Pandemic Medical Marketing

Adjusting Your Medical Practice’s Content Marketing for A Pandemic

Pandemic Medical Practice Marketing

The COVID-19 pandemic is now entering its tenth month. There is widespread cautious optimism that the worst is over. Vaccines will soon be distributed, and social distancing and masking are by now second nature for people. But there is still a long winter ahead and many major population centers will be at least partially locked down.

What does this mean for your medical practice’s content marketing? It should remain COVID-sensitive indefinitely.

 

Are your marketing campaigns still COVID-proof?

Early in the pandemic during the nationwide lockdowns, many marketers for medical practices suspended ad campaigns. Medical appointments and procedures were delayed for months, especially elective surgeries. Though practices began opening at limited capacity in the spring, the delays created an appointment and elective surgery backlog.

Some cities and states recently reinstituted lockdowns. Many, many patients are facing negative health consequences due missed appointments and procedures.

Content marketing in this environment requires extra sympathy, flexibility, and patience. Here are some ways to create it:

Build your brand as you work through backlog.

Your backlogs may take months or even years to defray. Launching ad campaigns targeting new patients who may have to wait around for months would be a poor allocation of your marketing budget.

Instead, focus on campaigns that enhance your brand image. You can create value for your patients and prospective patients by posting content on your website and social media. Here are a few ideas:

  • -general informational content (on your practice’s area of medicine)
  • -explanation videos about procedures and treatments
  • -virtual seminars on topics such as managing symptoms until surgical intervention is available

Communicate clear expectations to patients.

It’s important to keep your patients up to date. Overall, the at-risk populations (and their family and friends) have had the toughest time physically and mentally during the pandemic. You can earn their trust by creating content that addresses their worries and reassures them that your practice will take care of their health.

You can post COVID policy updates on your website banner, send emails, and post links on your social accounts to your practice’s updated COVID-19 policies (on your website).

Update Google My Business listings.

Your patients and prospective patients perform local searches for medical practice listings and directions to your medical practice. Make sure to update your business hours and continue updating your COVID-19 policy posts on Google My Business (these posts expire after seven days).

Medical Social Media Marketing

Social Media Marketing for Your Medical Practice

Why is social media important?

A huge swath of the 240 million social media users in the U.S. turn to social media for health advice and advice about specific practitioners.

  • In a survey by Demi & Cooper Advertising and DC Interactive Group, 41% of respondents said that social media would affect their specific choice of doctor, hospital, or medical facility.
  • In a Mediabistro study, more than 40% of consumers said that information obtained through social media affects the way they deal with their health.

How to approach social media marketing as a medical practice:

1. Put someone in charge of it.

Social media should be a major part of your marketing effort. You need someone capable and dedicated working on it. If no one in your practice’s staff has time, you can always hire an outsider with expertise.

2. Choose the right social media platforms.

Choosing the right social platform depends on your specific social media marketing goals. Facebook and Twitter get the most medical engagement among the major social media platforms. If your main social goal is to get new patients and keep patients informed, Facebook is the right platform. If your goal is to be a thought leader, Twitter is the right platform. Also, Facebook has more users than all other social networks combined, and over 65% of people over 65 use Facebook. Only 10% of people over 65 use Twitter.

3. Make your social media goals S.M.A.R.T.

Tangible social media marketing goals align with your overall marketing and business goals. All your social media goals should have the following five attributes:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time Bound

Here are two examples of S.M.A.R.T. goals:

Broad Goal: To obtain more patients by providing responsive online services.

  • Specific Goal: At the start of this quarter, our practice will roll out a Facebook Chatbot to answer users’ general health questions and sign them up to our email list. We will add 25% of the prospective patients we interact with to our email list.
  • Specific Goal: Our practice will hire an online reputation management firm that will make sure we receive more positive Facebook business reviews. Our goal will be to have a least 10 five-star reviews by the end of the quarter.

Measure success with relevant metrics.

Relevant is the most difficult attribute on the S.M.A.R.T. list. Marketing metrics are very important to measuring success. But some metrics aren’t accurate measures. For instance, imagine an orthopedic surgeon practice that publishes a piece about a type of knee surgery for injured athletes. The piece receives a lot of shares on Facebook.

While shares are good for the practice’s social media exposure, they don’t have any direct value. Conversions and click-throughs, on the other hand, bring patients to your practice. When prospective patients click on calls-to-action like ‘schedule appointment’ buttons and ‘subscribe’ buttons (to newsletters, email updates, etc.), they are a step closer to becoming your patients.

Post Compelling Content Consistently

Keep your audience engaged by posting compelling content consistently. An engaged audience likes and shares your content and visits your website more often. Keep in mind that today’s social sharer or website visitor is tomorrow’s patient and or referrer. Create compelling and fresh content with images, infographics, and video.

Mix it up by posting informational content, questions and polls, case studies, relevant quotes, and anything else that’s valuable to your audience.

Providing potential patients with tips and informational content in their social feed from a medical expert will save them a few search engine trips. A further benefit to posting great content is that you build your credibility in your field.

Add the Human Element

Patients, future patients, and others can connect with you when you respond to their comments or meet them on Facebook messenger or another platform’s messaging.

And you can show that your practice is involved with the local community by posting photos and information about it.

This could be posts about your practice’s charity work, sponsorship, or participation at local events like October fests.

And you can show your practice’s friendly staff in profile pictures and or event and holiday pictures (at office party or other events).

Connect with Other Medical Practices

Social media relationships reflect in-person social relationships. Your social media relationships are grown by connecting with other medical practices in your field. A healthy network of social media accounts strengthens your reputation with your audience. The more you like, comment on, and share content other practices post, the more likes, comments, and shares they will give you.

Don’t Be Too Salesy

Build brand awareness, but always offer valuable content that engages and informs. In your social posts, Try to mix it up. Don’t fall into the trap of posting ads all the time. And make sure your content gives value first. For example, include calls-to-action at the bottom of your blog posts.

Maximize the Impact of Your Posts

Cross-promote your content across all your social platforms if you have more than one. Post preview blurbs containing short summaries or key snippets from the articles, blog posts, or other content, along with links. Post content that’s relevant to your audience’s demographics. For example, a pain treatment practice’s Facebook audience is mostly over age fifty. A blog post about lower back pain will be much more likeable and shareable than one about managing arthritis.

Optimize Your Social Profiles

Like your business listings, all your social profiles should include a consistent name, telephone number, hours, address, and logo across your social media accounts. This avoids confusion for those who need to locate or contact you.

Surgeon Landing Pages

Surgeon Practices: 7 Tips for Optimized Landing Pages

Landing pages are standalone URLs that visitors land on when they click or tap a Google adwords ad. Your ads are visible to internet users who live in your business area and search for your ad’s keyword. A landing page should focus on one specific procedure or treatment your surgeon practice offers.

Spending the time and money to create landing pages is worth it because they are much more likely to convert leads than home pages. Landing pages are targeted to the keywords that users enter in search engines.

If leads looking for information about specific procedures land on your practice’s homepage, they are likely to leave without acting. On the other hand, landing pages place calls-to-action right in front of users.

Here are our tips for creating optimized landing pages:

 

Keep the content focused.

Everything on the page should serve some aspect of the value proposition and stay focused on conversion. Do not use a landing page for more than one service, procedure, or treatment.

 

Include crystal-clear CTA’s.

The CTA should be easy to see. The color should be distinct from the surroundings and background. Responsive Web Design (RWD) is an approach to creating websites that are optimized for any kind of device or browser.

 

Create good headings.

Your main heading needs to explain your value proposition before visitors lose interest. The sub-heading should also communicate your value proposition (perhaps with slightly more detail).

 

Keep the design and function simple.

Don’t try to create the Sistine Chapel. The LP should be sleek and clean rather than stunning and multi-faceted. Muted colors can work well as long as the text is clear and the CTA stands out. Do not include the normal navigational buttons like the normal website pages. The goal is to have the lead take action, not browse your site.

 

Use a short form.

Do not create a lengthy patient form. You may not acquire a single conversion if your form takes more than a minute to fill out. Only ask for the bare minimum information, including name, email, phone number, and appointment times. Your staff can always get the rest later.

 

Include testimonials.

If your medical practice is relatively unproven, including patient testimonials can help signal trust. You can add scrolling positive reviews by former patients on the LP.

 

Make sure it loads fast.

People expect internet pages to load fast. Even an extra second of loading time can reduce conversion rates by 7%.

Medical Content Marketing

Online Content Marketing: Why It’s Essential for Your Medical Practice

What is content marketing?

At the most fundamental level, content marketing for medical practices is about creating content aimed at converting potential patients and retaining current patients.

 

Why is it necessary?

Dedicating time and energy to bringing value to your audience through high-quality content can only benefit your practice.

How so?

It may help to think of content marketing like public relations. The Public Relations Society of America defines public relations as “a strategic process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.”

Public relations spokespeople create compelling narratives that enhance their organization’s reputation. For medical practices, your content marketing is like your spokesperson.
It builds and enhances your expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness with your patients, potential patients, and other practices and organizations in your medical field.

 

How does it work?

In traditional marketing, businesses send out ads then wait for customers or clients to come buy their products and services. In online content marketing, businesses reach out to potential customers and clients wherever they are (search engines, social media, email, etc.).

Here are some proven strategies that should be part of your content marketing plan:

  • Create a patient-friendly website.

Your website is the first contact your patients and potential patients have with your practice. Nowadays most people quickly scan websites on mobile phones. That’s why your content needs to be easy to read (8th grade level).

It should inform visitors on the medical care you provide. Pages describing procedures and or treatments are helpful. Staff bios can add a personal, trustworthy touch to your practice’s website.

 

Have a focused social media effort.

For most practices, one or two social media platforms are enough. And Facebook needs to be one of them. According to Pew Research, seven in ten U.S. adults use Facebook. The Facebook community are highly engaged with medical content. Here are a few content tips for any social platform:

  • Optimize your social pages, especially Facebook. You can copy and paste some content from your website like the about and the contact information.
  • Share your accomplishments, recognitions, and honors.
  • Be involved with the local community. Post positive messages about local sporting events and school graduations. Post photos of you and your staff with people in the community.

 

Monitor your practice’s online reputation.

Most of your future patients will find out about your business online. Yelp and Google reviews can have a huge positive impact. Consider the following:

  • 90% of patients use online reviews to evaluate physicians*
  • 43% of patients would go out of their insurance network for a practice/provider with favorable reviews*
  • 66% of patients surveyed feel it’s very important that healthcare providers respond directly to negative reviews*

*Statistics from Softwareadvice.com’s 2020 Master Patient Experience Survey

 

ElevationMD Content Marketing

We can work with you to create a comprehensive online content marketing plan for your practice. Give us a call to get started.

Medical Google Business

Why Your Medical Practice Needs an Optimized Google Business Page

When internet users search for local businesses in Google, they see search results that start with Google Maps and Google Business listings. Google Business listings include the name, address, phone number and other important information for businesses on Google search results pages and Google Maps. These listings dominate local Google results. 

Below are several reasons to have an optimized Google Business listing.

1. It’s free.

That’s right. Google charges your medical practice NOTHING to create a business listing. That’s the good news. The bad news is that there are millions of fake listings created by spammers. You can search for any fake listings associated with your practice and report them to Google.

2. Rise above the search competition.

Local searches account for 46% of all Google search queries. But many businesses don’t claim their listing, and many other businesses leave their listings incomplete or unmaintained. Google auto-generates businesses listings for businesses with unclaimed listings, and these listings are not optimized. Google’s ranking algorithm rewards businesses with optimized search listings with higher search engine rankings. This includes regular, non-Google Business results.  

3. Build reputation with customer reviews.

Medical practices and other businesses have a much better chance of ranking highly in Business listings with positive reviews. Of course, the threat of negative reviews is always real. But practices can control this to some extent by hiring good reputation management companies. These companies send patients online surveys after their visit. The surveys only invite patients who leave positive feedback to complete a Google Review. This way, patients who feel negative need to go out of their way to leave a negative review.

4. Give the public an easy way to reach your practice.

People are often in a hurry, on the go, impatient, or all three at once. When they search Google for a local business on their phone, they expect to see a phone number and other relevant information in the search results. No offense, but they don’t want to visit your website. An optimized Google Business listing has direct links to phone numbers, directions, maps, and more. 

 

Local SEO Optimization by ElevationMD

If you were still on the fence about claiming your practice’s Google My Business listing, we hope this post nudged you off. We are an experienced digital marketing company ready to optimize your business listings and help you rank highly for local SEO. Give us a call today!

Surgeon SEO

Why Should Surgeon’s Practices Optimize Their Websites For SEO

Why Your Surgeon’s Practice Needs SEO

Whether you are an orthopedic, shoulder, cosmetic, or knee surgeon, the search engine optimization (SEO for physicians and doctors) goal is the same: To improve your medical website’s visibility in search engines. Put another way, the goal of SEO is to create the best possible experience for your website’s users. 

Here are three ways medical SEO benefits your practice:

1. Serves your overall marketing goals.

If your marketing goals include converting more potential patients (leads) into new patients, then you need to optimize your website’s design for SEO. Organic searches (also known as unpaid searches) account for 97.8% of all U.S. search engine searches. If that fails to convince you, consider this: The top search result of the first search engine results page receives 10x more clicks than the last result. Missing out on the main source of website traffic is too costly.

2. Improves your image in the eyes of potential patients.

Google has a 92% share of all search engine traffic on the internet, which means that their search engine ranking criteria are the most important. For Google, returning search results with high-quality content to users is king. Why? Because it motivates users to use Google again and again. And that’s why you need to focus on creating great content across every page of your practice website. 

Here are a few keys to creating high-quality content that improves Google search rankings: 

  • well-written text that clearly conveys each page’s purpose
  • keywords included but not overused (generally, keywords should be no more than 2-5% of text)
  • keywords sound natural, not forced
  • include various types of content like infographics, video, images, and research studies 
  • enough text (pages should have at least 300 words) 

3. Helps your practice remain competitive in the local market.

Recent Google studies show that 46% of internet searches have local intent and that four out of five consumers perform searches before purchasing. Local SEO is about optimizing your practice’s whole online presence so that it will appear near the top of local listings. This includes all listings in directories such as Google, Google Maps, Facebook, and Yelp.

The more positive Google and Facebook reviews your medical practice receives, the better your chance to rank highly. Hiring a company that provides excellent reputation management services can help you avoid negative reviews. 

 

ElevationMD SEO Services

We’re the medical practice SEO experts. Let us elevate your surgeon practice to the top of Google’s search engine rankings.