Using Online Marketing to Grow Your Healthcare Practice
Healthcare is a ~9 trillion dollar industry and growing, making setting up a healthcare practice very attractive. At the same time, as the number of practitioners entering the market grows, vying for the attention of new clients or patients becomes more challenging. Enter online marketing to grow your healthcare practice.
For years, the retail and services sectors have benefited from online marketing. But healthcare practices have been slower to recognize how effective online marketing can be. For some practitioners, such as one Northern Virginia-based chiropractor, the idea of online marketing feels too impersonal. For others, the technology seems too complicated. Whatever the barriers, times are changing and to compete in the healthcare industry, practitioners need to reach patients. Online marketing is one of the most cost-effective ways to do that.
How can online marketing grow your healthcare practice? You can reach people anywhere, any time. If you can reach a person at the moment they need you, you are more likely to capture their business. One massage center owner started using marketing years ago when he realized people were thinking about massage in the evening after a long day sitting at a desk. With a combination of online advertising and online scheduling, he made it easy for them to set up appointments at the moment they were looking for relief. His business soared, and he now operates the largest independently owned massage center in Northern Virginia.
What You Need for Effective Online Marketing
There are two things you need to start taking advantage of online marketing:
- A good website. All online marketing efforts will point to your website, and it needs to be good. By “good,” the site needs to clearly identify who your patients/clients are and what you do for them. Don’t make them search through your site to figure out if you’re a good fit. You also need to have contact information front and center—at a minimum you need your phone number, address, hours of operation, and an email address. Make sure your website provides a feeling for your practice. You can do this by investing in original photography that shows your team and your space—new clients love that.
- Search Engine Optimization. SEO goes hand-in-hand with a good website and will help the search engines, like Google, find your site when people are looking for you. SEO is about content, and it is an area where it pays to hire a professional. Someone experienced in writing SEO web content will know how to position your healthcare practice in a way that will attract clients and make the search engines happy. Once you have a good, SEO-optimized website, you can take advantage of online advertising, such as Google AdWords.
- A responsive mailing list. Whether you are looking to target prospects through email or postal to really make your marketing work for you, you need to build a good prospecting healthcare list. Using demographics, you can drill down to lifestyle interests, salary, geographic area, gender, purchasing habits, and more.
- Videos have been a key way practices can differentiate themselves among their competitors. These videos come in multiple forms, from interviews with the professionals in the office to walkthroughs of the office, and in-depth talks on popular topics. The best way to demonstrate the professionalism and knowledge of your practice is through videos today, giving your future patients a glimpse into your office.
Online marketing also includes email marketing, which is easy with tools such as Constant Contact or MailChimp. You can collect your patients’ and/or clients’ email addresses and send them offers or specials—a great way to build loyalty. In fact, omnichannel has been taken to the next level with some practices sending texts and emails, regarding their next appointment.
You can also think about a social media strategy, although which one is right for your practice depends entirely on what kind of healthcare practice you have. For example, it may make sense for a yoga studio to be active on Facebook, whereas a cardiologist may want to focus on LinkedIn.
Online marketing is a relatively low-cost, easy-to-implement strategy that can have significant returns for your healthcare practice. Learn more about how Mailing Lists Direct can help you take full advantage of marketing your healthcare practice online with high-quality direct mail and email marketing lists.