Digital marketing for medical professionals can be complicated, and it can take a lot of time and effort to show potential patients that you're trustworthy online.
That's why I talked to our medical marketing team and got some tips for doctors who are looking to build a better online presence. Here are their tips to help you create a better digital marketing strategy.
Our first doctor marketing tip comes from Leah Fraleigh, a digital marketing strategist in our medical pod. Leah recommends that, before you begin building a strategy, you search for yourself to see how your practice looks in online searches from a consumer's perspective.
Here are Leah's tips.
It’s easy, and perhaps realistic, for a doctor or medical professional to assume referrals are the most common way patients hear your practice’s name.
However, you should never underestimate a patient’s potential to research your name online. Imagine a friend tells you about a new pair of shoes they love—would you really consider purchasing the shoes without a second glance at the price or style?
Any patient who’s been referred to you has the potential to search your name before committing—and, in fact, about a third of patients search for and check out doctors' reputations online.
Make sure you take a look at your online presence and see yourself through the eyes of someone researching you. This will give you an idea of where to start when creating your digital strategy!
Dru Olding, a medical digital marketing strategist, says to make sure you maintain both your business and practitioner listings as well as your social media presence. This is what Dru recommends to his clients:
Engage With Your Social Media Following
I’m guessing that you need to post more frequently and engage with your social media following.
Many medical professionals underestimate the power of social media for their practice, but remember that patients will use the internet to research your business.
You should also share industry specific articles that provide tips on certain things and big news within the industry. For example, a dentist could share an article about why you should brush your teeth more than once a day.
Note: Don’t forget that patients can now use Facebook to search for recommendations. Social media can be a powerful tool that consumers can use to discover your business, so make sure you have an active presence on at least Facebook.
Manage Both Your Business and Practitioner Listings
Make sure that your Google listings are claimed and verified for both your business and practitioner listings. You want to make sure that they are both verified for instances when a patient searches for either the business name or the practitioner’s name.
If you can handle managing all your listings, then you’ll also want to make sure all other local directories have the listings claimed and verified as well.
This will make it easier for potential patients to find and choose you. However, if you’re not managing both, you could have an inconsistent presence online and patients will find the wrong information when trying to contact you.
More Tips for Maintaining Both Your Practice and Practitioner Listings
Morgan Hunt, our medical pod’s team manager, discusses a strategy that will help you get started managing multiple practitioner and practice listings.
Here's Morgan's tip:
Any practice with more than one doctor should be on one of our advanced local search plans, and each of the doctors should be on a basic local search plan.
For more information on our plans, you can check out our page on digital marketing for doctors.
Each doctor in your practice will need their own listing. You will also have to manage your entire business’s listing, which means that there’s a lot to do if you have multiple doctors at one business.
This is important because they will both show up in search results!
And, if you’re a solo practitioner who belongs to a branded organization, you’ll want to follow these rules:
If you’re the only public-facing practitioner at a location, you should share a listing with the organization. You should create (or maintain) a single listing that looks like this [company name]: [practitioner].
For more information on this, check out Google’s guidelines on listing your business on Google.
Jason Grady, digital marketing strategist, says to make sure you’re consistently getting good reviews and talks about the importance of social media reviews.
This is what Jason had to say:
Have a Review Marketing Strategy for Your Medical Practice
Doctors must have recent positive reviews to set themselves apart as the best choice for potential patients. You should be soliciting reviews for, at least, Google and Facebook. Even if your practice shows up in local search results, without new, positive reviews, you will not appear to be the right choice.
Don't Forget About Reviews on Social Media
You should be using social media to educate, create a brand voice and create the demand for your service. And don't forget that patients can review you on Facebook; positive reviews on your Facebook profile can show that you're personable and trustworthy.
To build your reviews on Facebook, start by having someone in your practice ask patients to review you or your practice. (This can work for other review platforms like Google as well.)
You'll also want to monitor your Facebook page and reply to any negative reviews.
For more medical marketing tips, see our recent post about the benefits of paid advertising for doctors.