Rising health care costs and easy access to information online mean less revenue for medical providers. Today’s patients aren’t as willing to spend big on treatments or consultations as they were before the recession: last year, nonprofit hospitals posted the smallest revenue growth in the 23 years that Moody’s Investors Service has been reporting the statistics.
In an economic climate that leaves providers looking to cut back on expenses, doctors are finding that digital marketing, specifically search, mobile and social, is extremely effective in targeting those that may need their services. More than TV, radio or print, digital solutions like search-engine marketing and social media are being utilized to reach those who want medical care.
Why is digital marketing so effective? Paul Matsen, CMO of Cleveland Clinic, says that 80% of those diagnosed with an illness seek information about their ailment online, so campaigns like banners, service-line ads, testimonials, and guides are sure ways to connect with those looking for health providers. Digital marketing is not only a wise strategy for patient engagement, but is also a good return on investment. Telemedicine – treatment and diagnosis by a doctor via video call – has become increasingly popular because it cuts costs associated with hospitals and patients. And as technology advances, doctors are seeing fewer and fewer obstacles to treating patients virtually.
But the internet is primarily a place that people go to tell stories. Hospitals like Boston Children’s Hospital find that digital medical marketing services are the perfect way to share testimonials and connect patients, and have invested heavily in creating strong presences on social media like Facebook. Boston Children’s Hospital’s revenue increased from $1 billion to $1.4 billion between 2011 and 2012 after the integration of social media and digital marketing efforts.
While the healthcare industry continues to evolve, so does marketing, and health care providers will find that digital platforms are some of the most easy and effective ways to reach their target audiences.