People will always need medical services; it’s for this reason that it is considered to be one of the most robust and consistent industries around. Indeed, even though medical practices have and always will be in demand, it’s fair to say that the next couple of decades are going to be especially prosperous for those in this sector.
Changing demographics mean there are more of the age group that needs healthcare than ever before. For the first time in history, there are more people in retirement age than there are children younger than five years old — and that’s a trend that will only continue to develop.
Yet while prospects are positive for companies involved in healthcare, it’s not as if success will effortlessly come their way. There might be a lot of demand for healthcare, but there’s also a lot of competition.
So, it’s important that practices and clinics are making the most of medical marketing services. Just as with a regular business, the better you’re able to market your practice, the more people you can bring in as patients. And the more patients you have, the more successful you’ll be.
But of course, wanting to implement sound marketing into your campaigns is one thing. Actually doing it is another thing entirely. If you’re going to have effective marketing strategies, then you need to implement the marketing methods that are trending and effective.
It’s no longer enough to place an ad in the local newspaper and wait for people to arrive. It has to be more varied and, of course, digital. The internet has touched virtually all aspects of life and business, and this includes how we communicate with the public.
In this blog, we’re going to take a look at 4 of the marketing strategies that will be big for medical practices in 2020.
1. Online Medical Reviews
Reputation is everything to a healthcare practice. If a patient feels well taken care of and believes they can trust the practice, then they will return again and again. If they don’t, then their visit will be a one-time thing — and that’s not how you build up long-term success.
The same principle of trust can be applied to potential customers, too. Even if they’re yet to step foot inside your practice, it’s possible that they could trust (or at least be inclined to trust) your practice. That’s because before they give you a call, it’s likely that they’ll do some research on your business beforehand.
When they Google your name, they won’t go straight to your website, even though you might hope that they might — they’ll check out your online reviews first. Some 66% of customers have said that they were influenced by online reviews when it came to finding a new doctor.
Other studies have suggested that reviews play an even more important role when it comes to healthcare clinics, too. 85% of the public would think twice about attending a doctor that had more than 10% of 1-star reviews.
So it’s clear that reviews are important. It’s important that you’re checking the leading doctor review sites for your feedback. In some cases, you’ll be able to “own” your page, which will allow you to respond to the reviews that are posted.
This is beneficial in two ways.
First, it shows that you care — it builds confidence that you’re a real business that cares about the user experience, and that’s quite a powerful message. Second, it’ll allow you to respond to the negative reviews and clear up any misunderstandings.
It’s always frustrating to see a review that had half-truths or which haven’t told the whole story. Responding allows you to tell your side of things. In some cases, you can get a negative review taken down, but only for things like fraud — as in, they didn’t actually visit your practice.
While sometimes negative reviews can happen, you can, by and large, ensure that reviews work for you by taking a couple of steps.
First, you should identify any who have had a bad experience at your practice before they have a chance to write a negative review. Mistakes will always happen no matter how solid your practice is; if you can make it up to them as soon as possible, then you might just save yourself the trouble of a one-star review. Secondly, use your positive reviews to your advantage by publishing them on your website.
Finally, remember that the best method of marketing is to simply do a good job. If you deliver outstanding service, then your patients will tell their friends and family — and while online reviews may be influential, they’re still behind a recommendation from a friend when it comes to an endorsement.
If you have a series of bad reviews, it’s worth looking at what they say. If their complaints are reasonable, then in some ways you should be grateful for them, since they’ll give you a chance to improve.
SEO and Medical Content Writing
We mentioned earlier how many patients choose to look up a doctor’s practice before making an appointment. But unless you’re taking steps to develop your SEO, then you might just find that you’re hard to find, or even impossible, to find on Google and the other search engines.
Believe it or not, Google won’t just pull up a website unless there has been efficient SEO consideration factored into the development of the website.
If there are competitors in your area, then it could be their site, and not yours, that gets top billing — indeed, if you’re beyond the first or second page, then you’ll face difficulties getting your site in front of people’s eyes. Fortunately, SEO is one thing that can always be changed, though it does take some time to develop. In the olden days, it was enough to fill websites with keywords (such as “best doctor near me”) but times have changed now. Google doesn’t fall for those tricks anymore. Instead, they look for high-quality websites that are demonstrably useful to users.
So how do you give your website a boost in 2020? It’s all about content. Your site can be well-designed and have your essential information, but that’s not enough. It’s the websites that are continually updated that are the strongest contenders when it comes to SEO.
It’s not about making huge changes, just updating the content. The best way to do this is to have a blog. This will ensure that you’ve always got a fresh delivery of medical content to your website. It also gives a chance to talk about topics that would ordinarily make the front page. For instance, you could conduct interviews with the staff, which would build more trust.
Social Media Marketing For Doctors
If you want to market your practice to as many people as possible, then you need to go to where the people are. If you’ve got your SEO in shape, then you’ll have taken care of one of the larger digital hangout spots – Google.
But there’s another that’s just as big, if not bigger: social media. Every clinic should have social media accounts on the largest sites, such as Facebook and Instagram. On this page, you can promote a little bit of everything. You could offer health tips, for example, and also show off the behind the scenes, as long as you’re keeping confidentiality.
In order to make your social media marketing be as effective as possible, you’ll need to first think of your target demographic; it’s much easier to create content when you know who it’s being aimed at. You’ll also want to make it worth their while to follow you — no-one’s going to follow an account that doesn’t give them something in return.
If it’s health tips, then that’s perfect. It’s also super important that you’re posting regularly. It doesn’t matter how many followers you have; if your last post was nine months ago, then you’ll have fallen out of their memory.
Finally, at some stage, you may consider social media advertisements.
Video Content With Health Tips
Finally, let’s think about video marketing. It’s highly recommended that you make and publish videos. The stats suggest that it’s gets the highest amount of engagement. Some 80% of internet traffic is due to video streaming, which basically means: there are a lot of people who like watching videos. If you can make short videos outlining health tips or explaining health conditions, then that’s a video that’ll get a lot of hits.
As well as drawing eyeballs to your business, videos can also help to establish your credibility. It’s a way of demonstrating what you know. While producing videos is more expensive than writing a blog post, the mileage is better, and it’s something that you can share around various platforms to heighten the impact.
It really is worthwhile taking steps to improve your marketing campaigns. Take on board the tips outlined above, and you’ll find that 2020 could be a good year for growth for you and your practice.