29 Aug How Healthcare Professionals Spend Their Time Online
When you’re marketing to healthcare professionals, knowing where and how to reach them through their preferred channels is the first step to forming a meaningful relationship. According to research from McKinsey & Company, 98% of healthcare professionals reported searching for information online. As health professionals’ needs, demographics, and challenges change, health marketers must be more nimble to reach these professionals through their preferred channels. As millennials under the age of 35 become more prominent within the industry, your digital strategy and content delivery channels are more important than ever.
With the right approach, you have enormous opportunities to connect with your target audience and grow your business. So, what is the best way to reach healthcare professionals online? We will examine how healthcare professionals spend their time online and the best avenues to connect with them in meaningful ways to help you form and deepen relationships.
A 2018 survey by HealthLink Dimensions found that 66% of physicians and 75% of nurse practitioners and physician assistants prefer email over other channels for medical product information, industry news, and research opportunities. With that in mind, it’s important to focus on effective email and newsletter content strategies. Given that healthcare professionals are more likely to read emails on a tablet or mobile phone owing to their busy schedules — more than 75 percent of physicians report the use of mobile health in their practice — be sure that all of your email marketing is mobile-friendly (i.e., not too image- heavy).
According to a Cisco study, 82% of consumer internet traffic will be in video format by 2021. Using video is one of the most engaging and mobile-friendly ways to reach healthcare professionals. Rather than using stock (purchased off-the-shelf) images or your own staff in the video, hire representatives from your target market to provide a more clinical, peer-driven review or informational approach when promoting your product or services.
A number of social media networks are designed specifically to connect doctors, nurses, and pharmacists with their peers around the world. According to research from HealthLink Dimensions, more than a third of physicians reported using social networks to communicate with their professional peers, and 59% said they see the value in social media and plan to use it as a resource in the future.
LinkedIn is by far among the most effective social media channels for reaching healthcare professionals. According to the LinkedIn Marketing Solutions blog, the social platform reaches more than 40% of physicians. In 2014, more than 4.4 million healthcare professionals and executives belonged to LinkedIn, a number that continues to grow. The best ways to engage healthcare professionals on LinkedIn include:
Participate in groups: Healthcare professionals join industry-focused groups to engage with their peers, ask and answer questions, and network with one another. By contributing answers, opinions, and valuable insights in groups, you’ll build a reputation as reliable and make new connections with potential clients.
Stand out as a thought leader: Establish trust as an industry thought leader by posting white papers, blogs, and other informative, relevant content. Content must be posted from an individual rather than an organization. In doing this, you add a human element to the relationship and build trust by putting your face and name on the content. Take the time to respond thoughtfully to articles, white papers, and blog content posted by other industry thought leaders.
Get recommendations: A survey conducted by LinkedIn revealed that consumer testimonials and case studies are the two most effective marketing tactics used on the networking site. Reviews from your current and past customers can boost your credibility and help you earn new leads over time.
Connect through Sermo. Sermo is the most trusted and preferred social network for doctors. It’s private and exclusively for the physician community – 800,000 members are verified and credentialed physicians. Sermo offers numerous advertising opportunities, including sponsored content and native in-feed ad units. In addition, this network can be an excellent resource for market research to probe what your audience is thinking.
Providing the type of information healthcare professionals want and need – through the media channels they use most – is key to effective engagement. Knowing exactly how to reach and interact with your target audiences and which information they consider most valuable will help you tailor your messages and gain a responsive and loyal audience.
Need help reaching healthcare professionals via social media? Contact Bryant Brown Healthcare.