With the understanding that many physicians simply do not have the resources to focus on marketing their practices, we are pleased to bring medical professionals innovative ways to more effectively connect with new and existing patients. Not so long ago, the Yellow Pages and magazine ads played a role in attracting new patients. Today, the Internet has become increasingly powerful in providing patients with the ability to find, research, and review doctors online.
Online marketing for doctors includes a range of strategies, from advertising on search engines like Google to designing a mobile-friendly website. On this page, you’ll learn about these techniques, plus see examples of physician marketing strategies, so keep reading to get started!
Digital Marketing Strategies For Physicians
- SEO For Physicians
The high level of competition in the healthcare industry can make it difficult to get your content in front of physicians’ eyes. Consider this: Most search engines report that the top result receives over 40 percent of the total search traffic, with the second result getting 11 percent and the third 8 percent. If your website is in the top few positions for competitive keywords, that many more physicians will engage with your content.
An organic search strategy geared toward physician awareness and engagement begins with making your site search and user-friendly. That means you need to have content on your site that’s highly relevant to each service line and sub-service line – you want to establish your organization as the expert.
When doctors are researching whether to refer patients to your specialists, they’re looking for highly detailed and specific information. Let’s use the cardiology service line as an example – if you’re trying to increase referrals to your cardiovascular specialists, having one generic page for cardiology won’t cut it. Referring physicians are looking for more specific areas of expertise, like aortic specialists or AFib specialists. Make sure the page content is highly relevant to that sub-service line and showcases your expertise, like specialists’ education/experience, breakthrough research, and innovations.
When it comes to keyword targeting, physicians conduct research based on specialties and conditions. The more granular your content is, the better. For a campaign aimed at increasing awareness and referrals to your cardiovascular specialists, consider targeting content toward a specific condition like mitral valve prolapse or percutaneous coronary intervention.
- Pay-Per-Click For Physicians marketing
PPC is an effective tool for physicians because more and more people are turning to the web for medical advice. In fact, in a study conducted by Google, 77 percent of people used a search engine to research symptoms prior to making an appointment with their doctor. When presented with a paid ad, 28 percent visited the website of the advertising hospital. In other words, PPC can be a major driver of traffic to your website.
Another reason to add PPC to your marketing strategy is to gain an edge over the competition. Hospitals and other large medical facilities often have big marketing budgets, so they can buy ad space in a wide range of online and traditional media. If your budget isn’t quite as large, you have to be smarter about where you allocate it. PPC spend depends on the success of the campaign, so your money only goes to viable leads.
- Social Media For Physicians Marketing
Social media marketing campaigns targeted toward physicians can either be organic, paid, or a mixture of both. Let’s see into the two biggest platforms to take advantage of:
- Facebook: On Facebook, highlight well-known specialists on your health systems’ page with video content talking about their expertise, latest research, and innovations. You can go about this in two ways;
- First, you can create video content that encourages consumers to comment and share (In fact, video generates 12 times more shares than text and images combined). If a referring physician sees a specialist getting rave reviews from consumers, they’ll want to be associated with them. You’re building the credibility of specialists through consumer awareness.
- Second, you can create video content that is more clinical in nature and geared toward a physician audience. Physicians are on Facebook, though it’s harder to track than other platforms because they often don’t use emails associated with their practice. Make sure the video features a “Rockstar” specialist that’s well-respected in the physician community to have the biggest impact.
- Twitter: A lot of doctors use Twitter to communicate with each other, both by asking questions and sending out feelers/communicating with hospitals. In fact, a lot of hospitals encourage their physicians to tweet a certain number of times a month highlighting their breakthroughs, research, clinical trials, and more.
Marketers can use Twitter as a forum for discussion. Sharing video content will help raise awareness for your health system and work to establish your specialists’ credibility. Many health systems also take advantage of Twitter’s event targeting capabilities during major medical conferences.
Similar to your organic strategy, marketers should share educational and highly-relevant information on the hospital’s social channels, whether it’s paid or organic. The goal is to get your name in front of potential referrers and slowly build credibility.
And likewise for your Instagram account.