Selling health-related products has become commonplace in specialties like dentistry, dermatology, and even family medicine. Although most healthcare practices that sell products have mastered the art of in-office promotions, far fewer have had success in marketing their products online.
In this post, we share a few digital marketing tactics healthcare practices should consider using to promote health-related products, as well as the rationale for why these healthcare marketing ideas are effective at driving interest and sales.
1. Purchase paid search advertising
Paid search advertising is a form of digital marketing in which you purchase ads for search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo. Google AdWords is the most popular paid search platform, most likely because Google enjoys close to 93 percent of search engine traffic, according to Statcounter.
There are several reasons to consider paid search advertising to promote health-related products. First, your practice has an equal opportunity to rank for highly competitive keywords. This is unlike organic rankings, which take into account some website factors like site traffic and mobile-friendliness. With paid search advertising, the highest bidder always wins the top spot.
Another reason to consider this form of digital marketing is that paid search ads bypass the waiting period that often accompanies achieving a high organic ranking, ultimately meaning you benefit from instant visibility. Better visibility means your product will receive more clicks, your healthcare website will see more traffic, and your product sales will likely increase.
A third reason to consider paid search advertising is that it allows for uber precise audience targeting, which ultimately helps you reach your ideal patients. In Google Adwords, for example, you can target demographics such as gender, age, and household income. You can also exclude demographics if you know certain audiences would not be interested in a particular product.
2. Publish product-centric blog posts
Blogging is a digital marketing tactic proven to boost organic search rankings and increase healthcare website traffic over time. This is because search engines like Google regularly crawl websites for new content. When you publish blog posts about your products, search engines surmise that your practice is an authority on those products, and they feel confident sending searchers to your site. According to HubSpot, small businesses with blogs get 126 percent more lead growth than small businesses that do not write blogs.
Additionally, blogging as part of your online marketing strategy can help position your healthcare practice as the go-to place for particular products in your area. Blogging also allows you to go into greater detail about your products — detail you might not be able to provide via a product page located elsewhere on your healthcare website. Plus, with blog posts you can offer a different perspective on products, whether a product review or comparison.
3. Discuss products on social media
Social media is an ideal digital marketing platform for physicians and other healthcare practitioners to promote out-of-pocket products. One reason is social media is widely used and regularly accessed. According to the Pew Research Center, 81 percent of U.S. adults use YouTube, 69 percent use Facebook, and 40 percent use Instagram. Fifty-four percent of YouTube users, 70 percent of Facebook users, and 59 percent of Instagram users access the sites at least once per day.
Another reason to use social media for healthcare marketing is that people want to know what healthcare experts and practices have to share. According to a survey by the American Osteopathic Association, two-out-of-five adults said they already are or would like to follow their healthcare providers on social media. Another survey finds that 60% of social media users trust their doctor’s posts over other sources.
To ensure people see your product posts, invest in sponsored content. Similar to paid search advertising, sponsored content allows you to target highly-specific audiences. On Facebook, for example, you can specify demographics like gender, age, and location as well as interests and behaviors. According to Sprout Social, 65 percent of people who engage with a social media advertisement will click through to learn more about the topic at hand.
4. Send marketing emails to patients
Although many healthcare practices exclusively focus on attracting new patients, marketing to current patients is also worthwhile because once a patient has interacted with your practice without problems, the likelihood of them returning and spreading a good word about your practice increases. To keep patients returning, stay in contact with them.
Email marketing is a tried-and-true digital marketing tactic for getting patients to make first, second, and third purchases (and so on). According to this survey, 97 percent of email users check their inbox every day, so there is ample opportunity to get in front of your patients.
Display signage and other in-office promotions will always be important for selling health-related products. However, if you want to reach people beyond those coming into your office, you must branch out into digital marketing. Start with these tactics today to see the effect they have on product sales.
For more information on these digital marketing tactics as well as examples of them in action, watch the webinar “5 tips to promote your practice’s out-of-pocket products and services online” now.