They didn’t teach you marketing in medical school, but in 2018, good marketing is more crucial than ever to running a profitable practice.
In 2016, only 41.7 percent of physicians were independent practice owners. It’s the first time ever that independent practice ownership has fallen below 50 percent. If there’s ever been a time to take charge of your practice’s reputation and harness the power of marketing, it’s NOW.
So where do you start? And how do you know the people working on your marketing are doing a good job?
Relax. Let Eye Care Leaders equip you with a big bag of marketing tricks, in easy-to-swallow doses. We’ll cover the newest tactics (like digital marketing), as well as the old classics (like direct mail). You’ll be a marketing wizard in no time.
This week, we’ll cover the basic elements that every eye care practice website should have to convert site-browsing visitors to actual patients.
Digital Marketing 101: What’s a Conversion?
Conversions are the patients coming into or returning to your practice because of your digital marketing strategy. YOU determine what a conversion is for your practice and the specific digital medium you’re using. A few examples of conversion could be a patient who…
- calls to schedule an appointment after receiving a reminder call or text
- logs into your patient portal after reading an email
- clicks on a link to your website after viewing a social media post.
Your digital marketer will use these conversions to determine the effectiveness of your practice’s digital marketing plan. When shopping for digital marketers, tell them what your conversions are so that they can make recommendations for content for social media posts, email campaigns, and website copy.
Below, 7 basic elements that ensure your website is positioned to draw patients in and increase profits:
Prospective patients need to know how and where to find you. Ensure your email address, street address, and phone number are visible. Include a Google Map widget on your “Contact Us” page.
About Us page:
Write a couple of short paragraphs that tell customers who you are, what you do, and why you do it. Your mission statement can go here, along with a brief history of your practice. This is the opportunity to tell the world why and how you are better than everyone else.
Don’t just list your qualifications.
“Engage with your patients in a personal and unique way . . . [giving] readers a glimpse into who you really are,”
— Amy Wong, attorney and co-founder of Medical Marketing Enterprises.
Patients don’t often care where you did your residency. They care whether the feel comfortable or have something in common with you.
The copy on your website speaks to patients, and should be written in a patient-friendly manner. Don’t use medical and technical lingo—it not only confuses the patient, but may also sound scary and even painful.
If you’re not on any social media platforms, customers will think you’re out of touch. Patients wield power over their healthcare decisions these days, so engaging them on a personal level is crucial. Set up social media accounts (at a minimum you should be active on Facebook, Twitter and Google+) and include the links or widgets on your website.
Tip: An experienced marketing partner will be able to set up social media accounts and also manage and maintain them with regular posts.
Your website may look great on a computer, but if it’s hard to open and navigate on a phone, you’ll lose customers. Make it easy for patients to find you on-the-go with layered interfaces and swipe motion processes.
Updated copyright date:
If your website shows an old copyright date, patients will wonder two things: (1) Are you even around anymore? And (2) Are you around, but not paying attention?
Tip: Set the default home page of all office computers to your practice’s website. This way, if the site goes down, staff will notice immediately—before patients do.
Remember, this is just the starting point. Your digital marketer—or whoever handles this in your office—should offer additional strategic recommendations on how to take your site to the next level.
Need help with that? Stay tuned for the rest of our “Marketing Magic” series!