Healthcare is moving to the digital sphere. Just 20 years ago, most physicians would spend a lot of their time in clinic offices using physical practices & paper charts to communicate with patients. Now they have EMRs (electronic medical records) and patients can access their healthcare information online.
In addition to being more accessible, the digital sphere offers a variety of marketing opportunities to healthcare providers that would have never been possible in the analog world. For example, digital marketing allows you to target patients based on location, demographics, and interests. It’s also a lot more affordable than traditional marketing methods. With fewer unsold products and increased responsiveness, digital marketing can significantly improve your bottom line.
So how can you get your physicians to adopt a digital marketing strategy? The answer might surprise you.
Create A Plan
The first step to getting physicians to adopt a digital marketing strategy is to create a plan. This plan should include:
- the marketing objectives you hope to achieve
- the metrics you will use to measure your progress
- the marketing channels you will use to reach your audience
- the budgets for your online and offline marketing efforts
- the timeframe you are planning to achieve these results
- hiring the right people to help you
- the training course (if any)
- your digital marketing strategy (this should be a PDF file)
Put Your Plan Into Action
After you’ve established the goals of your plan, it’s time to put them into action. Ideally, you’ll want to be able to track the results of your online marketing efforts using Google Analytics. The first step in this process is to create a small landing page for your practice that serves as a digital storefront (this is similar to a retail store’s website).
The next step is to populate this storefront with the products and services your practice offers. Make sure to choose affiliate products that are aligned with your marketing objectives (if you’re selling vitamin supplements, make sure they’re aligned with a health-related objective).
Dedicate A Small Corner Of Your Website To Product Reviews
Since your practice’s website is going to be serving as your practice’s digital marketing and storefront, it’s a good idea to dedicate a small corner of your website to product reviews. You can review a wide variety of products and services on your blog, including medical devices, pharmaceuticals, and nutritional supplements. The key is to choose products that your patients can benefit from.
Make sure to post regularly on your blog. Ideally, you’ll want to post at least once every two weeks. Not only will this provide your patients with interesting content, it will also encourage them to come back for more.
Customize Your Blog’s Navigation
Even if you’ve got a solid grasp on creating a blog for your medical practice, it’s a good idea to review and edit the navigation bars on your blog’s sidebars and footer. This is an underutilized area of a website that can greatly influence a patient’s decision to visit your practice or to try out a new product you’ve reviewed.
For example, let’s say you’ve got a blog post about the benefits of vitamin C for immune health. If you’ve got a navigation bar at the bottom of the page with a big red mark next to “vitamin C,” the last thing a reader wants to do is click on that link, only to discover it’s not what they were looking for.
Measure & Improve
Now that you’ve got a blog set up, you can start measuring the results of your efforts. The only way to improve is by analyzing the data. From here, you can identify the parts of your plan that are working and fix any mistakes you’ve made along the way. In addition, you can develop a solid benchmark for future efforts.
For example, you may decide that your target audience wants to know more about the safety of vitamin C. So you can add a section to your blog on the subject with an appropriate heading (like “Is Vitamin C Safe For Kids’ Health?”).
Make It Easy
Your final step is to make it easy for your patients to visit your blog. This means creating a simple and clean interface for your blog that is easy to navigate. You can also add a contact form to your website so that patients can get in touch with you directly.
Your blog’s design, content, and branding all work together to create an authentic and easy-to-understand experience for your patients. When designing your medical practice’s website, make sure that the colors, fonts, and layout are consistent throughout the site. Also, make sure that everything in your site clearly connects to and supports the overall messaging you’re trying to convey.
Additionally, you can use tools like Google Analytics to track the results of your digital marketing efforts. With this tool, you can view traffic to different parts of your site, demographics, and compare these results to similar sites and campaigns to see how you’re doing.
If you want to get your physicians to adopt a digital marketing strategy, you’ve got the basics down. It’s now up to you to put together an effective plan and to put it into action.