Competition for new patients has always been a challenging aspect for any practice. But as patients are learning to become wise healthcare consumers in this new marketplace, that competition for new patients has become even more fierce. Today’s potential patients have access to more information than ever before. They can google symptoms or procedures. They can research different providers and compare reviews. As a result, marketing to prospective patients needs to be more targeted, differentiating your practice from every other practice in your field. There are five key tactics, though, that can help you overcome the challenges of the modern medical marketing world, and when followed, they can give you a serious advantage over practices that are not following them.
1 - Online Reputation - Spend some time focusing on how you appear to prospective patients through your online presence. Just having a practice website is no longer the road to success. According to many researchers, as many as 78 percent of Americans now find their healthcare providers by using an online search and using other tools. Your online reputation is a serious matter, so you should take it seriously. Remember, a potential client may come across your blog, your Facebook page, or other social media sites you’re on. You may also have ratings on sites such as Google+, Yelp, or others that you haven’t taken ownership of. Taking charge of your online reputation is a crucial tactic to making sure potential patients have a favorable impression and don’t pass you by.
2 - Website Management - You put a lot of energy and effort into your website, but it isn’t a one-time job. The best practice websites remain the best thanks to upkeep and revisions. This is your online business card, so make sure it’s telling your patients and potential patients exactly what you want it to say, incorporate Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques to improve your chances of appearing at the top local search suggestions. Make sure your website conveys your style, your personality, and your area of expertise. Use it to showcase articles, research, and news about your industry so that patients and potential patients will see you as the expert in your field. And don’t forget to include your contact information, location, and a picture of your office so you’re easy to find in the real world, too.
3 - Blog-o-licious - An excellent way to share information and build excellent communication with your patients is with a blog. Many web hosting platforms offer a blog feature at little or no extra charge. The key to an effective blog, and the way to build readership, is by regularly updating it with valuable content. While a newsletter allows you to provide a quick overview of a subject, a blog allows for in-depth, insightful commentary about the same topic. You may feel you don’t have the time to create something so intensive, but there are numerous sources on the internet that you can use so long as credit is given to the original author and source. A blog helps to establish you and your practice as being concerned about topics important to your patients and prospective patients, and establishes you as a thought leader for your area of expertise.
4 - Being Social - There are so many social media channels to choose from these days that delivering your message can become a jumbled mess if you’re not careful. Regardless of whether you’re posting on Facebook, tweeting on Twitter, shining on LinkedIn, or sending out your signal on any other social media channel, you need to be certain that your messaging and voice are consistent across all your media. If you’re playful and lighthearted on your webpage, but serious and dignified on your Facebook page, visitors to both sites get a conflicting message about your style and approach. Making sure that your message is consistent shows your level of professionalism as well as gives potential patients an inside look into you, your office, your staff, and allows them to imagine the type of experience they might have there.
5 - The Next Level - There are a lot of things you can do on your own, but sometimes, you need a little extra help. Resources for things like social media, online reputation management, and marketing for new patient acquisition can be slim to none in an average office. Using a third party source for these complicated areas can be time saving, money saving, and most definitely stress saving investments. It’s good to do some research and compare, but it’s important to compare apples to apples, as the old adage goes. Look for a company with years of service in those areas, who can deliver on their promises (and show examples of where and how it worked), and who has been serving healthcare providers exclusively (instead of auto repair shops, hair dressers, or pet groomers).
With a few areas of focus, a consistent message, some excellent information, and maybe a little extra help, your marketing efforts are sure to shine and generate new new patients for years to come.
For information on how Solutionreach can help you market your practice and connect with your patients more successfully, visit us here: www.solutionreach.com