Most healthcare practitioners now understand the importance of healthcare marketing and what role it plays in expanding & publicizing their facilities. Be it a multinational giant or a small run clinic, having in place a strong healthcare marketing strategy is vital!
It is quite understandable that in between running a business and attending patients, it can be hard to revisit your marketing strategy from time to time. But you know as these new infections & diseases set in, patients evolve, market change, so do the best marketing practices!
With the current COVID-19 crisis people's decisions to go to public areas such as clinics, hospitals, shopping centers, etc, has fundamentally changed and now they are looking for as much information online as possible before they decide where to go (or if they need to go at all). Hence it has become very important for clinics and healthcare facilities to stand out and stand strong online! It has become crucial to invest in good online marketing practices to make your presence known and rank better in search engine results.
Okay, let us talk about a probable scenario here:
"We are currently amid a global Coronavirus outbreak and we all are locked inside our houses for the best.
The climatic conditions are non-predictable and I am an individual with a weak immune system constantly prone to allergies. I have a headache, runny nose, and constant feeling of fatigue. I know I haven’t been out and have not come in contact with anyone so it’s probably Common cold. But how do I confirm it? I can always look into the internet but how do I double-check it? Moreover, the internet would not prescribe me medicines.
So, I went online and searched for online physician consultation on Google. Surprisingly, many results came in from prominent names like Practo with hundreds of doctors from different specialties registered on it. I can check the ratings, certifications of the doctors, book an online consultation appointment, and so on. Websites like Practo sometimes have a waiting period for appointments and patients may drift away.
Instead, I also got out a few promising & verified General physician’s self-run business websites offering quick online consultations with no or very less waiting time. The website was so well designed, with the latest updates to various infections & diseases, videos, home remedies for small issues like the common cold, migraines, simple headaches, back pain, etc that it had me make my decision."
And there, you’ve managed to get one patient with your on-point online & digital marketing practices!
Here comes the power of online presence. Patients coming online searching for consultations, symptoms, precautions, medicines, will land on your website from the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) because you have built your online presence strong. You rank on top, or at least in the top 10 search queries on Google! The website offers detailed information about the doctors and other healthcare experts, automatically building trust amongst the patients.
This is not something that is unique or not known to many. But in this changing and challenging time, it is crucial that you change your strategy to flourish your practice. Our team at ZEPNURhealth has come across many dentists who left with no choice but to shut their practice because they were not prepared for these challenges. Small to mid-sized businesses can also engage in Online consultation with proper planning and marketing strategies that help them sustain in difficult times.
If you want to increase leads and grow your patient count, making a strong web presence is of prime importance. According to a survey, 89% of consumers turn immediately to an online search engine to look up for healthcare queries. Google search is influencing the healthcare industry in 2020.
As a Healthcare organization, we did our research and have jotted down the best healthcare marketing practices to improve and adapt in the year 2020:
UNDERSTAND YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE
Audience segmentation is important because the key to stand out is personalized marketing. 80% of consumers say they are more likely to engage with a business offering personalized experiences. The same applies to the healthcare industry. Your marketing ideas must be relevant to your patients’ experience. Your patients will most likely have things in common but they may vary by age, gender, and healthcare interests. By segmenting your patients, you will be able to personalize content and messages.
DESIGN YOUR WEBSITE AS PER YOUR AUDIENCE(Patients)
Include your clinic’s or facility’s pictures
Let your patient choose their current location and display contents accordingly.
Allow them to have a virtual clinic visit
Include home-remedies to common health problems. This will develop trust amongst your patient as they will know you just do not mend money.
Link a CHATBOT to your website answering quick patient queries and later connecting to an expert!
Include the photographs of the doctors/dentists and other healthcare team members.
Online payment facility
Patient portals to access patient data
Online Appointment Scheduling
HEALTHCARE SEO( Search Engine Optimisation)
“As per data by Google, 75% of patients rely on search engines to find a physician/dentist or a healthcare facility. "
Make sure your website is mobile-friendly.
It is fast and secure for payments (if any)
Target the right healthcare keywords
Update all information like Phone number, address of your facility, operational hours, etc,
Include Patient reviews and client testimonials
Always remember, SEO is the best way to drive traffic to your website and generate leads. It is a long-term technique and needs optimization. Well, Rome wasn’t built in a day!
PAID ADS AND PPC SEARCH ADS
Google Adwords is the best tool from Google for PPC(Pay per click) types of Ads
SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING
Make sure that you have your business social media handle- Nowadays, everyone is on social media and what they see there impacts their search.
You can run Social Media Ads to promote your clinic/facility.
Become part of Good groups related to your area in the industry
Note: All Medical Advertisement platforms have certain restrictions, be sure to go through them before you develop your campaign.
Video marketing is considered the best form of advertising in the healthcare industry. You can develop many educational health-related videos, review videos of health/medical products, remedies videos, and what not! There is plenty of scope in developing video content in the healthcare sector.
Virtual Clinic tour video
Client Testimonial Video
Procedure and treatment Overviews
Email marketing is considered one of the effective ways for customer engagement and customer retention. The first thing most people do when they wake up is to check emails. You can send them:
Write a Review email
Maybe a reminder to take their medicines for a few patients
Latest news and updates in the healthcare sector
Any changes/announcements related to your facility/clinic
KEEP IN TOUCH WITH YOUR PATIENTS
This is the key to retain your patients. Use automated messages asking them about their health, send daily small but useful health tips, etc. Patients like it when their doctor is keeping in touch with them on a regular basis so they can get a heads up if something looks not right. Phone calls are also effective in patient retention, Schedule calls for care between patients’ next visit, and last visit to the clinic.
TRACK YOUR MONTHLY WEBSITE & BUSINESS PERFORMANCE
Performance tracking is important to understand how your strategies worked for a particular month, Based on that you can change or modify your strategy. A few key performance indicators may include:
Number of patients
Recurring patient rates
Return on marketing investment
These metrics can be modified and revised accordingly.
All the above strategies are designed, keeping the healthcare structure in mind. However, it is possible that many healthcare organizations are already engaged in these marketing practices and many healthcare facilities still need to implement and modify these depending upon their requirement and goal. The above strategies are designed to cater to the needs of the clinics/facilities/organizations to stand and sustain in the difficult times and run their business smoothly helping people.