Medical practices, like any other type of business, must take advantage of the wide range of marketing avenues available today. Effective marketing not only impacts the bottom line but gives your practice a competitive edge in the marketplace. On average, American consumers spend over 20 hours a week online. Considering the range of online marketing opportunities available, it becomes all the more important to take advantage of the “reach” this landscape has to offer.
By using a mix of marketing approaches, great strides can be made in accomplishing short- and long-term goals for your practice. When done right, your practice has a better chance of showing up at the top of search results when prospective patients are searching for local general practitioners. Here are a handful of the best ways to market your practice today.
A website is an essential must-have when it comes to marketing your practice. A website becomes your first point of contact and a prime opportunity to engage their interest. Website marketing entails helping visitors find and access your site.
SEO or search engine optimization practices enable visitors to find your site. Using a responsive or mobile-ready site design ensures PC, tablet and mobile users alike can access your site. Considering how competitive the medical field is, having an SEO-optimized site can mean the difference between a thriving practice and one that’s just barely holding on.
Attracting local patients to your practice should be your primary goal when establishing a web presence. Showing up on the first page of search engine results best positions a website to receive visitors on a continuous basis. As the do-all and be-all of search engines, Google not only handles a good majority of online searches but also provides tools to help market your practice.
Two tools–Google Places and Google My Business–allow your current patients to post reviews, which is something you can encourage them to do. The more reviews a practice gets, the higher up it appears in search engine results. With Google My Business, you can list your practice on Google portal, which will also lift your search engine rank. You’ll also want to make sure your business information is consistent across any online directories and review sites that list your practice.
Build Your Online Reputation
Nowadays, having a solid online reputation is just as important as having a good offline reputation when it comes to running a business. Brick and mortar businesses strive to create both online and offline brands that people can trust. A popular online presence not only improves your reputation but can attract new patients as well.
There are several ways to build your online platform. One way is to engage in social media marketing. This entails joining carefully selected networking sites where prospective patients are likely to be. Answering medical questions that visitors post is a good way to get started. Posting content or articles that are informative and helpful will position you as a knowledgeable source.
Social media sites also allow you to build a profile for your practice. This feature makes for a nice reference page for people in the market for a new doctor. Since social media posts do come up in search engine results, when online users search for a general practitioner near them, a carefully placed article on a social media site may well come up in the results.
With the growth of sites like YouTube, video marketing has become yet another effective way to market your practice. Video marketing presents information in a more “life-like” format that allows viewers to get to know you and your practice on a whole other level. Videos also allow for creativity in terms of the format you use to present information, such as with charts, or music or demonstrations.
Another area where video technology can be put to use is in your daily practice. Offering your current patients the option to meet with you through video, or telehealth appointments, can boost word-of-mouth referrals. This is especially true for individuals who sometimes have difficulty making it into the office.
Ultimately, staying afloat in today’s competitive healthcare market requires practitioners to be aggressive when it comes to marketing a medical practice. Fortunately, the online world has leveled the playing field for big businesses and small businesses alike. A marketing strategy that employs a mix of different approaches allows you to take full advantage of the reach that the online world offers.