How can doctors boost their online presence in today’s competitive market?
Did you know one in 20 google searches are for a healthcare provider or a health-related information? This means to convert those searches into clients, you need to stay relevant and meet your target audience where they are – ONLINE. In order to dominate the super-competitive world of healthcare, it is crucial to have an effective digital marketing strategy to keep you at the forefront of people’s mind. Therefore, online presence and visibility are necessary! Particularly now more than ever as some people hardly leave the house due to Covid-19 – which means businesses that rely on foot traffic and word of mouth are most in jeopardy.
Hence, this is the perfect time to amplify your digital presence. However, compiling novel and innovative marketing strategies can seem like a quiet daunting and confusing process for many. Especially with the never-ending marketing and advertising channels it may seem challenging to navigate the best fit of online marketing practices for a medical expert like you. This is why we have put together a well-planned list of 8 digital marketing strategies for doctors that will reach patients and produce leads in the current patient-focused market.
Your website acts as a welcoming mat for your company. Usually, the company’s first impression plays a strong part in the patient’s choice to pick your facility or move elsewhere. So, you want the customer interface to be as easy as practicable. As patients are always searching for health records online, it is important to make sure the website is patient-focused and convenient to access. Moreover, also take care of the load time of your website to minimize abandonment as slow speed on the website can deter your users from your website.
Make sure you layout popular treatments and services on the homepage. This will make it easier to locate them and your users wouldn’t have to go digging around the web. For example, if your clinic offers Covid-19 testing or vaccine, then mention that clearly on the homepage. Remember – most searches are done via mobile devices or tablets, so having a user-friendly mobile design is crucial! Wix, WordPress and GoDaddy are just great platforms to start out with.
Like it or not, online reviews are an important piece of the Healthcare Purchase Cycle. 84% of consumers trust reviews as much as personal recommendations. So, a raft of glowing reviews will help build trust among your target audience and can also aid in conjunction with different marketing practices. For instance, you can publish these reviews on your website to influence the users, increase your Google ranking and enhance SEO.
Create a Blog
Your blog goes hand-in-hand with a solid, user-friendly website. It not only provides numerous opportunities to address the needs and interests of your audience but also aids in building your personal brand and showing who you are. Therefore, take advantage of all those searches with rich blog content that includes information on health issues, answers to questions, quick tips, and patient stories. Squarespace is simple and easy to use for those who aren’t really tech-savvy.
Help guide and educate patients with additional tips on Covid-19, such as how to:
- Boost your immune system
- Deal with fear and stay positive
- Cope with stress or sleeplessness
- General updates and information
Email marketing is a powerful and personalized way to connect with your target audience. Mail Chimp is among the few marketing tools which are commonly used. The trick is to provide your email database with a variety of details that best catches the attention of your audience. By tailoring the information to the patient’s interest, you can help build brand loyalty and trust. It’s an inexpensive, effective, and easy way to target new and old patients. With 2.5 billion users, email isn’t going anywhere. Hence, by not incorporating email marketing in your business you are missing out!
Use this power to communicate your safety measures that you have installed in your clinic to minimise the spread. This is a perfect time to show your clients how up-to-date and on top of their safety measures they are. Explain how you are going the extra mile. This will reassure your patients that your hospital or practice has proper safety precautions in place.
More and more viewers are leaning towards visual content like YouTube. If you can get doctors on camera talking about their area of expertise, it will eventually add to their reputation and capture an audience out there looking for the expertise that you doctors have.
The video will make a patient feel as if they have already seen a physician and increase their comfort by seeing their facial expressions, mannerisms, and even hearing their voices.
Like your blog, another suitable place for testimonials is in your video resources. The only thing that is better than reading about another patient’s experience is to see it in motion through film and to hear the doctor, patient, and family members explain the experience from the beginning to the end. A video is a powerful tool; lighting, music, and story structure work together to generate emotion while telling a story in ways that a blog post can’t do.
Remember to always keep your content relevant to the current trends of the market. For instance, right now there is a lot of misinformation regarding the Covid-19 virus. So, why not clear all the misconceptions through video marketing.
Here is a list of relevant questions that people want answer to:
- “What are COVID-19 symptoms, and should I get tested?”
- “Should I stay home if my symptoms are minor?”
- “How will I know when it is time to seek help at a hospital?”
- “How do I avoid infecting others?”
SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
You may have the best-looking, most insightful website, blog posts, emails, and videos, but what’s the point if they’re not found? Through the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) process, you can increase the quality and quantity of organic traffic by concentrating your content on unique keywords that your patients will actually use in their searches. You’ll want to find out what keywords are actually driving traffic to your website, as well as your competitors. Keywords Everywhere is a perfect way to start from.
It is also important to create a local SEO strategy. This means you should be investing time and energy into ranking your website in the 15-20-mile radius around the location of your practice.
Ensure you include the followings things on your page to outrank your local providers in search:
- Google My Business map
- The city name in the title tag and on the page a few times
- Name, address, telephone number, hours of that particular area
Social Media Marketing
If your Doctors Praxis is not on social media, you’re missing a significant opportunity to interact with your audience. Social networking is an effective advertising tool when used correctly.
Indeed, social media users from various platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter or TikTok are most likely to trust social media posts and doctors’ activities over any other party. So, plan your posts wisely, make sure they’re written ahead of time and provide a variety of material on your blog. Make sure to use the various analytic tools that social media platforms provide to track your efforts and modify the social media marketing campaigns for your medical practice.
To be successful on social media it is important to be:
- Up to date
It is important that you adjust your marketing efforts during Covid-19. This is the perfect time to build your organization brand by showing people what’s important to you – Patient’s health! By providing more than the general information that’s out everywhere (example wash hands, sanitize etc.). The valuable information provided by you will grow your authority and your equation with your patients at the time they need it the most.
Ensure all your communicated messages are accurate, informative and relevant to the current industry trend. Use the power of social media to flatten the curve and convince people to comply with social distancing during this Covid-19 crisis. Maybe even start a hashtag – #StopTheSpread #FlattenTheCurve #StayAtHomeChallenge.
Pay Per Click
Pay per click advertisements (also known as PPC or paid advertisements) are among the most popular options for doctors and business alike. They are laser-targeted ads which appear first in the search engines based on the keywords. They enable you to target your exact audience and avoid the general public. It’s a perfect way to increase your brand awareness as much as 80% as it can take months to rank your website on the first page of Google. Therefore, when utilising this tool you must make sure to use the keywords and terminologies that your patients will use while searching. Here is where you can learn more about Google Search Ads which will help you reach more patients using the right keywords.
As COVID-19 had a wide impact on our last and current year worldwide, the global economy has been changed. There have been longer-lasting, potentially permanent, shifts to how we market brands, interact with our customers, and manage our business. The internet has now become a lifeline for most businesses. Hence a successful and a well-rounded digital marketing strategy especially during these times crucial. But remember a strategy is most effective when it is managed in a streamlined manner, where each component is in sync with one another.
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International Institute of Digital Marketing ™ is a certifying body founded in the USA by several long-standing marketers. We have years of experience in business, marketing, and more, and have put forth our combined experience to develop DMI.
About the authors:
Mariam Khalid Khan – A business psychology graduate and a perfectionist at heart, I stumbled in the field of digital marketing in the lockdown to fuel my creative nature and desire for new challenges!
Viviane Schickle– Explorer of various Digital Marketing areas and creative work, following my passion for learning and always believing in giving value to the world.