Why should you be actively developing a digital marketing strategy for your medical practice? There are many important reasons. Basically, it’s the most dynamic way to impact your practice. You’ve got to reach the right people, and digital marketing is the best way to accomplish this. As a surgeon, you know your level of excellence in your specialty better than anyone. You have many satisfied patients that cannot say enough about how wonderful their experience was with you. They are telling everyone they know about what a superb outcome they have enjoyed with you, and how they would recommend you for any procedure. But in this age of competition, you need to be sure that not just your past patient base and their social group know about your practice, but that everyone knows. Digital marketing has been changing the healthcare industry rapidly, and not everyone is enjoying its huge benefits. It’s common knowledge that, when it comes to marketing, the healthcare industry lags behind other industries by approximately two years. There are many reasons for this, including but not limited to the HIPAA compliance regulations regarding how patient information is stored and used. Creating a digital marketing strategy is the most powerful step you can take right now to maintain and increase your healthcare practice.
There is no need to be part of the late-adopters group. You can enjoy the benefits of an online digital marketing strategy immediately. Times have changed, and every surgeon and clinic will need to reach out to and engage patients who are more tech-savvy than ever before. These clients will research online extensively before they make any decisions about what surgeon they will choose. You can expand your reach to these potential patients in a robust way by having an online presence. Surgeons and practices need to address the powerful trends that are changing the entire health industry. But how do you achieve that? By developing your own specific digital marketing strategy to target the clients you want. Crystal Clear Digital Marketing has already helped many health industry professionals create their ultimate high-performing digital presence online. The results are compelling.
Healthcare Marketing – Traditional vs. Digital
Before, healthcare marketing was able to sustain and grow increasing levels of business by using such advertising as print, direct mail, radio and TV campaigns. These older methods are referred to as “traditional” marketing, and utilize the offline campaign model. But there are many drawbacks to traditional marketing. For example, once your advertising has been published, there’s no way to “tweak” or adjust it to maximize your benefit. Even if you think your advertising was good and had some impact on your increased consultations, there’s no way to know this for sure. You will never be clear about how to further implement or expand your advertising strategy. This is because you will never be able to ascertain what element of it worked in order to be able to build upon it further. Although to some extent this kind of advertising can impact brand awareness of your surgical practice, it is limited in scope and cannot be measured in a quantifiable way.
Digital marketing, on the other hand, is highly quantifiable in terms of benefits and can be measured in terms of specific metrics that are predetermined. These metrics can be aligned with KPI’s, or key performance indicators, and also for your level of return on marketing investment. Your digital marketing campaign is a powerful ongoing strategy that will integrate satisfying levels of interaction with prospective patients over their entire lifecycle. It can also educate, support, develop and cultivate your future patients as you segment and target these consumers.
Your Web Presence Potential
Your web presence is crucial to your growth in the coming years ahead. What do your prospective patients want? They want to know every detail about the procedure they have in mind, and they want to make sure that you are the absolute best source of providing that procedure to them. But what about content? How will you provide it, and keep it updated? That’s actually the easiest part. It’s related to something you’re doing every day.
Do you realize that since you’ve been in operation, your practice is generating great content on a daily basis for your website from every patient you work with? Every day that you have a consultation, or questions from a prospective client, you are constantly creating content that can and will have a powerful presence on your website.
Let’s assume that you are performing dental surgery. Consider all the various procedures that are offered under this specialty. You can offer a question and answer feature about dental implants, recovery times, the durability of the implant, the different kinds of anesthesia available, beautiful images of previous work, etc. With each question and answer entry, your website can educate your future patients with 5 to 10 answers that will comprehensively cover all of the issues related to that question. This is a powerful and informative way to ensure high degrees of trust in your practice, and it can be continuously updated.
Once you have your web portal in place, your digital marketing efforts will attract many patients who are looking for the answer to many questions about the procedures you offer, and provide every possible answer to what your clients need to know before choosing a surgeon. Then when they make an appointment for a consultation with you, you will already benefit from the integrity and trust they have developed in you. This trust was built earlier, when they researched all of the information you had previously provided on your website featuring your services.
The Power of Online Testimonials
Google and other search engines have changed the way surgical procedures are marketed. Now patients can do a huge amount of research online, and are more and more selective when choosing the providers or the services and procedures they want to have done. They will make a decision based on what they read about your services only from your online site. Prospective patients will also want to see testimonials about the high quality of the healthcare services you provide. If they are searching for hip replacement surgery, for example, testimonials and information about your previous satisfied patients and their experiences, as well as recovery times, will create a strong case for choosing your clinic. And images are important. For those specialty practices that offer plastic surgery procedures or dermatological ones, photos will need to accompany those testimonials. These will clearly show the services provided, including the requisite before-and-after images of your satisfied post-op patients.
A recent Think With Google study showed that 84 percent of patients would search online, as well as offline, sources to research the hospital they choose for their procedure. This study also shows that 44 percent of patients who do their research on a mobile device will schedule an appointment. The results are clearer and clearer. An online digital marketing strategy is a must.
How Can CRM Create Big Digital Returns?
In a 2015 study, it was reported that only around 50 percent of senior healthcare marketers were actively employing a CRM system (a centralized hub of patient information to target and engage the relevant patient communities). CRM is hugely important for the development and further growth of your practice. Do you have a system in place that effectively manages your incoming patient leads? And do your internal processes bring them further into your patient base? Crystal Clear’s market-leading, cloud-based software, the Social Patient Center (SPC), is the only system that can track your calls and forms in real time and sort these opportunities into groups that allow you to target the right audiences.
Real-Time Location-Based Advertising
There’s a new tactic that’s being used in the healthcare industry that is gaining more and more traction. It’s known as “geoconquesting,” and is an offshoot of “geofencing.” Geofencing is the digital practice of establishing a radius around the location of your business, and delivering your advertising to individuals only in that region. Geoconquesting, however, is the tactic of delivering your ad to an individual who lies outside the geofenced radius of a competitor’s location. Many digital marketing efforts in the healthcare industry are now employing this important and relatively recent strategy.
Take Control of Your Medical Marketing
Digital marketing excellence is no longer optional for any healthcare professional. Surgeons need to enable smarter engagement and retention of their prospective patients and be able to develop, as well as maintain, new levels of interaction to stay competitive. A digital marketing strategy that enfolds all the elements together will ensure your current and continued success in this rapidly changing environment.
Crystal Clear Digital Marketing can provide comprehensive and powerful digital marketing for your practice as a surgeon, in whatever specialty you deliver. We will create a dynamic platform that will give your prospective patients the best means to find you and your services, and ultimately choose you as their preferred provider. And that will result in the best of all possible outcomes – a true win-win for you, as well as for all your future patients.
Contact us today to find out how we can help. We’re passionate about your success!