For physicians, being a doctor is about helping people. While many doctors are affiliated with their local hospitals, for many physicians, opening a private medical practice is the way to go. The ability to develop a one-on-one with patients is one of the main reasons physicians choose to go into a private practice. However, there is also that factor that many in the medical field may not want to address but is nonetheless present: money.
The key to growing any medical practice is exposure. If people don’t know that a practice exists, then they are not going to choose the services offered by that practice. While placing ads in local phone books or buying a billboard beside the road may garner some exposure, the truth is that there is more to marketing for physicians. As physicians, marketing is generally not a concept that comes easily; after all, their field of expertise is medicine. When it comes to medical marketing practices, it’s a bit of a learning curve.
First: Build a Website
Phase 1 of medical practice marketing states that the most obvious place to begin is to design a website for their practice. In today’s technologically advanced world, businesses need to have a web presence. There are several medical marketing companies that can help physicians with getting a website set up. The question that is still often asked is, “Why do I need a website?” The answer is simple: more people today turn to the internet to find their physician than in any other matter. That’s because the internet allows them to research their physician of choice. Having a website allows physicians to list details about themselves, their practice, and areas of specialization. Studies have shown that more people connect with a website than a print ad.
The fatal mistake that many physicians make is thinking that having a website is all they need. Again, if people don’t know the website exists, then it’s like having business cards that just sit in the box and never get distributed. While optimizing your website for a search engine is important, there is a powerful tool that needs to be combined with the website to truly make it a winning combination: social media.
Tackling Social Networks
Today social media is no longer a tool being used by college students to stay connected. Social media is a valuable tool for physician marketing. One of the leading social media sites is Facebook. Studies have shown that 1 in 3 people today have a Facebook profile. So it makes sense that when it comes to marketing, it’s important to be where your target audience is. The main purpose behind social media is being sociable. It’s where people come together to “talk” about what’s important to them, as well as the things that they like and don’t like. If a patient absolutely loves their physician, and that physician is on Facebook, then chances are they are going to make sure others know about it. This is a great tool for gaining new patients.
Word of mouth from others is one of the best advertising tools around. Facebook has become a huge word of mouth advertisement for many businesses. Facebook allows people to see the human side of a physician; they seem more relatable. Facebook also offers valuable marketing tools for physicians. Their “insight” options allow businesses to see what posts are the most popular amongst their followers. In addition, physicians can add links on their Facebook profile that will take users to their website. By adding a Facebook link on the website physicians can get revolving exposure because each site will promote the other.
Using Facebook Ads
Facebook ads are another great way for physicians to enhance their exposure. Facebook ads allow physicians to target their core audience by allowing them to pick and choose demographics that see their practice’s ads. Ads can also be changed on the fly to maximize ROI.
Social media, namely Facebook, is an important component to getting today’s medical practices noticed in an ever evolving, technologically advanced world. While physicians are in the practice of medicine, being sociable in a social media world could get them the exposure they need to beat the competition.
Published on behalf of Ms. Julia, a freelance writer for an online marketing provider for physicians and medical practices.