Digital Marketing 101 – A Beginners’ Guide for Health Professionals

Saturday, June 15, 2019

It’s not surprising that marketing tactics have shifted from billboards and newspapers to social media and webpages. The whole idea behind marketing is to meet people where they are and offer something they can buy to solve a problem they’re facing. And where are people these days? Overwhelmingly on the internet is where.

So, if you’re new to this whole thing, read on for a rundown of what digital marketing is, how it differs from traditional marketing, and a few examples of how health professionals can employ digital marketing tactics to help grow their business

What is digital marketing?

The simplest way to define digital marketing is any type of marketing strategy that is applied online in order to sell products or services. Even if you don’t realise it, you’re experiencing digital marketing every day either through the apps you use, the Instagrammers you follow, or the questions you search on Google.

In a nutshell, digital marketing works and it’s necessary for any modern brand, including companies in the health and wellness field. According to a Pew study, 75% of U.S. adults go online once a day with 25% saying they’re online “constantly”. These numbers aren’t showing any signs of decline and getting on top of digital marketing is the only way to stay afloat.

Digital Marketing vs. Traditional Marketing

Both digital marketing and traditional marketing have the same goals: speak to a target audience in order to sell a product or service. The methods in which digital marketing and traditional marketing produce these results, however, are quite different.

Digital Marketing vs. Traditional  Marketing

Let’s explore how each of them accomplish various goals.

Reaching Out to Your Target Audience

Digital Marketing: Customised demographics that best fit the campaign including location, gender, age, interests, and more.

Traditional Marketing: Rely on locally targeted audiences using print and broadcasting without much of an opportunity to expand internationally.

Channels of Delivery

Digital Marketing: Able to use multiple channels of delivery for the same message and able to engage with the audience in two-way communication.

Traditional Marketing: One-way communication through mediums such as television, newspapers, magazines, brochures, sales calls, and flyers.  


Digital Marketing: Online events like webinars, live videos, and courses that have the ability to gather a worldwide audience at once.

Traditional Marketing: In-person events where you establish your brand presence at conferences, conventions, and seminars.

As you can see, traditional marketing methods are still used and are often still rather effective when done well. Digital marketing just has a much broader reach and takes advantage of the instantaneous and engaging nature of the internet. Your best bet is to employ both methods and have a multidisciplinary approach to your marketing efforts. 

Examples of Digital Marketing

Examples of Digital Marketing

To get a fuller understanding of digital marketing, let’s dive into some examples of what digital marketing might look like for your growing physiotherapy business.


SEO stands for search engine optimisation which is an incredibly important aspect of digital marketing. It’s a tactic to make sure your website is ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs) so that users click on your link to answer their question or search query..

There are a few kinds of SEO you can use:

  • On Page SEO: This is where a search engine looks through all the content you can see on any given webpage such as keywords that draw readers to the page.
  • Off Page SEO: This is all the SEO that takes place “behind the scenes”, if you will, like backlinks or inbound links from other trusted and high domain authority websites.
  • Technical SEO: This has to do with the coding underneath your website including image compression, file optimisation, and loading speed which all can affect your ranking on SERPs.


Content Marketing

Content Marketing

With the goal of creating brand awareness, traffic growth, lead generation, and of course, customers, companies use content marketing by promoting, you guessed it… content. Usually, content in this case is informative and presents your brand and business as an expert, giving customers a reason to trust you and your goods or services.

Common types of content marketing include:

  • Blog Posts: By creating interesting and relevant blog posts that genuinely help your potential customers, it’s a great place to incorporate keywords and give your company a voice that people learn to trust.
  • E-books, Guides, and Whitepapers: Different from blog posts, these are long-form content and can help generate leads by offering them in exchange for signing up to your email list.
  • Infographics: Using visuals to display information, especially when things get complicated, as they often do in the healthcare field, are a great way to use content marketing.
  • Video and Podcasts: Using video or audio to talk about topics relevant to your brand, videos and podcasts are lucrative ways to use content marketing.


Social Media Marketing

Social Media Marketing

As an incredibly interactive way to market your clinic digitally, social media is definitely somewhere you want to be. It gets people aware of your brand and talking about it. You don’t have to be on every platform, but decide what works best for you and your audience.

Common social media channels to take advantage of are:

  • Facebook: Well-rounded as far as sharing content and is beneficial for sharing pretty much everything that’s going on with your company.
  • Twitter: Great for sharing newsworthy articles and interesting facts.
  • Instagram: As a visual platform, it’s the place you need to be to visually demonstrate who you are as a business.
  • LinkedIn: Especially helpful for B2B communications like linking up with GPs in the area who might refer patients to your clinic.
  • Snapchat: Can be used if you’re looking to connect with a younger audience.
  • Pinterest: Extremely visual and shareable; Often used as a search engine that can link straight to your website.


Pay Per Click (PPC)

Once you’ve created some content, you might want to boost its performance and get some more eyeballs on your brand. This is where PPC ads come in. It works in that you pay a publisher for every click your ad receives and the most common PPC provider is Google Ads which gives you top spots on Google’s SERPs.

You might also use PPC ads in conjunction with your social media strategy. You can have paid ads on Facebook, create Twitter ad campaigns, sponsor posts on Instagram and LinkedIn, and promote your Pins on Pinterest.

Email Marketing

Did you know that the majority of conversions happen in email? Well, it’s true and most people even prefer to have companies sell them things through email. For health professionals, it’s important to understand that if you’re not taking advantage of email marketing, it’s time to start.

Start by gathering an email list of potential clients either in-person or through your website or through your online booking platform. Then, send valuable assets to their inbox like:

  • Blog posts they might be interested in
  • A monthly newsletter
  • Success stories from clients of your clinic
  • Sales and promotions as a thank you for their loyalty or birthday.
  • Tips you’re an expert on such as how to stay active with kids or when to know it’s time to see a physio

Marketing Automation

Marketing Automation

Digital marketing automation helps you to save valuable resources. At the top of that list is time-saving methods. By using software that automates your basic marketing initiatives, repetitive tasks can be automated, allowing you to focus on the tasks that need more of a human touch.

Marketing automation works for:

  • Email newsletters: Sure, you’ll still have to create the actual content, but by using a system that organises and streamlines automatic email distribution, you can schedule blasts and have emails sent to exactly the demographic that is most likely to open them.
  • Patient retention automation: Automatic re-calls, digital patient forms, automatic birthday letter, cancellation SMS, DNS (did not show) emails, personalized recalls are just an example of communication processes that can and should be automated. Improve your cancellation and return rates
  • Social media: Scheduling and planning social media posts is super important to maintaining a clear and consistent strategy. With tons of tools for social media scheduling, set aside a few hours every Monday to plan and schedule your posts for the week instead of trying to come up with new content every day. If you don’t do this it can become quite overwhelming.
  • Lead conversions: For example, you might automate a specific Thank You email with a further call-to-action to go out to anyone who signs up for your email list so you’re not wasting time keeping track of follow-up emails. Or it could be as simple converting clients through to your online booking portal via your website.
  • Campaign tracking: Automate analytics for each campaign you release so that you know exactly what worked and what you can do better next time. This can be from anything from your social media campaigns, Google PPC to even your email marketing,


Give It a Go

See, now you’re an expert on digital marketing! Ok – maybe that’s a stretch but the point is to get started.

Ideas just aren’t that original these days, so Physio Inq provides owners with all of these tools and more to allow you to focus on execution of your business. Under the Physio Inq brand and service network, all of the heavy lifting is already done, you just need to be yourself and connect with staff and your community the way only you can.

If you want to chat to a business consultant about how you too can have ready-made digital marketing tools at your fingertips, that are tailor made for your business, give us a call on 1300 731 733 today, or email for more info.

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Are you interested in owning a health care business, or do you require help running yours?


Are you interested in owning a health care business, or do you require help running yours?


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