26 May Why is Healthcare Marketing Important?
Since patients are becoming more consumer-like in their approach to find a physician, marketing is becoming much more crucial in healthcare than ever before especially when variables like higher expenses and lower reimbursement rates are having a massive negative affect on private practices. If you haven’t noticed, times are changing for the healthcare industry. Insurance policies, costs, and reimbursements have changed; large corporate hospital-management firms have arisen; and the economy has shrunk. Doctors are finding that medical practices aren’t exactly recession-proof like they once thought. At the same time, patients are seeking less care, either because they don’t have insurance that will adequately cover it or because they can’t afford their deductibles.
As a Doctor, in order to stay ahead of the competition, have a constant flow of new patients as well as retain your current ones, you must learn how to integrate marketing into your practice. A truly effective, integrated strategy creates efficient ways for your target audience to find what they need, to make an informed decision and provides new information.
A website for your practice is invaluable to your marketing strategy. Posting blogs regularly on your website allows your practice to have a greater visibility online and helps you connect with your patients. Use what you know about patient demographics and what topics would be most educational. You may even want to focus on frequently asked questions and provide answers. Keeping information you provide current and relevant is important for establishing credibility both online and in-person.
Staying connected with your patients on social media is a great idea. According to ReferralMD 41% of people said social media would affect their choice of a specific doctor, hospital, or medical facility. This means that as a doctor or practice, it’s crucial that you are posting on social media regularly and keeping your patients engaged.
Healthcare evolves continuously so you must consider the changes and adapt while keeping patients informed. The way you market your practice is a reflection of how well you know your practice. Also, understand that marketing strategies will be subject to change as well. The tactics that worked five or ten years ago do not apply today. Knowing who you are marketing to including patients and potential employees is important. Strategies for marketing are different depending on who you are marketing to.
You might attend annual conferences and bring brochures that highlight what your practice has to offer as well as the work environment. Meanwhile, your waiting room may have brochures that answer common questions and give information about chronic diseases or preventative care. Your website should have similar information in case people are looking at the practice online.
Your online review sites such as Vitals.com. RateMDS, HealthGrades, MD.Com and Yelp need to be updated regularly. You should include you office location, contact info, updated picture, office hours, credential, and background experience. Positive reviews can really boost your practice, since many potential patients do online research before picking a doctor. Your reputation and online presence will be more beneficial than in the past as your patients, “shop for a doctor.”
Do you have more questions about the importance of marketing in the healthcare industry? If so, reach out to us! ClickMD Marketing is a marketing agency specializing in physicians and healthcare facilities. Contact us today to learn about what we can do for you. Your patients are only one click away!