Learn how your practice can use medical marketing to build credibility and loyalty
How do your patients find you? These days, when looking for a doctor, people aren’t walking into the nearest medical office at random expecting to get treated. Instead, they’re looking online to decide the best place to go.
A comprehensive online presence has become increasingly vital for every industry, and the medical field is no different. Who you trust to take care of you deserves careful consideration. What a potential patient finds online is crucial to this decision: in many cases, it may be the only place they look for information.
So, what questions should you be asking yourself to ensure your medical marketing is keeping up with the competition?
Should I have my own website?
Yes! Your medical practice needs a website to stand out from the crowd. A well-designed custom website will make your practice look credible and welcoming. You can learn more about the benefits of having a website here.
Know that there are many ways to build a website that will suit your needs, whether it be something basic or something that will have all the bells and whistles. Going above and beyond for your patients by offering more resources will have a positive impact.
A recent study posted in the Journal of Medical Practice Management has revealed that customer satisfaction in the medical field has ranked low among patients. To improve patient experience, your website could offer resources such as direct messaging, appointment management and printable medical forms, accessible through a portal. The more information you can equip your patients with, the easier their trip to the doctor will be, the more streamlined each visit is, and the more likely they will be to stick with you as their health care provider.
Basic, build-it-yourself websites aren’t likely to come with all of these capabilities, so it might be worth considering a custom-built website that’s tailored to the needs of your medical practice.
What content should I put on my website?
People often associate doctors’ offices and medical facilities with long wait-times, extensive medical forms, and insurance uncertainty. Stressors such as these are often amplified in emergency situations.
Your website is the perfect platform for patients to access valuable information such as live wait times, an explanation of what insurance you accept, and lab results. Providing this information prior to appointments will eliminate a lot of the confusion, and guarantee that everything will be in order when your patient arrives.
Your practice may also benefit from a virtual tour. This will show patients the layout of your facility, so they’ll be more relaxed and familiar with everything during their first visit. Staff bios paired with professional headshots can also help to give your practice credibility and personality. Learn about the benefits of professional headshots here.
Blog posts about your practice, common health concerns, and medical research will keep your patients engaged and informed.
Claim your business
Websites like Google, Yelp, and Facebook allow you to claim your business online. This gives you the opportunity to boost your online presence and share up to date information about your practice such as your address, your hours of operation, and ways for people to contact you. You can also link to your website and your social media pages.
You can learn how to claim your business online here.
Should I hop on social media?
Social media is a powerful tool that lets you connect and engage with people in your community. The best way to utilize social media is to provide content that’s relevant to your patients and followers to establish your medical practice as a reputable source of health information.
Along with your website, social media is an important tool to build awareness and expand your online reach, an important element in any business. Use it to educate and inform your audience. Don’t forget to link to your own content to drive traffic back to your website.
If you’re a dentist looking for social media tips, we’ve written a whole blog for you. Read it here.
Instagram is a great place to reach people in a creative way. Great visuals work best here. Create posts to alert people of a new blog and updates about the office or services that you offer. This is also a great way to get people thinking about annual check-ups by posting reminders and other medical benchmarks and facts. Remember to post interesting photos or graphics that are also relevant to the caption. Adding hashtags will also help to increase your reach.
A business page on Facebook lets you extend the scope of your business by engaging with Facebook’s 2.33 billion users.  Anything health related can be worthwhile to include in a post since Facebook boosts posts relating to its daily trends. Be sure to stay on top of news and trending topics. Remember, people respond well to posts that they can relate to. Posting patient testimonials can spark interest on a personal level and will illustrate the dependability of your practice.
You can also advertise on Facebook. You can target very specific audiences to bring in traffic from certain locations or age groups, and see exactly how your ads are performing with Facebook’s robust analytics tools. A huge advantage of medical marketing through Facebook is that you can do it at a relatively low cost.
Besides having your own Instagram or Facebook page, you can get involved in your local community’s Facebook group. Establish yourself as the trusted authority in your field and provide your community with useful health information or alerts. You can also participate in groups tailored more to your specific medical specialism to stay up to date in the field.
LinkedIn is a fantastic resource to connect with other medical professionals, learn about the newest developments in the medical field, as well as to see what other practices are up to.
How can I manage my online reputation?
Nowadays, people are looking more and more to online reviews to learn more about a business or a medical practice. The growth of search engines and social media has made the internet an integral part of the patient decision-making process, meaning an online reputation is easily accessible and has a big impact on customers.
To see what your online reputation looks like, Google your business and see what results appear. If you’ve already claimed your business, one of the results that should appear is the knowledge panel. This displays all of your practice’s information and any reviews that patients have left for you.
All reviews about your practice are important: even negative reviews are valuable because they can help you improve upon your business. Responding to reviews makes your business look professional and shows that you are always looking for ways to enhance your patients’ experiences.
For a more in-depth explanation of online reputation management, read our blog here.
Should I be using Google Ads?
If you want to increase your number of patients, the answer is yes, you should! Google Ads allow you to put your medical practice at the forefront at exactly the right time when people are searching for services like yours. Google Ads appear above organic search results, and they’re a great way to see immediate results with your marketing efforts. Here are some of the benefits of using Google Ads:
- You can target specific groups of people
- You can keep an eye on your competition
- You’re only charged when someone clicks on your ad
What you shouldn’t be doing
Today, the worst thing you can do is have no online presence. With people looking to search engines, online reviews and social media for answers, it’s time for you to tell the world what you offer and show your community how you can benefit them. Watch as your following grows and your medical practice thrives!
You’re not alone! If you don’t know where to start, we can help! We have over 14 years of experience helping medical practices like yours grow their businesses with a comprehensive digital marketing strategy. You can learn more about all of the digital marketing services we offer here.
Ready to get started? Contact us today!