We know that we talk about it all the time, but we’re going to say it again for the folks in the back: the digital landscape has drastically changed the way that people make health appointments. The reality is that the average adult spends twice as much time online as they did 13 years ago (about 20 hours a week to be exact).
So, digital marketing isn’t just a bonus element of your health & wellness marketing strategy - it is your marketing strategy. It's the best (and cheapest) way to get more patients in the door.
Understanding how marketing works in the digital world is less intuitive than you may think. In order to succeed at every stage of the digital marketing cycle, you need to understand how that cycle works.
What is the Digital Marketing Cycle, anyway?
The digital marketing cycle stems from the idea that every digital campaign experiences five stages. When done correctly, these five stages should convert all of your hard work across various digital media into customer actions that fulfill your campaign objectives (i.e. more patient appointments requested through your website).
The Five Stages of the Digital Marketing Cycle:
During the initial set up period, you’ll work on establishing your baseline and your digital media infrastructure. The goal of this period is to gain followers and initiate potential patient relationships, laying the groundwork for offline interactions. From there, you’ll begin to develop a content strategy and increase the number of touch points that you have with your patients.
“Marketers need to build digital relationships and reputation before closing a sale.” – Chris Brogan, Chief Executive Officer of Owner Media Group
Once your digital marketing presence has been set up and your initial strategy established, you’ll move into the traction phase. During this period in the digital marketing cycle, your goal is to gain traction on the internet - especially on social media and mobile platforms. You should work to transform your set touch points into conversation points and increase customer service for your patients.
Are you putting in too much time trying to gain traction? Learn how to generate more patients with your existing website here.
As your campaign begins to gain traction, it will evolve into the positioning phase. At this point, your conversation points should become points of conversion. This is the period where you’ll really start to see results: increased patient requests, increased revenue, and health & wellness brand loyalty are the goals of the positioning phase.
With a sophisticated digital marketing strategy under your belt, your campaign will move into the expansion phase. This period will focus on gaining brand power and establishing a consistent stream of appointment requests and revenue. You’ll also begin to establish some recognition as a leader in the health & wellness industry.
In an ideal world, a marketing campaign continues to have lasting effects long after it ends. The viral growth phase looks to the future, where your marketing campaign helps you to expand your audience exponentially and continues to bring in new patients and revenue opportunities.
What would a 50% monthly increase in online patient appointment requests mean for your business? Start converting website visitors into patients in just 4 easy steps.