Healthcare, despite its reliance on technology, is an industry that has taken a traditionally old-fashioned route to marketing most of the time. Physical marketing, local TV and radio, and word-of-mouth build practices. Many profess it’s the best way to reach the most patients, but that’s no longer true. 88% of all people in the country, including your potential patients, use the internet, and its growing. Digital marketing is no fad and, if your competitors aren’t using it yet, it offers you even great potential benefits. But if it’s done poorly, your business will pay the price. How do you get the same precision in your marketing you get in your practice?
Know your ethics
As important as it is, healthcare has some extra rules about its marketing practices compared to other industries. The federal government pays extra close attention to any misleading or false promises. Setting an ethical core for your search engine marketing, social media, and content marketing is crucial. Get a thorough understanding of what constitutes misleading or false advertising in healthcare and make sure your marketing plan never crosses that line. If you’re outsourcing help with your online marketing, consider those agencies that have someone with a masters or PhD in Health Law.
Give it a human face
Once you’ve ensured that you’re marketing ethically, you want to be concerned with how to market effectively. Content marketing gives your practice the opportunity to flex your service’s expertise in written format. Given that 80% of all internet users have used the web specifically to look up health advice, producing it on your website can give you your best chance of getting them looking at your online presence. You want to appear professional, but results suggest that dry, technical content loses the interest of readers fast. Humanizing the company, taking on a more comforting tone and using layman’s terms when possible can be much more effective. Keep in mind the questions that patients tend to ask about symptoms and conditions in your practice and use that as inspiration for the kind of topics your content can address.
The difference between convincing and finding patients
Healthcare is an essential service. You don’t need to sell the fact you provide it. Your content will help your target market choose you over your competitors. But it’s just as important that they’re better able to find you, too. In that respect, healthcare marketing is about ensuring you get as much visibility as possible. Focusing on improving your relevance to search results in Google and on building a social media community can have drastic effects, too. Just by improving their visibility online and producing quality marketing content, healthcare providers like DentalWork saw a 40% increase in the leads they could convert to customers as well as a 25% decrease in cost-per-conversion. Going online is not only often more effective but more cost-effective, too.
Run your page like you run your practice
The heart of your online presence is the website. It’s where you want to draw people, whether through advertisements, social media clicks, or your search engine results. The website is your representation and people will often make a 1-to-1 judgment of your business based on the site. So, if a site is poorly designed or optimized, it creates an unprofessional image for the business that people apply to the way you run your practice, too. High-converting healthcare sites feature simple layout, easy navigation, photo and video content to better communicate different information and plenty of ways to get their questions answer. FAQs, links to social media, a page that allows them to contact you directly. Without these, you might have trouble converting leads because people aren’t getting their queries answered.
Create apps for patients
Practices are starting to offer digital options to patients that only provide a marketing opportunity but the chance to offer a better service, as well. The more convenient it is for the patient to get the information they need on your services or to make appointments and subscriptions, the better. To that end, healthcare providers are designing apps that patients can use to do just that. A popular app can become a great selling point to give your practice the edge over your competitors.
The online world is making a bigger impact on healthcare choices. 41% of people said in one survey that social media alone influences their choice of healthcare services. As the influence of the online world grows, we can only expect that share to increase. Get online now and stay ahead of the curve.