With its advanced infrastructure and high standards of medical practice, Singapore is a destination for anyone seeking medical attention and high-quality services at reasonable costs. In fact, a 2014 Bloomberg survey revealed that out of 51 countries, Singapore had the most efficient healthcare system.
Moreover, the Singapore healthcare industry is estimated to grow to as much as $44 billion in expenditures by 2030, which is a 64% increase from the $17 billion in 2013—a demand assumed to be driven by medical tourism as well as the prevalence of chronic conditions linked to the ageing population.
Part 1: The Business and Its Target Market
Part 2: Marketing Medical Clinics in Singapore: Getting Started
Part 3: Establishing Your Online Presence, Positioning Yourself as a Key Opinion Leader
But, besides being a destination for medical treatments, several statistics also rank Singapore as one of the world’s leading destinations for aesthetic procedures—with the non-invasive procedures being the most in-demand.
It goes without saying that aesthetic treatments today are losing their taboo in a conservative country like Singapore. Loosely divided into two categories—non-invasive and minimally invasive—these solutions have become fairly commonplace, with technological advancements and people looking to achieve a more desirable look driving its demand.
However, if you think that the city has already reached its peak in terms of medical technology, it’s just gaining momentum as it witnesses the evolution of beauty and medicine through the melding of knowledge and technology.
Let’s take a look at the factors that drive the demand in the medical and aesthetic industry in Singapore:
Along with Malaysia and Thailand, Singapore is a top Asian destination for the medical tourism market. With its well-developed medical infrastructure, high-quality treatment, and clean environment, patients from across the globe are travelling to the city to seek treatment—particularly those who require more intricate procedures.
The demand for healthcare services in Singapore is also linked to the prevalence of chronic conditions arising from the ageing population. It is estimated that by 2030, there will be about 900,000 people aged over 65 in Singapore—almost double the average 500,000 seniors today. This figure will translate into higher demand for healthcare services, medicines, and elderly care.
Consequently, rising health awareness is also driving healthcare spending. Consumers are assuming greater responsibility for their health, including taking preventive steps to stay healthy. As a result, they’re also tapping into a growing wellness ecosystem, which includes aspects like fitness and nutrition. One indication is the annual 9% growth in sales of food products with the Healthier Choice.
As mentioned above, there’s also a rising demand for aesthetic procedures that deliver non-invasive to minimally-invasive alternatives to treatments that require a fair bit of cutting—breast augmentation, liposuction, traditional rhinoplasty and the likes. They’re regarded as more affordable, less risky, and just as effective as surgery for many.
In its 2019 report, the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery predicted a continuous surge of demand for non-surgical procedures as technology advances and as an increasing number of millennials and men are entering the aesthetic market.
Singapore has a wide range of beauty, medical, and wellness clinics that exist to provide different types of services for those who seek medical attention. Some of them are the following, including the most-sought types of services from each clinic.
Aside from service providers, equipment providers for medical, wellness, elderly care, and beauty requirements are also stepping into the healthcare landscape. These businesses are delivering exclusive devices and technologies that assist in the improvement of healthcare, aesthetic medicine, physiotherapy, dermatology, dental health, and more.
While there are no authoritative statistics with regards to the most in-demand medical and aesthetic products and treatments in Singapore, what’s certain is the market who largely depends on these businesses.
A 2018 study from Deloitte Health Solutions said the healthcare market is categorised into four distinct groups, each of which is unique in characteristics and inclination to engage with beauty and medical services. As a digital marketing agency, understanding the consumer behaviour of each group will give you the edge in terms of marketing aesthetic clinics in Singapore.
This segment is composed of younger, higher-income consumers, who tend to be in excellent health. They are most likely willing to share their health information with doctors, hospitals, and health insurance companies. Consequently, they also have the most likelihood to switch doctors or specialists if they’re unsatisfied with their service.
The second-youngest, second-highest income group, the Prospectors are willing to use technology such as wearable devices and share data with healthcare providers—only likely because they’re influenced by others. As mentioned, they rely on word of mouth when choosing a healthcare provider.
The second-oldest, second-lowest income group, the Homesteaders are reserved and cautious traditionalists. They’re less likely to share health information with a physician, sceptical about technology, and nearly average in terms of following diet and exercise recommendations. They’re also less likely to switch providers and are after convenience rather than out-of-pocket costs.
The Bystanders are the oldest and poorest segment in the study, who are also most likely to be in poor health. It probably explains why they’re the least likely to share health data with healthcare professionals and the least to adhere to health recommendations.
Based on this study, it’s safe to assume that age and income significantly impact the market’s inclination to engage medical and aesthetic services. Therefore, as a business, it’s essential to establish a multi-faceted strategy that’s designed to cater to these segments.
Both medical and aesthetic doctors in Singapore would agree that marketing clinics in Singapore are difficult, what with the strict Ministry of Health (MOH) regulations that limit your SEO and digital marketing options.
Because of the self-regulating nature of the industry, it can be too difficult to stand up against your competitors. You’ll likely be doing the same tactics—implement SEO, bid for Ads, promote on social media, etc.—rendering these efforts less effective.
There’s also the fact that rival clinics are likely to keep an eye on you and report you almost immediately when you step out of line. But, of course, just because it’s difficult doesn’t mean it’s impossible.
Here’s how to get started with marketing your clinic in Singapore.
To develop a solid marketing strategy, first, you have to know who your target market is; second, you have to think about how patients will find you.
Imagine you’re a patient looking for an aesthetic doctor in Singapore, you obviously will not merely search for an aesthetic clinic but will also ask friends, browse forums, and read patient reviews. You will find more reliable sources of information about a doctor—and in most cases, it’s the fellow patients you’ll most likely look up to for recommendations. It’s probably only by then when you shortlist a handful of clinics and research further.
It goes to show that limiting your marketing efforts to SEO, Google Ads, and social media, will not help you cut it. While a fully optimised website and active social media channels may help, what you have to do is to influence patients during their research process.
There’s no other way around marketing your medical clinic than complying with the MOH guidelines. Only when you learn and understand its guidelines, you can craft legal and effective strategies across different platforms.
Some of its limitations include avoiding the use of laudatory terms, before/after photos, discount codes or promos, testimonials or misleading ads when promoting your clinic.
This is by far, the most critical part. While an SEO company in Singapore like OOm can bring in medical marketing expertise to the table, we will require work on your part, too. Because you’re the trusted authority in the medical field, you’ll have to provide the subject expertise.
Help us understand what separates you from your competitors and we’ll take care of the marketing strategies that will primarily focus on SEO, SEM, social media marketing, patient reviews, forum influencing and all the other efforts that will help establish yourself as a leader in the industry.
Out of the 5.83 million population in Singapore, 84% or 4.92 million are Internet users—a figure with the highest Internet penetration across the world. If you’re developing a medical marketing strategy, it’s obvious that you need to be where the market is—and the first step to do so is to set up a website for your clinic.
Consumers will occasionally look up clinics on the Internet and having a website will help them find you. Make sure to include your contact information, location, and the services you offer. If you’re providing complimentary consultations, you might want to promote it as well.
Consequently, your website also provides a great platform to showcase your doctors and specialists. Here, you can detail their qualifications, experience, awards, and expertise. This will inform your site visitors about who they might be dealing with.
A marketing effort without strategies to influence consumers during the research process is like a website without the help of a digital marketing agency. As you can see, establishing an online presence doesn’t end at setting up a website. You will be competing against many other medical sites, so you have to apply some SEO and SEM tactics to cover all your bases—and this is where an SEO/search engine marketing (SEM) agency in Singapore comes in.
With an exception to the MOH guidelines that regulate it, medical SEO is pretty much the same with any other SEO for business. It begins by making your website fast, secure, and mobile-friendly; optimising the pages, title tags, meta descriptions for medical SEO; integrating the right medical keywords; creating a Google My Business page; and constantly updating your website with relevant and valuable content for your visitors, to name a few.
Your SEO efforts should also include local SEO campaigns, which should include setting up or updating your Google Places to help potential patients in your area to find you.
Also called paid advertising, SEM goes hand in hand with SEO. With a goal of further increasing your website traffic, this technique lets you bid on keywords that your target market is likely to type into a search engine when looking up clinics online. When they search for keywords you bid on, your ad will appear above the organic search results.
If done properly, it’s an instant way to drive traffic to your website and potentially drive patients to visit your clinic.
Facebook, Instagram and Twitter—these are some of the widely used social media sites, offering an opportunity to be where your potential patients are and engage with them.
You can kick off your social media marketing efforts by sharing useful content that’s relevant to your industry, particularly to the services you offer at your clinic. For instance, if you’re an aesthetic clinic in Singapore, sharing relevant blog articles and advice regarding aesthetic problems and solutions—sagging skin, scars, acne, etc.—could keep visitors coming back to your pages for more information. Some may even decide to follow you.
As a long-term benefit, this will help build trust and establish your authority in your industry. It may also not take long before they make an action like booking an appointment with you.
Because Singapore also has one of the highest smartphone penetration in the world, it can be sensible to set up a mobile application for your clinic.
More than bringing your business closer to potential clients, a mobile application can also make it convenient for users to access your services by including features that let them book or avail your healthcare products and services.
Aside from the ability to book an appointment, you can also include features that will make it possible for the users to contact the support team, view pricing information, or virtually tour your clinic.
There are plenty of other ways you can market your aesthetic and medical clinic in Singapore, but these strategies are a great start in giving your business an upper hand in the industry.
Ready to get your medical SEO marketing started? Let’s talk.
As a leader in SEO, SEM and SMM in Singapore, our digital marketing experts at OOm has helped several aesthetic and medical businesses make their mark online. For years, we’ve been delivering to them positive results, which goes beyond merely driving revenue.
Get in touch with us today to learn how our SEO, SMM, and SEM services can help you.