Family practice or primary care physicians (be it a general practitioner, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant) need to know the basics of healthcare marketing to thrive in the industry. These days, it’s not enough to know how to take a thorough medical history, perform a complete physical examination, know your organ system, and order the necessary diagnostic tests to come up with a diagnosis and treatment for patients.
Most medical schools won’t teach healthcare marketing, even more so, digital marketing. Yet, a recent survey in the United States revealed that millennials will soon be directing the healthcare trends and models, and they are mostly a digital population.
Going Digital is the Way to Go
According to the survey, today’s patient population is more likely to choose a primary care physician (PCP) whose practice has digital capabilities. The numbers are glaring and cannot be ignored.
- 77% prefer family physicians who can request prescription refills electronically
- 70% prefer family practitioners who can send email or text message reminders for preventive or follow up care
- 69% prefer primary care doctors whom they can communicate via email
- 53% prefer their family medicine or internal medicine doctors to use remote or telemonitoring devices for health indicator recording and monitoring
- 68% are more likely to choose a PCP that offers online booking or changing and cancellation of appointments
- 49% are more likely to stay with a family practice who provides video conferencing
As this healthcare survey revealed, today’s consumers want convenient, affordable, and quality healthcare in dealing with their health issues.
In fact, before they book an appointment, they’ve already looked up health information online.
How does this impact your practice? And how can you create your healthcare marketing strategy around this information?
How Patients Can Find Primary Care Physicians Online
Here’s how to assess your digital marketing capability and troubleshoot problems before it’s too late.
As a first step, look at your online presence.
Can your patients find you when they Google your practice or specialty? Can you find your practice when you look it up online? If you’ve not been paying attention to your digital marketing strategies, you may be in for a surprise.
The top three places where you can be found online are:
We cannot overemphasize the value of having a proper website. In a recent blog, we tackled the ABCD on website design for healthcare providers. See if your website measures up to the suggestions. It will help you assess whether your website is:
- learn what kind of digital capability you need to become accessible to your patients
- find tips on how you can make your website worthy of your brand
- gain insight into the types of content that will get your patients’ attention and help their conditions
- find ways on how to create a dynamic website
2. Social Media
You may think social media is confined to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. But there’s more to social media and healthcare marketing than you think.
Nextdoor is a great place for local searches, for example. Browse your neighborhood and see how often someone asks their virtual community for recommendations on primary care providers, chiropractors, dentists, (among others like tutors, piano instructors, or babysitters). The list is endless, and people will continue to ask for “word of mouth” recommendations this way.
And when someone recommends a service provider, a web link appears if that provider enlisted himself in the channel. So, you may want to get yourself in that channel if you’d like to target patients around your neighborhood.
Have you thought of connecting with other healthcare practitioners in your area or building? A new patient may be looking for a primary care physicians while doing his first dental consult. Wouldn’t it be to your advantage if the dentist knows that you’re just two rooms away from her clinic?
Of course, you can always introduce yourself. But when you connect to her LinkedIn account, and she discovers you graduated from the same college, it’s probable that she will refer her patient to you.
Video outlets (YouTube)
Of course, don’t discount the fact that among the social media platforms, the most widely used, according to Pew Research, are YouTube and Facebook.
How can you establish yourself on YouTube and what kind of videos should you be posting? If you’re not comfortable being in front of the camera, you can still host Youtube on your website.
Did you know that the CDC offers a streaming health channel that you can share and embed on your own website? You can tap on the many preventive health and national health information that they post regularly for different care settings.
So how would this help your practice? Have you heard of the value of linking for search engine optimization?
Read this blog on three effective SEO practices for healthcare marketing and gain insight on how linking to an authoritative channel will get you found on the web and how having fresh content will increase your site ranking on Google search.
Today, many businesses no longer rely on a paper directory and yellow pages. Online listings provide the advantage of being found anywhere in the globe. Such accessibility makes information sharing easy. Potential patients can click on your website, see your location and directions to your clinic, and your hours of operation.
But is your business listed accurately? Does Google have you on the map? Is your practice consistent with NAP (name address phone) best practices? Listings can show your potential patients the information they need to decide on whether you are the right provider for them.
Finally, don’t forget the power of Google Reviews and how more positive ones position your site at the top of local searches.
We Can Help
Don’t have time to think through your digital marketing campaign? Let us take care of the details! Schedule a free business growth call here to find out how we can help your practice’s marketing efforts. We can help promote your practice this year, or next year.