Patient-focused marketing – a strategy that pays close attention to the individual when it comes to marketing campaigns and activities – is becoming increasingly popular.
The development of information technology over the past decade means patients now have access to more information than ever before.
Rather than relying on your marketing team to tell them about your practice, prospective patients can now turn to the internet to find reviews, conduct Google searches, and communicate with others on social media or in forums.
By building a bank of content and a digital presence that’s centred around your patients’ key questions and concerns, you’re taking back some of the control over how your brand is viewed.
A generous, patient-centred content strategy that’s helpful and informative will:
- Increase awareness of your brand
- Establish you as an authority
- Build trust and loyalty with patients, and
- Give you insights into your target audience
Here’s how you to make it work:
(1) Pack added value into a blog
A professional blog is a great tool for providing up-front information that can help patients with their enquiries.
When done well, a blog can instil trust with new patients and add value to the existing service.
Patients want to be able to trust you, and by providing them with helpful information from the beginning, you’re demonstrating that you care about their experience.
The key is to think carefully about all the questions and concerns your prospective patients might have. What do they want to ask you? What are they searching for on Google?
By providing answers in the form of a blog and optimising the content for search engines, you’ll also be increasing your visibility online.
To blog effectively:
- Research well and be accurate
- Be helpful and informative
- Focus on quality (for the writing and the images)
- Avoid jargon or technical terms
- Aim to add value, don’t be overly promotional
(2) Get detailed with digital downloads
By creating specific digital downloads that tackle the details of a condition, treatment, or procedure, you’ll be empowering your patients with knowledge.
Knowledge is key for settling anxieties and informing decisions. The more you can provide, the better experience your patient is likely to have.
From a marketing standpoint, a digital download could be offered free when a prospective patient subscribes to your mailing list.
Email is still one of the best ways to convert leads, and the tactic of offering a free download (otherwise known as a “lead magnet”) in return for sign-ups is an effective practice.
Ideas for digital downloads:
- Health questionnaires
- Mini eBooks
(3) Stay in contact with email newsletters
Following nicely on from our previous point, an email newsletter is a smart way of keeping in touch with leads and past/current patients.
A regular, helpful and value-added update from a practice can leave a patient feeling well-cared for.
Beyond that, email marketing is a popular tactic for converting and retaining patients that’s widely used in the private health sector and beyond.
Use your email newsletter to:
- Share links to blogs and other news updates
- Communicate tips and advice
- Explain advances in technology or research in an easy-to-understand manner
(4) Be present on social media
Social media is a fast, interactive, and valuable tool for communicating with patients.
Tell your followers about the latest treatment research, give them tips on managing symptoms, share relevant news from third-party sources as well as your own blog, and use the platforms to gather data and research on your audience.
People expect brands across all industries to be on social media today, and the effort can go a long way in building trust and loyalty.
To be effective on social media:
- The clue is the name – keep it ‘social’, don’t focus on sales
- Be factual and informative
- Focus on adding value and being helpful
- Respond in a timely manner
- Respect patients’ privacy
(5) Bring it all together with a well-planned website
Underpin your content marketing efforts with a strong and professional website that’s easy to navigate.
When prospective patients decide they’re interested in finding out more, it’s your website they’ll go to first. Make it easy for them to find the information they’re looking for, and make sure that information is helpful, accurate, and up-to-date.
For existing patients, consider how you might use your website to add value to their experience. A central resource of all the content and information you’ve prepared will give them to a go-to place when they need help, guidance, or reassurance.
Armed with these examples of how to improve your patients’ experience, consider your goals for the immediate future and beyond.
What changes can your team make you instantly? Where will you need to outsource to professional marketers?
Find out how Rockbridge Web could help you with your patient-focused marketing plan: Let’s go.