Healthcare in 2020:
Healthcare is both an incredibly lucrative and competitive industry, particularly for private practitioners. In the New York, New York area alone–that is, just in the general Manhattan area–there are nearly 20,000 practitioners licensed to provide healthcare treatments. In today’s competitive healthcare market, it is important to keep your healthcare practice growing. Increase referrals and grow your practice. In this blog, I will show you a few marketing strategies that will help boost your healthcare digital presence in 2020.
So what can you do to stand out when faced with thousands of other competitors? Simple: boost your online presence. By taking a few quick steps and a couple of hours a week, you can bring your private practice from pining for patients to “not accepting new patients at this time.”
Create a Website
First things first, you have to get online. Research shows that just about 97% of consumers search for local businesses online before making a decision about which one to patronize. By not having a website, you miss out on that 97% of potential patients. That means that the only ways for somebody to find out about you are through sheer coincidence or word of mouth. And if your practice is currently struggling to attract new patients, word of mouth isn’t likely to do you much good.
Creating a website can be quite a complex challenge, particularly if you don’t have a working knowledge of web development. For most physicians, that means hiring a dedicated web developer to create your website or logging into a DIY-type website-builder like SquareSpace or Wix.
One way or another, creating a website is an integral aspect of digital marketing. From there, you can look into SEO strategies for healthcare professionals, online marketing and advertising, and other ways to boost your website’s traffic and appeal to more patients.
Register Your Business with Google Maps
If you’ve ever used Google Maps in a small town or a rapidly developing area, you’ve probably noticed that it doesn’t list every single restaurant, store, and business. Many people have even used their GPSs to find a particular type of store, only to have it tell them to walk past that type of store to get to one that it knows about.
Simply put, that’s because you have to register your business with Google Maps or be discovered by somebody else who’s willing to do so for you. To improve patient access to healthcare and the affordable, quality treatment that you have to offer, you’re going to need to appear on Google Maps and other GPSs.
A large number of patients, when first looking for new healthcare practitioners, will type something along the lines of “orthodontist” or “oncologist” into their GPS in hopes of finding a nearby practice.
However, if your firm doesn’t appear on Google Maps, one of the most commonly used GPSs in the United States, then Google Maps will drive those patients away from you and directly into the arms of your competition.
Attend Local Trade Shows
Another great way to boost your digital presence involves a more physical approach. By contracting a trade show staffing agency to attend, host, cater, or otherwise work a local trade show, you can significantly improve your practice’s online presence in a variety of ways.
The most notable way is through boosting word of mouth. When people hear about something that interests them, they tend to Google it. Since by now you both have a website and have registered with Google Maps, it should be easy for them to find you after you’ve piqued their interest at a recent trade show.
Any form of a staffing agency is likely to cost a pretty penny. Of course, the benefits far outweigh the costs for most companies. That said, it is still important to ask yourself whether or not you’re ready to take that kind of financial risk.
Get On Social Media
A common misconception about social media marketing is that healthcare has no place in it. The fact of the matter is that that claim couldn’t be farther from the truth. Studies have shown that 90% of people report using social media to find and share healthcare information.
The truth is, whether through brand ambassadors (people who stealthily market your brand through anecdotes and personal touch) or through the practices themselves, people are talking about healthcare and affordable treatment options. Although people hate talking about their medical records, they certainly seem to love talking about ways to save money.
Creating a social media account on one of the giants (e.g., Twitter, Facebook, Instagram), can help you reach out to prospective patients, raise awareness regarding various medical concerns and trends, and counter misinformation. Social media can be a powerful tool for healthcare practitioners.
A helpful bit of advice, however, is to avoid focusing too heavily on a single social media platform. It’s important to branch out and target at least two different platforms to optimize your market penetration.
Start a Blog
Blogging is a funnel that drives patients to your website, and ultimately revenue in your pocket. If you blog multiple times a week/month, not only does Google place a value (authority on your site) and ranks you higher then your competitors, but other websites will publish snippets of your content (Give you attribution). Plenty of companies use blogs for SEO purposes, marketing, advertising, and even ordinary business updates to keep consumers coming back.
The world of healthcare is no different. Medical blogging can help optimize your practice’s SEO, boost search engine rankings (i.e., the factors that determine on which page of the search results your website appears), and more.
For example, let’s say you decide to implement a new treatment at your practice. Many of your patients might be interested in making an appointment to discuss whether or not it is right for them, but how are they going to know to do so unless they’ve been told about it? Instead of calling every one of your patients, simply write a blog article.
The world is becoming more and more digital with each passing day and the healthcare industry is no exception. By putting these five strategies into action in your private practice, you can reap a variety of rewards all while improving your community’s access to affordable, high-quality healthcare that you provide.
Just like with healthcare, boosting your digital presence is about more than just acquiring patients. It’s about helping those in need. The real challenge lies in remembering that running a private practice in 2020 comes with its own needs as well as those of your patients.