Digital marketing has reached a tipping point, and companies are now spending more on digital marketing than was previously spent on traditional print. Digital marketing helps to level the playing field for various companies since any company can compete, no matter how much money they bring in. In the world of online marketing, the design and message is more important than the size of the company. As Business Zone notes, these developments are a major benefit to healthcare professionals who want to market their services.
Win Hearts and Minds
One of the most basic things you need to know about digital marketing, is that you need to win the hearts and minds of your patients. It isn’t just about how good of a healthcare professional you are anymore. People want to know that you care about their concerns, and when they find a healthcare professional that shows an emotional investment, they will go to great lengths to give that professional their patronage. Talk about value in terms of how services will benefit the customer, and don’t focus only on how you can save them money.
Information is King
The old adage that content is king in the digital world is only partially true. Good, useful and informational content is what matters. Your practice need to provide specific and accurate information that your patients need. As a healthcare professional, you have a responsibility to educate the general public and help them make the right choices. This can be accomplished through videos posted to a practice YouTube channel, detailed information about some of the procedures you offer and links to resources that customers can trust for accurate information.
Embrace Modern Protocols
Inform your patients on how you use technology to store and retrieve their information. In your marketing campaigns, educate your patients so they can understand what it means if your practice uses a vendor neutral archive to store critical medical images. Explain how storing images in a vendor-neutral manner makes your practice more efficient and able to work with other medical providers. Modern patients want to be informed, and the more information you give them, the more likely they are to trust your practice.
Create a Good Website
It’s not enough to create a website and state your educational history. This doesn’t mean a lot to patients anymore. They want to know about your experience, your history and how your practice can help them lead healthier lives. When you applied to medical school, you likely spent several months working on your statement of purpose. Your website should provide your establishments mission statement, and you should spend a significant amount of time fine-tuning it and using everyday language to express your points. The website should also be functional. Include links to patient forms, contact options and directions to your practice.
Use Social Media
There are two main components to an effective social media campaign. You need to take advantage of one or two social media sites that are popular and use them well, and you need to have a blog. Facebook is an effective way to communicate with patients, but it might not always be there. Your website will always be available for customers to find you. The website should come first, and your social media should act as an extension of your website to bring people to your site. You don’t have to be on every social media site, but you should be on at least two. Choose one site that allows you to send out more in-depth information at less regular intervals like Facebook or Google+. The other site should be aimed at short bursts of communication like Twitter, Tumblr or Pinterest.
While digital marketing can drastically help improve your bottom-line, don’t underestimate the importance of a traditional marketing scheme as well. Pamphlets, business cards and other means of marketing are still valid, especially once the patient walks through the door. The digital age is wonderful, but sometimes people still want to put their hands on something tangible.
By: Dennis Hung