Building an effective medical marketing strategy is a specialized skill and one that the team at Pepper Gang takes very seriously. We understand that the seemingly endless options can seem confusing at times and that the last thing you want to do is waste time and money on strategies that fail to deliver the growth that your practice deserves.
To help you understand a bit more of what we do and how we do it, we have put together a list of some of the essential medical marketing strategies for 2020.
Strategy 1: Make it about the patient experience
As more people turn to the internet for recommendations for a local health care provider, having a patient-friendly website is no longer a bonus: it is an expectation. Specific things to consider when reviewing your current website, considering a redesign, or commissioning a new build:
- Ensure that your website design accommodates all types of technology, from personal computers to tablets and smartphones
- Remember that speed matters and that there are few experiences more frustrating to a patient than slow page speed, which is the leading cause of high bounce rates on your website
- Focus on treatments and services on the homepage, since these are what potential patients are most interested in when visiting your website
- Have a lead form and keep it simple so that potential patients can schedule an appointment without being asked to provide excessive amounts of unnecessary (at this stage) information.
Strategy 2: Invest in Social Media Marketing
As in most business sectors, social media marketing is an essential part of any marketing strategy. Social media posts reach a broad audience and can be recirculated organically by current patients, along with testimonials about you and your practice. Be sure to think carefully about your patient community’s demographic and match your choice of social media platform to that demographic. If your practice is looking to attract patients from the under 35 demographic, Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter are likely your best choices. Looking to the 35-55 demographic, you are probably leaning toward LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Facebook. Regardless of which platforms you choose, take the time to learn how to understand the analytics options available. They help make the most out of every posting and ad.
Strategy 3: Become SEO savvy
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) translates into more views, and more views can translate into more patients. There are four basic components SEO that you need to be aware of:
- Keywords and keyword targeting
- Search volumes behind keywords
- Traffic from organic search
- Conversions of patients search for your targeted keywords.
These are the proverbial tip of the SEO iceberg, of course, so feel free to leave the detailed analytics to your marketing agency. Knowing what SEO is and how it is vital to your marketing strategy’s effectiveness is an essential step, however.
Strategy 4: Have a content strategy
A well-structured, well-written, and well-performing blog can generate up to 50 percent of your website’s organic traffic. But to make the most of your blog, your practice needs to develop a strategy to ensure that the information shared involves compelling storytelling, a blend of short- and long-form articles, graphic design, and even interactivity. Remember: 9x more leads tend to be generated from long-form blog content than short-form, so develop your content mix accordingly. Getting your audience what they want, when they want it, and in a form that captures their attention is a big part of medical practice marketing.
Strategy 5: Do not overlook email
For a long time, email was the king of the medical practice marketing world, and though the crown might be a bit dusty, it is still an effective and powerful way to keep in touch with current patients and reach out to new ones. Email marketing is still a powerful tool to create touchpoints with patients, share new information or promotions, and keep them up-to-date on the latest practice news. And with new technologies available to enhance the personalization of outgoing emails (most notably in subject lines and curated content), the power of email is not to be overlooked.
Strategy 6: Patient reviews are invaluable
Patient reviews are one of the most important SEO factors when analyzing local search rankings. Studies show that 68 percent of potential patients will form an opinion of your practice from as few as five online reviews, so getting a strong portfolio of positive reviews from your patients is a great way to create a positive practice image across your community.
Strategy 7: Consider video content
Video has a powerful curb appeal and receives significantly higher engagement rates than any other type of content you can create. Short (under 90 seconds) explainer videos that use straightforward language to describe specific procedures and treatments or answer Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) are easy and affordable ways to get started. Creating a YouTube channel can provide an outlet for relevant and timely information as part of your medical practice marketing plan.
If you find video too daunting, sharing before-and-after pictures of patients can work as an inexpensive first step into this type of content marketing.
Strategy 8: Invest in digital advertising
Digital advertising has numerous options and is highly competitive for a reason: it drives leads and generates new patients. Your medical marketing agency can explain the various options, but there are two basic ad types:
- Google Search Ads allow your practice to deliver ads only to those people searching for specific keywords within your community
- Facebook Ads enable your practice to create specific ad content based on data collected from local Facebook profiles.
Whichever digital ad platform you engage as part of your medical practice marketing, trust the analytics (not human emotion or bias) to guide your decision making. Letting the data do its job will deliver the most return on your investment and allow you to adjust and fine-tune your campaign with optimal impact.