Digital marketing to physicians can increase patient referrals dramatically when executed properly. From recommending products or referring patients to medical facilities or physicians with specialized areas of expertise, building an HCP referral network is about driving clear messages. As a marketer you’ll need to create a clear message and maximize HCP touch points to drive home that message. Here are 5 things to consider when marketing to physicians digitally.

  1. The Engagement Vehicle – Digital marketing to physicians often includes content marketing and content marketing starts with content style engagement methods like native advertising. Native advertising is unlike ad banners which often appear in the right rail of websites. Banners can be effective for building a brand but HCPs are notoriously overmarketed. As such, many HCPs have developed “banner blindness”. Tap Native ads are displayed in-content, across hundreds of health and medical sites below the article like the example below. Native ads, sometimes called content recommendation style ads, are ideal at engaging HCPs at the moment they’re ready to discover new content.
    Physician Content Marketing
  2. Website Landing page – Your landing page has a critical job to do and therefore should be created specifically for its intended purpose. You would not want to drive HCPs to a landing page designed for patients and vice versa. When creating a landing page for HCPs, consider adding:
    • Proof You’re Brand is Trustworthy – Trust can be established by highlighting patient volume and patient outcomes. You should use stats, facts, point out the number of years you’ve been in business, highlight the number of patients served and display images of your facilities, staff, product or service in action.
    • Clinical Evidence – Clinical studies or reports can help demonstrate efficacy.
    • Physician and/or Patient Testimonials – Having a HCPs or patients provide commentary in the form of a recommendation is ideal. This should include their experience working with your brand or staff.
    • Ask for the referral – If you want HCPs to refer patients to your product, to your practice or to your facility, ask them for the referral and tell them the benefit for the patient. If it’s an OTC product, remind them no prescription is required. If there are no harmful side effects, tell them. If you are the least expensive option, say it. If you are the most recommended XYZ by physicians, highlight it. If you represent an RX drug communicate how the drug has helped patients overcome the disease or condition. If you represent a medical facility, tell them to refer their patient and be confident they’ll be cared for properly for conditions like X, Y and Z. Ask for the referral.
  3. Retargeting – You’ve spent $40, $70, $150 dollars to get the HCP to your website so adding them to your retargeting pool is a no brainer. Many vendors offer retargeting via ad banners. This is where banners can be effective because retargeting CPMs are far less expensive than targeting CPMs, usually in the $4.00 range. For around 30 to 50 cents a month, you can keep your branded banner displaying in the browser of the HCP that visited your website. If you don’t do retargeting now consider setting up an account with Adroll or Criteo. If you’re using programmatic pipes, ask your provider for a retargeting pixel to add to your HCP landing page. For a relatively small ongoing investment you can make sure the HCP sees your brand mutiple times after they have visited your website.
  4. Free Samples and additional information – Consider adding a section on your site which allows the HCP to opt in for free samples, to receive additional information or even to download information for their patient. Since digital marketing is so prevalent, consider snail mail a powerful opportunity to put something tangible in the HCP’s hands. In addition, consider sending free samples or additional information to every HCP that visits your website. Having an HCP hand their patient a free sample or pamphlet is the holy grail of physician referrals. At Tap Native, the real-time dashboard reports ULD and includes the full name, NPI and specialty of every HCP that clicks your ad. You can mail or email these HCPs thanking them for their website visit and include samples or pamphlets for their patients. Example of ULD reporting is below:
    ULD Reporting
  5. Optimizing HCPs Referrals using data – With most digital marketing you can see which ads were most and least effective at driving HCPs to your site. At Tap Native, the dashboard gets very granular. HCP Marketers can see which ads drove the most expensive and least expensive cost per conversion, by ad, target and geo. Using HCP targeting segments, you can also begin to understand which types of HCPs are most and least likely to respond to ads and/or refer patients. This data can be used to turn off what works least and turn up what works best. We call this part of optimizing “cracking the code”.

    An effective HCP marketing campaign can build referrals by solidifying your brand in the mind of each HCP visitor. Envision the entire experience and think about the cost of producing that experience for a single HCP. Here’s an example

    • Many will see your ad
    • Some will click your ad. Ex: Effective cost per click of $65.00
    • Clickers will visit your website
    • Visitors will become immersed in your messages on your landing page
    • After the visit, those HCPs will see your branded banner as they browse the Web (retargeting). Ex: $2.50 frequency Cap for 4 months of retargeting the HCP
    • Cost of obtaining the best mailing or email address for each HCP. Ex. $4.00
    • Mailing your website visitors additional information like free samples or pamphlets days or weeks after visiting your site. Ex. $25.00 including package and postage.

    In this example, the all-in cost per HCP experience totals: $96.50. For most marketers seeking physician referrals, this is relatively inexpensive when you compare it to the cost of in-person brand building which can cost thousands of dollars per HCP experience. Digital marketing to HCPs can be highly effective. Its affordable and has a low cost of entry, its measurable and scalable. Native ads are particularly cost effective because they are images + text with little to no cost of creation. If you’re thinking about building a digital marketing program to build a physician referral network, lets chat.