Social media marketing and digital marketing more broadly offers a huge opportunity to the medical industry with relation to the ability to target and engage with patients across multiple touchpoints, and keep in touch throughout their journey with the brand.
However, it can also be a veritable minefield thanks to the AHPRA guidelines!
Below we’ve put together 7 key points for you to review and perform a digital marketing health check for your business:
1. Understand your target audiences
Marketing professionals are consistently reminding us that it is important for us to identify our target audiences – and for good reason! If we know WHO we want to talk to, we can tailor our approach, our tone of voice in digital mediums, what social media content we post, which social media platforms we are on, how our website is structured, and much more.
Although most businesses will tell you they can help anyone, we need you to think far more specifically. When identifying your target audience, personas or avatars, look at:
- Gender – Often females are the health decision makers in the household
- Age – Consider that if your patients are under the age of 18, you’d be wanting to target their parents as they are in charge of the health decisions in a household.
- Geographical area – How far are people willing to travel for what you do? If you’re a dentist or GP clinic, you’ll be wanting to reach people who live or work near your location.
- Family – Do they have children, and if so, how old are these children?
- Income – Are they low, middle- or high-income earners?
- Internet proficiency – How proficient are they at navigating the online world?
- Employment – Are they working? What industries are they working in?
- Interests/hobbies – What do they do in their spare time?
Some marketers find it helpful to give these people names to identify them. For example:
2. Think about your patient journey
When we know who our target audiences are, we can begin to consider their journey with us, which will then lead us to understanding how digital marketing can assist us with touchpoints throughout this journey with us.
Interest & Awareness – Maybe we can use Facebook advertising to reach people in very specific target audiences who may not be aware of our practice or our specialist offerings.
Research – A strong presence on Google with an updated Google Business listing, and employing the use of well-structured Google Ad campaigns will mean that we can appear at the top of the search results for particular keywords and phrases that are relevant, such as “doctor Henley Beach”.
Booking – Knowing that most web traffic we get will be from mobile devices we can make sure our website is mobile-friendly, that our phone number on the website has click-to-call functionality, and that we have an online booking system for those people who prefer to book online without having to call.
Retention – We can share regular social media content that is relevant and helpful to our target audience, and/or we can implement a regular email marketing strategy to keep in touch with our patients.
Advocacy – We can keep an eye on all digital review platforms (i.e. Google, Facebook etc) to ensure all reviews are adequately responded to. Remembering that there are strict rules in place through the AHPRA regarding testimonials and the use of these in the medical space.
3. Consider and dedicate time to the important social media channels
Just because Tik Tok exists and is growing rapidly, does not mean that our business or brand needs to be there.
We need to focus on where our target audiences are, what we have the time, resources and knowledge to manage, and also what we want the outcome of our activity to be (i.e. website traffic).
In Australia, Facebook tends to offer the best ‘bang for buck’ when it comes to marketing as it has the largest active user base in the country, the greatest diversity across all age groups, an even gender balance, incredible audience targeting capabilities for advertising, and more.
Consider also that it might be worth outsourcing some – or all – of your digital marketing needs to an agency or specialist who can assist. You may choose to keep your social media content posting and management in-house using your own team, and outsource just the technical side of the Facebook advertising.
4. Engage don’t broadcast
We can easily fall into the trap of using social media marketing mediums to broadcast what it is that we want to say, and we forget that social media is meant to be about being social!
Are you looking at ways to engage with your social media followers?
You could pose questions in your posts to ask your followers what they’d like to hear more about, you could share content from other aligned businesses or organisations in the hope they might respond and share yours too, and you must make sure you respond to all comments on your posts.
I like the rule of trying to turn every comment into 3 comments by responding with questions on those comments that are designed to elicit more information from the user.
5. Are you using video?
It’s no surprise that the popularity of video content has exploded, and 54% of consumers are expecting to see more and more of it from the businesses and brands that they follow.
Video offers us the chance to communicate a lot of information very quickly and succinctly, and while it’s lovely to have very high-quality corporate video content – it doesn’t always have to be professionally shot.
These days the cameras on smartphones are of incredibly high quality, and if you ensure good lighting and sound, these sorts of videos enable businesses to capitalise on implementing video content in a cost-effective manner.
We’ve got some tips on how you can make your own video content:
Not sure what sorts of videos to create? Here are a few ideas:
- Meet the team
- Answers to frequently asked questions
- Important messages for patients
- The patient experience
- What to expect at the clinic/practice
6. Google yourself
When was the last time that you Googled your own business name, or that of key practitioners in the business? Hopefully a lot of the stuff that you find you’ll be in control of, but you’ll often find that there are things that you weren’t even aware of.
Sometimes these can be automatically generated listings on directories that you should claim and ensure are updated with the correct business details, logo, opening hours, and contact information.
Other times these can be rogue Facebook Pages that were automatically created through patient check-ins, and these can be flooded with testimonials that would contravene the AHPRA guidelines. You must seek to gain control of these profiles/Pages and handle any testimonials appropriately.
7. Track your data
Digital marketing is a very transparent medium in that we can track and report on just about everything! Sometimes this also means that we can get lost in the sea of numbers that we have access to.
When looking at reports or data, refer back to what your business goals are and then only pay attention to metrics that support that goal.
For example, if your goal is to attract more new patients to the clinic and you are running targeted Facebook ads to the local target audience, you would want to look at data points such as the click through rate, time spent on website, number of phone calls or enquiries, number of patient bookings.
As a reference point, the average click through rate for Facebook ads in the healthcare industry in Australia is just 0.83%, and the average cost per click is $1.32.
If you think you could use a little help with reviewing your social media or digital marketing activity, our friendly, local team is here to help.
We have specialist expertise and a proven track record working to leverage digital marketing mediums within the medical and healthcare industry. You can see some of our case studies here: Our Clients.
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