Remember the days when small town doctors grew their practice by face to face referrals only. Jim, the local barber would tell Mary at the diner and so forth. Well, those days are quickly fading behind us.
Welcome to the information age where every doctor needs to have a multi-tiered marketing strategy with a heavy dose of social media.
Some quick facts:
- “72% of internet users said they looked online for health information within the past year.” Source: 2013 Pew Research Center Report.
- “41% of people would choose a health care provider based on their social media reputation.”Source: DC Interactive Group’s Rising Use of Social Media and Mobile in Healthcare Infographic
- “60% of doctors say social media improves the quality of care delivered to patients.” Source:DC Interactive Group
In today’s environment, your success, let alone your survival, depends on a well thought out marketing strategy.
Every marketing strategy has to start with the goals for your campaign. Usually, the goals include generating awareness and buzz for your practice which will lead to an increase your clientele. The campaign goals for your practice can include educating the community, building a good reputation and promoting new services, and of course to increase sales which Augur excels at. Unlike branding agencies Augur focuses on your bottom line and the main goal of all campaigns is to generate leads and revenue.
Next, it is important to develop a marketing strategy to determine the demographics and size of your target market. Who is the target market for your services and does this market change if you offer new services? Is your target market local or is it regional or even national?
How are you going to reach your target market(s)?
First and foremost, you need a compelling website for your practice. Your website should have a well-organized and clean layout with aesthetically pleasing images and color schemes. Your online presence and especially your website is the first thing that potential patients will see of your practice and are an avatar and direct reflection of your image. You wouldn’t go on a date or meet your patients wearing old, rumpled, stained clothes and your web presence should reflect on your practice professionally. Top medical websites should include:
- Highly visible contact information
- Images promoting health or videos
- The philosophy of your practice, why you differ from competition
- Clearly defined services
- Accepted insurance plans accepted
- Downloadable patient forms
Professional Tip! The two things that are most likely to convert a potential client online are testimonials, and video when done properly. The video needs to be short, directly related to and placed directly next to the product or service mentioned. Websites absolutely should also have a contact form to capture future patient information which can then be added to your Customer Resource Management (CRM) software or which can be sent directly to your inbox for a response.
“Augur Marketing produced my website, and it is a great improvement over my previous website which was developed by a different reputable web designer. The site is fabulous and has a lot of visitors.”
Dr. Shore Armani. McLean, Va.
Your website could have all of the above but there is still a catch. Remember the phrase all “dressed up and nowhere to go?” What good is a compelling website if nobody knows that it exists. The majority of online health seekers began their sessions using a search engine such as Google, Bing or Yahoo. It is important to get these search engines working for you by ranking you at the top for medical search results.
“Eighty-one percent of users conduct online research before they make a purchase. Sixty percent begin by using a search engine to find the products or services they want, and 61 percent will read reviews before making a selection.” Source: SocialTimes
The key is search engine optimization (SEO)! The use of meta tags and backlinks used to be very important for higher rankings but this has now shifted to how relevant your website and how much quality content it contains. Relevancy is determined by how many reputable sites or people are sharing or linking back to your content and how fresh and relevant your content is. Many of the top websites include current blog articles about the latest medical topics which allow for comments and feedback.
Perform a simple check on your practice by typing the type of practice or specialty and then the city name into Google. For instance internist tysons corner va. If you do not see your practice in the top few results then you are automatically losing customers to your competition, those practices listed in that specific search result.
“50% of all mobile searches are conducted in hopes of finding local results, and 61% of those searches result in a purchase.” (Search Engine Watch)
Every marketing strategy should also include engaging social media marketing and cater to mobile users. Social media sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube are critical in creating a dialogue with patients or promoting your expertise. The conversation about your practice is happening online and it is better if you are a part of it.
Paid social media advertising through Google Adwords, LinkedIn Ads, Facebook Ads, Twitter Ads and YouTube video ads are time-saving and cost-effective ways to raise awareness and recognition for your practice. Remember to always focus on your target market who are becoming more tech savvy and are depending more on their mobile devices for their medical information. If your practice is in a large metropolitan area like Washington, DC or New York then you can reach thousands of locals by city, zip code, lifestyle, gender, age, and interests for a fraction of the cost of advertising on cable television.
“A multi-channel campaign (includes Social Media and radio for instance) has a 20% higher retention rate by consumers than a single method campaign.” Source: Comcast Cable
A social media strategy is critical for your success but you should never forget traditional marketing avenues. Patients still use both online and offline sources for the medical information. Per a 2012 Google/Compete Hospital Study, 32% of patients use TV for research, 20% use magazines for research and 18% use newspapers for research.
You should also consider email blasts as part of your marketing strategy. Targeted email marketing campaigns are very effective at generating more referrals. Per MedData Medical Technology Marketing Industry Trends Report, for every $1 spent, $44.25 is the average return on email marketing investment.
Augur Marketing offers full digital marketing campaigns for as low as $1,000 per month. Let our expert staff increase your online presence and sales. Use our convenient contact form or call 571-201-5272.
This article was published by Augur Marketing based in Washington, DC. Augur specializes in marketing campaign management which includes the most effective combination of website development, search optimization (SEO), social media campaigns video production, and radio and television. Please feel free to contact us regarding your marketing strategy. Unlike branding agencies and other marketing companies, we focus on your bottom line. Our goal is to bring you customers and to increase sales not just to make you look pretty.