Patients today have more choices than ever before. There are tons of information available online and there are so many media channels available for them that they no longer deem it necessary to visit a hospital or a practice that is closest to them. Because of this reason, it is very important to have a well-designed and well-budgeted healthcare marketing strategy. If you have one, you should be able to reach current, new and returning patients within your locale at the right time.
You may be satisfied and happy with your current patient volume but a planned healthcare marketing strategy ensures that this current volume is sustained and keeps your brand permanently embedded in people’s minds. There are so many reasons why a patient might suddenly decide to switch healthcare providers. These reasons include an insurance change, patient dissatisfaction especially with wait times, relocation or any single negative experience with your organization. There is no guarantee that high patient volumes can be sustained.
Here are some of the 5 most effective healthcare marketing strategies:
- Have a consistent brand
If you are a doctor, you might think that your expertise and talent sets you apart from other doctors and hospitals but to a patient one doctor is just as good as any other. The key to solving this dilemma is patient empowerment and education. Doing this begins with deciding and knowing what your brand is. You should start with simple questions such as what makes you and your hospital unique. Could it be the way you treat your patients? your family-friendly offices? the spa-like environment? There must be something unique about you and that is what a brand is all about.
- Make a healthcare survey by means of social media
If you want to get an amazing range of feedback about what patients are looking for from a healthcare provider, start your healthcare marketing strategy with a survey. The quickest way to do this is through social media such as Facebook and Twitter. Online surveys are cheap, if not free, efficient and simple and if you will post them on social media, you are going to get surprisingly huge responses. Remember, a good healthcare marketing strategy begins with your patients and your goals and little of anything else. Empowering your patients to choose, decide and speak out can be used to your advantage.
- Use referrals
This strategy is so simple that you might already be doing it. However, if you are still not doing this, there are good reasons why you should. When patients are done with their consultation, many things go through their minds but it is mostly about whether they are going to get better or not. In most cases, patients do get better and sometimes doctor-patient relationships end there. You can extend your relationship by telling your patients to refer you to their acquaintances and kin and about the services that you do. Make sure to do this as if it were not a big deal and as part of small talk or your regular routine during consultations. Practice it as a standard spiel and you’ll be surprised at what word-of-mouth can do.
- Build a website
A website that is responsive is one which can adjust automatically to the screen size so that the experience is the same whether or not the site can be accessed on a tablet, mobile device or computer. This is the standard of websites today and more than this, it is something that search engines look for when your website is being analyzed about where it should rank. Search engines care about user experience and relevance and competitors with a site optimized for mobile have higher priority. Your website is your window to the outside world and it is a very powerful tool to keep patients and acquire new ones. It is also a great way to evaluate your patients’ experience both online and offline.
- Market how you are helping people and not what you do
If you want to sell yourself to the world, you should focus more on what you do to help people and not just what you are doing or what your level of expertise is. Most people perceive value not in terms of skills and expertise but how much you have helped them. They also gauge your relationship with your patients and care little about your degrees or fields of expertise.