Today’s healthcare consumers are savvy and have more options than ever before. While people used to ask a friend or trusted co-worker for provider recommendations, the internet has given consumers access to an unprecedented amount of information about their options.
In such a crowded marketplace, what can you do to stand out? Use these six healthcare marketing tips to stand out in a crowded marketplace.
1. Have a Strong Website
While providers used to be able to rely solely on word of mouth, it’s vital nowadays that they have an online presence. According to a report from doctor.com, 80% of consumers have used the internet to conduct a healthcare-related search in the past year.
Where consumers used to ask people for advice, they’re now turning to search engines. Providers should create a website that gives their audience all of the basics about their practice: areas of expertise, practice location, insurance accepted, and contact information. A strong website is one of the most essential aspects of healthcare marketing.
2. Get Found with SEO Best Practices & Paid Search
Aside from building a website that addresses the needs and concerns of visitors, you need to consider both SEO best practices and paid search. For SEO, this means incorporating relevant keywords into your website’s content and metadata as well as having a mobile-first or responsive website.
You’ll also want to make sure your local listings are managed and accurate so you can show up in local searches on search engines as well as map apps on mobile devices.
If you’re looking to appear at the top of search results pages, paid search will likely be your healthcare marketing strategy of choice. Keyword research will help you here, too, as you can establish a bid strategy to appear for the search terms that are most relevant to your practice.
3. Develop a Comprehensive Presence
Once you’ve created a site that covers all your bases, you can begin to expand your online presence. While most consumers probably aren’t eager to see their potential healthcare provider shooting off quip-filled tweets or sharing silly GIFs, providers can still take advantage of social media.
Create a video series where you introduce yourself and your unique point of view on how you approach the practice of medicine. Set up a Twitter and Facebook account where you can share relevant articles and posts from leaders in your field. These are just two healthcare marketing approaches that will keep your brand current while still maintaining the level of decorum that patients expect.
More than 60% of consumers will choose one provider over another because they have a stronger online presence, so you can’t afford to hide in the virtual shadows. People always want to do business with a leader in the given field, and this is especially true when it comes to healthcare. Use your online assets to establish yourself as a trustworthy and knowledgeable provider — this will go a long way towards convincing someone to put their health in your hands.
4. Create an Emotional Connection through Content
Potential patients are looking for providers they have a connection with — but, how can you create a connection before they’ve even reached out? A robust online presence certainly helps, but leveraging helpful and informative content that answers your audience’s questions and meets their needs is another way to start the provider-patient relationship on the right foot.
Through healthcare marketing tactics such as branded content, you’re able to get in front of prospective patients in a way that’s engaging to them. And by delivering them helpful content about your story or something they care about or have questions about, you can forge an emotional connection before they step through your door.
5. Cultivate & Monitor Reviews
Reading online reviews is a part of most consumers’ purchase decision-making nowadays. The same is true when they’re looking for healthcare providers. In fact, the same doctor.com report indicates that 60% of consumers have chosen one provider over another based on a positive online reputation.
The first step in generating a good reputation online is in ensuring that you have a profile on the largest review sites. Sites like Healthgrades allow you to generate a profile so that your patients can leave feedback.
Once you begin to receive reviews, keep an eye out for recurring negative comments. If there’s an issue or concern that comes up time and again, take steps to remedy that problem, so that those reading reviews on the site won’t see that problem in reviews month after month.
6. Connect with Referring Doctors
In just about any field, referrals are a critical element in a business’s continuing success. This is true for healthcare providers as well.
Establishing a network of doctors who are willing and able to refer patients to you builds your patient roster and establishes a steady stream of referrals. While you can certainly reach out to providers with whom you have established connections, it’s also beneficial to engage a physician liaison for help in expanding your network of potential referrers.
The internet age has changed the way that healthcare providers find and attract new patients. It’s critical that any provider has a strong online presence.
Establishing trust is a key element in marketing within any industry, but it’s especially true in the field of healthcare. Consumers want a provider they know, like, and trust with their health. If you’re smart about how you present yourself online, you can position yourself and your practice to be that trusted provider.
And, just like patients choose healthcare providers who are experts in their field, you’ll want to work with someone with the right industry know-how. Our team has healthcare marketing expertise and can leverage the data and insights from the USA TODAY NETWORK to help you reach your goals. Give us a call today to learn more.