by Gill Valerio, Founder of Elevate Marketing Solutions
The core role of healthcare and wellness professionals has remained relatively unchanged throughout the years: to provide excellent patient care. However, as businesses in the health and wellness sectors become more complex and digital technologies continue to develop, entrepreneurs in health and wellness must be prepared to adopt a digital marketing strategy. Otherwise, they risk becoming irrelevant and — albeit unintentionally — pushing otherwise loyal patients into their competitors’ doors.
The evolution of marketing in the healthcare and wellness sector
Traditionally, businesses in the healthcare and wellness industries have been marketed in one of two ways: through community outreach events or direct advertising via snail mail. Although these may have been efficient once upon a time, the modern tools now at the disposal of health and wellness entrepreneurs have created a landscape where these methods are too expensive and time-consuming for the low ROI they provide.
The final marketing tool that has historically been dominant in health and wellness is word-of-mouth, which still remains a relevant one, but even word-of-mouth marketing is evolving in the modern day. Whereas word-of-mouth referrals used to come from friends, neighbors, and family members telling each other about the practitioners they visit, referrals now come from online reviews and social media posts talking about a patient’s experiences.
As we live an increasing amount of our lives in a digital world, it is thus becoming increasingly important — if not outright essential — for health and wellness businesses to invest in digital marketing. Digital marketing offers many tools and insights that were unavailable to businesses using more traditional methods of marketing. Because the ultimate goal of marketing for health and wellness practices is primarily to generate new patient leads, understanding how digital marketing tools can be used to reach prospective patients is of the utmost importance.
The appeal of digital marketing for healthcare and wellness
The main reason why businesses in the health and wellness space should emphasize digital marketing in their strategy is to stay relevant. The industry has already seen several of its processes become entirely digitized, with tools such as patient portals and appointment scheduling apps taking the place of paper records and appointment cards. The demand for health and wellness practices to accommodate the mobile and online lifestyles of the current generation has created a reality in which digital marketing is perhaps the only way to reach these people.
Perhaps the main benefit of digital marketing — especially with a thought-out plan on how to execute it — is its enormous potential for fast growth. Digital platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Google offer massive audiences that businesses in the health and wellness industry should take advantage of. These platforms also tend to appeal to a younger demographic, which these businesses often struggle to reach with more traditional marketing methods.
Indeed, the name of the game with digital marketing is the ability to reach a more targeted audience. The best thing about digital marketing is that it comes with access to a tremendous amount of data. Because of all the information social media users share, it is much easier to create marketing campaigns tailored to their specific needs and interests. This information can also be used to help businesses save money by narrowing marketing efforts to a smaller geographic area or demographic range.
Thankfully, there are plenty of tools and resources at the disposal of health and wellness entrepreneurs to help them navigate the complexities of digital marketing in the sector. Working with a marketing agency that specializes in digital marketing for health and wellness practices can be an especially powerful step to staying relevant in this more digital landscape in the healthcare industry. Remember: if you don’t invest in digital marketing, your competitors will, and you don’t want patients walking through their doors instead of yours.
Gill Valerio is an entrepreneur, founder, and CEO of his agency, Elevate Marketing Solutions. The agency is focused on driving new revenue through digital marketing primarily in the Chiropractic niche. Now in business for 6 very successful years now, having helped numerous Chiropractors get back to loving their business and helping the patients in need the most.