As a healthcare facility, you will always have your hands full at any given time. There’s a lot that goes into running any kind of healthcare institution. The primary focus also has to be the patients’ welfare. However, you need to actually have the patients coming to you to be able to cater to them. That’s why you need to have a good healthcare marketing plan too.
The truth is that most of the time you’ll have little time to work out and implement an effective marketing strategy. Most facilities don’t even know how to get started on the basics. It’s understandable. Just like providing healthcare services, healthcare marketing is more than a full-time job. We’re going to look at digital marketing strategies that will bring more patients through your doors while optimizing your marketing budget.
Digital Marketing Tips For Healthcare Facilities
According to the National Service Plan 2020, 1,565,000 Irish people had a medical card to enable access to health services while another 503,000 held a General Practitioner’s visit card. This means that 2,068,000 people (43% of the population) in Ireland had access to basic healthcare by the end of 2018.
As healthcare becomes more available to the Irish population, people who’d never considered a doctor’s consultation are now able to do so. Demand for healthcare professionals is growing. The result of this is that the marketplace has progressively become more competitive. Only robust and effective marketing strategies will enable medical professionals to stand out and get more clients. These medical marketing tips can help you to get started on connecting with potential clients and get more patients to your facilities:
- Optimize for search engines
Search engine optimization (SEO) is very essential to a digital healthcare marketing strategy. At least 57% of Irish internet users search for health-related information. Keyword placement would place your website and content before the right people. It is important to carry out thorough keyword research to find the best target keywords.
Long-tail keywords that are specific to your specialization are more effective for reaching your target audience. For example, “affordable chiropractor services in Dublin” is more effective than using the phrase “chiropractor services” on its own. Long-tail keywords rank higher than short-tail keywords because they have low volume and competition. They also have higher conversion rates as they are mostly used by buyers who are ready to make a purchase. Besides keywords, SEO also involves:
- Image optimization
- Meta tags
- Crawl errors
You might also need to optimize your website for voice search. Voice search is projected to make up 50% of all searches by the end of the year.
- Dig into local SEO
General SEO helps with attracting organic traffic to your website, but it is local SEO that will get patients through your door. Majority of internet users search for products and services within a given locality and over 50% of local search result clicks end up in a shop visit within a day. For healthcare facilities, local SEO is very important because you can only operate within a given geographic region. You need to target the people within your region. To get started with local SEO, here are a few tips that can help:
- Claim your Google My Business listing and ensure it has accurate information about the facility. This includes your Name, Address and Phone (NAP) information and your hours of operation.
- Add high-quality photos of your facilities to give your patients a mental tour of what to expect.
- Publish your reviews.
- Optimize your page titles.
Local SEO is a long-term strategy that increases your chances of appearing in the top search results and growing not only your web traffic but also lead generation.
- Make use of content marketing
Creating high-quality content can help with brand visibility and building authority in your field. You can create and share material that will attract and retain clearly defined audiences. Content marketing isn’t just limited to blog posts but also videos, white papers, case studies, and infographics. Some of the most common content for healthcare marketing include:
- Blog posts on different health conditions
- Tips for healthy living
- “Meet the doctor” interviews
- Podcasts on different health topics
- Virtual Q&A sessions
- Video testimonials from patients
You can use content marketing to tackle misinformation on various health issues and establish your brand as trustworthy. Find a balance between evergreen and seasonal content.
- Don’t forget about social media marketing
According to statistics, two-thirds of internet users worldwide spend at least 10 minutes daily on social media. Yet many healthcare facilities still don’t see the need to have social media marketing as part of the marketing strategies. But if you don’t get on social media, it can be difficult to control the narrative about your brand on such platforms. Social media also helps to amplify your brand and audience reach. For example, Tony Adkins (the Dancing Doctor) has become a global phenomenon on Instagram by sharing videos of himself enjoying a dance with his young patients.
Here’s a brief summary of how various social media platforms can help with your social media marketing strategy:
- Facebook has a 62% penetration in Ireland, according to Statista. It is the leading social media platform with about 3.2 million users and can help you to reach your target audience faster. Sharing patient testimonials and reviews on Facebook can help to amplify word of mouth referrals.
- LinkedIn (41% penetration) is great for content marketing by sharing expert posts created by your brand. It can also help in attracting the right talent to your team and ensuring you’re able to provide the best services.
- Instagram, with 30% penetration, is the third-most popular social media platform in Ireland after Facebook and LinkedIn. It can be useful in attracting younger and female patients to your facility.
- Twitter has the same penetration in Ireland as Instagram. You can use it to create conversations around your brand and help it to grow. Make use of hashtags and trending topics to drive conversations and be in charge of your brand’s narrative.
You can read more on how to find value on social media here.
- Leverage paid advertising
Your SEO and social media marketing efforts will take time to bear results. They are strategies used for long-term marketing goals. But it doesn’t mean you have to sit and wait to see how it works out for you. For short-term results, you can leverage paid advertising.
Search engine marketing such as Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising on Google Ads can help you to quickly get more recognition, referrals, and patients. The different social media platforms also offer opportunities for paid advertising that you can leverage to attract traffic to your website and grow your brand. These include Facebook Ads, LinkedIn marketing, Twitter ads, and Instagram ads.
- Carry out targeted email marketing campaigns
Email marketing is still the most effective marketing strategy you can use. In terms of active users, only Facebook comes close to emails. According to the Central Statistics Office, 84% of internet users in Ireland spend their time more on emails compared to 73% for social networks. This is an opportunity you don’t want to miss out on. When planning your email marketing campaigns, here are a few tips you should keep in mind:
- Provide an easy signup form on your website instead of relying on lead generation companies to gain email addresses.
- Offer something in return to your contacts. For example, free preventative care guides or a monthly healthcare email newsletter.
- Personalize your email marketing messages. For example, send information about childcare to middle-aged adults with families.
- Develop a schedule for sending out email campaigns for consistency and reliability.
Emails provide a unique marketing channel when well used, allows you to establish a deeper connection with your audience and grow your brand.
- Remember to do retargeting campaigns
The truth is that not everyone who visits your website the first time will become a paying customer. But it doesn’t mean you have to let them go. You can bring them back to your website through retargeting campaigns on Google and Facebook. Retargeting campaigns are always effective since they target visitors who have already shown interest in your brand. You can also customize the ad copy and design to target visitors of specific pages. For example, show knee replacement ads to visitors who were on your pages for knee replacement.
Do not forget to measure your digital marketing campaigns and tweak them as necessary.
Above all, ensure that your website is effective and optimized for these digital marketing strategies. Otherwise, everything will turn out to be a waste of resources that could’ve been put to better use. Ensure that your website has:
- Up-to-date content and contact information, including Google Maps directions to the facility
- Simple layout and design
- Easy navigation
- Optimization for mobile devices
- Social media links
- Multimedia content
- FAQ page
- Easy sign-up forms
You should also implement reviews and reputation management. Most healthcare facilities shy away from publishing their reviews because upset patients leave reviews more than the happy ones. But negative reviews shouldn’t scare you. You can leverage them to build your reputation. These 12 features are a must-have for any smart business website. Lastly, remember to regularly review and update your website.
These strategies require total dedication to work. It can be quite difficult to implement them while attending to day-to-day activities of a busy healthcare facility. That’s why you should consider hiring an experienced digital marketing agency to take care of your healthcare marketing needs so you can focus on your primary business- taking care of patients.