Given that competition in healthcare is intensifying, physicians face a continuous challenge of distinguishing their online presence from the crowd of hundreds of others. A strong Internet marketing strategy has become a must to survive and thrive.
The Internet has played as a catalyst to transform the dynamics of the healthcare industry. Until a few years ago, the primary source of marketing was word-of-mouth referrals. But now, Internet and social media define the way your reputation is built or tarnished. Today’s healthcare consumers no longer accept blindly what a physician tells them. According to a research by Pew Research Center, one in three American adults have gone online to figure out a medical condition. Patients have taken responsibility for their health and the decisions that affect it. Physicians are left with no option but to embrace this change and work out an effective Internet marketing strategy for their practice.
In the present scenarios, digital dominates. Let’s have a look at the advantages of an effective patient-centric online marketing strategy:
One of the most important reasons physicians need to have a strong online presence is that patients have too many choices these days. They need to be reminded constantly that your practice exists. The best way to reach your patients is to target them where they spend a good amount of their time, i.e. on the Internet.
Engaging Patients Online
Take the first step to protect your online reputation and request your Online Reputation Assessment.
Physicians can intelligently chalk out a digital marketing strategy through social media platforms like blogs, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to engage patients online. A positive online presence definitely plays an important role in engaging patients and to be present for them in the virtual world, as well. It is also a defining factor for new patient acquisition.
General health information, useful tips, preventive measures about some specific diseases or fitness/diet tips can be posted on social media, which will be seen by others when they log in to the social networking website. When your existing patients and other readers follow you, they will likely share your post, which gives an additional opportunity for online visibility to a broader audience. This can, in turn, bring in more referrals to your practice and help develop a positive online reputation.
Targeted Exposure for Your Practice
Physicians can reach out to the segment of target patients via a strategically designed Internet marketing plan. Internet marketing tools such as organic SEO, forum marketing, social media marketing, group discussions, blogs, etc. can be used to target a particular group of patients for your practice. Important information about any special consulting packages, discounts on lab tests, etc. can be easily communicated through Internet marketing.
The healthcare industry is changing fast, so physicians just can’t afford to be complacent with the traditional word-of-mouth referrals. If you don’t have a strong Internet marketing strategy, you’ll miss out on the opportunities the digital world provides. You just have to invest some time and the return on investment is definitely great!