The medical care industry has changed a lot in recent years, primarily due to the adoption of modern technology and greater use of the internet.
People increasingly turn to online systems to research practitioners, make appointments, and receive medical advice. Medical professionals must have a solid online presence to attract new patients and keep current ones. This checklist will help you determine whether your current digital marketing efforts are healthy or if they could use an injection of some fresh ideas.
A modern site is essential for medical professionals today. Your website is your storefront on the internet. It’s typically one of the first points of contact that most prospective patients will have with your practice, and you must make a great impression. Your site should be properly designed, easy to browse, and supply all the information and functionality people might need, such as:
Simple ways to connect with you
Information on what you offer
Areas of specialization
Hours of operation
Ability to complete and submit paperwork
An appointment widget
Answers to commonly asked questions
Check with your patients and browse competitor sites to see if you’re missing any information or functionality on your site.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is the process of improving your website so it shows up higher on online search engine results pages (SERPs). When patients look for physicians in their local communities, they are most likely to click on the top two or three results. By maximizing your internet site for Google and other search engines, you boost your possibilities of appearing at the top of the SERPs, which can drive more website traffic and eventually get additional people to become patients. Optimizing your website for SEO involves improving your content, enhancing your online experience, and making the most of your Google Business Profile.
Content marketing involves producing and sharing helpful material that educates and informs the prospective patients you’re targeting. The content can include social posts, video clips, infographics, articles, checklists, and more. By developing and distributing high-quality material that resonates with the people you want to serve, you can demonstrate that you are an expert in your field and build trust with potential clients. If the content is really helpful, patients may be willing to share it with others, resulting in referrals. If you’re not a great writer or media developer, hire someone to create content based on your ideas who can adopt your tone of voice and messaging style.
Your current and prospective patients are on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. You need to be on these platforms, too. Social media provides a great way to personalize your practice while also presenting yourself and the people who work for you as authorities. It can also be a great way to get into an informal dialogue with clients and prospective ones, as long as you keep things HIPPA-compliant. Find someone to consistently post on social media to keep people engaged with your practice.
Online Ratings and Reviews
It’s true—medical professionals today survive and thrive on the same online ratings and reviews that restaurants, stores, and many other businesses do. Prospective patients don’t just depend on recommendations from friends and family members. They also check out internet evaluations before choosing healthcare providers. Positive reviews can dramatically impact how many new patients you bring in. It’s vital to ask (and remind) clients to leave positive ratings and reviews on systems like Google Business Profile, Yelp, and healthcare-specific review sites (e.g., Healthgrades, RateMDs, Zocdoc). Have a process for checking reviews and replying to negative ones professionally and helpfully. Responding to poor reviews shows you care and could transform a negative experience into something positive.
Positive client stories are a great way to convince prospects to become patients. People like hearing from others dealing with issues similar to theirs. If you have a patient who is particularly happy with your service or to whom you provided something unique, ask them to provide a testimonial. The best format for them is typically video, but if a patient is camera-shy, you can create an audio recording or article. Testimonials can be shared on your internet site, social media accounts, and other marketing channels. Personal testimonials are often what it takes to get someone on the fence to decide to do business with a medical provider.
Email marketing for most medical providers involves sending e-newsletters with helpful information and offers to the people on a curated email list. Compiling a contact list of clients and prospects allows you to stay top-of-mind and make them aware of new services, therapies, medications, and healthy living recommendations. Email marketing is essentially a fast and free way to stay connected with clients and prospective ones.
Many people prefer to receive information via text since their phones are always within grasp. It can be a great way to send out appointment reminders, medical alerts, and health tips. When it comes to healthcare marketing today, your imagination (and legal and compliance concerns) are the only limit.
Medical Marketing and Communications: The Bottom Line
Leverage this checklist to identify gaps in your current digital marketing programs to make your practice healthy as possible. Take your marketing to the next level by regularly monitoring your metrics. Doing all the tactics on this list is typically too much for many medical companies, and it probably doesn’t make sense. For instance, practices working exclusively with seniors may not be successful with text messages. Checking your results will allow you to identify the best tactics for your operation, and working with a dedicated healthcare marketing provider will let you outsource this crucial aspect of your business.