Back when people still flipped through the Yellow Pages, it was a given that any successful healthcare practice had a phone-book listing. Today, the must-have for a thriving practice is a digital marketing strategy. In our 2017 Benchmark Report, 87 percent of the physicians and office managers/administrators we surveyed said they were doing at least some marketing, and 65 percent said they considered it essential to their practice. But here’s the thing: Only 17 percent were “extremely satisfied” with how their marketing efforts were going.
Which digital strategies are being used by providers who feel good about their marketing? To find out, we asked four doctors to give us a rundown of their online efforts. Here’s what they said.
Neil Baum, MD
Urologist and healthcare marketing medical advisor, New Orleans
Attract new patients and reduce your no-shows.List your practice
Ten years ago I took my three-color brochure, had it electronically transferred and called it a website. That’s not enough today. A website has to be interactive. You have to be able to communicate with people who contact you; you have to offer value.
You also have to be able to contribute content on a regular basis. My goal is once a week, but practically it should be about every other week. You’ve got to be adding content so that people who return to your website find value in it. I create content related to what’s going on in the practice, what’s going on in my specialty and, in general, what’s going on in healthcare. I also have digital newsletters and I blog.
Celina Nadelman, MD
Board certified cytopathologist and fine needle aspiration specialist (FNA), Beverly Hills, California
Rankings, along with good knowledge of how I’m being searched, is a big part of my digital marketing campaign strategy. Educating the public, as well as local doctors, on the effectiveness of an FNA is very important when marketing my practice.
Most of the time, the general public isn’t aware of what an FNA is, or how I can help them. Being found on Google for things like “alternative biopsy” or “biopsy doctor in Los Angeles” are all ways I can garner additional search volume and educate the public on a different approach to cancer diagnosis.
My marketing team uses a blend of nationwide SEO, centering content on general FNA knowledge and resources. We also target locally for “FNA doctors in Los Angeles” and “fine needle aspiration specialist LA.”
In general, we see an average of a 25–50 position increase in SEO rankings overall every month, which contributes to over 80 percent of my organic website traffic. This can be attributed to an increase in calls, appointments and doctor referrals that I’ve experienced.
Evan Goldstein, MD, DO
Reconstructive plastic surgeon, New York City
Content marketing has worked well for us, specifically when putting together data-driven pieces. We’ve focused on creating content with high-quality graphics that provide information or answer questions of interest to our potential clientele. In doing so, we’ve not only garnered interest from our target audience, but we’ve also learned more about them. This in turn allows us to continually improve our digital marketing efforts.
Between this and more technical updates to our site, we’ve been able to increase organic traffic to our website by triple digits in August [2018, compared to August 2017], and we continue to see month-over-month improvements.
David Reavy, PT, MBA, OCS
Physical therapist, Chicago
Our approach to digital marketing is based on educating our clients and potential clients on techniques for self-care. We use a lot of short, instructional videos to try to spark inspiration in our viewers. Additionally, we use social media to set ourselves apart in a competitive, not well-differentiated field, and we use ads on Facebook to ensure we are reaching the right audience. It allows us to stay relevant regardless of the changing algorithms of the platform.
By sharing our branded approach to exercise and self-care, as well as our media hits in both national and local press, we aim to create an experience through our social media channels that are unique to our brand. Not only do we want to create relevant, branded content, we want to create content that actually could improve quality of life for our clients — past, present and future.
When it comes to digital marketing, the key is to present dynamic content that speaks to the relevant audience for your practice and positions you as an expert in that field. That can serve as the icebreaker that brings them through your office door.
Answers have been condensed and lightly edited.