The healthcare industry has been digitizing over the past few years, realizing that consumers (and potential patients) are becoming more dependent on their devices and the internet. But digital transformation is not reserved for big hospitals. Even small clinics and private practices adopt some digital strategies to attract more patients and improve their in-clinic experience.
If you’re looking to bring your clinic to the 21st century, one of the things you can add to your list of priorities is digital marketing.
Digital marketing is basically a way to advertise and market your business using different digital means over different channels across the internet. These channels include search (text and voice), email, social media, paid ads, and so on.
What sets digital marketing apart from traditional forms of marketing is that you can tailor your ads to a specific audience and send out ads when and where you want to. This way, you’re spending every cent on customers who will likely convert. For a clinic, that means increased bookings and foot traffic.
So without further ado, here are the digital marketing tips for healthcare providers:
Use your website as your digital hub
Your website is much like your digital home, so it should have all your information, reflect your branding, and be useful to potential and existing patients. So it’s important to provide a seamless, friction-less experience. Provide your users with a simple way to communicate with you, be it via web form, chatbot, or click-to-call action. It should also include accurate and comprehensive info about your services, locations, doctors and staff, and other trust signals like accreditation and testimonials.
Customize Your Customer Service Chatbot
Your future patients would want to make initial contact with your website, so it’s important to have an intelligent chatbot around to answer basic questions. This way, they can still get the info they need beyond office hours or when your lines aren’t available. You can even teach your chatbot to schedule appointments. You’d only need to use good software for making an AI chatbot and get familiar with conversation marketing to start integrating a useful chatbot into your website.
Optimize Your Google My Business Listing
When a person performs a search engine query or a voice search followed by “near me,” the search engine will show clinics and hospitals in the person’s vicinity. If you want to appear in one of these searches, it’s important to claim your Google My Business profile and optimize it with relevant keywords. You can also add high-quality photos of your clinic to give potential patients a glimpse of what they’ll experience. Plus, be sure to ask for reviews and ratings, as these can influence other people’s decisions to drop by your clinic or book an appointment. Likewise, whenever you get negative feedback, respond cordially and work to address the issues brought up in the feedback.
Rank for Relevant Search Engine Keywords
Even if you’re a small clinic in a small neighborhood, optimizing your website for local and generic search terms is still important. This way, when people in your area or people passing by your area can look up online and find your clinic on the first pages of Google or any other search engine. Earning top SERP positions will increase your foot and web traffic and keep calls and appointments coming in.
Maintain a Social Media Page
One of the best ways to build trust and engage with existing and potential patients is to maintain an active social media page. Facebook is a great tool for clinics as it allows them to contact you via Messenger, which you can automate to answer questions. They can also use your page to schedule an appointment. But more importantly, your feed will be the first thing they’ll go to see if you’re a legitimate and trustworthy clinic, so make sure you’re making a great first impression.
Launch an Email Marketing Campaign
Email is one of the best channels to engage with your existing patients and others who have signed up to your mailing list. You can either launch a periodic newsletter, send out coupons and promotions, or send direct email campaigns for a specific audience segment (i.e., appointment reminders, freebies for loyal patients, etc.). When done right, email marketing can help you inspire loyalty and support the growth of your business.
Big hospitals may have the established name and big funds to attract huge volumes of patients. But digital marketing levels the playing field for small clinics and independent healthcare providers, allowing them to be visible and to build a credible reputation online.