For almost all of your patients, healthcare is literally at their fingertips. Whether it’s through their phone or on their computer, individuals can research a variety of conditions and symptoms, book appointments, and even read reviews of your practice online before stepping foot in your office.
Today, word-of-mouth and referrals alone aren’t enough to help you expand your practice and reach new patients. Approximately 75% of patients choose healthcare providers based on their online presence, and 49% of patients rely on online reviews. This makes it vital for healthcare professionals to maximize visibility on the web through effective digital marketing campaigns.
Regardless of your specialty or practice size, digital marketing strategies can hold several benefits for your practice, especially if these strategies are hyper-focused on your expertise. Below, we highlight five reasons why medical practices should consider having a digital marketing strategy in place.
1. New Patients Look Online First
Information is now easily accessible. With our smartphones, laptops, and tablets, we can search whether a new restaurant or local business is worth the visit by reading reviews and learning about their offerings online. The same goes for your practice.
When a potential patient is searching for a new healthcare provider online, they are searching for a well-respected healthcare provider who can provide them with a high level of care. In their discovery, many will check to see if you accept their insurance, how far your office is from their home, and if you have experience treating their ailment or performing the procedure they need.
A strong online presence that gets you in front of new patients and provides the answers to these questions is absolutely critical for new patient acquisition.
2. Digital Marketing Strategies Can Target Those Who Are Searching for You
As a medical professional, you have a specialized skill set and your online presence should reflect your expertise. With the right digital marketing strategies, you can effectively highlight what makes your practice unique and target the right audience.
Most digital marketing channels allow you to target specific audiences based on their demographics, interests, and locations. By properly segmenting your audiences, and targeting your content and social media posts to these prospective patients, you can more effectively generate quality leads.
3. Promotes Direct Communication with Patients
Traditional marketing methods are often one-sided, meaning that the information is presented to patients directly and there is little opportunity to interact with potential patients. This isn’t the case with digital marketing.
Because of methods like social media and live chat, you can interact with potential patients before they engage your practice. You can also use these strategies to keep existing patients up-to-date on new developments and offerings of your practice, for instance, if a new doctor with a different skill set has joined your practice
When a patient regularly sees you share helpful articles on Facebook or is greeted by a friendly chat message when they visit your site, they are more likely to schedule an appointment with your office.
4. Improves Patient Experience
The easier it is for patients to navigate the information about your practice, the better. By using different digital marketing strategies, you are ensuring that your practice is accessible and convenient for both new and existing patients. If you are properly marketing your services, patients will get to know your brand and see whether or not you are a good fit for them before they even step inside your office.
You can also use certain digital tools, like drip campaigns, to keep in touch with current patients and remain top of mind for subsequent appoints by sending reminders or other valuable health information. Because you are easily accessible online, you are ensuring a smooth patient experience, which will help improve your online reputation.
5. Become a Thought Leader in Your Field
Patients want a well-informed doctor and an expert in their field. One way to demonstrate your expertise is by consistently publishing content that is relevant to the conditions you treatand sharing that content on social media platforms, like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Sharing information that is highly relevant and useful to your audience can position you and your practice as a thought leader in your field. Regularly posting content can also help with search engine optimization, which can lead to greater traffic to your website and increase brand awareness.
The number of patients who go online to search for a new medical provider or learn more about conditions and treatments will continue to increase, so you have to make sure that your practice is easily accessible online to stay ahead of your competition.
With so many ways to connect with patients and prospects, the world of digital marketing can seem overwhelming. We’re here to help. If you have any questions about leveraging the web to grow your practice, reach out to our digital marketing experts. We’ll take time to learn more about your goals and develop a custom plan to help you take your practice to the next level.