Hospitals, dentists, doctor’s offices, and even insurance companies have their hands full at any given point in time. A lot goes into running any kind of healthcare practice or organization, and you have to be focused on putting the patient’s care first. But you need a good Healthcare marketing plan too.
It’s more than a full-time job, which means that the healthcare marketing work you’re doing should absolutely be as effective as possible in getting you more patients through the door in less time and ideally for as small of a marketing budget as possible.
Having the right healthcare marketing strategies and knowing how to optimize them with best practices is key, and for most practices, that means finding an effective balance between creating strong organic content and optimizing it with PPC campaigns.
In this post, we’re going to take a close look at 9 healthcare marketing tips that are effective in attracting patients quickly while keeping you on budget.
1. Check & Double Check Those Landing Pages
You want your landing pages to be in top shape.
These can be landing pages that you use to convert traffic coming from PPC campaigns, or those you’re distributing in email newsletters encouraging users to leave reviews, make an appointment for their annual flu shot, or learn about new wellness services that you offer.
You’re going to want to be thorough when evaluating your landing pages.
First, check to make sure that they’re fully mobile-responsive. Are they formatted correctly on mobile? Is the text easy to read, or are videos slowing down site loading times? Are users able to easily submit forms on mobile, just as they would on desktop, or is it glitchy?
You’re also going to want to ensure that that your landing pages fully align with any campaigns that you’re using to send traffic to them.
You don’t want to have a landing page promising fast ER times shown to a user who clicked on a campaign promising to help them find a great physician. Not only can this get your ad campaigns shut down or a lower ranking on both Facebook Ads and Google Ads, but it will also get you a bunch of clicks that will never convert.
The landing page should act as a natural extension to the campaign that sent users there; if you need to create additional landing pages, do so.
Finally, you’re going to want to check your landing page’s site loading speeds. Sometimes people put long videos, uncompressed images, or complicated forms on the landing pages that can slow down their loading time.
This is a huge risk since most users won’t wait more than two seconds for a site to load before clicking away, and more than half will be gone if you ask them to wait three seconds or more.
Use Google’s PageSpeed Insight Tool to check the loading speed on your desktop and mobile site. Make sure that you’re also checking online booking pages or any patient portals that you’re using, too.
This tool will tell you how long it takes on average for your pages to load, and they’ll offer concrete suggestions for how to get the loading times even faster.
2. Have Your Site & Campaigns Optimized for All Languages You Speak
Many practices offer services for patients who speak multiple languages. You want to make sure that your bilingual capabilities are highlighted in your marketing materials, and you don’t want to simply say “Se habla Espanol” on an otherwise English site or ad campaign.
Make sure that you have a version of your site or translations available in the core languages that you offer services for.
You should also run ad campaigns written in each language that your practice offers, using language targeting on platforms like Google and Facebook to ensure that the right ads are reaching the right people.
You absolutely want all patients to have access to the information they need on your site and through your other marketing materials.
Offering bilingual content will ensure they feel comfortable, and it will also set you apart while giving them access to the information that they need.
3. Use Content Marketing to Build Trust
Content marketing is extremely valuable for those in the healthcare sector, particularly when we’re living in the age of of “armchair doctors,” where people on Reddit and the Facebook comments sections are convinced they can diagnose everything from schizophrenia to a heart defect by reading a description of a panic attack.
There’s so much misinformation out in the world that you can use content marketing to build a relationship with your patients and demonstrating your expertise while also putting credible, valuable information out into the world.
Orlando Health makes regular use of this strategy, releasing content written by (or at least approved by) their physicians about everything for how to function on limited sleep, or how to tell the difference between a stomachache and actual appendicitis.
These are incredibly valuable and can help someone make a decision about their current situation and how to proceed with major life or medical choices.
And if you’re thinking “people won’t read these,” you’re wrong; an article like Orlando Health’s appendicitis article is actually what convinced me that I needed to go to the ER over a not-so-normal stomachache two years ago that ended up requiring an emergency appendectomy at four in the morning.
You can write both evergreen content (like the sleep or the appendicitis articles) and trending, timely content to give patients the information they need right now.
Plenty of health organizations release information every year about the flu, for example, and right now many are putting out their own trusted information about how people can prepare and deal with the coronavirus.
Timely content is often shared more upfront, while evergreen content can keep plenty of SEO coming to you for a long time to come.
For an added boost, you can boost your organic content marketing with PPC campaigns, including Facebook Ads. This will extend your reach further, driving more traffic to your posts quickly at a relatively low cost.
4. Put Your Physicians Front & Center
Healthcare is tricky, and it requires an enormous amount of trust between the patient and the physician.
Your patient is going to come in and talk about potentially embarrassing or upsetting health concerns at the very least, so they want to find a doctor who they believe will help them and treat them with respect.
Putting your physicians front and center on both your website and in your marketing campaigns is an excellent call. This strategy can help your doctors build rapport quickly with patients, increasing the likelihood that patients will book with you over the competition.
Being able to see the doctor’s smiling face can actually go a long way, and it does start fostering familiarity and trust before the patient even sets foot in your office.
Make sure that each doctor has their own “About” page, where they can share their experience, list any relevant awards or degrees, mention that they care about the patient, and even share a snippet or two of information about themselves.
What you decide to share will depend on the doctor and the industry (therapists are typically inclined to share almost nothing at all outside their professional experience to establish boundaries early), but a mention of loving dogs or being an active part of the local tennis community can work well for some.
5. Leverage Patient Reviews & Testimonials
Patient reviews and testimonials will perhaps be the most effective tool you can have when it comes to building trust and growing your patient list quickly.
Patients aren’t simply going out to dinner and are willing to take a gamble on lackluster pad thai; choosing a healthcare provider is a huge decision that most people take seriously, whether they’re looking for a general physician or a neurologist to help them treat a neurodegenerative disease.
Reviews and testimonials are key here, because hearing from other patients about how you helped cure their ailments or manage their condition or even diagnose it when no one else could is an enormous selling point.
Reviews are also going to help you with SEO traffic, which is an incredible asset. If people are willing to leave reviews on Google, they’ll help your practice rank higher in the local SERPs.
In addition to conventional reviews, you can ask patients if they’d be interested in giving a video testimonial for your practice.
Orlando Health uses this strategy, regularly talking to patients about their health journeys and treatments that worked for them, and how the doctor or treatment changed their lives.
These are great from a PR perspective and can be shared widely on social media.
Meet Eva! As Florida's first facility to offer VLNT – we are proud to share Eva's story. After overcoming breast cancer, Eva developed lymphedema.Working with Dr. Richard Klein and the specialists at Orlando Health, they were able to identify symptoms, diagnose and treat Eva's lymphedema with a procedure know as Vascularized Lymph Node Transfer.See why Eva decided to make the commute from Tampa to Orlando and chose Orlando Health for her treatment!
Posted by Orlando Health on Monday, June 11, 2018
6. Optimize for Local in SEO & PPC Campaigns
When creating both local and PPC campaigns, you want to make sure that you’re targeting local patients only. Unless you’re an expert in an extremely rare disease, someone in Michigan isn’t going to fly to California for a consult.
For SEO, this means optimizing for location-based keywords like “orlando cardiologist” in addition to setting up a Google My Business profile. The latter is crucial for local search, which many patients will use when trying to find a physician.
For your PPC campaigns, you’ll want to utilize location-based targeting that allows you to restrict who sees your ads.
You may want to set up campaigns, for example, that only show up for users who are within a thirty-minute drive from your office, or who share your zip code.
This will keep your ad placements relevant, meaning more people see your ad who might actually convert, and fewer wasted clicks.
7. Create More Video to Build Rapport Early
Video is an outstanding tool for healthcare marketing, and while we know the last thing you want to do is chase down your doctors after a long day to get them to record a video, it can do wonders for your campaigns.
Videos allow you to tell more powerful stories and to share valuable information quickly in a condensed, easy-to-consume. Across social media, videos perform well, and even short, 45-second long videos can help you effectively stay connected to your target audience.
Like testimonials and sharing physician information and pictures on your site, videos are an outstanding way to build rapport between your physicians and the patients watching the videos.
They can see their potential physicians in their elements, talking in a reassuring or confident voice about treatment plans, different conditions, or their own experience. They start to feel like they know the doctor even though they’ve never met, and it can help you book more patients quickly.
8. Consider Your USP & Advertise It
What makes your practice truly unique?
Do you utilize a patient-first approach that allows you to spend more time with a patient, or to have multiple doctors in different specialties who are able to provide overall wellness? Are you a leading industry expert on a certain condition, or do you have all the latest technology?
This is your unique selling proposition (USP), and if you’re able to find one, you’ll want to use it heavily in your marketing and your branding.
Not only will this help you find the kind of patients you’re best equipped to help, but it also sets you apart from your competition and puts you a step above everyone else.
Developing a USP can be a bit of a challenge, and you’ll want to take time and effort to get it right. You can learn more about this here.
9. Stay Active & Responsive on Social Media
Social media marketing is increasingly becoming one of the main touchpoints between a healthcare facility and their patients.
People will follow their doctor’s office on Facebook to stay up to date if you’re sharing great information that can benefit them, including tips on healthy living, reminders of when those flu shots come out, and posts explaining why preemptive screenings are so important.
Social media is also a great way to build relationships with your patients and continue to work on that rapport even more.
Show pictures of your front desk staff behind the scenes or one of your pediatric doctors dressed up for Halloween. This can help you showcase the real personality of your doctors and staff and win over more patients– even if they haven’t seen you in person yet.
Making your patients feel comfortable and relaxed is a crucial part of healthcare, and social media can be a step in the right direction.
Healthcare isn’t an easy industry to be part of, and it’s definitely not always the easiest field to be marketing in, either.
Ultimately, however, creating campaigns and marketing content that’s designed to be accessible, relatable, and credible so that you can nurture trust and relationships with potential and current patients is key.
Seeing a doctor can be a nerve-wracking experience for many, so help them feel confident in their decision in choosing you.
What do you think? What healthcare marketing tips and strategies do you use? What worked for you? Share your thoughts and questions in the comments below!