Most marketing plans are flawed, plain and simple. Marketers take pride in driving traffic to websites and business owners/medical practice owners want to see those metrics skyrocket, but there is no point in driving traffic to a website that does not convert. Again, plain and simple. Actually, most medical practices lack a content marketing strategy and a digital marketing strategy.If you own a jewelry store, is there a value in having hundreds of customers come to the brick and mortar and not purchase? It probably puts a larger stress on your employees as they get frustrated from prospects not buying. Well, the same happens to medical practice owners with websites. Why have a digital presence or why put the name of the company/ YOUR NAME “out there” ( by out there I mean Internet) if it is not properly targeting the desired audience?
As a HealthCare Provider, have you felt frustrated from spending countless hours writing and promoting your blog, but the results are just not there? How about spending money on promoting ads but the leads are not qualified nor ready to buy? Is this all an effort to grow your practice or get more patients, but it is not happening? This is where a content Marketing and Digital Marketing Strategy should mix to give your Medical Practice the boost of all your efforts deserve.
Why You Need a Strategy:
People and patients are visual people, they are captivated by incredible images and mixed tonalities that spark brain cells in order to keep starring and being intrigued. It is an incredible experience to come to a beautiful designed website and navigate to learn more. However, not every body has the same amount of patience and same amount of attention span, especially when visiting a Medical Website. Therefore, the messaging (another variable that can be adjusted) needs to captivate and mandate action since it is actually what will build the strongest connection with your visitors.
4 Content Marketing Tips for Healthcare Providers:
We took a pretty good challenge, the last week of March in order to asses and grow an Endocrinology Practice in Miami. This Doctor has a private practice but needed to see more growth. There were too many free hours during the day. In other terms, he needed more patients to better establish himself as a leading authority in South Florida. Endocrinologists are usually associated with Hospitals so it is somewhat easy for those to get clients. Endocrinologists that work for a Hospital have a vast source of referrals and are almost assigned patients when somebody with Diabetes, hormone/thyroid issues arrives at a Hospital. Therefore, Endocrinologists with their private practice need Marketing and other techniques in order to establish an online presence or to distinguish themselves. The biggest issue for patients looking for an Endocrinologist or a Medical Practice, is that they rely too heavily on Healthgrades.com to see reviews and past experiences. The second biggest issue is that most Medical Practices lack a content strategy and have not invested in the adequate resources(time and effort) to have an online presence.
1) Provide Value UpFront:
Users come to a page and need to feel comfortable on the Doctor’s site. The Graph above demonstrates how we took a Medical Practice from NO leads and NO goals in April 2016, to 46 conversions the following month. The First message people read on the website page should be a lead magnet. Lead magnets present a tremendous amount of value to each visitor (ideally upon landing on a page) Whether, it is a free eBook, a video, a cheat sheet or a plan towards success, lead magnets set the precedent to how the customer or patient feels about the Doctor and it’s practice.
By setting Up a Lead Magnet upon entering the site, the patient immediately associates importance and care with that Medical Practice. Our goal was to erase all doubts and set the pace/mentality from the first second. The idea was to ensure every single patient gets a unique experience to make the practice stand out from the competition.
Patients worry about their health and want a Doctor that is not only reachable but demonstrates the ability to dedicate personal time. There is nothing more frustrating than needing some advice or some tips on how to carry on with life after such a drastic diagnostic, and NOT finding it. Whether it is an expert voice or an expert document, patients want to start getting clarity and build rapport from the beginning. It is truly uncomfortable to have no chemistry with a Doctor that is providing advise and to whom patients are trusting with their life.
We set to achieve this as soon as a prospect or qualified lead entered the website. Instead of making an user navigate the website and find reasons as to why they should either call or fill out a form.
Tip: HealthCare Providers and Private Practice Owners : The more content you provide and give out to your patients, the more your service will benefit.
2) Copy Needs to be Directed To the Patient
Doctors are extremely technical people that have spent dozens of additional years in school specializing in a certain field or fields, accruing decades and decades of knowledge. Patients, are just regular people trying to find solutions for themselves or loved ones. Although there is a mutual interest in helping, Doctors and Patients do not speak the same language.
Whether it is to schedule an appointment, ask a question, get more proof or see to see if the Dr. is a good fit, patients are looking for descriptive/simplistic messaging that they can relate to. Therefore, patients don’t seem to effectively understand the medical terminologies that could be described or used as copy on a medical website . Yes, patients are doing research in order to find out about a certain disease or condition, but the communication needs to be targeted towards the patient’s methodology and way of thinking.
Avoid the marketing technique of “save the best for last” and show your best information on the homepage or make it as accessible as possible. As a healthcare provider you might be confused as to what to share or what to post, do not worry, you can always test and run simple A/B tests in order to determine what works well and what does not.
Healthcare Providers: Images and infographics still count as content. This form of communication creates incredible emotional value that is easily spread and becomes shareable. Sharing pictures or a small video of yourself, your office, tools, methodologies, patient testimonials etc, can calm and erase doubts pretty quickly. Patients can get a quick view into the medical attention they are seeking which will cause more frequent visits in the future. When combining powerful images with great copy, it will service as a great tool to build a bond not only for yourself, but for the services provided and the people you serve, your future patients.
3) Improve Online Presence and Expert Positioning:
Patients are looking forward to improving their health and finding the best way possible to succeed. Whether it is a private practice or a hospital, patients are willing to do what it takes to get back to normal or a proper way to feel healthy. Search Queries might include “best doctor in…” or “best endocrinologist in” or “endocrinologist near me”. Therefore, we had to focus on varying and testing the copy to ensure that our Endocrinologist lived up to those results. Patients are looking for an urgent sense of anticipation for YOUR solutions, but the inability to see credentials online makes patients choose somebody else to lead their path towards recovery.
HealthCare Providers: As experts in your field and industry, patients will be glad that they are getting a solution to their cure. You are the answer and the main person that will guide the patients life back to normal.
Most patients that find a doctor online are actually doing research, looking at the types of insurance accepted, scheduling an appointment out of their busy life and probably asking for advice here and there from family and friends. Therefore, finding an endocrinologist or a medical practice in General does not take 20 minutes, does not take 45 minutes and most importantly, it does not take a day. This a heavy research project that needs to be done very carefully in order to make the best decisions.
As patients get to the office and prepare for the appointment, the doctor needs to be fully present and dedicate the necessary attention to make the patient want to come back. More than 33% of all patients in the United States do not feel as if their doctor truly gives them the attention they deserve. Correct, that is 33% of all patients in the United States of America. Patients need to find out what they are doing wrong, get value out of the visit and most importantly, patients need to be challenged.
We are usually concerned with the vast amount of Healthcare provider professionals that do not blog! Yes, it is somewhat exhausting to work a 10 hour workday, answer emails and manage staff to then write a blog. Pshh, why just not have somebody else do it for me?! Right, after all the long hours and emotions dedicated to the job, where is the time? Blogging can take your practice to a complete new level.
Blogging will certainly be a great tool to start building and improving your online presence to boost SEO rankings. Now, imagine how powerful your Private practice will be once you are showing up as a top result, have a content marketing strategy, have brand awareness, increasing user engagement and have spread knowledge. Not only in your city, but worldwide! As a Health Care Provider, you have the huge advantage to produce shareable medical marketing content that thousands and thousands of people will want to read.
4) Research and Additional Value
Patients have several ways of conducting their research online and offline. Word of Mouth, Google, Social Media or Hospital Websites. There are thousands of ways patients can find Doctors, Resources and Articles to obtain more information. These patients conduct hours and hours of research and have about 5 to 6 different doctors available. However, not all doctors have availability for a week or the next two weeks, therefore, they miss out on thousands and thousands of dollars per year and most importantly lose on ways to scale their practice. Therefore, it causes the searcher to call another doctor with a tremendous possibility of sticking around with that decision for the upcoming years. Now, the Doctor lost a potential patient and referrals that will arise in the future.
April 2016: Endocrinologist had NO conversions
May 2016: Endocrinologist has 46 Conversions
June 2016: The Endocrinologist is pacing to obtain 55 conversions as I write this article on June 20th, 2016.
These 46 conversions vary from a new Contact Form and Healthy guide as a Lead Magnet, to a new call tracking phone number, to an additional resource that a prospect patient can download if the doctor is not available within the next two weeks.
In order to avoid this doctor from losing potential clients when unavailable, we provided resources and materials to access. Most people searching for doctors for a serious illness, condition or disease are in a state of panic and are looking for ways to get answers. It is frustrating to be researching about Diabetes, Nutrition, Exercise, Side Effects, Symptoms etc, by going to dozens of websites and performing another dozen of search queries. Therefore, content was created in order to give another solution and retain customers that are interested. If they learn something important, it is highly likely they will come back to get more tips and tricks from a Doctor. Whether the content is read or forgotten about, it will subconsciously associate a cure with the name of the Doctor. Also, it allows the HealthCare provider to establish a better online presence which leads to much more relevant visibility.
Now, ever heard the saying “people don’t remember what you say, they remember how they feel”. Well, the same applies to patients. By creating and adding additional content to the website, we were able to convert at 5% of all visitors, and have segmented them into different categories to enhance their doctor selection process. The trick is to keep and maintain the patient’s ability to live a healthy lifestyle. The converted 5% might not become patients right away, but they will surely pass around the material, re-read the resource and set up an appointment with the doctor in the near future.
Patients and doctors still lack a sense of communication and need to find ways to better communicate among each other at a Doctors Office. Sure the RNs do a fantastic job and can easily calm any anxiety that a patient might have, but Patients pay a co-pay and book an appointment to actually visit and speak to the Doctor. Doctors are the ones that carry the load and are the actual face of the Medical Practice or Private Practice. When we go to the movies we pay $13 dollars to enjoy what is on screen. Whether it is a romantic comedy, scary movie, drama, action film or a kid’s film, we are investing time and money to watch a movie. Most people are not paying $13 dollars to enjoy the salty popcorn and Coca-Cola. RNs are crucial employees holding medical practices together, but unfortunately, they are not the reason why patients pay for a visit. One thing is clear, medical practices need to adjust their messaging to stay ahead and to keep on luring customers. Content Marketing is a vehicle for sharing your knowledge and expertise as a HealthCare Provider.
If you are a healthcare provider and looking for a way to grow your Medical Practice or need a new Content Marketing Strategy, Contact Us to guide your practice towards growth and success.