If you find yourself searching for “healthcare local SEO” or another industry specific term paired with a marketing service, you have likely come to the same conclusion as we have: template marketing strategies are no longer effective! As search engines get smarter, the customers searching becomes easier, and local businesses are forced to learn and evolve to survive digitally. While marketing companies used to be able to take the same approach for each client, a blanket marketing approach for your digital presence is no longer the best strategy. Yes, certain aspects of all strategies, particularly the technical side behind the scenes, will remain the same across the board, but beyond that, your strategy should be specifically tailored to you and your industry. Different industries have different audiences so having a team member or a local digital marketing agency who understands your audience and is familiar with the industry is essential to the growth and overall health of your digital presence.
At Klout9, we tailor to several different industries, but we will place our focus on healthcare today. Below are some tips we have seen great success with for our healthcare specific clients.
Healthcare varies drastically from most industries, particularly because it is not something people think about until they are in need of your services, and often that is an immediate need. Having consistent branding and messaging pushed out will keep your business at the top of mind when they need you. We recommend always having some sort of branded campaign running along with your other marketing efforts. Excellent mediums for branded campaigns are social media platforms and the google display network via retargeting and video ads.
Did you know that 5% of all Google searches are health related? It is extremely important for anyone in the healthcare industry, from general practitioners, to hospitals and anything in between to have consistent and visible information online. Whether it is a routine wellness checkup or an emergency situation, patients are looking up (or attempting to) information about your business such as phone number, address, policy and procedure information, etc. prior to their visit. Imagine the frustration if they are sent to a wrong address that your location hasn’t been at for years, or worse, if they can’t find you at all. You must also be visible for potential new customers searching for things like “urgent care near me” or “nearest emergency room”. While Google will take the searchers location into consideration and show locations close by automatically, if your information is not consistent online, Google will likely show you much lower on the search results. Afterall, it is their job to show searchers accurate information, so when there’s doubt, you get left out!
The best and easiest way to manage your online listings is through Local Search Marketing. It is a platform that allows your business information to be input into a central HUB and pushed out across the internet everywhere from Facebook, Google, Yellow Pages, Siri & more. This makes updates such as procedure or hour changes due to COVID possible in the click of a button. Local search marketing minimizes unnecessary phone calls for patients looking for directions, makes you visible when and where customers are looking for you, allows for consistent business information changes at the click of a button, and puts you on the map in places you were previously not available. While any local business with a physical location benefits from this form of marketing, it serves a special purpose in the healthcare industry. For more detailed information about Local Search Marketing, view our previous post: “What is Local Search Marketing & Why is it Necessary?”.
New acquisition is always a business goal, but maintaining existing customers can be easier and less expensive if made a focus. 81% of consumers are unsatisfied with their healthcare experience and 43% of Millennials are planning to switch practices in the next few years.
Take a look into the most common reasons people switch healthcare providers and seek out ways to keep previous and existing patients involved with your brand. This can be something as simple as collecting email addresses at visits and starting an email campaign keeping patients updated with what is new in your practice, sending out birthday emails, or even patient appreciation campaigns on social media.
We are in a digital world, now so more than ever before for the healthcare industry. Take a look at your website and the overall digital experience you provide from a customer’s perspective. Is your website mobile responsive? Can appointments be scheduled online? Is patient information available online? Are things to reduce time in the waiting room such as digital patient check ins and new patient packets available? A digital medium to consider right now is Telehealth services! Is this something you offer? If so, how are you promoting that information? It is important to make sure you are meeting the new digital demands of patients and making adjustments to your processes when necessary.
Reviews, Reviews, Reviews!
We will start this off with some statistics to stress the importance of reviews in this industry.
- 94% of healthcare patients use online reviews to evaluate providers
- 84% off consumers trust reviews as much as personal recommendations
- As few as 1 review shapes a patients opinion of your practice
Take a look at your current online reviews and assess the situation. If you have little to no reviews, find ways to motivate patients to leave you good feedback. The best way to accomplish this is to utilize a review platform that sends patients a link to leave a review right there when still in your waiting room! If you have lots of bad reviews, it will take a bit of extra work, but the goal should be to resolve any bad ones possible and work to get as many new ones as you can to outweigh the bad. Consider patient testimonial videos in addition to physical reviews. These can be promoted on your website and through social media and google display campaigns and will help to shape or reshape peoples opinions of your practice. Not only would people rather watch a video, but they ensure the feedback is real and genuine.
In summary, make sure your marketing efforts are in line with your audience and focus on what works within your industry. While some of the mediums may be the same, the approach and end goal is often drastically different. Push a consistent brand, be visible where your patients are looking for you, focus on both your online presence and reputation, and find unique ways to keep existing patients engaged with your brand. Klout 9 has lots of experience in digital marketing within the healthcare sector. We would love the opportunity to discuss your business/practice with you and find new innovative ways to implement all of our suggestions and more. Contact us for a free online analysis!