Search engines, social media and blog posts, oh my. Given the plethora of platforms and channels that constitute the digital universe, it’s not surprising that some doctors find Internet marketing about as appealing as a haunted forest full of flying monkeys.
The solution, of course, is not to run for cover, but rather, to recognize that given limited time and resources, you’ll get the most bang for your buck by directing your energies to those platforms and channels where you’re most likely to be heard. That’s the premise of a new report from HubSpot that looked at where those online conversations were taking place for 33 industries.
The data for health care provide some directional insights for aesthetic professionals as they seek to work their way through the woods. Tabulating the online references to the word “health care,” the report determined that overall online activity for the industry broke down as follows:
- Blogs: 42%
- Social Media: 41%
- Search engines: 17%
In fact, the percentage for social media is probably even higher as the results only included the four major platforms of Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube. Among those four, YouTube dominated the results with 44% of the total, followed by Twitter (21%), LinkedIn (20%) and Facebook (15%).
It’s actually not surprising that YouTube scored so highly as the Google-owned site is now the second-largest search engine on the planet. Combine that with video’s inherent shareability and the visual nature of cosmetic surgery and you’ve got further evidence that the medium should be part of your online marketing plan.
1. Think like a publisher — and trusted friend
While search remains an important part of many people’s online lives, most of the conversation about health care is taking place in blogs and social networks. Yes, a high Google ranking is good but it won’t convince consumers that they should trust you with their care. Sharing your expertise through pertinent blog posts and contributions to social sites, on the other hand, adheres to Robert Collier’s famous dictum to “always enter the conversation already taking place in the customer’s mind.”
2. Think like a videographer
Regardless of where you devote your energies, it’s hard to argue with the power of video. If you go that route, bear in mind that pretty images are nice to look at — once — but aesthetic consumers are looking for information they can use to make more informed decisions. Using video to demonstrate products, explain procedures and answer consumer questions will keep visitors on site longer, encourage them to share your content with others and increase the odds that they’ll call your office.
3. Think holistically
Simply put, there is no silver-bullet, one-size-fits-all solution to successful Internet marketing. Working with your social media manager or web vendor, research which platforms deliver traffic to your practice website, explore how your competition utilizes the various tools and base your own efforts on the correlation between the two.