Online Medical Marketing 101
I don’t get it. Why do I need online marketing?
The days of the Yellow Pages are coming to a close. No website means you’re missing all of those local Google searches done by people looking for new physicians in your area. It’s time to make yourself available to the people online who are actively seeking medical services.
Medical Websites that offer the best conversion rates do more than just provide your name and contact information. Future patients try to get a feel for your practice through your online presence, so give them a reason to learn more. Introduce your team and provide an overview of services you offer. Since online searches bring motivated people your way, throw a spotlight on how you can help them find solutions to their medical concerns.
Before you launch your new or revamped website, it is key to understand how Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can affect the usefulness of the site. If people don’t know your name yet, they won’t know to search for you. It is more effective to use words in the title that describe your specialty and location. “This small detail will dramatically change the results,” says Evan Bailyn of First Sage Page in New York.
Make sure you provide a variety of options on your website. Blogs are great for giving information in short informal chunks that are easy to digest. Many people want to dig deeper, so will appreciate in depth information in the form of longer newsletters. Diversification is essential.
Promote Your Website
No one will know you have a website if you don’t tell them. While it’s true that current patients know your name in the event they need to look up information on procedures offered, or even office hours, new patients don’t know who they’re looking for, yet.
It is a-okay to use traditional marketing tools to promote your medical website. Local hospitals are in the business of patient care and often provide pamphlets and newsletters to educate patients on medical conditions and healthy choices. Since you are an expert in your field, take the time to create informative literature to donate to the hospital. Of course, don’t forget to include a call to action that sends people to your website for more insight.
The best way to reach your
Advertise Smarter, Not Harder
Why spend money sending 1000 postcards if only 10 people respond? Let’s explore ways to reach the people out there who are actually looking for a doctor. Old school advertising still has its place, but it is essential you use it where it works best.
Social media marketing is a dynamic entity and a large portion of your prospective patients are looking to interact with their medical providers. Facebook and Twitter give your loyal customers the ability to share their experiences, which is the modern equivalent to growing your business by word-of-mouth.
PPC (Pay Per Click) ads will be more effective in reaching prospective patients if used consistently. Determine areas that get the highest volume of traffic. It often takes seeing the same (or similar) information at least 7 times before people will act. Listen to patients as they talk about what drew their eye to your advertisements and adjust future advertisements accordingly.
Save Money Targeting the Right People
Each specialization has a target market, so a pediatrician will probably draw more new patients participating in a Back-to-School event rather than an Open House at a retirement village. Talk to your current patients about where they go to socialize. There are many annual events that would love to include the participation, local doctors.
Public events held at community centers, churches, schools, and retirement villages are great for connecting with both current and prospective patients. It may surprise you how many happy patients will bring their friends and family over to meet you. Building relationships in your community add value to your practice.
Offer webinars on healthcare topics important to your current patients. If you are willing to listen, they can provide you with insight into the wants and needs of your target market. A webinar will cost you little or nothing and provides a safe way for people to connect without feeling obligated to make an appointment. People are more likely to return to you for more information if they don’t feel pressured to do so.
Get Your Name Out There
Patients in today’s world do their own research, which means they no longer rely solely on referrals. Mixing up your medical marketing strategies to get your name out there is sensible. There is a multitude of cost-effective ways of introducing yourself to prospective patients.
Open houses give people a chance to visit your office and meet the people that may be involved in their future care. When people feel welcome by medical professionals, it builds an initial level of trust in the ability of the practice the meet patient needs. Free screenings will often bring people to an open house that otherwise would have gone elsewhere.
Connect with local hospitals or businesses to host an event. People generally want to learn about ways they can improve their health. Healthcare seminars provide prospective patients with a safe learning environment and you with a group of people in search of quality care. In essence, you are selling yourself and your business.
Let’s Sum It Up
Take the time to gather data on which advertising strategies bring in the most new patients. When you are keenly aware of the needs of your target market, it is easier to choose strategies that will bring people through your doors. Today’s world is increasingly reliant on technology, so it is important to build an online presence. Interactive websites that provide current and future patients with information on services you provide are better attended than sites that simply give out contact information. If you are unsure of how to best include technology in your list of advertising strategies, there are plenty of free and low-cost solutions available. Don’t be afraid to diversify your strategies to reach the highest number of people possible.