With so much information freely available online, modern patients are more educated than they’ve ever been. Many no longer feel the need to visit a hospital, urgent care center, or clinician’s office unless treatment or testing is necessary. Moreover, competition amongst healthcare organizations has never been higher, particularly with the rise of telehealth and digital care options.
With this in mind, it’s incredibly important that your organization has a properly-budgeted marketing plan. Even if you’re happy with your current patient volumes, you’ll need a strategy that helps you reach out to both new and returning patients. Success in this regard starts, as it often does, with outreach.
Evaluate The Patient Experience
First, consider why someone might switch their care provider – changes in services offered, relocation, wait times, or even a slightly negative experience. Ensure patients have plenty of ways to reach out to your clinic’s customer service representatives, including via phone, chat, and email. You may also want to consider commissioning a mobile application that allows patients to manage their care and putting automation in place that keeps people up-to-date about upcoming appointments.
You might even consider having your physicians directly reach out to their patients after an appointment.
Speaking of user experience, your website needs to be designed with it in mind as well. Many designers have a tendency to lean towards aesthetics over functionality. This is a mistake.
Your website needs to be both fast and intuitive, as it’s the first thing most potential new patients will see. It’s the face of your practice, a representation of what you can offer as a care provider. A site that’s optimized to load quickly across a wide range of devices and form factors is essential.
From your site, patients should be able to find information about your practice, location, hours of operation, and appointment booking.
Since Google focuses primarily on readable content and the user experience, it prioritizes sites optimized for mobile devices.
Stay Consistent With Your Advertising
What sort of brand are you trying to build with your clinic?
As with any business, there will be certain things that set you apart from your competition. Maybe it’s your luxurious offices, with padded armchairs and a quiet, spa-like ambiance. Maybe it’s that your professionals are focused on family-friendliness, and stock your clinic with plenty of toys for kids. Or maybe it’s simply that you always go the extra mile for your patients, treating them as valued friends first and clients second.
Highlight your unique attributes. Your advertising should make it absolutely clear what services you offer and who can benefit, while also highlighting why someone might choose you over your competition. For digital ads, make sure you’re targeting the right keywords, which can also be applied to your search engine optimization efforts.
Although it’s a bit dated, this guide published by digital advertising specialist Wordstream provides a good overview of how you can research your pay-per-click keywords effectively. Paid advertising can be blended with organic social marketing to extend your reach across multiple platforms, as well. At a minimum, your firm should maintain a Facebook Business Page, which can be used for reviews, clinic updates, and informative, interactive posts.
Look Into Search Engine Optimization
Speaking of SEO, figure out what patients looking for your clinic tend to search for.
Generally speaking, local SEO is going to be your area of focus. Someone in Chicago, for instance, isn’t going to be looking for a dentist’s office in Wyoming. They’re going to be searching for a clinic located in their city or neighborhood.
With that in mind, it’s important that you not only maintain a website but also set up a Google My Business listing. Provide patients with as much information as possible, including hours of operation, location, contact details, and photos of the clinic. As for your website, a tool like Google Analytics, Moz, or Yoast can help you sort through the search terms that bring people to your website and target the most effective ones.
Consider In-Office Automation
By providing visitors with a tablet at the office, you can allow them to not only manage their appointments and care, but also provide them with an opportunity to review the care they’ve received. Positive reviews can be used on your Google My Business or Facebook to bring in more patients. Poor scores, meanwhile, can be reviewed by medical team representatives as an opportunity to improve the care you offer.It is vital to follow up on these reviews, and also consider checking independent review sites like Yelp. Reputation management is a critical aspect of your marketing strategy. Not only can it turn a negative patient experience back towards the positive, but it can also be used as a means of improving both equipment and process.