SEO, PPC, or Social Marketing: What generates more healthcare enquiries?

A few questions I get asked almost daily are: “What is the relative importance of SEO, PPC, and Social Media Marketing in my healthcare marketing online? Should I do more than one? Is social media marketing really necessary? Do I really have to use Facebook, or is that just a tool for other types of businesses and not MY medical practice?”

I am delighted to share the results of the first annual Webmarketing123 State of Digital Marketing Survey,  which surveyed 500 professional marketers and sheds some empirical light on these questions above. I will post the link below, if you want to look at the survey in its entirety. This research helps to provide a context for the relative budget, time and attention splits you may want to consider for your online healthcare marketing efforts.

We were particularly interested in the Business to Consumer (B2C) findings from the report, which are the most relevant to the majority of our customers.

What makes the biggest impact on your lead generation goals?

Some of the most relevant findings to healthcare business marketing are:

  • The biggest impact on B2C  lead generation goals is SEO (41%), followed by PPC (34.2%) and Social Media Marketing (24.8%)
  • The most important objective of the survey respondent’s digital marketing programme  is focussed on sales (62.9%). This is a combination of generating either sales or leads
  • A tiny proportion of online efforts is spent on building brand awareness ( 16.9%). We applaud this finding, as in year’s past we often found that building brand awareness was getting an inappropriately larger % of budget than we felt companies should be spending. The results just weren’t there to justify it!  Unless you are Coke or General Mills, keep branding efforts minimised and stay focussed on sales
  • Facebook is the most used social media network for B2C Activity (75.3%), followed by Twitter (8.4%), and then Linked in (6.2%)
  • 74% of B2C marketers have generated leads via Facebook, while 40% have generated leads from Twitter
  • The smaller the company, the higher the investment % in SEO.
    • For companies with 1 to 10 employees: 39.2% of their marketing budget is spent on SEO, followed by 18.6% of PPC, and 14.4% on Social Media Marketing.
    • For companies with 11 to 50 employees: 31.3% of the marketing budget is spent on SEO, 27% on PPC, and 13.9% on Social Media Marketing.
    • This reflects the relative importance of SEO in the healthcare marketing mix as well. We also see a higher percentage focus in a smaller marketing budget on SEO for long term results, with PPC being used sparingly for short term, but more expensive, ‘bursts’ of leads.
  • SEO and Social media marketing budgets will increase in 2012, with PPC maintaining or decreasing
    • 53.1% of marketers are increasing their SEO budgets in 2012
    • 50.5% of marketers will keep their PPC budgets the same for 2012
    • 60% will increase their social media marketing

This kind of aggregrate data is so useful because it rules out the bizarre spending or media use habits of the “rogue marketer”, and brings a picture of what a large group of professional marketers are doing.  The trends are clear, and the results are even clearer. You need to be focussing on these three online activites, and if you have a limited budget (and let’s be honest, most companies do), it should now be clear that SEO is the winner in terms of lead generation and long term results for healthcare marketing success.

You can view the entire report here and download a really cool infographic too!

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What our clients say…

“In a matter of weeks, we already saw results with LiveseySolar. Far before we were even finished with our project.”

Erik Chotiner, MD, FACS, Ophthalmologist

“The whole group has been very, very professional. We’re quite early in the stages, but we can see the benefits.”

Dr Nick Mantell , MBChB FRANZCO

“They’re very professional. They know what they’re doing, but they also put us at ease. This helped us to cut through what’s needed to get what we want.”

Mr Praveen Patel, MA (Cantab), MB BChir (Cantab), FRCOphth, MD (Res)

“It’s wonderful to work with an agency that engages on our level and understands our market.”

Dr Anton Van Heerden, MBChB; FRANZCO, Ophthalmologist

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Meet our Founders

We’re passionate about helping leaders of high-quality, growth-minded practice owners double their revenue

Rod Solar

Founder & Fractional CMO

Rod co-founded LiveseySolar and acts as a Fractional CMO for our customers. He’s on a mission to help transform the lives of 10,000 people with vision correction surgery by 2024. To achieve that, he inspires his customers to make confident decisions that will help 50,000 people take the first step towards vision correction.

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LiveseySolar completely transformed the way we were approaching this… We’ve gone from having just the dream of having a practice to having a practice up and running with people making inquiries and booking for procedures… It’s extremely pleasing. We feel lucky we connected with LiveseySolar.

— Dr Matthew Russell, MBChB, FRANZCO, specialist ophthalmic surgeon and founder of VSON and OKKO

Laura Livesey

Founder & CEO

Laura Livesey is the co-founder & CEO of LiveseySolar. She has developed powerful refractive surgery marketing systems that increase patient volumes and profits for doctors, clinics, and hospitals, since 1997.

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Rod and Laura know as much about marketing surgery to patients as I know about performing it. They are an expert in the field of laser eye surgery marketing. They know this industry inside out. I believe that they could help many companies in a variety of areas including marketing materials, sales training and marketing support for doctors.

— Prof. Dan Reinstein, MD MA FRSC DABO, founder of the London Vision Clinic, UK