Let’s face it; today’s patients are more interested in your overall customer service experience than the treatment received in your hospital.
They are looking for a healthcare service that can be easily accessible at the push of a button. The truth is, a building is what first attracts a prospect, long before they know what services are even offered in said building – consider the building your marketing plan.
Unlike many other businesses, healthcare services serves a wide range of audiences, cutting across all demographics, as no one can survive without them. There are hundreds of healthcare services organizations competing within your industry.
Thanks to advancing technologies, the healthcare industry can now join the ranks of finance and ecommerce in delivering upgraded services to consumers.
Patients are now becoming more dependent on websites and apps to make their healthcare decisions. No one wants to waste their time going into a care provider’s office, when they can make appointments via an app or website from the comfort of their home. This is one of the reasons you need to stay on top of the game – to continuously put your brand in front of consumers. To achieve this goal, you need an effective digital marketing plan. How can you go about this?
Relax, as this article aims to reveal some strategies to prepare a healthcare marketing plan. But first, let’s briefly discuss what a health marketing plan actually is.
What is a Healthcare Marketing Plan?
According to Healthcare Weekly, a healthcare marketing plan can be described as a strategic plan designed to achieve a business-driven goal over a specific period. It is usually employed by healthcare services to give a facelift to their services and achieve measurable goals and objectives. You may be thinking “Do we really need a marketing plan? We have plenty of patients.” Even if you are happy with the number of patients you have, that doesn’t mean you should leave your brand to be overtaken by aggressive marketing strategies of your rivals.
Digital Authority Partners states that the benefits of a healthcare marketing plan cannot be ignored. You should ensure you set up a healthcare marketing plan that keeps your brand in the minds of your clients and prevents them from looking elsewhere. Remember, the marketing plan is not trial-and-error experimentation, or random marketing ideas test-run for a while. Rather, it is a planned marketing strategy to achieve your business goal. The question now is, how can you prepare a healthcare marketing plan?
Top 5 Healthcare Marketing Strategies
Healthcare marketing is a strategy that has been around for most of the last century, however, patients now have more options to explore than ever before. This is a result of changes in marketing technology, and the way healthcare services are dominating the internet. The old marketing strategies are no longer effective. If you are looking for effective healthcare marketing strategies that bring prospects to your business, consider these marketing strategies.
- Have a Unique and Consistent Branding
When we talk about “brand,” it means your unique service or practice. Patient decisions are guided more by perception and less by individual provider. The first step to your healthcare marketing strategy is to set yourself apart from other hospitals or practices. What are those things that give you an edge over the others out there? Start by understanding your brand and what makes your practice or hospital unique. This could include the way you treat your patients, the inviting and family-friendly atmosphere in your office, the quality of healthcare services provided, and much more.
- Build a Responsive Medical Website and Test its Speed
A responsive medical website should be designed to attract patients and not just to look good. Ensure your web pages are serving the purpose of converting visitors and prospects into long term patients. You can build a responsive and high-converting medical website by having a simple design and layout that has easy navigation with calls-to-action, social media links, graphics, videos, photos, visitors’ email generator, and an FAQ page. Your website should be both web and mobile friendly. More people are using their mobile devices to access the internet and search for their needs. The secret here is that Google pays attention to the user experience, and mobile-friendly is one of the top criteria.
In addition to building a responsive website, many online studies show that today’s patients are turned off by websites with slow loading times, so it’s essential to test your website speed. It only takes a few seconds to lose a potential patients to your competitors with faster-loading platforms.
You don’t have the resources to build your site yourself? Find a freelancer using platforms like Yoss or Freelancer and get someone with technical expertise to help you with your website needs.
- Take your Website’s SEO Seriously
Many healthcare marketing managers are not doing enough Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to stand out in the crowd. An in-depth knowledge of SEO plays a vital role in ranking medical websites, as there are millions of sites on the web. SEO is a powerful tool used to get your healthcare brand or practice to the top of various search engines, tt’s a way of building authority on the internet and increasing patronage and profits.
SEO largely involves using the right keywords in your web content so that Google or other search engines can crawl your website and rank your content higher in search results. However, many things are involved in search engine optimization including:
- Gaining backlinks from various reputable sites with high authority
- Claiming your website on “Google My Business”
- Utilizing PPC and display ads
- Managing your web sitemap or index
- Get your site known by submitting it to Google
- Update your website content regularly
- Upload informative blogs on your site
Tip: Search Engine Optimization may require an SEO professional’s input for a better result – don’t hesitate to hire one if you feel unprepared to handle it on your own. Check out this list of best consulting firms specializing in digital strategy.
- Take Advantage of Social Media to get more Patients
There are many opportunities to grab your prospective patient’s attention on social media. Many healthcare services and practices depend on organic social media for their healthcare marketing strategies. Social media is a great tool used to drive traffic to websites, and marketers can interact directly with interested prospects. There are over 3 billion social media users as of 2019 versus 2.206 billion users in 2018, and the study further shows that 11 new users join social media platforms every second for the first time. Consider these numbers proof, your practice or hospital should be on social media.
Take Social Media Seriously
Whether you a surgeon, a chiropractor, a dentist, or any other healthcare service provider, social media is a perfect tool to connect with prospective and current patients. A number of healthcare organizations have a social media presence but fail to leverage its full potential. While social media engagement can be time-consuming, its benefits cannot be overemphasized. How can you take advantage of your social media presence?
- Add or follow patients on social media
- Always reply to your followers’ comments or inquiries about your business
- Like or retweet your followers’ posts
- Share informative content about health and your practices
- Upload shareable photos, videos, and other useful content about your services
- Connect with other professionals in your local area or field
To make social media engagement easier for you, have a dedicated staff to manage your social media accounts, or use tools such as IFTTT, Social Oomph, Hootsuite, and Buffer.
- Evaluate your Marketing Strategy
A marketing strategy without evaluation is not a perfect one. Over time, make sure you evaluate your marketing plan to know if you are on the right track. Are you getting results as expected? Check thoroughly and make adjustments as necessary.
To sum it up
Marketing is a must. To stay ahead of your competition, you should employ a strategy to ensure your business goals are being met. Use this article as a starting point of your journey to building a healthcare marketing plan.
This guest post comes from JGBilling, a medical billing and coding Chicago company
Image Credits: Healthcare Marketing from wavebreakmedia/Shutterstock