Don’t overlook these proven marketing tactics.
Just about everybody is doing some sort of online marketing these days, as a medical or dental professional, you may be focusing on the complicated and costly marketing methods such as PPC, ongoing SEO, and local search tactics. But let’s not overlook a few of the strategies you can do right now.
So if you want to give your practice a legitimate marketing boost this year, start looking outside the box. Here are eight often overlooked online marketing tactics that don’t require a big marketing budget.
Mobile Responsive Web Design
You have a website, right? But how does your website look when displayed on a mobile device? A mobile website is designed to be responsive to mobile devices. A smart device will have no trouble displaying a mobile website as it was intended to be viewed; however, this changes when someone tries to view the same website on a desktop computer. For example, someone who sends a mobile website as a link to a friend might be surprised to learn that the website looks different on a desktop. While a well-designed website will simply realize that a desktop computer is trying to view the site and display the regular version, some computers might try to pull up the mobile site. Trying to display the mobile website on a desktop computer might be a challenge and people may be unable to view it.
Web Speed Matters
One of the most frustrating experiences for users of the web is waiting for a page to load. With the rise of mobile devices, people are accessing content on many different platforms. While browsing online in a coffee shop or while binge-watching their favorite shows on a tablet, they expect a fast result for the content that they seek. When they don’t get it, they usually “bounce“. Slow page load is an interrupting experience for the user and it can be a source of frustration and often users simply don’t have the time to wait.
According to a recent study, an additional five seconds of page load time can increase your medical website’s “bounce rate” by more than 20%. That can’t be good. But with hundreds of newly remodeled custom medical-grade websites from O360, page speed concerns are a thing of the past.
Blogging & Content Marketing
Chances are you’ve come across the term “blogging.” As in, you need to be blogging or you need to have a blog. A blog, short for web-log (an old school term no one uses anymore), is a platform that allows your medical or dental office to have a public and online voice. Blogs should have a personality. They should have a voice that sounds like everything you want your dental office to be to patients. While a blog is an important part of every website, it’s easier said than done. After all, blogging takes time (read how blogging can improve your practice’s reputation). From brainstorming post ideas to crafting content, each and every blog post must be developed from an educational, informational, or educational standpoint. And there’s a lot of worthless content out there. Your goal is to rise above the clutter and create content that is useful for those who are visiting your website. But why blog? Why put all this time and effort into something that seems so nebulous and abstract? The simple answer: leads. Blogging has the profound ability to take the visibility of your practice from zero to infinity. As a result, leads and increased business will follow. When done correctly this is guaranteed. Here’s why blogging can increase your leads and get more patients in your waiting room.
Reputation Management Programs
Reputation management is the practice of attracting and publishing positive reviews and minimizing then responding to negative reviews or ratings. It’s monitoring anything online that might be said about your medical practice and quickly responding to both the positive and the negative.
Did you know that positive comments online from happy customers produce an average increase in sales of 18% and that consumers are likely to spend 31% more because of positive reviews? Conversely, 22% of consumers won’t buy a product or service after reading just one negative review, and four or more bad comments can chase away up to 70% of a business’s potential new customers.
Patient reviews also play a very important part in your SEO efficiency. Review websites like Yelp and Google tend to display bad reviews before they display good reviews. As a result, when a potential new patient searches your practice’s name, they’re more likely to see the bad reviews before the 5-star reviews. Read how to get more 5-star reviews in this article.
Reviews will also impact important metrics like click-through-rate that Google uses to determine how to rank your website. When someone searches your website, Google looks at engagement with your site to determine whether you’re ranked appropriately for the right terms. If you are not getting clicks because of your ratings, your ranking on search engines will likely decrease.
Reputation management works to, over time, push any negative reviews down and display just the positive reviews. This takes a lot of work and skill. That’s one of the reasons why it is important to call on an experienced team to help you with this. Reputation management will allow you to develop guidelines for responding to both positive and negative reviews, as well as a strategy for attracting and filtering those reviews.
Video On Your Website
Using videos on your practice’s website can lead to impressive conversion numbers. Conversions refer to people who visited your website and ended up becoming new patients for your practice. By using videos on your site, you will engage your users most dominant senses. This will make them feel like they engaged with your practice which will lead to greater conversions.
Video production and editing is not the cheapest of tasks. Making a video for your practice and posting it on your website can be an expensive and time-consuming task. Make good on this investment by effectively communicating your content. Besides this, you can use a quality smartphone to capture these videos and online video editing tools are constantly improving and becoming more affordable.
Ensure that even though your video is simple, it communicates your message clearly. Low quality videos are likely to be a turn-off to visitors on your website.
We’re not suggesting that you hire LeBron James as a spokesman for your medical practice when we refer to Influencer Marketing. But we certainly are suggesting that your take full advantage of the patients that you presently have and develop a working referral, word-of-mouth marketing campaign.
If your patients are happy with you and your practice, they should also be happy to recommend your practice to family members, friends, coworkers, neighbors and others acquaintances. You and staff can literally ask patients for a referral. You can also post simple signs where patients will see them, indicating that you welcome new patients. Beyond these simple approaches, you can give patients referral cards or send them texts suggesting a referral (perhaps offering a free exam) that they can share with people they know. Many practices produce a simple brochure to generate referrals. You should also include simple statements on the practice’s printed materials and emails. The experts at O360 have dozens of ideas to share with you on this subject!
Social Media Marketing
There’s one particular advantage that comes with owning a medical or dental website and having a social media platform for your practice. You’ll be able to interact with your patients on a personal basis and in real time. Also, you’ll be able to better understand and respond to their needs effectively.
Use social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) to keep and maintain a constant communication with your current and future patients. Additionally, help solve their problems and tailor your services to meet their needs and wants. The more reliable you are, the more your patient base is likely to grow.
You can use Facebook or Instagram ads to reach your potential patients. However, be sure that you start using ads after you’ve mastered a good following. Moreover, do this after you have a good flow of content creation and distribution. Ads can help boost your reach considerably.
Email marketing is an effective method for reaching out to existing patients. The most important part of email marketing is building a solid contact list. Creating an email marketing list should begin with your practice building into its normal patient communications the asking of the patients for their email addresses. If a patient gives you their email address, it is crucial that you avoid spamming them. They gave you their address trusting you wouldn’t abuse it. Now it is up to you to honor their trust and be selective of your use of their email.
Throughout this article, we make mention of your need to post new, interesting and relevant articles, stories and testimonials on your website blog and social media sites. This information is perfect for pushing out to your email database on a routine basis. Consider emailing other marketing content such as sponsored community events, new procedures offered, discount for referrals, the ideas are endless.
It’s okay to start small, work on the basics and get the basics right first before moving on. Too many medical professionals and practice owners get caught up in popular trends, chasing what others are doing.
The most important thing is that you learn to understand exactly who your patients are and what they want from you in the future. From there, you’ll be able to figure out how to effectively target them online and create additional value for them. The only way to learn about your patients and refine your strategy is by gathering useful data. Using the data you gather, constantly measure and test to determine what works and what doesn’t.
And remember, you are never alone at this. O360 is standing by, ready to help you move your practice to the next level.