What’s up Doc? We get it, you powered through med school and are now doing amazing things for people every day.
So from marketer to doctor we’d like to thank you, and get started with a quick Q & A.
Alright let’s get to the point.
Your patients are searching for you online.
Think about how many people Google their symptoms and get a terrifying answer. Somehow their everyday headache turns into cancer down the line of search results.
But what if your website popped up when people Googled their symptoms? Yes, we did just use google in verb form, it’s 2019.
What if your doctor’s office became a lead resource for all those symptoms being searched every day?
The key to online marketing is to become an authority figure in your field, a basis of knowledge that people trust.
Luckily, you’re a doctor and people do trust you for your hard work and knowledge. Step one- Check.
Today we are going to explore the next step in dominating your market, and getting those people in need right to your doorstep with digital marketing.
After people search up their symptoms they usually check out a doctor nearby, cancer is just too ridiculous of a diagnosis to make online.
In fact, 92% of consumers aged 18-34 said that they go online to research a new healthcare provider before a visit or a call. And an astounding 86% of consumers aged 33-55 said the same.
This means two things.
First, it means that when potential patients look for you, it’s important to have a strong online presence.
Second, it means that you should understand how to direct them towards your website and from there, into your offices by using highly targeted marketing strategies.
Sound like a lot of work? It’s not, really, but it helps to have help. Simply put, marketing for doctors is best done when it’s handled by a third-party marketing company.
Marketing Agencies are Pros at Identifying & Marketing to Your Target Audience
Like any business, to succeed in marketing, you’ll need to identify your target audience. Aka who needs your services?
When it comes to marketing for specific medical practices, this becomes even more critical in order to consistently be bringing new patients in the door.
And where do these said “new patients” go knocking first?: Online.
It’s important to remember that in the medical industry, your patients don’t bring you business, they are your business. Help them find you.
This means that you’ll want to create a patient-centered marketing strategy from the start. To craft this, it helps to know:
- What kind of services do you offer?
- What kind of patients are going to need these services?
- What is the demographics like in your area where you’re offering these services?
- What is the socio-economic status of your target audience?
- Where can you best reach them (if it’s online, then what social media platform or search engine)?
- What questions do these patients have that you can answer on your blog?
- Why are you different from the other doctors in the area?
Bringing new business in requires that you perform highly-targeted marketing. Luckily, with today’s technology, it’s possible.
Whether you do this by enhancing your blog’s SEO in order for people to more easily find your website, through search engine marketing, or by social media ads, it’s up to you!
However, unless you’re a marketing professional, it might be hard to understand exactly where to target your ideal customer.
Depending on their age range and online behavior, it could be Facebook, Twitter, or even in Google’s search engine.
Generally speaking, people of all ages use Facebook. The largest group of Twitter users is the age group of people between 25-34 years-old. Instagram is more popular for people under 30.
Understanding demographics like this will help you get started. A professional marketing company will help you craft the perfect social media campaign to get you all the way.
Expand The Messaging Around Your Offerings
It’s easier to cater to the needs of your target audience if you’re offering them what they need and want.
Likewise, it’s easier to market your practice if you are offering cutting-edge services that are hot on the market right now.
According to Econsultancy, consumers expect digital services out of healthcare providers.
Essentially, they want their experience with a doctor’s office to be similar to their experience with any other provider in any other industry.
Namely, they’re looking for things like:
- Faster Services: 60% of the people polled said that they would “absolutely” switch providers if a competitor offered something like faster appointments, online booking, and video appointments.
- Secure Messaging: 84% of people said that they feel it should be standard to be able to exchange secure messages with their healthcare provider.
- Video Chat Capabilities: 50% of patients under 35 said that they would rather have a longer video appointment than a shorter in-person appointment.
As you can see, most of these services center around digital, online offerings.
Times are changing and you have to adapt to keep up.
Marketing your medical practice is going to be a whole lot easier if you’re marketing services that your patients actually want.
A top-notch in-house medical marketer can only take you so far. You’ll need to ensure you’re giving yourself a competitive edge by catering to the needs of your audience with a team that does this day in and day out.
If you worked to understand your target audience in the beginning (re: point one above), then this should be easy!
Understanding the Best Strategies in Marketing for Doctors
There are a few ways you can go when it comes to marketing ideas for medical offices. The one that’s right for you depends on your area of expertise.
Instagram is a great photo-sharing app that doctors can use for connecting with their patients on an emotional level.
If you work in the pediatric cancer sector, then sharing photos of kids who’ve been successfully cured of cancer is a great way to connect with your audience.
Twitter, on the other hand, is great for answering questions. Use this space as a place to engage with your community and provide them with excellent customer service.
Facebook is great for sharing updates. Share blog posts here and any important information and offers that you have.
Until you’re ready to fully commit to an online marketing strategy for your practice, you can easily engage in simple marketing tactics that include:
- Provide visitors with useful links and resources on your website. This helps build authority and shows that you truly care about their well-being.
- Encourage patients to write reviews online. Reviews are crucial in the medical industry, and you’ll want to use this word-of-mouth marketing wisely.
- Send out newsletters with healthy tips. Offer something of value to your patients at no cost and you’ll create a strong customer relationship that will last a lifetime.
- Optimize your website for mobile visitors. According to Google, over 60% of searches related to the medical industry are on smartphones. Make sure that these visitors can accurately view your website!
Again, while this might sound like a lot, it’s pretty easy to accomplish and automate with the help of a professional medical marketing team.
Need People in The Door Quickly? Think About Digital Ads.
Pay-per-click (PPC) marketing is one of the most cost-effective forms of search engine marketing today. Why? You don’t pay unless someone actually clicks on your ad and interacts with your business.
For medical professionals with lower marketing budgets, this makes sense.
It’s also a highly-targeted form of marketing, which means that you can target only the kinds of patients you know are going to visit your medical offices.
This means that if you work as a gynecologist in a rural area of Virginia, you can set your ads to only show to users who are female, within a certain age range, and within a set distance from your offices.
You can also set “negative keywords” to ensure that you don’t waste money on clicks from people who found you by a related search.
If your gynecologist’s office doesn’t offer mammograms and other female health services, then you can exclude these from your searches.
All of this works to optimize your marketing campaigns in a way that is cost-effective for you and your investment.
Finally, the ability to add extensions to your search engine ads is an amazing tool for physicians and healthcare providers. PPC marketing is truly great for local businesses.
You can add a phone extension to any add to ensure that whenever a client needs immediate medical services, all they have to do is click the button and their phone will automatically call your offices.
Hire Experts to Market Your Practice
Medical practice marketing is similar to any other marketing.
However, because your practice and business both rely heavily on forming customer loyalty and trust, your methods are going to be a little different than others.
Simply uploading photos and promotions to social media won’t do the trick. While this might help you gain a following, it’s not going to accomplish the goals you need to accomplish in order to see real conversions.
When creating a successful digital marketing campaign, therefore, it helps to get help from professionals.
Medical marketing professionals are going to be well-versed in the areas that you need. They’ll also understand the specific needs of the medical industry.
They’ll also be able to help you with everything from beginning to end, including tasks like:
- Campaign Creation
- Campaign Management
- Blog Management
- Search Engine Optimization
This takes a whole lot of stress out of the equation. Allowing a professional marketing company to take care of this ensures that you have time to engage in more important tasks.
In fact, Business2Community reviewed the benefits of outsourcing marketing work. Among the benefits were that you have more hands helping you succeed and that you’re gaining expert knowledge.
You wouldn’t let a marketer handle your upcoming surgery, so why try to handle all of your marketing as a medical professional?
Marketing for Physicians Made Simple
If marketing for your practice sounds like a headache, then it’s probably because Googling about it can give you cancer.
Okay we get it, you have gone down a lot of rabbit holes, and everybody does.
Marketing explained properly can help clear up any confusions, just like a patient coming to you for help can clear up their webMDed worries.
Let’s laugh it off together.
Sitting down with a professional marketing team is a great way to ensure you understand your own target audience and that you understand the tools you need to truly make marketing work for you.
Ready to get started improving your online presence and reaching the types of patients you need to succeed?
Get in touch today to let us know what you’re looking for and how we can help you increase your revenue and expand your outreach.
Sarah is a content marketing expert at Direction Inc., with experience also in search engine optimization and web design.