Healthcare Marketing in 5 Easy Steps
Healthcare marketing has undergone a radical change in the past decade. Medical practices and medical equipment suppliers have gravitated toward the world wide web to reach their target patient audiences. Though traditional forms of marketing still exist, the industry is undoubtedly trending in the direction of online advertising that is both overt and covert in nature. Let's take a look at how to effectively market a healthcare provider's services in 2016.
Embrace Inbound Marketing in Addition to Existing Outbound Marketing Strategies
Implementing online marketing efforts does not mean you have to totally eliminate your conventional advertising strategies. As time progresses, your medical practice might slowly phase out the traditional advertising channels like the radio, TV, magazines, newspapers, billboards and so on. Although expensive and outdated, these advertising methods are still effective when properly executed. When these channels are used in conjunction with other inbound marketing techniques like search engine optimization (SEO), social media posts, blogging, and e-mail marketing, you can effectively reach more of your potential patient population.
The outbound ads will reach prospective patients who do not use the Internet on a regular basis. The inbound ads will attract web-users who search for your medical practice’s services online.
The beauty of using both types of marketing is that they reinforce one another. Imagine a scenario in which a target patient sees a friend “like” or “follow” the practice on social media. He later sees the same practice's outbound advertisement in the local newspaper and immediately recognizes the name. Such an individual is inclined to reach out to the practice to establish an appointment.
Utilize Social Media
The hypothetical scenario outlined above is just one of the many ways in which social media can increase your practice's revenue. Social media is incredibly powerful; real-time posts and communications can reach individuals just about anywhere at any time. A potential patient might not loyally read all of a practice's social media posts or updates, but frequent posts allow a practice to stay top-of-mind. Most importantly, social media has a great potential to produce online referrals. If a social media user sees a friend, family member or co-worker “like”, “follow” or respond to a healthcare provider's social media post, he is more inclined to read and/or remember that provider's name and trust them to provide high-quality service. Be sure to update your practice's social media accounts on a weekly basis with captivating content about the practice itself, its medical niche and satisfied patients. Such content will build meaningful bonds with social media users.
Establish an E-mail List
If you do not know how to install a “subscribe button” on your practice's website or how to add “social media share buttons” on your blog, outsource the work to a web developer. The buttons will allow potential patients to receive frequent notifications from your practice or to share information they find on your website.
Blogs are no longer limited to individuals who are particularly opinionated or passionate about certain topics. Rather, blogs have become an effective marketing tool for businesses, including healthcare providers, to attract more qualified website traffic. One of the best ways to capture more website traffic and establish a rapport with your target audience is through a regularly updated blog with educational or informative content.
The blog serves as a means of educating prospective patients about your practice's specific services, the merit of physicians and support staff and industry news. Aim to provide helpful content that inspires the target audience to place trust in your staff and in the quality of its services. If the practice lacks a skilled writer, do not fret. Hire a freelance writer with a healthcare background to produce high-quality content; these individuals understand the nuances of SEO and are capable of providing interesting content in an artful manner.
Supplement Your Online Content With Video
Posting blog articles and regular social media updates will certainly engage a large portion of your target audience. However, some prospective patients are more visually oriented. Create and incorporate a handful of short videos or interesting graphics into your blog posts or your practice's website. If possible, feature the practice's physicians in the videos. Their appearance will forge bonds with target patients. Even videos featuring the support staff or videos that show the practice facility will inspire patients to reach out and schedule an appointment. Keep the videos short as most interested parties won't watch a video for more than a few minutes.
Download our free Medical Marketing Campaign Checklist to learn how to execute your own campaign.