Both marketing and healthcare industries are constantly coming up with new and innovative ways of doing business. The two often overlap as patients seek out a health care practice to service them and their families. It is important for healthcare facilities to utilize marketing strategies in order to reach these potential patients that are looking for new providers.
If you are not obtaining new patients, it is probably because your marketing is not up to par. You have to meet the needs of patients who are interested in coming to your practice.
Continue reading below to learn more about marketing your healthcare practice effectively.
1. Encourage Referrals from Current Patients
This is one of the simplest methods you can utilize if you already have a solid patient base and are looking to grow. Sometimes, there is nothing better than word-of-mouth advertising. Ask patients to refer your healthcare practice to their friends and family members every time they complement the services they received or the staff.
All you have to do is ask if the patient knows of anyone who is looking for a new provider. Make sure you are not too pushy, however, and maintain a sense of politeness. If other providers are already asking for referrals, you can beat them to the chase by starting to ask for referrals as well. You can also come out ahead of other providers in your area if they are not doing this as of yet.
2. Market to Current Patients
Many businesses, including healthcare practices, rely too much on marketing to potential patients rather than spending any time marketing to the patients that they already have. You want to be able to keep the patients that you have, however, which can be done through marketing. Make sure they continue coming back for more and that they will refer your services to others.
One of the first items you can market to current patients is the comprehensive ideation of all of the healthcare services you offer. Provide seminars or classes on certain disorders or healthcare practices. Make sure they understand the information they need to know throughout the entire time they are a patient of yours.
3. Use PPC (Pay-Per-Click) Advertising
Patients typically start with a search engine to find healthcare practices near them that offer the services that they need.
It is important that your facility’s name shows up toward the front of the search engine results that are offered. This is done by utilizing this healthcare marketing strategy to increase your visibility in results.
Pay-per-click adverts are part of the search engine results that a potential patient will receive. These adverts are those that are seen at the top of the first page of the results of the search. When utilizing PPC advertising, results come right away. The adverts can be customized to the types of patients you want to reach and the location you seek to include.
Google and Facebook both have great advertising platforms that will allow you to target zip codes, interests and a whole lot more.
4. Utilize SEO Strategies
Another method to increase your visibility on search engine results when a patient is searching for a new healthcare practice is search engine optimization or SEO. SEO allows you to be found quicker and sooner on the regular results through the utilization of certain keywords. Your website will appear higher in the results through SEO by increasing the ease of access to your website, as well as its design, from search engines.
Search engine optimization requires consistent editing and monitoring. Details consistently change, which means editing should frequently occur to stay on the first page of search results.
Make sure you know the information that you need to know about SEO marketing and about what you can offer to potential patients that others in your market do not showcase or offer.
5. Develop a Brand through Social Media
Social media can be utilized by any business, including healthcare practices. Any social media platform can be utilized including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Tumblr just to name a few. Make sure that what you post is appealing to the target audience that you are hoping to reach and that you provide accurate information that is consistent across all platforms.
Social media can help your healthcare facility in developing a brand. Hospital marketing on social media, for instance, can help to grow awareness about the services offered through providing helpful or engaging content on social media. Putting the name of a facility on social media will assist the facility in being found throughout your location, and you can maintain communication with potential patients through social media.
6. Use Email Marketing Strategies
Making things personalized for patients will help to retain them and will encourage them to refer your healthcare practice to other potential patients. Email is a great way to send out information that feels personalized to your patients. Ensure that you have a method for patients to provide you their email information to receive exclusive information, to make the sign-up process feel more exciting.
Emails can be sent out using automated software. Newsletters about the facility and staff members as well as seasonal information can be sent. News in healthcare or reminders of upcoming appointments can also be sent, to make the emails even more personable. You could even engage in doctor marketing by having doctors send out personalized emails about healthcare trends.
7. Use Healthcare Content Marketing
Content marketing involves marketing information about specific content areas that your business or industry services. It goes hand-in-hand with SEO marketing as specific information is given that can be related to a keyword. Content marketing can be especially useful in the healthcare industry as this is a confusing field to navigate.
Content marketing in healthcare can provide specific information concerning certain diagnoses or health conditions. It can also provide information about types of healthcare services and treatment options. This information can be provided on your website and social media pages so it can be easily found when searching the question on a search engine. When a potential patient sees your brand associated with this information, your facility will become a more trustworthy source.
8. Build a Professional Website
A website should be your primary point of marketing. Everything that you have online, including social media pages, should go back to your website. The website should contain all substantial information that patients need to know, and it should leave potential patients with a valuable first impression through its professional appearance and necessary information.
First off, make sure the content on your website is professionally written and is engaging to your potential patients. From there, you should make sure your design is simple yet attractive, with the use of colors and fonts that magnify the message you are trying to portray. Finally, it is important to make sure that your website is easy to navigate so that potential patients can get to the necessary information quickly and without confusion.
9. Monitor Your Reputation
Your reputation will follow you when you own a business, including a healthcare business, in the age of technology.
When the business shows up in search results, there will most likely be an online reputation associated with it. This reputation is seen through online reviews that are left about your healthcare practice.
When searching for a new healthcare practice, patients often rely on the words and comments of others. These comments can be seen easily through online reviews. You should consistently monitor these reviews to look for complaints. If there is a complaint that is worthwhile, take the time to contact that patient and understand how you can fix their problems. This negative review may just turn into a positive one after that.
10. Train All Employees on Marketing
Every employee that works for your healthcare practice should be trained on effective marketing strategies.
Each employee represents your brand, your facility and your services in some way. Make sure that your employees know how to act professionally and cordially with potential patients to assist them in following through with retaining their services with your healthcare facility.
Your employees can engage in hospital marketing, for instance, as well. They can post about the hospital that they work at on social media, leaving positive information about it. They can share about the services you offer to their friends and family members to encourage more patients as well. As mentioned, they are, ultimately, the face behind the brand.
11. Engage in Data Analysis
It is imperative to engage in data analysis to truly get a grasp of what is and is not working.
Keep track of how many new patients you are receiving, how many referrals have been made and if patients return for more services in the future. Look at online marketing to understand what reaches the most potential patients and current patients.
Try to look into things that need to change as well. It is not always easy to understand when there are things that need to change based on you not doing something well, but it is well worth it in the end. Once you make the necessary adjustments, you will probably engage with many more new patients.
12. Appeal to the Patient’s Needs
Any marketing material you produce should focus on the patient rather than your healthcare practice.
Do not become overly absorbed with bragging about all that your office offers and how experienced the practitioners at your office are. Focus more so on how the services you offer can help the potential patient in defeating or getting through the ailments they are going through with your assistance.
It is okay to talk about what you offer, but make sure this information is relevant to addressing a potential patient’s problems and concerns. Doctor marketing allots for bragging about the doctor’s skills, whereas healthcare marketing should allot to the patient’s solutions. Make sure you are confident in that your patient will feel better after leaving your healthcare facility.
In many ways, healthcare marketing is no different than marketing any other business. It requires careful planning and scrutiny to ensure that patients stick with a healthcare facility and to build a larger patient base. Employees and patients can both assist in your marketing efforts.
Make sure that you utilize as many marketing platforms as possible. Host seminars for current customers, provide email networking and be communicative on social media. Encourage referrals, use SEO and PPC to enhance search results and maintain professionalism to ensure your healthcare facility grows to all it can be.
Tyler Horvath is an SEO Expert with over 15 years of experience in search engine optimization, popular blog author and Medical SEO expert.