What the Experts Are Saying About Healthcare Marketing

January 11, 2016

If you were to poll medical marketing experts about the best way to market healthcare services and products, you would likely uncover overarching themes in their responses. Contemporary healthcare marketing is all about high-quality content, search engine optimization (SEO), functionality on mobile devices and social media. Let's take a look at the importance of each.

1. Content is Still on Top

If you have paid even the slightest bit of attention to marketing in the Internet age, you have likely heard the phrase, “content is king”. The statement was true a decade ago and it will likely be true a decade from today. Healthcare marketing must contain captivating content, whether it is in a blog, on a homepage, social media or even a banner ad.

Sure, style matters yet modern day consumers are savvier than ever. Many can see right through a polished aesthetic, to the core of the content.

If a healthcare provider's marketing material does not provide content with value, unique insight or something that piques the target audience's interest, it will be tuned out. If you feel as though your staff does not have the time or skills to create such meaningful content, outsource the work to professional writers who specialize in SEO. Rely on these writers to generate intriguing material for the practice's blog, website, social media etc.

2. SEO Still Matters

An individual in need of medical care or a medical device is inclined to search the web for his desired medical care/product along with the name of his hometown. If your medical practice does not show up on the first two pages of results, he probably won't be aware of the practice's existence.

The top position on Google search results receives one-third of total traffic while the second position receives 18 percent. Only 6 percent of web sleuths proceed past the first page of results.

Every medical practice has the potential to boost its search engine ranking through SEO. Create a practice blog and regularly update it with articles that contain keywords. These keywords should pertain to your practice's medical niche as well as the part of town where you conduct business. Add the keywords to the other pages of the website along with your social media content. Continuously update the website, blog, social media accounts and other online efforts with fresh, keyword-laden material, it will boost drastically the practice's SEO.

3. Refine Your Social Media Strategy

If you have not yet established social media accounts on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other social media platforms, do so immediately. These channels ameliorate the challenge of connecting with target patients. The chances are good that your practice already has accounts on the major social media websites. Ideally, your practice will employ an individual on at least a part-time basis to manage these accounts. Such an idea might sound ludicrous to old fashioned physicians and practice managers yet it is actually quite prudent. As time progresses, the importance of social media continues to grow. Facebook drives over 23 percent of traffic to websites. Supply a continuous stream of interesting content through your practice's social media accounts and your organization will reap the benefits in the short-term and the long-term.

4. No Excuses for an Out-of-Date Site

Too many healthcare providers neglect the quality of their website. Do not use the lack of manpower or specialized in-house labor as an excuse to proceed with an outdated website. If you don't have a web savvy employee on payroll, outsource the project to a web guru. Hire such a specialist on a contract basis and you will enjoy a markedly improved website look, feel and user experience design. Do not undervalue this critically important component of contemporary healthcare marketing. Prospective patients who visit an antiquated website tend to think of the staff and its services as illegitimate. This sentiment is especially true of younger individuals who put a lot of stock in the appearance and functionality of a medical practice's website.

5. Don't Forget to Optimize for Mobile

The Internet is no longer limited to desktop and laptop computers. Though many of us prefer to surf the web on these traditional computing devices, more and more people are making the transition to web-enabled mobile devices like tablets and smartphones. It is imperative that your medical practice's website is accessible on such portable devices. If a target patient can't easily connect to the website on his phone or tablet device, he won't spend time perusing the content. Take it a step further beyond simply ensuring mobile compatibility. Make sure that each page on the site is legible on all different types of mobile devices. Perform a test with a variety of smartphones, tablets, the Amazon Kindle and so on to ensure that your practice's website looks and functions perfectly on these devices.

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