Medical marketing can be challenging in an online environment of huge healthcare conglomerates, but there are some healthcare marketing strategies that can help your practice stand out in a crowd. Despite some of the high advertising costs for medical terms in the digital marketing space, connecting with prospective patients and promoting your practice doesn’t have to be a costly endeavor.
The following healthcare marketing ideas can help you get beyond traditional healthcare advertising and reach referring physicians and new patients who can expand your practice and ensure success in a highly competitive industry.
10 healthcare marketing ideas and strategies
While marketing in healthcare can seem confusing, healthcare marketing trends closely mirror trends in other industries. The following healthcare marketing ideas distill what works in other digital marketing spaces and apply them in ways that can be a huge benefit to your practice.
1. Create educational content for patients and physicians
People use the internet to stay informed about every aspect of their lives, including health and wellness. You can leverage that interest by creating content that speaks to what potential patients might be concerned about. Fortunately, healthcare content that gets clicks such as those listed below doesn’t always require hiring a content marketing agency.
- Blogs or articles: You can feature educational content on your own website or look for opportunities to guest blog or be featured in other online publications. Guest blogging has the built-in bonus of framing you as an expert in the field, and it can bring your practice to the attention of a fresh audience of patients and other physicians. Getting featured on another site also promotes backlinks to your webpage, which can improve SEO (search engine optimization).
- Videos: You may have heard that video is currently king of social media, and healthcare marketing is no exception. Not only does video drive better ranking on Google, but it can elevate your social media profiles and drive engagement in digital marketing channels like YouTube and Facebook. Check out TikTok to see how creating short, easily digestible videos doesn’t have to be rocket science.
2. Know your competition and your healthcare marketing trends
Researching other medical professionals online can offer some insight into how to make your own practice stand out. Make sure the contact information for your practice, clinic or hospital comes up easily in search and is listed in various directories from Yelp to Yahoo and Google. And don’t forget about industry-specific sites like Healthgrades.
Also be aware of what kinds of digital technology your competitors are offering patients. Health apps and telemedicine are leading the digital healthcare revolution, and utilizing these tools can signal to patients and physicians that you’re an industry leader.
3. Smart medical marketing is about keeping it local
One often overlooked component of healthcare marketing is the clear advantage of focusing on local digital marketing campaigns. Most patients prefer not to travel outside their own communities for check-ups and medical procedures, so localized SEO is crucial.
Showing up at the top of the local search results, sometimes referred to as the Google 3-pack, isn’t as easy as claiming your listing on Google. Ranking top of the pack involves citation building, consistently updating your profile, and snagging plenty of those coveted five-star reviews.
4. Cultivate reviews and be responsive on social media
Speaking of reviews, there are few things that drive positive impressions quite like authentic details of a patient experience. And recall that patient experience is more than whatever medical procedure or physician interaction happens. It’s also about how your practice manages patient anxiety, financial details like billing, and a space that supports open communication.
Soliciting patient feedback via surveys and requesting online reviews are all vital healthcare marketing strategies, but remember not to neglect your social media presence. Staying connected with patients means being present in online spaces that they might consider extensions of their community.
5. Develop consistent branding and digital marketing assets
The digital marketing assets you use for healthcare advertising should be consistent, high-quality messaging that conveys your brand. While you might feel confident about your expertise, online users only know what your healthcare marketing strategies communicate. If your healthcare marketing seems outdated or unprofessional, it can suggest the medical services you offer don’t embrace modern medicine.
When it comes to keeping your healthcare marketing messaging consistent, Lucidpress can help. Check out our brand templating platform that can help hospitals and medical practices spend less time designing quality branded content that attracts new patients.
6. Leverage relationships with existing and previous patients
While attracting new patients is often the focus of many medical practices, don’t forget your existing and previous patients can be a goldmine. Not only can retargeting this group to promote services and procedures be an overlooked component of marketing in healthcare, but rewarding those patients for loyalty can lead to increased satisfaction.
Both other physicians and previous patients can be your best sources for referrals, so make sure outreach to this group is a central focus of your healthcare marketing strategies.
7. Put the hospitality in hospital marketing strategies with an open house
Both virtual and in-person open houses can help increase the visibility of your practice and help it become a cornerstone of the community. When someone asks for a referral, you want your practice to be top of mind, even if those in your community haven’t been patients.
Unfortunately, “build it and they will come” isn’t usually how healthcare marketing works. But you can foster a more successful event by offering incentives. Think about how to create connections and leverage relationships with community leaders to encourage participation. Don’t hesitate to offer the traditional incentives people usually enjoy at open houses, such as great food and fun activities for families.
8. Optimize your website to provide a better healthcare marketing experience
You’re trying to market your services, but visitors to your website are probably just trying to find information quickly. A good user experience on your website sets a precedent that you’re a provider that cares about patient support and customer service. Think of your website as the lobby of your practice. Does it reflect how you’d like patients to be greeted and the information you want them to have access to upfront?
Here are a few things to consider when evaluating the user experience on your website.
- Does your website work well on mobile devices?
Going mobile can be tricky, but your website should adjust automatically to accommodate different browsers and devices. It should also have fonts that are easy to scan in sizes that don’t need to be adjusted for mobile viewing.
- How are users coming into your website?
Depending on your ranking in Google and which terms are driving search results, your main page might not be how patients are finding your website. Conduct an audit to determine how users are finding you online and what page they land on when they arrive at your website.
- Does your website load quickly?
Large images and other assets that aren’t optimized can lead to long load times for pages on your site. Think of the effect as similar to that of the waiting room at your clinic or the hospital. If the wait time is too long, patients will simply leave and go elsewhere.
9. Effective communication is one of the best healthcare marketing strategies
When every team member is communicating effectively and consistently, it can drastically improve the patient experience and healthcare outcomes. In fact, communication errors were the root cause of nearly a third of medical malpractice suits, according to a 2016 study from CRICO Strategies.
But overcoming bottlenecks, department silos and other dynamics can often make cleaning up clinic and hospital communication challenging. Leveraging technology to provide channels for two-way consultation, implementing team huddles, templatizing patient communication, and promoting cross-functional collaboration are all solid strategies for improving your clinic or hospital communication.
10. Try a physician liaison
Don’t wait until all else fails to explore an outside perspective. Physician liaisons specialize in growing referral programs and work to help your medical practice make the right connections in the community.
If you don’t have the budget to devote to a formal liaison, identify someone from your healthcare marketing team to work on forging relationships with physicians and beefing up your referral program. A little extra focus on these relationships can pay big dividends in growing your patient base.
Evaluate the return on investment you currently get from healthcare advertising and consider whether exploring one or several of these healthcare marketing ideas could be the right move for your practice. In today’s fast-paced, social media-focused environment, traditional medical marketing approaches may need an update to keep pace in an increasingly competitive industry.