You know it and we know it — the healthcare industry is always playing catch-up to current marketing trends. Unfortunately, a delay in utilizing the latest medical marketing trends can cause you to miss out on incredible opportunities to grow your business.
Today’s consumers are more online than ever, with Google reporting that 21 percent of patients now book online and 77 percent of all patients use internet searches prior to scheduling an appointment. Those numbers are only likely to grow in the future.
Your patients are taking an extensive online journey before they ever decide to visit your office. Increasing your presence at every part of it can help you attract new business. Here are some ways you can do just that.
#1 - Establish a Buyer Persona
What kinds of patients usually visit your office? If there’s a typical type (or even several), you can construct a buyer person or an idealized model of them to guide your medical marketing strategy.
A buyer persona is a composite of common characteristics of your customers. A barebones persona could take the form of a simple outline with some demographic information or could be presented as a longer story that includes basic information and explores the emotions, motivations, and triggering events your customers typically experience along their journey.
At Yokel Local, we create in-depth buyer personas that chart these journeys and what your customers feel along the way. Most buyer personas focus on dry demographic information, such as how much money your customers have to spend. We go beyond this to discover what really makes your customers tick and how to make everything click once they find you.
#2 - Optimize Your Website for Capturing Prospective Patients
Whether you're an orthodontic practice, LASIK surgery, or cosmetic surgery center, prospective patients are searching the web every day for elective services just like yours. An inbound marketing strategy can help these customers find your business naturally during this search process. With an inbound approach, you can create interesting and helpful content tailored to each stage of the buying process. In this way, you can showcase your authority in the field and earn the trust of prospective clients as they move toward a purchase decision.
An inbound strategy can reverberate across your entire organization, but it can be most easily applied to your website. When you review your website, does it look clean, professional, authoritative, and most importantly, accessible? If not, you might be losing leads. We can track the performance of your content, measure user experience in real-time, and ultimately redesign your website so that it attracts the right traffic and converts visitors into real patients.
#3 - Start an Online Ads Campaign
An inbound strategy can be highly effective at converting visitors into leads then customers, but it takes time to work - usually several months at least and about a year (or more) until it’s in full-swing. An online ads campaign is critical for generating leads during these early stages and remains a critical part of a mature advertising campaign. Online ads include Google Ads and social media placements, with Facebook being a popular platform for the medical industry.
Paid ads allow you to go straight to customers on your terms. You can pay for first-page placement on Google searches you know your clients are looking for and can target certain demographics on social media platforms. Online ads are effective, but they don’t last forever, and some can be very expensive. We use data to continuously optimize our online ads campaigns to ensure that they lead to real sales for your business, not just impressions.
#4 - Take Advantage of Retargeting
Retargeting is the practice of directing ads to people who have already visited your website, most of whom didn’t purchase yet. This strategy can take your ad spend far, as retargeted customers cost eight times less to reach than those who haven’t been to your site and this audience is much more likely to convert. This type of campaign is an important part of a full inbound strategy and could be enough to tip the scale for those on the fence.
#5 - Educate Through Blogs and Video Content
When people have medical questions, they want answers, which usually leads them to panicked, confused searches on WebMD late at night. What if you could get a cut of that traffic?
Engaging content in the form of blogs and videos tailored to your ideal customer’s buyer’s journey can educate visitors to your website and convert them into patients. Another benefit of this content is that it improves your site’s SEO, which can make it easier for your site to be found in the first place, setting off a virtuous cycle.
While your blog can host your videos, YouTube is another incredible platform for promoting them. Crisp, clean, well-produced videos can give overviews of certain procedures, while more casual shoots from your phone can humanize the experience of your office and ease away some of the anxiety that might keep them away. Video brings online traffic face-to-face with you, your voice, your appearance, and the inside of your medical office. At Yokel Local, we can take care of much of this work for you, giving your customers a view into the services you offer.
#6 - Get Social and Engage
Social media allows your business to connect directly with current, past, and potential customers, making it a vital space to occupy if you want to drive business online. You can build audiences, fan bases, and get people talking about your medical practice. A Like or a Share could also showcase success stories from former patients that give viewers confidence in your services. Regular updates about your business or and cool facts can keep your audience engaged and you top-of-mind with them for when they need you.
Every site has its advantages, making it important to know what content to use for each and who your audience is on each one. Use YouTube for short videos (1-3 minutes in length) to introduce your staff, your office, the elective surgical procedures and unique medical equipment that give you the competitive advantage. LinkedIn is a good place for longer educational blogs and videos, while Instagram could host fun updates from your office. We can help you craft a medical social media strategy that takes each channel, audience, and your goals into account.
Use Inbound Medical Marketing Strategies to Get More Patients
When done correctly, an inbound medical marketing strategy can demystify the services you offer, alleviate patient anxiety, and bring more patients through your doors. Designing and executing one across platforms isn’t brain surgery, but it is practically magic — and it’s something most medical practices aren’t equipped to handle alone. If you need help getting more patients, contact us today for a no-obligation, free Growth Strategy Session. Let us review your current healthcare marketing efforts and retool them to bring in the clients you’re looking for!