Selling health-related products has become commonplace in specialties like dentistry, dermatology, and even family medicine. Although most healthcare practices that sell products have mastered the art of in-office promotions, far fewer have had success in marketing their products online.
Here are a few items commonly sold at medical practices that can increase your bottom line and help your patients thrive:
- Pain relief gels and patches
- Tens machines
- Posture helpers
- Knee braces
- Joint supplements
- Teeth Whitening
- Skin Care treatments
In this post, we share a few digital marketing tactics healthcare practices should consider using to promote health-related products, as well as why these healthcare marketing ideas are effective at driving interest and sales.
1. Purchase paid search advertising for products
Product Search Marketing is a form of digital marketing in which you purchase ads for search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo. Google is the most popular paid search platform, most likely because Google enjoys close to 90% of search engine traffic.
There are several reasons to consider paid options on search engines to promote health-related products. First, your practice has an equal opportunity to rank for highly competitive products. This is unlike organic rankings, which take into account some website factors like site traffic and mobile-friendliness. With product advertising, Google will show a carousel of products to choose from. Here are a few things you must do to help you stand out:
- Free shipping
- Great images of your products in your displauy
- Competitive pricing
- Promotions, such as BOGO
Another reason to consider this form of digital marketing is that paid search ads bypass the long lead times and costs that often accompanies achieving a high organic ranking, ultimately meaning you benefit from instant visibility. Better visibility means your product will receive more clicks, your healthcare website will see more traffic, and your product sales will likely increase.
A third reason to consider paid search advertising is that it allows for uber precise audience targeting, which ultimately helps you reach your ideal patients. In Google Adwords, for example, you can target demographics such as gender, age, and household income. You can also exclude demographics if you know certain audiences would not be interested in a particular product.
Be sure to work on your reputation as a seller, however, as most buyers will bypass a store that has demonstrated shipping or delivery issues.
2. Publish product-centric content
Useful, informative content showcasing your and your practice as experts is a digital marketing tactic proven to boost organic search rankings and increase healthcare website traffic. This is because search engines like Google regularly crawl websites for new content. When you publish content about your products, search engines surmise that your practice is an authority on those products, and they feel confident sending searchers to your site. According to HubSpot, small businesses with blogs get 126% more lead growth than small businesses that do not write blogs.
Additionally, guest posting as part of your online marketing strategy can help position your healthcare practice as the go-to place for particular product knowledge in your area. Guest posting also allows you to go into greater detail about your products and expertise — detail you might not be able to provide via a product page located elsewhere on your healthcare website. You can offer a different perspective on products, whether a product review or comparison to help the reader, which websites will appreciate.
Tips on guest posting and content for medical product marketing visibility
- be sure to ask for a backlink to your website if you contribute content to someone else's content
- Be sure to write content that includes links to purchase directly from the information
- Share your content with influencers and on social media for more visibility and lift
3. Discuss products on social media
Social media is an ideal digital marketing platform for physicians and other healthcare practitioners to promote out-of-pocket products. One reason is social media is widely used and regularly accessed. According to the Pew Research Center, 81% of U.S. adults use YouTube, 69% use Facebook, and 40% use Instagram. Fifty-four percent of YouTube users, 70% of Facebook users, and 59% of Instagram users access the sites at least once per day.
Another reason to use social media for healthcare marketing of your products is that people want to know what healthcare experts and practices have to share. According to a survey by the American Osteopathic Association, two-out-of-five adults said they already are or would like to follow their healthcare providers on social media. Another survey finds that 60% of social media users trust their doctor’s posts over other sources.
To ensure people see your product posts, invest in sponsored content. Similar to paid search advertising, sponsored content allows you to target highly-specific audiences. On Facebook, for example, you can specify demographics like gender, age, and location as well as interests and behaviors. According to Sprout Social, 65% of people who engage with a social media advertisement will click through to learn more about the topic at hand.
4. Send marketing emails to patients touting your products
Although many healthcare practices exclusively focus on attracting new patients, marketing to current patients is great for reminding them that you have products to assist them with their medical needs.
Email marketing is a tried-and-true digital marketing tactic for getting patients to make first, second, and third purchases (and so on). According to this survey, 97% of email users check their inbox every day, so there is ample opportunity to get in front of your patients.
Include links in your emails directly to your products and reviews of them as well.
Product marketing in a digital world ensures success
Display signage and other in-office promotions will always be important for selling health-related products. However, if you want to reach people beyond those coming into your office, you must branch out into digital marketing. Start with these tactics today to see the effect they have on your medical product sales.