Acquiring new patients is one of the greatest problems of doctors in today’s healthcare market. Today, hospitals, clinics and doctors spend enormous amounts of money in setting up levish infrastructure and modern equipment to provide best solutions to patients but they still fall short of inquiries. Until now the primary mode of gaining new patients was word of mouth marketing for most doctors but you know that the potential outcome is now enough to mitigate your clinical expenses.
But the good news from industry is that the numerous hospitals and doctors have started using digital marketing technology to increase awareness and also to create strong trust in the market and leading to revenue generation. Moreover there are still many doctors which don’t use this technology and due to which they are not gaining new patients.
So, in order to make yourself visible as a doctor, you need to be present on the platforms where your patients spend their time to improve branding, awareness and generate revenue.
So, What should be your plan in this Digital World?
Table of Content
- Measure Your Current Success
- Set Your Goals
- Time to Create Digital Presence
- Let’s start with Building a Website
- Google My Business
- Unique Selling Point(USP)
- Research Your Competition
- Search Engine Optimization
- Paid Search Advertising
- Doctor Directories And Listings
- Reviews and Feedbacks
- Many Healthcare Patients Researching Online Convert by Calling
- Optimize Your Marketing to Drive More Calls
- Social Media Strategy
Here it is,
1. Measure Your Current Success
Building a digital marketing strategy is important for you because it will help your business in future. To build a Digital Marketing Strategy you need to measure your current success in a proper manner. The data should be latest and exact so that according to that data you can set your new goals.
You use Social Media then there are various tools you can use to get the data.
Instagram Insights for Instagram
Facebook For Business for Facebook
If you use Email Marketing then you can find the relevant data on the platform you use and others.
Some Email Marketing tools are:
2. Set Your Goals
Now that you have evaluated your data, you can set your new goals. The goals which you want to achieve should be extremely specific as they will decide what type of marketing strategy you need.
Goals should be both short term and long term. The short term goals can be of any term under one year and long term goals are for more than a year.
Let’s say that you are going to open a clinic in one of the best areas of your city. Here’s the examples what your goals could be:
Short term Goals:
In a month, I want at least 10 Patients a Day.
In 6 months, I want at least 1500 followers on Social Media.
Long term Goals:
In 2 years, I want to get my investment back.
In 5 years, I want to expand my business and provide more facilities.
In 10 years, I want to build a Hospital with all facilities.
You need to make your goals SMART so that you do not fall short on them
SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely.
3. Time to Create Digital Presence
When you create your digital presence the main goal is to get more revenue. The thing is you are not only the person who is creating new digital footprints, there are others creating with you and there are already many people with this. The competition is increasing day by day that’s why having a digital presence is important.
You can create your digital presence in many ways some of them are,
Let’s start with Building a Website
Having a website is important these days because people do online research these days before doing anything. And your business is related to Health so as a matter of fact why would anyone go to a doctor which he/she doesn’t know or ever heard of.
You know what 5% of Google Search are related to Health and Search drives 3 times more traffic to Hospital websites compared to non search.
Your website should be professional and it should have all the information which a patient might need like Appointment Booking, About Us, Contact Us, Location Page with Map, Patient Testimonials, Social Media Account Links, Facilities Available and many more.
Some tools which you can use to build a website are,
Google My Business
Google My Business is one of the easiest ways to provide visibility of your clinic so that people can find it online. With just some time you can set it up and it’s totally free. In Google My Business you can list your business location, contact number, available hours, Patient reviews, website and many more things.
Google My Business is the best strategy to gain local audiences. The audience these days does research online and then only they take action. The Google My Business shows only relevant results to the audience.
4. Unique Selling Point(USP)
Here’s the question in the mind of the audience : Why should I choose this clinic over the other? What should your answer be?
In this time people don’t just come they want something which others don’t provide. The USP of your clinic will increase your leads and customers.
The USPs Can be like:
- Using the latest technology
- Expert in certain part of body
- The only doctor in the city providing this facility
- Graduated from this College (A renowned college only)
- Member of Any Medical Organization etc.
5. Research Your Competition
The time when you are going online, you need to keep in mind that there are others already in the market. All of those are your competition. There can be clinics which are in the market for a long time and they have their webpages and might even be doing paid advertisement to increase the revenue. Once your digital presence is done you need to analyse your competitors too. You need to check everything of your competitors like their website, reviews, social media accounts etc.
First, check your local area if there are other clinics if there are any than check their profiles and reviews and from there you might find something useful like what people have liked and disliked about their services and if there is anything you could use from that to make your services unique.
Second, check the websites which are on the top of the search engine result page and get the data like if they are fast. The Search Engine Optimization ranks faster website higher. You need to check the content they have uploaded and if that’s relevant or not. If the website is good or not.
Last, check their social media accounts. Social media is the easiest and the cheapest way to build a brand. It is the easiest way to do personal branding for doctors. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter have a massive amount of people spending time there and doctors can easily connect and even get recommended to other patients on social media. You can also share all the clinic-based updates with your patients on social media.
In a survey, an infographics archive found out that around 60 percent of social media users are most likely to trust doctors’ posts over other people’s posts.
6. Search Engine Optimization
Most of the patients tend to go to doctors near them. So it is very important for doctors to do local SEO for their services. So make sure that you have a Google my business page with all your information filled such as an address, contact number, etc. Once people know about you, they will automatically reach out to you. Patients who do not find you based on word of mouth recommendations will invariably turn to the internet for doctor recommendations and listings. Search engines like Google and Bing are therefore the main platform for doctor searches. Consequently, SEO remains the top priority for any successful doctor marketing campaign. Good SEO will increase your visibility in search results, helping channel patients to your website and social media pages.
7. Paid Search Advertising
Paid search advertising can deliver remarkable results as it channels prospective patients to your website which will not only bring you more patients but also increase your website traffic. Studies show that 5% searches on Google are related to health and that 81% of consumers click on sponsored links when searching for health information which proves that paid search engine marketing can play a vital role in a doctor’s digital advertising campaign.
You can use Google Ads for paid advertisements.
8. Doctor Directories And Listings
Aside from patient referrals that come directly from search engines, many patients also rely on doctor directories and listings that are provided by trusted websites or apps. This makes it important to keep track of other health sites within the space that can be used to leverage your own business. Having a clear understanding helps, as you want to tie up and appear in directories created by businesses that have a higher reach, with greater relevance, and a good reputation. Tying up with directories that have poor reach and reputation will be a wasted effort and could even damage your business.
9. Reviews and Feedbacks
When it comes to Health related matters no one would go to a Doctor whose reviews are not good. Having good reviews is very important for your business. The more the good reviews the more the people trust you. So, never forget to ask from the patients to review your services.
Do you know that 94% of healthcare patients use online reviews to evaluate providers. Reading online patient reviews is an easy first step for your audience to get a feel for your practice. 84% of consumers trust reviews as much as personal recommendations. Having a strong review management strategy is crucial for acquiring new patients.
It only takes 1-6 online reviews for potential patients to form an opinion about your practice. A single bad review can deter numerous prospective patients.
10. Many Healthcare Patients Researching Online Convert by Calling
Do you know that 88% of healthcare appointments are scheduled by phone. Prospective patients who research online prefer to call because healthcare is personal and private. People booking healthcare appointments for themselves, their children, or other family members want to speak to a real human being.
11. Optimize Your Marketing to Drive More Calls
People tend to call the clinic before visiting so optimizing your marketing strategy to drive more calls will be very helpful to gain patients. Phone calls convert to 10-15x more revenue than web leads. Calls are the most valuable conversions healthcare marketers can drive. By tracking the calls driven by your healthcare ads, you can measure your full ROI and optimize accordingly. Callers convert 30% faster than web leads. Caller retention rate is 28% higher than web lead retention rate. 81% of healthcare marketers believe inbound calls and phone conversations are a key component of their organization’s digital-first strategy.
So, after knowing all this about calling what do you think?
Should you invest in it or not?
12. Social Media Strategy
Creating a social media strategy is as important as your overall strategy as this is a medium to interact with the audiences. There are nearly 4 billion people who use social media and now just think how many people have health problems and which can be your patients.
You can provide a lot of information using social media to your audience. Social Media plays a huge role when it comes to marketing.
Posting patient’s testimonials on your social media will help you gain market share and trust among the audience.
Even the most competent medical professionals who wish to grow their practice need to rely on more than patient referrals and word of mouth recommendations. So, no matter how skilled you may be in your field, you will need to have a strong online presence, as this is the first platform that prospective patients will refer to. As is evident from a Pew Research Center Report, “72% of internet users said they looked online for health information”. Doctors who make little effort to improve digital visibility will sadly remain invisible to patients who most need their services. So, to grow your practice and better serve your patients, you need to start paying more attention to your digital marketing strategy.
Don’t hesitate on choosing high quality digital marketing services. Digital marketing will help better promote any doctor’s office. With the competition being very fierce and already present on most platforms, doctors need to do all they can in order to further promote their company. Online marketing is the answer.
About the Author,
Gourav Prajapat is a Certified Digital Marketing Master from International Institute Of Digital Marketing™. You can connect with him via:
LinkedIn : Gourav Prajapat
E-mail : email@example.com