medical marketing

Medical Marketing – How To Grow Your Practice in a Digital World

By: Frank DePino | October 27, 2020

The days of phonebooks are (mostly) gone. Nowadays businesses and medical practices all rely heavily on the power of marketing to get new customers and patients in the door. It is no longer enough to be an experienced, affordable, quality practice because without marketing, no one will know how to find you. 

Why is medical marketing so important? 

Medical Marketing is about building relationships within the community and expanding your digital footprint in order to expand your network and number of patients. It is about showing the public the quality of your practice while being personable enough to generate trust. 

The first thing to understand about medical marketing is that it is not the same as advertising. Whereas advertising is about putting up billboards and ads in order to get your business info in front of people, marketing is more interactive.

It is also on-going; it is not enough to put up a website and be done with it. Rather, marketing requires maintaining a website that will rank on Google and therefore generate new leads.

If this sounds confusing, don’t worry! This article will cover the following:

  1. Different forms of marketing & why you need to market your medical practice
  2. The basics of SEO and generating website traffic
  3. Examples of good marketing, including the benefits of SEO and quality website design
  4. Types of marketing, including website marketing, social marketing, and content marketing

Using Your Website to Reach an Audience

A well-designed, easy to use website is Step 1 of medical marketing. According to a 2018 Customer Experience Survey:

  • 80% of respondents reported using the internet to make healthcare-related searches in the past.
  • 63% of responders said that they chose one provider over another because of a strong online presence. 
  • 45% of patients prefer using digital methods to book an appointment
marketing for medical practices

The patient journey begins online, so medical practices need to be online in order to meet the growing demand for digital access to providers.  

How often do you hear someone say “just go to the website” or “it’s all on the website?” Your website does not necessarily reach customers on its own, but it does provide a place where you can store information to present to potential patients. Once you have a website established, then you can begin to find an audience through other streams and refer them back to the website for more information. 

When we talk about medical marketing, there are 3 main goals behind every marketing campaign: target new patients, reach your target audience, and convert website users into patients. These can be accomplished in two ways through your website: community involvement and SEO. 

The Role of Community Involvement in Medical Marketing

What does “community involvement” mean exactly? 

In short, it means reviews and social proof. When a patient is satisfied with their care, they may go online and leave a positive review either directly on your website or on another platform like Google or Yelp. When others see a positive review from a member of their community, they will be more likely to show interest in the practice or even book an appointment themselves. 

Social proof is very similar. This is when a patient is very satisfied with their care or their procedure and they go online to show it off. For example, patients may post selfies showcasing their dental work or cosmetic procedures and mention or “tag” the medical practice’s social media.

medical marketing strategies

Social proof also includes positive word of mouth reviews and recommendations. For example, if a patient had acupuncture, physical therapy, a massage, mental health counseling, or vision-related treatment and was pleased with the results, they may go to their friends and family and say “they helped me, they can help you too.”

Social proof occurs when people see others modeling a behavior, using a service, or frequenting a business then assume that that is the correct behavior and mimic it themselves. 

Reviews and social proof are extremely effective and inexpensive forms of marketing. The reason they are so effective is because they are not coming from the practice, they are coming from community members. When a business puts out ads promoting themselves, many people take it with a grain of salt. However, when a friend or family member promotes a medical practice, others are more likely to listen and take the recommendation because it is coming from someone they trust. 

However, getting reviews and social proof can be challenging because patients need to decide to do it themselves. There are a few ways that you can solicit reviews and social proof: 

  1. Have a website – This will allow you to collect reviews in one spot and provide patients with a link to post if they want to rave about your practice online. 
  1. Send email reminders requesting reviews – While some people may delete those emails, others will be happy to give 5-star reviews. One of the best ways to get more website traffic is to have a lot of 5-star reviews. This will also help your practice rank higher on local business directories like Yelp
  1. Always provide quality service – This one seems pretty basic, but it is incredibly important. There are many instances where a tweet went viral for praising a business for going above and beyond to help members of the community. 

You never know who may be in your waiting room. By providing quality care, you can generate more 5-star reviews and a patient may even decide to blog or tweet about a positive visit. 

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How SEO Can Boost Your Website Ranking

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. This means that your website is optimized for certain target keywords and for your location so that when someone searches that keyword, your website will appear at the top of the results on Google.

This is highly effective for generating website traffic because when most people need to know something, they Google it. When people need a medical provider, they will most likely begin by Googling providers in their area and then looking at the websites in the search results to decide who to go to. 

SEO does not improve your website’s search performance overnight. Like more forms of medical marketing, it is an on-going investment. However, once your website starts to rank near the top of the search results, you will get much more website traffic, more conversions, and more reviews, which will effectively help keep you there. 

medical website marketing

Types of Marketing For Your Medical Practice 

There are many different ways to market your business. There is no one-size-fits-all strategy for medical marketing. 

Each campaign must be customized to the needs and goals of the specific business.

Whereas some businesses do well with one type of marketing, like email campaigns, it may be unsuccessful for others. The best way to ensure success for your marketing campaigns is to not put all your eggs in one basket. Spreading out your marketing strategy will produce better results and bring in more new patients than only attempting a single form of marketing. 

Website Marketing: How Patients Can Find You

As you know, your website is the starting point that allows patients to find you. SEO optimization is what makes it easier for potential patients to find you because it helps get your website to the top of the search results. In general, website marketing is ideal for everyone. Having an online presence is a necessity in today’s digital world. 

website medical marketing

However, it isn’t enough to just have a website- it is about having a high-quality website. Potential new patients can quickly tell if a website is outdated and will be very likely to book an appointment with a different provider if they have difficulty using your website. 

The key to website marketing is having a fully interactive, integrated, and easy to use website that provides a seamless customer experience. 

“Outreach” Marketing: How to Get a Potential Patient’s Attention

This kind of marketing includes email campaigns and social media marketing. Unlike other forms, like using a website and SEO in which potential patients essentially come to you and your goal is to make it as easy as possible for them to do so, these forms of marketing are about going to potential customers.

You are essentially putting content in front of people in order to provide exposure to your brand. After enough exposure, patients may take the leap and make a conversion by booking their first appointment. 

Email campaigns are an essential tool for marketing because it provides other avenues for patients to find you. There is a certain segment of the population that is not 100% comfortable using Google to find business and medical practices; however, they do know how to use their email and will read what appears in their mailbox.

The key to a successful email campaign is to target certain people with valuable, personalized messages. This means that the emails need to be going out to people who are in a demographic that may require your services. For example, if you are an OBGYN, then it would not be productive to target men in your email campaign.

email marketing for medical practices

The first step is to obtain emails information for your targeted demographic. There are many ways to do this, including through the website where leads are invited to sign up for coupons and announcements or through third-party venues. 

The content of the campaign is also important for medical marketing.

You do not want people hitting delete without first opening the email. This is why marketing experts at Mediaboom always write emails that provide the reader with new information or a coupon, and include a call to action in order to make a conversion. 

Email marketing is the backbone of nearly every integrated campaign because analytics make it easy to track the performance and improve the campaign for better results. 

Social media marketing is much the same. Informative posts, engagement with users, and on-trend messaging effectively puts content in front of potential patients in such a way where they do not feel like they are being advertised to.

When you create this interaction with the community, that is how conversions happen. 

Content Marketing: What You Put Out Matters

Medical marketing often comes back to one thing: quality.

It is not enough for it to exist; websites, email campaigns, and social media posts have to be high-quality, informative, and engaging. Content marketing includes things like blogs, webinars, white papers, videos, and more.

These are designed to inform people, invite them to “learn more,” and influence their decisions.

content marketing for medical practices

There is a great deal of overlap between content marketing and other forms of marketing. It can include social media marketing where information is put online to promote your practice. Video marketing can also be a major part of a website redesign as an efficient way to tell your practice’s story. 

The key is quality. Potential patients know bad marketing when they see it. This is why it is vital for marketing campaigns to produce consistent, on-brand content. 

Where to Get Started

Mediaboom is a full-service digital agency that will boost your brand using top of the line marketing strategies and expert content creation. Our services include: 

  • Digital Creations – web design, development, e-commerce, content management systems, mobile apps, and digital installations 
  • Advertising – pay per click ads, social ads, display ads, media buying, and ad management
  • Marketing – content marketing, SEO, social media marketing, email marketing, and campaign management
  • Content – copywriting, photography, illustration, animation, and video production

Contact Mediaboom today to learn more!

By: Frank DePino

Frank DePino is Principal and Founder of Mediaboom. Since 2002, Frank has led Mediaboom’s award-winning staff of creative and technical professionals building the most effective marketing and advertising solutions for its clients.

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