Marketing in any form can be effective only if you are effective in your marketing skills. When it comes to healthcare marketing, there are an increasing number of info-hungry consumers who have become the digital decision-makers. Physicians, dentists and healthcare providers can either evolve with the changing digital scenarios and drive value for their practices, or they will shrink backward and dilute their reputation.
If we talk about healthcare, over the last few years the most startling metamorphosis has been the digital evolution of the industry. PwC’s recently published report on healthcare states, “At $2.9 trillion, the state of the U.S. healthcare industry is strong—and growing. Health care inflation is at its lowest rate in 50 years. About 10 million newly insured Americans are bringing in significant new revenue, but that’s only part of the story. The health sector is proving to be highly adaptive to disruption and innovation.”
Many physicians find it difficult to cope with the change in marketing practices. They belong to a business segment where word-of-mouth referrals were enough to keep their practices running at an upswing. The fast-paced transformation of the healthcare industry to an online decision-making platform for patients has taken aback many physicians. Though they are adapting and channelling their efforts to tap the power of Internet marketing, the competition is at an all-time high.
You can try these three simple online marketing approaches to tap the consumer trends in the growing space of online marketing.
Educate your patients by sharing informative articles and preventive healthcare tips
A key component of digital healthcare marketing is to create impactful physician-patient communications that inform, influence and motivate patients to make better health decisions to improve their quality of lives.
People love to learn new things and constantly seek information that can satisfy their hunger. Regularly post articles, messages, tips and blogs to educate your patients and schedule them to be posted on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or in emails. This helps in establishing a sense of trust and credibility about your practice among all patients and other readers who can be potential patients in future. You can be in touch with your patients even if they aren’t visiting you. This helps build loyalty along with a positive reputation, and these can be the determining factors for growth of your practice.
Take the first step to protect your online reputation and request your Online Reputation Assessment.
Create spaces for patients to interact with each other
This can be a great idea to get more online visibility. You can provide spaces on your website or social media platforms like Facebook or LinkedIn for blogs/comments or initiate group discussions for people to share their “health success stories.” People who share their experiences about dealing with a specific health condition or disease may serve as an inspiration to those who are going through a rough phase. For instance, a success story of a person who lost weight and changed his lifestyle to healthy living habits to control diabetes and high blood pressure may encourage many others who primarily resort to medications for treatment.
By creating platforms and opportunities for patients and other people to share their experiences, you empower them with knowledge to lead healthier and happier lives. This brings the patients together and helps create supportive communities. The nexus of this trustworthy platform will be your practice.
Conduct surveys through social media channels and offer free services in return
If you want to get more insights into the patients’ mind-sets, an online survey is the best way to do it. You can design a simple yet interactive survey, which shouldn’t be very long, and post it on social media. It gives exposure to a large set of audience, and the results can be compiled and analyzed for delivering better patient-centered services. To attract more people to fill out the survey form, you can offer some freebies such as free skin texture evaluation, free general health checkup, a free consultation for an eye checkup, one free teeth whitening service, and so on. This will encourage people to fill out the survey and they will more likely share it with others. The more shares you get on social media, the higher will be the visibility on search engines. This will increase your online visibility and expand your brand’s exposure, potentially impacting a much wider audience.
When it comes to healthcare marketing, influencing patient decisions is one of the core objectives. If you have been channelling your efforts into online marketing, don’t just get stuck with the usual strategies to build a positive online reputation. Experiment with new techniques and you never know-they may prove to be potentially more effective than the traditional ones.