Patients are now searching for healthcare providers on the web, so your online reviews and presence today can have a huge influence on whether they choose your practice. Without a strong digital presence, you’re limiting your opportunities to boost patient acquisition and revenue.
Let’s have a look at the key components you should incorporate into your digital marketing strategy to stay ahead of your competitors in this digital age.
1. A Mobile-Friendly And Responsive Website
Responsive website design means that your healthcare site’s layout can adjust to suit the type of device each patient is using, whether that’s their phone, desktop, or tablet. Optimizing the user experience for multiple platforms can help your practice grow in ways such as:
• Expanding your reach: More than 80% of patients regularly use smartphones to find or interact with their doctors. Others use their mobile devices to check healthcare reviews quickly. It’s important to target these users with information or ads that display perfectly on their devices.
• Boosting your search ranking: Mobile-friendly websites tend to rank higher on Google than non-responsive sites.
Many healthcare professionals we’ve worked with tell us that they encounter much more informed patients on a day-to-day basis. It turns out that many of these patients use the internet as their first source of health information.
SEO can put your healthcare brand in front of these consumers who are looking up health facts online before engaging a provider. Start by developing and publishing unique, insightful content that portrays you as an expert in your specialty. Make sure your web pages and online content are optimized for an organic search to increase new patient traffic to your practice’s site.
3. Online Reputation Management
Many patients evaluate providers’ online reputations and reviews before selecting one. A poor online reputation, or a lack of one, can prevent prospective patients from choosing your practice. One study found that almost 60% of consumers think physician rating websites are at least “somewhat important” when it comes to selecting a doctor.
A huge disparity can exist between a practice’s offline and online reputation if you don’t have a proactive reputation management plan in place. You can fix this reputational problem by soliciting online reviews and executing post-care patient surveys. Doing this gives your happy patients a chance to express their satisfaction and gratitude online.
Be sure to respond to any negative online sentiments when applicable. This means taking charge of the narrative to preserve the reputation you’ve worked so hard to build.
4. A Presence On Social Media Platforms
With an active social media presence, you can increase your practice’s brand awareness, new patient acquisitions, and revenue. Some useful strategies include:
• Advertising your healthcare products, services, promotions, etc., on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram to grow revenue.
• Regularly posting informative content, such as explainer videos for therapeutic procedures, to increase engagement rates and establish brand authority.
• Engaging your followers, including by answering questions, to grow your brand affinity and patient loyalty.
5. Online Referral Programs
Word-of-mouth referrals in healthcare marketing have gone digital too, and you can leverage them to increase patient acquisition. That’s because most people follow recommendations from people they trust.
Take advantage of this by sending your satisfied patients an email requesting that they refer your practice to a friend or family member. This is easy to do when you have an automated patient survey system in place.
Also, participation in a physician-to-physician referral program can generate new leads for your practice.
6. Patient Engagement Platforms
Streamlining patient engagement with software can help you boost your retention rates and maintain a loyal patient base. Some of the most impactful automation to consider for your healthcare business are:
• Appointment reminders and scheduling.
• Two-way text message communication between patients and physicians.
• Personalized communication, such as birthday or holiday messages.
7. Analytics And Artificial Intelligence
Advanced analytics and AI can help you get in front of prospective patients at the right time and with the right product or services. With machine learning tools, you can make better sense of existing patient data and maximize the effectiveness of your direct-to-consumer marketing efforts.
Look for tools that provide the following kinds of capabilities:
• Automatic detection of negative patient sentiment and responding with reassuring messaging.
• Predicting patient behavior, challenges, and needs based on past data, such as diagnostics.
• Tracing negative patient feedback to your practice’s challenges, such as staffing shortages on specific dates or during certain periods.
To keep your healthcare practice growing in this digital age, make sure you have a proper healthcare marketing strategy with all of these key components in place. At a minimum, focus your efforts on improving patient outcomes, maintaining a solid online reputation, and increasing online visibility. Having a strong presence across the most popular online platforms, including social media, physician review sites, and search engines, is equally important to stay ahead of your competitors in this digital era.