How to Create a Digital Marketing Strategy That Fits Your Healthcare Practice
A digital marketing strategy forms the basis of all your online marketing activities. It is a blueprint detailing what you want to achieve with your digital marketing activities, and how you are going to achieve it. Take a look at how you can create a digital marketing strategy that is best suited to your practice.
The first thing you have to do when creating a digital marketing strategy is to determine what you want to accomplish. For example, do you want more patients to come to your practice? Do you want to attract potential patients from areas outside your immediate location, or are you new in the area and want to create awareness among locals? You must be clear about what you want to achieve, as this will influence and guide all your decisions in the process of creating an effective digital marketing strategy.
Define your target market (and find them)
Now that you have clear goals, the next step is to decide who you want to target. The ‘shotgun’ approach of targeting everyone does not work online, you have to be as specific as possible. Do some research to see who other practices in the area attract and decide whether you want to target the same people or a different group. Create personas of your ideal patient(s) like “a thirty-something single mother of two. She works a full-time, middle-income job, and doesn’t spend as much time with her kids as she would like”. This will help you identify where the best place is to target them online. These personas must be based on research — there are numerous tools online to help you find your target audience.
Set your budget
Deciding how much you are willing to spend is a critical part of drawing up a digital marketing campaign. This will determine what digital marketing channels you will use, what combination of channels, how much you will spend each channel and the length of your campaign. Not all channels cost the same to be effective, so it’s important to know the costs associated with each channel. Finally, be realistic in terms of what your business can afford to spend on a digital marketing campaign, and whether the potential return on investment will justify the spend.
Choose your channels
To create an effective digital marketing campaign, you need to use a combination, or mix, of digital marketing channels. Each channel has different strengths and weaknesses that make them more suitable for certain campaigns. By putting several channels together you can use the strengths of the one to cover the weaknesses of the other, thereby creating a stronger, more effective campaign. It is thus important to understand the strengths and weaknesses of each channel to determine what combination will be best suited to achieve your digital marketing goals. The most popular digital marketing channels include email marketing, search engine optimisation, paid search, content marketing, social media marketing, and mobile marketing.
Create a strategy
Once you know the appropriate digital marketing channels for your needs, you need to build a plan. This will show you how to go about using these channels to achieve your goals. What channel will you use where, how often, with what message, to whom? Having a clearly defined target audience will help greatly in determining this strategy, as well as your budget. Many businesses enlist the help of digital marketing agencies who are experts in creating digital strategies.
Create a calendar
If you decide to manage your digital marketing campaign on your own, create a calendar. This will assist you in keeping track of which channel you are using when and where. It will give you an overall picture of the campaign and make it easier to monitor. If you are using a digital agency, they should also provide you with a calendar.
Monitor, measure, and modify
Once your campaign is in motion, it is important to constantly monitor the campaign performance, measure its effectiveness, and make adjustments if needed. Even if the campaign is running smoothly and goals are being met, you should still monitor and measure it, as there is always room for improvement — you don’t want to simply meet your goals, you want to exceed them.
Having a solid digital marketing strategy is critical for successfully promoting your practice online. Done right, it can help you engage with new and existing patients better, giving you insight into their health needs. This will allow you as healthcare practitioners to offer them the best services that will help them live happier, healthier lives.