The number of people on the internet to source doctors is increasing at a rapid rate as more and more people gain access to network connections. As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, the need for developing and updating informative, accurate, and interesting content is growing.
Although developing a marketing strategy is very challenging, mostly because of the endless marketing and advertising channel options to choose from and identifying the ideal options becomes seemingly difficult.
So, if you are a physician or a dentist who is looking towards growing their practice digitally. Here is a list of the best marketing strategy options that you can easily implement in your practice to engage with more patients online.
1. Identify your goals
Marketing goal-setting is an art. Setting and maintaining strategic goals can be quite difficult and frustrating. But it is actually simple if you begin by understanding the key to success which can be done by defining your goals.
Make sure to build goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely (SMART) business objectives – express your goals in a concrete way that can be easily managed. Next, you should aim to categorize your goals such as financial and patient experience/satisfaction goals. This can help monitor and track your accomplishments and areas you can improve on.
Your goals can also be categorised into short-term goals that can be achieved within a few months and long-term goals that can only be achieved with proper planning and requires a long period of time.
An example of a short-term financial goal is if you have been attracting 20 new patients on average each month, then aim to attract 28 new patients within a month. So increasing patient
Long-term goals can also be linked to patient satisfaction. Like, for instance, you can assess patients’ satisfaction by conducting surveys. Based on your customer’s feedback you can make several modifications to your services like reducing wait times, which you can aim to reduce by 30 minutes within 6 months. This will definitely take a long time to accomplish as you need lots of qualitative data to monitor and analyze.
2. Establish your target customers
Firstly, identify and define your target customers. This completely depends on whether your medical practice targets a specific age group or a specific region. So a comprehensive online and offline research can be conducted based on geographic, demographic, psychographic, and behavioral information to identify the most relevant target market. Establishing your target audience ensures that you’re creating the right content for the right people. It also helps in achieving efficiency and effectiveness of the marketing strategy.
3. Build an interactive and mobile-friendly website
Digital marketing without a website is like a pizza without cheese. Therefore, it has become a necessity for physicians to create their own websites to introduce healthcare services to more patients. So, build a website and design it in a way that is easy to navigate so whatever the patient is looking for will be able to find it quickly. Be it booking an appointment or reading a blog or knowing about various medical conditions.
In order to effectively optimize the patient experience in websites, you would need to design a webpage with customized features, fast page speed, and definitely a website that is mobile-friendly as this will lead to a significantly high patient leads and retention.
4. Build social media accounts
As people are more invested in social media these days, marketing your services in certain social media channels is a great idea to drive traffic to your medical practices. Social media will help medical marketing strategies reach a broad audience and can be used as a critical lead generation tool.
However, you must take the time to analyse the various types of social media profiles that perfectly fit the medical marketing of the services and learn the kinds of platforms that target the type of audience.
To be successful for medical marketing for doctors on social media, you need to be:
- Consistent and organized
- Optimized properly
- Regular Posting
- Contain unique images and content for your practice
- Create consistent brand continuity
- Share content that drives patients to your website
Doctor Mike is an ideal example of a medical professional who effectively utilizes social media accounts from Instagram to Twitter to actively engage with the public.
5. Have an active content marketing strategy
Content marketing increases your overall website traffic, grows organic search and improves brand awareness.
A well structured blog can generate up to 50% of a website’s organic traffic. And remember that in medical marketing blog posts are not the only format of content. There are many other forms of content that can be created to attract and engage with patients – the most popular being video posts about your medical practices. Actually, video content now receives substantially higher engagement rates than any other type of content, including images and blog posts.
You can also create a site for patient FAQs where you can answer frequently asked questions from your patients as you would have probably been asked hundreds of questions per month by your patients. So you can just jot those down, and you produce so much content that can last for several months and you can also engage more effectively with your patients now.
6. Develop a local SEO strategy
These days people would prefer to visit a doctor located nearby, so their search would include search terms related to their neighborhood. So, enhancing your website by developing a local SEO strategy can help inform potential patients about your medical practices.
Another critical medical marketing tip for local SEO is to make sure you have individual pages for each location. If you are a multi-location medical practice, develop a landing page for each dedicated location that you have.
Make sure you include the following items on the page:
- Google My Business map
- The city name in the title tag and on the page several times
- NAP – name, address, phone number, hours of that specific location
- Providers that see patients at that location
- A short write-up about that location.
7. Encourage patient reviews
Patient reviews are one of the top 3 most important local SEO factors when it comes to local search rankings.
Studies have shown that 68% of potential patients form an opinion about your medical practice, and it’s physicians with as little as five reviews. When choosing between two providers, a patient is 91% more likely to select the provider with higher reviews. So your reputation online really matters as potential patients might choose your competitors services 9/ 10 time if you have a bad image online. This means that patient reviews plays a significant role in converting potential patients and also represents the quality of your medical practices.
8. Utilize data analytics tools to make decisions
Monitoring and analysing data and analytics reports is the most effective way of understanding consumer behaviour which can help target and re-invest in the marketing efforts.
It is recommended to use software like google analytics or CRM that provides marketing attribution so you can not only track how patients got into your funnel but see all their points of interaction that caused them to convert ultimately.
Medical Marketing Strategy Wrap Up
Today’s medical practitioners implement systematic and innovative marketing strategies to effectively expand their medical practice and increase brand awareness. It might look complicated at first, but as you take a look into the marketing strategies and begin to break down your goals, you can easily identify suitable ways in which you can promote your services.
Remember that it is never too late to develop a digital marketing strategy. You just need to focus on areas that you can further improve to reach new patients and at the same time optimize your current patient experience. Think of these strategies as milestones, that you would need to achieve in order to reach your end goal of success.
Written by: Mayurah Omkararuban who is a Systems Design Engineering Student at the University of Waterloo and a Digital Marketing Analyst at the International Institute of Digital Marketing™.