Once upon a time, healthcare consumers made decisions about their healthcare providers via one main strategy: talking to the people they know and love. This was sufficient to address most consumers’ concerns and to keep physicians’ offices thriving. But times have changed dramatically, and the digital age has brought new challenges and opportunities for attracting new patients and maintaining loyal patients alike.
While a digital marketing strategy might feel like little more than a hassle, another item to add to your to-do list, it’s essential to meeting the expectations and needs of prospective patients. Patients care about your brand, they care about the quality of your digital content, and they care about the ease with which they can access resources and communicate with providers. All of this adds up to the need for a strong digital presence.
So, how can clinicians harness the power of digital marketing to create this strong presence? Read on for two ways to boost your digital marketing game without taking too much time or energy away from what’s most important: your patients.
Digital Marketing Strategy 1: Revive Your Website.
Whether your website has been collecting digital cobwebs for years now or is recent but lacking much more than contact information and an “About Us” page, now is the time to redouble your efforts to make this space more engaging, intuitive, and attractive to potential and current patients. Here are some pathways to this goal:
- Make absolutely sure your website is mobile-optimized. Healthcare consumers, like all other consumers, expect to find a mobile-friendly, responsive interface for every need and every tech device. Don’t leave them hanging. If a potential patient has to remember to check out your website later on their computer, you’ve lost your chance. For more on mobile optimization, check out this helpful article.
- Prioritize an airtight patient portal system for making appointments, checking results, and communicating via email with your office. Efficiency is key, and the smoother the process, the more likely patients will stick around.
- Create and maintain a website blog that features quality digital content. In addition to boosting your SEO, blogs with strong and relevant content lend credibility to your digital presence and demonstrate your commitment to patient education. Offering overviews of timely healthcare topics, information on confusing diagnoses, and patient testimonials are just a few of the ways blogs can round out the website portion of your digital marketing strategy.
Digital Marketing Strategy 2: Content Marketing Via Email Campaigns
In the same way that a blog featuring strong content can revitalize your website and boost your SEO, a well-organized and not-too-frequent email newsletter can go a long way toward keeping your practice at the top of consumers’ minds and engaging your current patients. How can you craft inviting, not intrusive, email content? Here are some ideas:
- Decide how often you’ll do email blasts, and remember that while too-frequent messaging can be annoying, going more than a month or so between newsletters risks losing readership.
- Decide what regular features your newsletter will offer. Consider spotlighting different professionals in your office, offering a quick tips section, and including links to recent, high-interest, healthcare-related articles from popular publications. Perhaps you’ll schedule seminars with healthcare professionals, and offer them for free. Include this information in your newsletter with times and dates so your audience can plan ahead.
- Consider how you can use emailing as part of a patient awareness campaign. Perhaps you’ll pair this digital medium with a social media or blog component. Each component can engage patients in different ways–providing information, inviting them to get involved in a challenge and share their progress, or sharing photos from events related to the campaign.
You already have the website. You already have your patients’ email addresses. These digital marketing strategies are ready to be put into action. Which will you pursue to improve your digital presence? To talk about a great digital marketing strategy for your practice, contact us at River Avenue Digital.