As 2018 transitions to 2019, it’s becoming abundantly clear that the patient experience is changing—now more than ever, patients realize they have options when it comes to healthcare.
For that reason, more and more patients are turning to the Internet to find the healthcare services they need.
In this blog, we’ll highlight in greater detail why patients are turning to the Internet, what it means for healthcare providers, what healthcare marketers have to do to keep pace.
(For additional information on increasing investment in healthcare-focused digital marketing, be sure to access our free Ebook as well.)
How many people are looking and why does it matter?
Tens of millions of Americans search for health-related topics online, and that number is growing thanks to the expansion of technology and an increasing expectation of personalization.
As such, traditional marketing channels—while not dead—are struggling to have the resonance and value they once did.
Television and radio audiences continue to decline and shift.
Print ads (billboards, paid editorials, magazine ads, etc.) are difficult to extract ROI from (let alone measure, ROI).
And while word-of-mouth marketing continues to be a valuable source of new patient business for healthcare organizations, it’s not something that can be controlled.
Which is why healthcare decision makers are taking a more focused look at the scalability of digital marketing and advertising as a means of building brand recognition, communicating service offerings to local communities, and—ultimately—bringing more patients in the front door.
The bottom line?—Those hospitals and healthcare networks that want to remain competitive will need to invest in the development of a highly-functional, professional-looking digital presence (especially a website) that accurately represents the first stage of the patient journey.
Look at the numbers
As Internet usage continues to climb in the United States, low-cost digital mediums offer healthcare marketers a way to not only segment and target potential patients, but also measure ROI with unprecedented accuracy.
62% of smartphone owners say they’ve looked up health information on their phones within the past year (the number increases to 75% for people ages 18-29).
Patients tend to take action after seeing a paid search ad for a hospital: 35% search for more information and 28% visit the hospital’s website.
Further understanding scaling digital marketing for healthcare
In the past, hospitals had little need for scalable marketing—there were plenty of patients and little in the way of competition—but today it’s a different ball game.
Healthcare providers big and small are competing for patients like never before. Today’s patient is a savvy consumer not only ready but willing to shop around based on the cost and quality of the care needed, as well as the overall patient experience.
And where are patients turning when they do their healthcare shopping?
Which is why healthcare organizations must be able to target and scale their digital marketing campaigns across large, diverse networks at the drop of a hat.If you’re interested in learning more about scaling digital marketing for health systems, download our FREE Ebook, Scaling Your Digital Presence to Attract New Patients.