare industry?

    • 1 year ago

      Rajveer Singh   /   Reply

      I am a Homeopathic Consultant which social media sites can help me to generate leads & how?

      • 1 year ago

        Sahil Arora   /   Reply

        Hi Rajveer,

        It feels great to know that being in a healthcare industry you are looking for digital marketing skills to generate leads or to serve your service using social media. If you are looking to promote your homeopathic service :
        1) You first need to build your presence on social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc where you can build your business profile including your services, expertise, how you stand others from your competitors. Share blogs, infographics, videos related to your industry to maintain engagement on social media channels.
        2) Apart from this you can participate in homoeopathic facebook groups where you can help users in solving their problems which could help you to generate leads. Similarly, you can solve users queries related to homeopathic on twitter by replying users & solving their problems which can help you to drive traffic to your website as well as to generate leads. It would also help you to build your business profile on social networks.
        3) You can also start paid campaigns on facebook, twitter, instagram where you can target your audience to generate leads to your website.

    • 1 year ago

      Priya Verma   /   Reply

      What are the new trends in digital marketing geared towards doctors and other healthcare professionals?

      • 1 year ago

        Sahil Arora   /   Reply

        Priya : With the latest technologies like online appointments, tracking patients’ treatments and reports, electronic medical health record, there is an increasing demand for the digital marketing healthcare industry.
        There are number of ways by which you can promote or advertise for your health care brand by using various digital marketing techniques. You can start promoting your healthcare brand online by creating a online presence on internet by creating your website which further can be promoted by various digital marketing techniques.;

        SEO – You can start optimising your website which can help you out to gather customers.

        Social Media – You can create a presence on various social media channels like facebook, twitter, instagram
        where you start promoting your service to acquire customers.

        PPC – You can start promoting your services via pay per click .

    • 1 year ago

      R.P Malik   /   Reply

      Any Indian Hospitals using Social Media and Digital Marketing to promote their services?

      • 1 year ago

        Sakshi Behl   /   Reply

        Definitely, Malik. There are enormous Indian hospitals using social media and digital marketing. Few of them are Fortis Healthcare, Apollo Hospital, Max Super Speciality hospital, Escort Heart Institute, etc. They all have active pages/handles on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and even Snapchat.

        For instance, currently, Apollo Hospital has 2,208,464 likes on its Facebook pages. Also, the page is verified. This does gives us a taste of how major social media and digital marketing is in healthcare today!

    • 1 year ago

      Prince Verma   /   Reply

      Why healthcare companies need email marketing?

      • 1 year ago

        Sakshi Behl   /   Reply

        Interesting question, Prince. As you must be knowing Email marketing is one of the best channels for creating online awareness and generating leads. It brings you 40 times more customers than Social media.

        A couple of points to illustrate why healthcare companies need email marketing:

        1. Low Price: The total cost of implementing email marketing is extremely cheap when compared with other marketing strategies.

        2. Shows Instant Results: While other marketing channels take few days to get a response, email marketing generates quicker results as you are directly reaching the consumer’s inbox.

        3. Gives you idea of what’s working and what’s not: The effectiveness of your email campaigns can be quickly and easily analyzed via click through rate, track open rates, etc. On the basis of this, you can adjust your marketing strategy.

        Without email marketing, you might be far behind others in the healthcare market.

        Happy Digital Marketing!

    • 1 year ago

      Asik Das   /   Reply

      Good article Sakshi!

      • 1 year ago

        Sakshi Behl   /   Reply

        Thanks, Asik. Would love to hear which aspect you liked the most?

    • 1 year ago

      Ardhwaan   /   Reply

      I really liked the article. I want to know what will be the Digital Marketing trends in Healthcare for 2017? What new technologies could be seen?

      • 1 year ago

        Sakshi Behl   /   Reply

        Hi, Ardhwaan

        Glad to know your curiosity about Digital Marketing in healthcare. Here are few healthcare trends 2017 you should consider:

        1. Social messaging apps = marketing platforms. No one can deny the power of Facebook, Twitter, and more to communicate with people.
        2. Importance of smarter content: Content which is share-worthy, interesting, and authoritative will dominate in 2017.
        3. Personalization: The people today don’t like traditional methods of advertising. Modern methods of marketing identify user interests and delivers timely personalized – relevant content on a one-to-one basis.
        4. Location-based marketing: For example, a digital marketer can use the device’s location to alert the target audience about nearby facilities.

        Other than this, I think AR/VR will play a major role in the healthcare market.

    • 1 year ago

      Anvesha Banerjee   /   Reply

      Nice post. Could you share a couple of examples on digital customer engagement that you might have come across, in traditional marketing dependent healthcare industry?

    • 10 months ago

      Sachin   /   Reply

      Thanks for posting this article.
      What geographies is this article and research primarily based on?
      Do you think the healthcare consumer trends in tier 2 and tier 3 Indian cities are in line with those with the metros & if not what is the approximate %gap?
      Again thanks for your insightful article.

    • 9 months ago

      Mabel Williams   /   Reply

      Now a day so many health care service providers are using the Internet to reach and engage with the patient. As a digital marketing experts I believe that digital marketing is poised to completely change the health care industry.

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