Marketing a healthcare practice can be a challenge. You want to gain recognition in your community, but at the same time, you need to be helpful, authoritative and informative.
Additionally, paid ads from Google are extremely expensive for healthcare providers. In fact, according to data from Wordstream ‘medical needs’ keywords are in the top 25 most expensive keywords at an incredible $40 per click average vs. the average for all industries of just $2.69.
Thankfully, there are a number of other healthcare marketing ideas that can promote your practice without the excessive costs. From social media to video content, follow along as we go through the best marketing ideas for healthcare providers.
- Build trust with your community using social media
- Publish articles or get quote placements in local and online publications
- Use SEO to improve your online presence and optimize for mobile traffic
- Create and maintain a Google My Business profile
- Secure citations from general and industry directories
- Start a referral program
- Try content marketing with a blog
- Use video content to increase organic website traffic
Improving your social media presence to better connect with your community and patients is a no brainer these days. You should never miss an opportunity to promote your practice and educate your patients for free and social media does just that.
Plus, patients want to be able to trust their physicians and improving contact through social media is one of the best ways to make that happen. In fact, 90% of respondents aged 18 to 24 in a recent Search Engine Watch survey said they would trust medical information shared on their social media network.
Also, nearly half of patients in a recent HealthCare Finance News survey said they expect to hear from their doctor when requesting an appointment via social media. So, stepping up your social media game isn’t an option.
Psychiatrist Jessi Gold is the perfect example. She’s been able to amass 19,000 followers on Twitter using her platform to dish out mental health advice, advocate for mental health best practices, and even discuss her personal opinions.
Having a presence like this has made Dr. Gold incredibly successful because it provides a consistent pipeline of new patients. Out of nearly 20,000 followers, you are bound to capture a few new patients. If that’s the case, imagine what having over 300,000 Twitter followers can do.
That’s the position OB/GYN, and now bestselling author, Jennifer Gunter finds herself in after debunking myths about actress Gweneth Paltrow’s ‘Goop’ product.
Dr. Gunter still practices and her social media is the ultimate inbound marketing technique. This outlier example might not be possible for every doctor, but even building a small social media presence can help attract more patients, build trust, and humanize your practice.
On top of that, having a quality social media presence is a quality issue for many doctors. About 60% of doctors in a recent Demi & Cooper Advertising and DC Interactive Group said they believe social media improves the quality of care they can deliver to patients.
Doctors have immense expertise and knowledge formed over years of specialized training and education. Sharing a little bit of that knowledge in articles on local publications and online journals is a powerful marketing strategy in healthcare that most doctors aren’t taking advantage of.
We aren’t talking about a sales piece here. Rather, these articles are meant to be informative pieces that position your practice as a top industry authority.
The exposure from articles like these is great for business, and beyond that, it will help your practice secure a few valuable white hat backlinks.
What are backlinks? They’re hyperlinks from an external site back to yours. The more relevant, authoritative backlinks your website has, the better in the eyes of search engines.
Given the value of search engine results pages, taking the time to share your knowledge with the community can be a win-win. You create value for local and online publications while providing your practice with exposure and improved rankings for important keywords in results pages.
If you need help finding a place to get published, digital PR services are your best bet. From getting articles published to securing backlinks, quotes, and brand mentions, digital PR can work wonders for medical practices.
Getting to the top ten positions in search engine results pages is critical to securing organic traffic because, according to Ahrefs, 90.88% of pages get zero organic search traffic from Google.
The only way to get to those top ten positions as a healthcare practice without paying for expensive advertising is with search engine optimization (SEO).
Healthcare SEO works to increase your website’s visibility in search engines through a number of methods. From building backlinks and brand awareness with articles in industry associations and online publications to creating quality content for physician sites, SEO can help bring in the type of organic traffic that leads to new patients.
Want to get started with SEO? Here are a few of the DIY SEO basics, but sometimes it makes more sense for healthcare providers to reach out to SEO experts for help. The SEO process can be complex and time-consuming.
- Create an SEO strategy backed by keyword research from Google Trends, Google Suggest, and Google Keyword Planner.
- Optimize title and header tags for under SEO best practices.
- Remember to include internal links and build an authoritative, relevant external link profile.
- Track your KPIs with free tools like Google Analytics.
- Correct duplicate content issues to ensure mobile site speed.
- Improve desktop and mobile site speed with Google Page Speed Insights.
It’s no secret that Google dominates search engine usage, but some might be surprised by how entirely they dominate.
In the second quarter of 2019, traffic to Google represented 92% of all organic search engine visits from desktop and laptops and 96% of all organic traffic from mobile devices in the US.
That makes the results in Google extremely important for any business. When it comes to physicians, local results in Google are especially key.
If you want to increase your medical practice’s visibility in local search results in Google and on Google Maps you’ll need top medical marketing ideas like Local SEO and that starts with a properly optimized Google My Business (GMB) profile.
GMB profiles feature your business in local search results, which appear above organic results and just below paid ads.
Plus, your profile will appear in Google Maps searches by potential patients. Here’s an example from the search query “best family medicine doctors in phoenix”.
You can imagine how valuable results in Google’s local results and on Google Maps can be if your practice shows up in those tops spots. Reviews help patients trust you before even walking through your door. They make local SEO necessary for any healthcare provider with a physical location or even multiple locations.
Of course, your practice has competition when it comes to appearing in local results and on Google Maps. That’s where Local SEO services come in and make sure you appear at the top of search results, drawing in all the local patients your practice needs to thrive.
A simple healthcare marketing idea involves leveraging a tactic that you’re probably already doing—directory listings, or citations.
Citations are online references to a business. They usually include a name, address, and phone number (NAP), but also sometimes include a backlink, a map, reviews, and other business information. Securing these citations is a critical component of search engine optimization.
You can secure citations from general directories or review sites like Yelp, the Better Business Bureau, or Yahoo’s Local Pages, but the best places to secure citations for a healthcare provider are industry-specific directories like this one, Healthgrades.com.
Patients can search for doctors on Healthgrades, making it the perfect place to gain exposure for your practice.
You can even pay for a ‘featured’ spot at the top of search results in the directory like Dr. Stephen Lynch has below.
The real value, of course, is the citation. Here’s an example of Dr. Lynch’s citation which contains NAP, a map, a link to his site, and reviews.
Getting featured in directories across the net takes time, but it is well worth it for the business exposure and search engine optimization benefits.
Want to learn more? Check out our article on How to Use Doctor Directories for Local SEO!
Starting a referral program that asks your current patients to recommend your services to friends and family is one of the best ways to draw in new patients.
However, you should remember the federal Anti-Kickback Statute says doctors cannot give anything of value in exchange for referrals when federal insurance programs are involved (i.e. Medicare and Medicaid). And you’ll need to review any applicable state laws in your area on offering incentives for referrals.
If it’s a legal option, giving small discounts or special offers can greatly incentivize patients to refer your practice. According to Xana Winans, the CEO of Golden Proportions Marketing, “over 50 percent of new patients should be coming from referrals. If not, then you’re losing them (patients) to other practices.”
Have you heard that old saying ”if you can’t beat em’, join em’”?
Well, in a world where patients largely get information from WebMD and other online sources, a good marketing strategy in healthcare to fight for exposure is to publish quality content as well. Content marketing produces valuable content that deals with real issues that patients commonly have.
You can create blogs that target traffic currently covered by WebMD, for example. Then, with a focus on conversion optimization, your content marketing works to build your website’s organic traffic and bring more patients to your practice.
There’s a reason 91% of companies in a late 2019 SEMrush survey said they use content marketing—it works.
Blogging especially is a great way to build trust with patients before you even meet. In fact, 81% of consumers say they turn to blogs when looking for quality advice online.
Of course, blogging isn’t easy and it just seems to keep getting more difficult. SEMrush’s 2019 survey found that articles with over 3,000 words get 3x the traffic, 4x the shares, and 3.5x the backlinks.
Still, blogging can drastically improve your online presence and increase your patient count.
If you want to learn more, read our article on 5 Healthcare Blog Topics to Educate Patients.
Video content is exploding of late. From the growth of YouTube to the growing use of video in blogs, video content is everywhere. In fact, it’s the primary form of media in most marketing strategies as of the end of 2019, according to data from Hubspot.
Video connects with people on a level that blogging can’t compete with. So consider starting a medical YouTube channel to market your practice, or just put some videos up on your website to clarify FAQs for a start.
According to data from a 2020 Wyzowl survey on the state of video marketing, 84% of people say a brand’s video has convinced them to buy a product or service.
Taking advantage of stats like these by creating videos for your medical website, YouTube, or Facebook channel is a no brainer for doctors looking to stand out from the crowd in a competitive industry.
Don’t believe us? Just look at the success of Dr. Pimple Popper. Dr. Sandra Lee was just an ordinary dermatologist who thought putting up some videos on Youtube might help her draw in more clients.
Today she has over 6.5 million subscribers on the platform and makes more from Youtube than she ever did as a dermatologist.
It may be one of the more unusual marketing strategies in healthcare, but it’s working.
Want more healthcare marketing ideas? We’ve got you covered
Like these marketing ideas? Do you want more?
We’ve got you covered. Feel free to contact us, we’d be more than happy to share more top marketing ideas for healthcare providers.
And if you feel like you might need more than ideas, we can also help take your online presence to the next level with our full suite of SEO digital marketing services.
Sometimes marketing can be a time-consuming, confusing process, but the right help can make all the difference.
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