Running a busy healthcare facility or practice takes a lot of time, and, therefore, too many practitioners are not keeping up with changes in healthcare marketing.
The Internet does not stand still for anybody. Here are the top trends in online healthcare marketing you need to use to remain competitive in your niche.
Chances are, you and your staff carry a smart phone in your bags and pockets. 68% of Americans, including aging baby boomers, own smart phones. 45% own tablets. Increasing numbers of them are using those devices to access the Internet. If your website isn’t responsive to mobile devices, it is turning away over half of your visitors. It’s as though you stood at your front door and just arbitrarily told half your potential patients to go away.
And you are limiting the number of new patients who will find you. That’s because since 2015 Google has used mobile responsiveness as a prime ranking factor. That means they actively punish sites that are not mobile friendly, pushing them down in the ranking results and listings where nobody finds them.
For your website, make sure:
* Mobile users see and easily access your content.
* You have large call to action buttons.
* You have click-to-call functionality.
* You have maps with GPS functionality.
The days when patients viewed physicians as revered experts are fading fast. Baby boomers still “question authority,” including doctors, and younger generations do it without even thinking about it.
According to Pew Research, one in three Americans has gone online to figure out a medical condition. When people or their loved ones now experience serious symptoms, they don’t want to wait to visit your clinic. They want information as quickly as possible. 72% of Internet users have looked for health information.
People see their relationship with the doctor as one of collaboration. In truth, they do want to medical treatment from a medical authority, but that must now be earned. It takes more than wearing the traditional white coat.
This gives doctors the opportunity to establish their authority by educating healthcare consumers.
The latest trend in online marketing is content marketing. It means that if your website is full of information potential patients and their families use to identify their medical problems, provide what self-care is possible and remain well and healthy, that will attract more patients to you. And they will trust and listen to you more because you’ve proven you know what you’re talking about.
Engaging content can take many forms: updates on Facebook, long blog posts and videos on YouTube.
Word-of-mouth marketing has always helped good doctors to thrive because when people find a good doctor they enjoy telling their friends, family, neighbors and co-workers about them.
Social media and review sites magnify that. 88% of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Treat patients well, and everybody in your county might read about it on Yelp. Unfortunately, the same goes for negative reviews.
72% of consumers trust a local business more when it does have reviews online. For 90%, that’s the only way they evaluate a business. 60% of patients consult online reviews before choosing a physician.
Of course, the best strategy is to make certain you and your entire staff give all patients great service. In the medical field you can’t guarantee the desire outcome, so you must show you’re doing your best.
Hand out your own post-appointment customer surveys. If a patient has a complaint, you wnat them to come to you with it, not post it on RateMDs. Do your best to resolve their issue. If you or someone on your staff were wrong, admit it and do you best to correct the problem. Listening to and caring for your patients goes a long way.
When your patients think highly of you, suggest they post a good review on HealthGrades or another site. However, don’t offer them anything in return.
When you take advantage of these trends in online healthcare marketing you will in time attract more clients.