1. Assess your current success and failures
Before you look ahead, the most successful companies and organizations look at where they’ve been. Analyze your past marketing efforts. Look at the data. Investigate consumer surveys and areas of improvement. Often we are moving on from one thing to the next, but if we never stop to pause and look at past marketing efforts we may repeat less-effective methods.
TIP: Patients could be choosing your competitors without you even realizing it. To understand how your practice stack ranks compared to your competition, take our practice growth assessment. In less than a minute, you’ll have visibility into your key areas for improvement next year.
2. Connect with your target audience
Digital marketing for healthcare organizations can seem impersonal. You’re not making any connection face-to-face, and your audience is unable to interact with you. However, this is where you can really make an impact in the year ahead. How can you be more personal in your marketing efforts? What can make your audience feel more connected to your organization? Put the human first and what you are trying to communicate or sell, second. Easy ways you can connect, engage, and build rapport with potential patients is through:
- patient education videos
- social media campaigns
- your website
- online reviews
- HIPPA compliant text and chat
3. Engage with your local community
On your website, consider illustrating your relationships with community organizations, or any volunteer or philanthropic work you do outside of the office. Have images and news to directly reflect what you’re doing as a fellow community member at your specific location. Bring it home, so users can feel and experience the trust and authenticity of your organization.
4. Create a social media campaign
There are several benefits to being on social media. The number one being that it creates a large opportunity for your practice to be a thought leader and directly involved in the most current events and trends that patients are responding to – now. In addition to having a great medical website, having an active presence on relevant social media channels allows your organization to provide a real and dynamic peek into your practices values, expertise, and how you’re making a difference everyday. Social media trends are changing rapidly, so be sure to stay ahead of the curve and always remember these 5 do’s and don’ts. Know what platorms your target audience is active on, plan content out so you know what to post and when, and do so regularly. Use hashtags, trending topics, and effective captions so users know what you offer and where to find you.
5. Revamp your website
At the turn of the new year, it is always smart to refresh your website, especially if you have plans for growth. New images or a new theme layout can give your site an instant face lift with minimal effort. A refresh can also significantly help boost your Google rankings and help you be found for the procedures you want to perform more of.
A refresh doesn’t necesarily mean an overhaul. Simply optimizing key pages, testing new calls-to-action, updating your directory, online listings, and healthcare pricing, and ensuring your practice location(s) is found in local search results makes a world of difference and can really enhance your users expereince.
As you think about the year ahead, now is also the perfect time to budget for and implement any new website additons or changes you’ve been wanting to make. This could mean adding a chatbot, website popups, new patient education content, or making your website ADA compliant. It’s also a best practice to make sure content on your site is not repetitive and that you’re answering top patient questions effectively.
6. Engage via chat
Another effective plan is to engage with potential patients via online chat. Often, a question will come up that patients want an immediate and clear answer to. Instant gratification can be resolved with a chat feature on your website. This also helps your organization’s customer service team and saves time triaging phone calls.
7. Create ad campaigns
Ads help drive practice growth. With effective targeting and campaign management, you can quickly increase awareness and reach more patients. Consider setting aside some marketing dollars to create ads that appeal to your audience. In healthcare, you may have a very narrow niche that you are marketing to, and ads can be a great way to get their attention. Further, ads can serve a greater purpose. In a world where it’s hard to stand out, ads control the narrative. Use them to control the headlines and positive messages about your practice.
They’re also the fastest way to be found at the top of the page in a Google search. Ads appear on the page above organic results, giving your practice the chance to be seen and clicked on first by more prospective patients. For practices lacking a solid SEO strategy, these campaigns can provide immediate results.
8. Check your reviews
Patients trust reviews, which act as a referrals from peers. Make sure your website and online listings are highlighting your providers with honest and impactful reviews. This can help users get a better idea what type of services you offer and the environment that you are helping to create. Marketing can help to follow the websites that rank providers or score them, so be sure to add this to your yearly review.
Most physicians shy away from reviews for fear of recieveing a negative one. While negative reviews are not ideal, you wouldn’t be human without one or two of them. A strategy and team to help with reviews management can help.
9. Get creative with scheduling and follow-up
Email and digital marketing can overlap with the patient experience, so consider a plan for timely, relevant, and consistent communications with patients, scheduling, and follow-up. This may include online portals for appointment booking, or a text message to confirm an appointment. If patients have opted-in for marketing via text message, you can consider sharing things of value in addition to appointment information.
10. Get help if needed
Marketing campaigns can feel overwhelming. It is OK to seek help from experts ao you can focus on what you’re best at. As you approach 2023, consider working with a medical marketing agency, like Practis, to help you plan, prioritize, and prepare for a successful new year ahead. We’re always here to help!