With an increase in competition, insurers that try to dictate coverage, and a decrease in reimbursements, it’s often tough to keep your practice in the black. Every medical practice is looking for new marketing techniques to bring in a steady flow of new patients to boost the bottom line.
If you don’t have a solid online presence, you’re missing out on many patients. Patients now shop for their doctors online, which is why it’s become more important to have a solid online marketing plan. Unfortunately, most practices are failing to harness the power of the web to market their practice.
Why Market Online?
Why should you market your medical practice online? The simple answer – that’s where your patients are. Studies show that nearly 60% of adults within the U.S. head to the web to look up specific health information. Another study done by Compete and Google found that online marketing offers the best channel for reaching patients when they’re trying to find a doctor, dentist, hospital, or other medical facility. Creating an online marketing plan will allow you to reach patients where they are – online. Here are 5 quick steps –
1. Define Your Goals and Budget
The first step to building your online marketing plan is to define your goals and your budget. Do you want to bring more traffic to your practice’s website? Are you trying to increase your Facebook reach? Do you want to turn more website visitors into leads and new appointments? All of your goals should be centered around getting more local patients into your practice. Take a look at your marketing budget, too. Set aside a large portion of that budget to focus on online marketing.
2. Social Media Marketing
With the explosion of social media over the past decade, social media marketing is an essential part of any online marketing plan. What platforms should you market on? It’s tough for a practice to excel at them all, so focus on one or two. Facebook is the one platform nearly everyone should use, since it has more than 2 billion users, and Instagram is another platform to consider, particularly if you want to harness the younger demographics. More and more patients want to engage with their healthcare providers, and using social media allows you to engage with current and prospective patients, building long-lasting patient relationships.
White Paper Download: Step by Step Approach to Market Medical Practice
3. Search Engine Optimization
If your website can’t be found with Google, most people won’t know your site exists. When you want to drive more traffic to your website and turn more visitors into patients, you have to make sure your website is visible online. Search engine optimization involves optimizing your website to rank well in search engines. Local SEO is especially important, since your practice wants to bring in local patients. Remember, SEO is a long-term marketing strategy, so results aren’t instant, but when you use it consistently, it pays off big time.
4. Content Marketing
Creating quality content relevant to your practice, services, and expertise is an effective way to bring in new patients and remind your current patients of your value. Using online content marketing offers three unique benefits. It offers continue content to your website, which boosts your SEO efforts. It also helps you create valuable content to be shared on your social media channels. Last, it offers content that readers can digest and then associate with your practice. One of the best forms of content marketing is blogging, focusing on answering questions you commonly get from your patients.
5. Reviews and Reputation Management
Online marketing also involves using reviews and reputation management. Sometimes those reviews can be frustrating because negative reviews usually come from patients who have left your practice upset. Don’t make the mistake of thinking online reviews don’t matter. Patients read reviews and believe what reviews say. A huge percentage of patients look at consumer reviews when consideration a new practice. Begin encouraging current patients to leave a review with you about their experience. If they have a positive review, send them to Healthgrades or Google to share it. Negative reviews can be dealt with by your staff to find the problem and work on it to reach dissatisfied patients while managing what reviews go online.
If you want to take your practice to the next level, bringing in a steady supply of new patients, you need a good online marketing plan. Of course, once you begin bringing in more patients, it’s important to make sure you’re not missing out on money with billing and coding issues. M-Scribe Technologies, LLC can help you with your billing and coding issues so you get the maximum payment for every patient. If you’re ready to work with a national leader in medical claims billing, auditing, and coding, email us today at Info@m-scribe.com or call 770-666-0470 to get a free analysis of your medical practice’s needs.