Digital marketing isn’t a bold, risky strategy — it can be a cost-efficient and effective way to find new patients.
Practice managers often have dozens of different responsibilities, and one of the most important is attracting and retaining new patients to grow the practice. This can prove to be no easy feat, however, as practice managers must not only deliver results, but convince physicians that they’re taking the best course of action to do so.
And with oftentimes limited budgets, taking a risk on a new strategy can be cause enough for pushback. Though, the reality is that digital marketing strategies, while relatively new, are fast becoming a highly cost-effective way to attract new business. With these facts in hand, it can be easy to get physician buy-in on digital methods. Here’s what you need to know.
Cost-per-Patient Acquisition (CPA) Drops
On average, it costs much less to grow your your patient pool with digital marketing than with traditional methods. Recent research found that, for some practices, the average CPA for a comprehensive traditional campaign is $275, while that of digital marketing is just $49.75, according to sesame. For vein practices, digital methods can reduce CPAs by as much as 50%, according to a comprehensive study.
These numbers are consistent with our own findings: we were able to reduce the costs per booked appointment for one dental practice by a full 70%. The fact of the matter is that digital practices typically improve marketing ROI by a significant margin, thanks to their ability to accurately target patients and constantly optimize performance — perks that traditional channels usually can’t provide.
Zero in on Target Patients
If your practice is like most, you probably see plenty of patients in your waiting room using their smartphones. Digital marketing techniques can accurately target the right type of patient, reaching them on those digital devices at just the moment that they’re looking for care.
With pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, for instance, you reach customers the moment they pull out their phone to search, “local knee doctor,” “strep test,” “back pain,” or whatever other ailments your practice may treat. Moreover, you can target those ads for age, demographic, keyword, mobile (or desktop), or a variety of other factors. And by adding a simple click-to-call (CTC) button, those patients can reach out with a single touch.
The same goes for paid Facebook ads, which enable you to connect with highly specific patient segments, both ones that you can describe and target manually or ones that Facebook automatically detects. Facebook ads are so useful because of the accuracy and complexity of its targeting options.
Offer a Trial Run
Medical practices usually have to spend thousands (or even tens of thousands) of dollars on a traditional marketing campaign before they know if it’s effective or not. However, with digital tools, you can start small, spending very little on many different channels before scaling up those that are most cost-effective — a “Try before you buy” strategy.
For the medical practice, this means that there’s virtually zero risk to trying a digital strategy. And you’re not “locked in” once you do scale channels — they can be optimized in real-time for the duration of the campaign. This strategy has enabled us to reduce initial paid costs by 20-40%.
If All Else Fails…Cost Is King
At the end of the day, the best argument for going digital is the ROI. Using digital methods, we’ve been able to achieve an average 7x return on investment for our clients. In fact, a large vein care practice saw a 13.7x return, nearly 5.7 times more than their average via traditional channels.
No one said that the job of a practice manager was easy, but the last obstacle you should have to overcome is getting physician buy-in for your marketing campaigns. Fortunately, digital marketing has made it not only easier to get everyone on board, but to ensure a better outcome for your efforts — and your investment.
(Main image credit: medications/Pixabay)