Marketing is more important than ever for medical practices because patients have more options than ever. There are many great online resources that people can use to diagnose minor issues, which means that they do not need to visit a doctor as often.
There is a revolution in remote healthcare happening right now as well. Appointments can be made over a video call, so patients do not need to visit a practice.
If you run a medical practice, it’s important that you invest in some of these new technologies so you can offer similar services. But if you want to keep patient numbers up, you also need to invest heavily in medical marketing.
Unfortunately, many practices become complacent because they have good patient numbers, so they don’t put a marketing program in place. But this hurts them later on when patient numbers start dropping and they’re not bringing in enough new patients to replace them.
There are many reasons why patients might switch medical providers, whether that is due to a change in their insurance, relocation, dissatisfaction with wait times, or a misdiagnosis. In some cases, you can reduce losses by improving the service (cutting wait times, putting measures in place to ensure accurate diagnosis etc.) but you can’t do anything about the other losses. They are not always a reflection on your business, they have more to do with the patient’s personal life. That means that even the best medical practices should always be working to get new patients, which is why it’s so important to invest in medical marketing.
Digital marketing strategies are very important because the majority of people interact with businesses online, but there are some effective offline strategies that work particularly well for medical marketing as well. These are the best medical marketing strategies to follow in 2020.
1. Use Consistent Medical Branding
Branding is central to all medical marketing campaigns, but medical businesses often underestimate how important it is. To a patient, a doctor is a doctor and they don’t automatically see what makes you different from any of the other medical practices in the area.
But there must be something that sets you apart. It may be that you have a focus on family healthcare and you create a welcoming environment.
Perhaps you pride yourself on your short waiting times and efficiency.
A lot of medical practices specialize in certain areas of medicine or particular conditions. Whatever your unique selling point is, you need to make that the center of your branding. Once you have a clear picture of what your brand is, you can start building a medical marketing strategy around it.
2. Medical Content Marketing
Content marketing is a great way to build a strong brand. If you are a family friendly practice, for example, posting informative articles about home treatments for common illnesses in children is one to show families that you are an expert in pediatric care. If you specialize in treating a certain condition, you should post articles about the latest research and treatments that are being developed to deal with it.
As well as posting articles, you need to invest in visual content like images and videos, and there are a lot of great opportunities to do this in medical marketing. Infographics are a great visual content tool that you can use. You could, for example, create guides on nutrition or exercise in an easy to digest visual format. More specific infographics about the symptoms of various health problems can be useful as well. A lot of people will search their symptoms online and if they find lots of good visual content that helps them to partially diagnose an issue, it may encourage them to come into your practice for a professional opinion.
Video content can be used to explain how certain procedures are carried out or give patients information about specialist equipment that you use. This is a useful resource for existing patients that are about to undergo a procedure, but it can also help to market your practice to new patients because it demonstrates your expertise to them.
If you can use content to position yourself as a leading authority in a specific area, you will find it easier to build trust with patients and increase patient numbers.
3. Optimize For Patient Queries In The Search Engines
It’s important that your website is optimized for search engines because patients that are new to the area or patients that are looking to switch practices will usually go online to find medical practices nearby. If they search the term ‘doctor’s office,’ you need to make sure that your site pops up. However, it isn’t quite as simple as that when it comes to medical marketing because location has a big role to play. You may be generating a lot of traffic, but if that traffic is from people that live in a different city, it is no use to you. If you are to increase patient numbers through SEO, you need to focus on ranking locally.
When you are creating content for your site and you are choosing keywords, make sure that you specific, local ones. Always include the name of the city or even the name of the neighborhood in your content. Creating a Google My Business page can help to boost your local rankings as well. Finally, make sure that your address and phone number are consistent throughout the site and are displayed on all pages.
4. Medical Social Media Marketing
So many medical businesses rely on organic social media and nothing else. That means posting pictures and updates about the practice in the hope that you will build a following over time. But even though it is an important part of your medical marketing strategy, it should not be your only social media strategy.
Organic social media strategies rely on engagement. They are most successful when people like and share posts so they reach a wider audience. The problem is, most people are not likely to share a post made by their doctor’s office with their friends, so medical practices do not see much return on their organic social media efforts.
If you want to expand your reach, you need to set aside some money in your medical marketing budget for paid advertizing. This will help your posts reach relevant people that you are not already connected with on social media.
5. Medical Reviews
The majority of people will look at online reviews whenever they are choosing a product or service, and medical practices are no exception. When making decisions about their health, people will always do their research first, which is why reviews are an important part of your medical marketing strategy. If your website is filled with lots of positive reviews and testimonies from existing patients, that goes a long way. Unfortunately, people are more inclined to leave reviews if they had a poor experience or, in some cases, an exceptional one. That’s why it’s important that you encourage your patients to leave reviews as much as possible.
Automated reviews are a great way to do that. If you install a tablet near the exit that allows patients to give you a quick star rating, and then send follow up emails to patients that leave high ratings, you will see a big increase in reviews that can be used on your website.
6. Word Of Mouth Marketing
Online strategies are important, but you also need to focus on offline medical marketing methods as well. Word of mouth remains one of the most effective ways for medical businesses to gain more patients. People trust the opinions and advice of their friends and family. If somebody is looking for a new practice, they will often ask people which practice they go to. If your patients have nothing but praise for you, patient numbers will increase.
The quality of care is the most important thing here, but you should also focus on building good relationships with patients. If people feel welcome and relaxed when they visit their doctor, their overall experience will be improved and that will translate to positive word of mouth marketing.
7. TV And Print Ads
A lot of businesses make the mistake of assuming that online ads are always more effective than traditional mediums like TV and print, but that isn’t always the case, especially when it comes to medical marketing. It’s important to remember that a large percentage of your patient base will be older because they require medical care more often. The older generation is less active online, which means that your content marketing efforts may not reach them. This is why it is important to invest in TV and print ads as well. You can use patient testimonies and adapt some of the video content that you use online to create effective TV ads.
8. Sponsored Events
Sponsored events are a great way to increase brand exposure in the local area and get potential patients into your practice. A local blood drive is a great example of this. You can advertize these events in local publications and through your online channels. It’s a great medical marketing strategy because it is a good PR opportunity and it will also give people a chance to look around your practice.
Like all businesses, it is important for medical practices to have a comprehensive online marketing strategy. However, you should not limit your medical marketing efforts to the online world because offline techniques can be equally as effective. A good combination of the two can help you to maintain and increase patient numbers in the coming year.