For hospitals, specialty practices, and physician-ran offices and clinics, having strong marketing techniques can make the difference between a successful recover and a failure. Practices that struggle due to competition or other reasons need to reassess their current marketing regime in order to maximize regional exposure to capture new patients and generate additional practice-to-practice referrals. Optimizing local practices, however, takes more than a few Facebook posts.
For starters, practice administration and owners need to get everyone on board. Marketing is a company wide effort regardless of the industry. This is especially important when it comes to out-of-office strategies and generating content that will later help your business grow its online presence.
Local Search Optimizing for Medical Practices
Before diving into basic strategies for optimizing local practices, healthcare staff needs to understand that every effort made needs to be as professional as possible. This includes proofreading copy before publishing it online, ensuring that everything is PR, and striving for excellence in every marketing endeavor. A few errors may not seem like a big deal, but a misplaced decimal once ruined a NASA satellite launch. The same principle applies to marketing campaigns, especially within such a diverse and important field like healthcare.
To begin with, medical practices need to find a platform to work off of. Are you the only chiropractor with X and Y certification in the county? Do you have the latest x-ray machines? Does your practice take a number of health insurances that others do not? You need to find what makes you unique and
play up your strengths at the same time. This applies to everything you do and publish.
Start by finding your “target audience,” otherwise known as the ideal patient. Campaigns are more successful when you’re going after a certain demographic or group; this way, you’re able to allocate more resources into particular areas than others. Once you have strategies in play for your target patient group, you can start expanding into new areas.
When it comes to local, online marketing, practices need to put themselves out there on the Web as authorities and experts. One important tool to take advantage of is Google Places, a Google+ tie-in that links your business to Google Maps. Today, more than 50 percent of all adults use smartphones for seeking out information, storefronts, and business-related info like contact information.
Having strong and active online social media profiles is an absolute necessity. For one, it gives your practice a chance to communicate to existing patients, secure new ones, and share in-office updates. Getting the word out, so to say, increases your buzz and can lead to media shares, likes, and links. Google Places is a great place to start; make sure you fill out all of your healthcare center’s information and include brand imagery, too.
The best marketing strategies are consistent. Imagery, as mentioned, plays a big role here. Make sure you have quality photos, email signatures, and logos that people recognize as you and your practice. Optimizing local practices begins and ends with branding; other online efforts reinforce this strategy.
You should also interlink all of your social media accounts via a primary website. Having a quality site is a necessity in today’s business world. Here are a few things to watch out for and incorporate during the development stage:
- Clean, simple designs are better than cluttered paragraphs and low quality images.
- Make your website easy to navigate with toolbars and headers.
- Include your contact information (in text form) at the bottom of every page. This allows search engines to pick up your page when people enter queries.
- Add in articles and blogs to increase your overall presence and to beef up your website’s content. As mentioned, make sure everything you publish is authoritative and professionally written. Blogs are a chance for you to share information that can later pull in new patients.
Finally, you should encourage patients to leave online reviews about your practice and to interact (i.e. follow you) on social media. Reviews are often pulled up on search results, too, and help with local searches. There are countless other strategies for optimizing local practices, though it’s best to start with the basics.
Photo by: John Barton
More Business articles from Business 2 Community: