The healthcare industry is rapidly evolving along with the evolution of technology and healthcare practices are always looking for new and innovative ways to reach their customers. A study found that 80% of internet users searched online for answers to healthcare queries. It makes sense for private practices to target their healthcare marketing efforts on where their customers are – online.
What is healthcare?
The Merriam Webster dictionary defines healthcare as:
“Efforts made to maintain or restore physical, mental, or emotional well-being especially by trained and licensed professionals.”
Given the wide definition of healthcare, marketing can be daunting. But you’re not in this alone.
Here are some healthcare marketing tips to help you reach your potential patients and boost your business.
1. Prepare your practice and train your staff
Before you begin your healthcare marketing efforts, make sure your practice is running smoothly and prepared for an increase in patients. First, you need to ensure that you have enough staff to serve your patients at all times.
Sometimes, this might mean hiring additional staff, but often it’s just a matter of smart scheduling and using efficient shift planning software to make the most out of each role.
With a workforce management platform like Deputy, you’re able to set-up auto scheduling which predicts your staffing needs using demand signals like sales, appointments made, etc. with a click of a button. Show your patients you’re committed to providing excellent service by having the right number of staff working at any given time.
Part of shift planning is making sure all your staff has the proper training they need to support your patients and your healthcare practice. Make sure every member of staff knows what they’re responsible for on a daily basis along with the ability to handle any one-off tasks that may be necessary.
With Deputy’s tasking feature, you can use different templates to create simple checklists designed especially for the healthcare industry to make sure your staff is getting their work done each day.
Performance management software will help review your staff’s performance at a glance, even when on-the-go. With Deputy’s mobile app, you’ll have easy access to progress reports as well as insights about where your staff needs to improve.
Well-performing staff leads to excellent patient care. Deputy not only ensures your current patients are well looked after, but also puts you in the best position to deal with more patients as a result of your healthcare marketing efforts.
2. Audit your website
A thorough audit of your site’s usability is important before you begin a healthcare marketing campaign. While a visually appealing design is important, the main focus should be ease of use and functionality. While you could identify some major issues on your own, you may find it helpful to hire user experience testers to give you a clear idea of how your website performs.
3. Create a content marketing strategy
There’s a large number of healthcare information available online. This makes it difficult for consumers to find exactly what they need. Your content marketing strategy should include easy to understand information about the common medical procedures you all perform.
Good healthcare content should break down complex medical information in engaging and simple to understand language. You can use different types of content, like eBooks or blogs. When done correctly, content marketing can build engagement, awareness, and loyalty in your patients.
4. Start an email healthcare marketing campaign
At least 66% of people check their email as soon as they wake up and 90% of adults said that they want better email communication from their doctor. You already have contact information for your existing patients.
An email marketing campaign will help keep your practice at the forefront of their minds. If you have quality content on your site, you can also get website visitors who aren’t yet patients to sign-up for your email list.
Different types of emails you can send to your patients include:
- Reminders that tell patients when they’re due for different procedures.
- Appointment reminders
Additionally, you can send informative emails to both your patients and other subscribers, including:
- Information about the latest goings-on in healthcare.
- Tips with seasonal information.
5. Use video marketing
It’s getting difficult to ignore the impact of video on healthcare marketing, especially given that more than 85% of the U.S. internet audience watches videos online. Video benefits users who are time-poor and don’t want to read articles. Video is also more visually appealing, which is a benefit to healthcare practitioners who are explaining complicated topics.
Here are some ways to use video in your healthcare marketing:
- Welcome videos on your website
- Patient reviews
- Staff profiles
- Treatment summaries
6. Monitor patient reviews
According to research, 88% of people trust online reviews just as they would trust a personal recommendation. Additionally, 72% of patients read online reviews before choosing a doctor. While it’s great to get some positive reviews on sites, like Yelp and Google, that’s just the first step. You need to have a plan to actively market your healthcare practice by responding to reviews.
Respond to positive reviews by thanking your patients for choosing your practice. Answer negative reviews by showing you take the complaint seriously and that you’ll do everything to fix the problem. If you see a specific issue come up in a review, address it in your practice.
Be proactive when asking for reviews. It would be great if most patients just decided to review your practice after having a good experience, but it generally doesn’t work like that. You need to ask patients to leave reviews, especially if they’ve expressed to you that they had a good experience.
7. Tighten up your branding
Brands aren’t just for products on store shelves. In order to help your healthcare practice stand out, you need to have a specific brand. First, determine your target market. Is your practice for:
- Busy young professionals?
- Medi-Spa clients?
You’re probably already familiar with your clients, but now consider their needs. What are the features of your practice that make it specifically appealing to them?
All these things need to be taken into account to form a brand. Your brand sets the tone of voice you’ll use in your healthcare marketing messaging and this targeting will set you apart from your competition. Consistent branding helps both current and potential patients recognize your practice immediately.
8. Strengthen your social media presence
Although it can be tempting to automate all of your social media, it’s important to engage with your patients directly as well. With advertising becoming more prominent on social media, savvy users get used to just scrolling by anything that looks like an ad.
Post a variety of content, such as:
- Interesting photos
- Links to useful medical information
Respond to people who tag you when you can. A human face on your social media makes a big difference.
9. Become the industry expert
If you’re the industry expert within your field, you’ll be the first that patients consider when they experience an issue in your area of healthcare. You already have the skills and knowledge, so becoming an industry expert is a matter of making people aware of your expertise.
Professional platforms, such as LinkedIn, as well as health journals and websites in your area of expertise are all effective platforms for establishing yourself as an industry expert. Find out how to build a powerful LinkedIn profile that will attract the right audience.
10. Make your website responsive
Today, a majority of people use their phones and tablets to access the internet, so it’s vital that websites are optimized for mobile so visitors have a positive experience. A non-responsive site will lose views quickly as people have to zoom-in to read text, and can’t easily navigate your menus. Search engines also notice when sites aren’t responsive, which can adversely affect your search rankings.
11. Optimize your website
Search engine optimization (SEO) can become very complicated, but it’s an important marketing strategy. The difference between the first and second page of search results is huge. A keyword strategy is an important part of SEO, so the first thing you need to do is plan out your keywords and then include these keywords naturally throughout your website. Some other basic SEO principles include making sure there are no broken links on your site and regularly updating content.
12. Get referrals from other doctors
A tip made specifically for healthcare marketing is to use a physician liaison to refer your healthcare practice to other primary care physicians’ practices as well as those that have a specialty area that overlaps with your own. The physician liaison’s job is to market your practice, your services, and your doctors, to help you get more patient referrals. If you have an efficient physician liaison, you can grow your practice in a sustainable way by targeting specific practices.
13. Utilize marketing data
Once you’ve started these various healthcare marketing initiatives, you should collect data on these campaigns and use the information to drive future marketing decisions because you’ll gain insights about what strategies are giving you the best return on your investment.
As you begin to see results from your healthcare marketing efforts, you’ll want to keep an eye on your shift planning and make any necessary adjustments. The advanced reporting features in Deputy use powerful analytics to give you a snapshot of different areas of your healthcare practice. You have the flexibility to create customized reports based on different factors, including:
- Staff who have taken sick leave in a given period.
- Status of training qualifications of your doctors, nurses and support staff.
- Staff who have been late in a specified period.
Sign-up for a free trial of Deputy today to find out how our customized reports can help run a more efficient practice.
14. Use pay-per-click (PPC)
If you have the budget, one way to get fast search engine marketing results is PPC ads. These ads appear at the top of the first page of search results for the targeted keyword when they’re the highest bid for that keyword. If you choose your keywords correctly, when patients are looking for a healthcare facility like yours, the ads will be shown. Using PPC ads, you can target your ideal patient.
15. Try Facebook ads
There are different strategies you can use with Facebook ads. One is to provide patients with a low-cost service for free as an avenue of introducing them to your healthcare practice. This could be an entry-level service and can hopefully translate into the person becoming a permanent patient once they’ve had a positive experience at your practice.
16. Complete your online profiles
You already have listings on various websites you may not even be aware of. If you take the time to build a complete online profile, you’ll stand out among the vast number of incomplete profiles. Find all your listings relevant to your practice and complete them with detailed information. The first one to start with is Google My Business. Then, you can progress to other sites such as Foursquare, Bing, and HealthGrades.
Completing your profiles on different sites will help improve your SEO listings as well as strengthen your online reputation.
17. Don’t ignore traditional media
Although the internet is important to any marketing effort today, there are other types of traditional media that can still reach your target audience. For example, you could use advertising on local radio stations as well as billboards in the areas that you serve. Alternatively, consider advertising in your local newspaper as long as their readership are people likely to visit your practice.
You’ve made a good impression with your healthcare marketing strategy, which should continue when patients visit your healthcare practice. Deputy’s shift planning software ensures there’s always enough employees on staff to secure a consistent and top-notch customer experience.
Sign-up for a free trial of Deputy (G2 Crowd’s Highest-Rated Workforce Management Software) today!