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Best Digital Marketing Practices for Medical Professionals

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Medical marketing can be a scary world to enter into.

Medical professionals deal with navigating insurance companies, scheduling patients, managing payments, and more. The healthcare industry has enough to worry about, especially as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt just about everything. Marketing understandably slips through the cracks.

The practices that do make the leap into digital marketing often find themselves completely overwhelmed. They see an endless list of unfamiliar acronyms and phrases, hear about various marketing channels, and stress out about how to align all their efforts.

We want to help bring some clarity to these issues by providing you with some essential digital marketing practices to get you started. We won't overwhelm you with a ton of jargon or a long list of "must-haves." Instead, we'll break down some simple practices that can go a long way in expanding your digital footprint.

Develop a Marketing Plan and Stick With It

Many small medical practices have so much going on that they treat digital marketing as if it can happen on a whim. They neglect to plan out their content, social posts, budget, or really anything else for that matter. The mindset tends to come from a good place. Developing a plan takes too much time, energy, and focus, so doing something ad hoc would be better than nothing at all, right?

Not exactly.

Unplanned digital marketing can lead to bad practices that cause more harm than good. Low-quality social posts, for instance, can be worse for your brand than no social posts at all. The same can be said with poorly executed content, a bad website, and just about any other digital marketing strategy that you might utilize.

That's because digital marketing is a united force. It really only works when each piece functions together, and that only becomes possible with a clear, realistic plan in place.

Your marketing plan doesn't have to include every possible strategy out there. It just needs to establish what you want to accomplish, when you want to accomplish it, how you will accomplish it, and how you're going to measure success. Knowing the answers to these questions can help you put the right amount of energy into the right outlets.

Small businesses should also consider and set their budget when developing their marketing plan to help set constraints on what is and is not possible. Many clients we've worked with over the years are skeptical about spending any money on marketing at all, but that shouldn't be the case. In addition to the advantages brought by purchasing marketing tools, people tend to put in more effort when there's some sort of financial investment made. Even a small budget can go a long way in legitimizing your efforts.

Appoint Someone in Charge

Many medical practices have a marketing team by committee. No single person wakes up thinking about the success or failure of their digital marketing efforts, and therefore, no one really ever takes charge.

Having a person take responsibility helps make sure that the work actually gets done. It may not even be their full-time role, but without the weight of responsibility in place, they will likely just treat it like extra work they get to when they have the time. And guess what? They never have extra time. Their regular work will (and should) take priority.

The need for an appointed person in charge is true even if a practice utilizes a marketing agency of some sort. The agency might take on the brunt of the daily activities, but they will still need a point person to contact with questions, concerns, or updates.

When appointing this person, consider the skills they possess. You don't have to go hire a marketing executive, but whoever gets put in charge should probably have some technical experience, familiarity with social accounts, and decent communication skills.

Prioritize (At Least) These Two Channels

You don't have to do much research in digital marketing before you start getting overwhelmed by the choices. There are a ton of tools, strategies, and ideas in this field. With the constant evolution in the digital world, more are added every day. It can feel intimidating to know which channels to go with. We'll try to simplify it for you here.

Besides having a well-designed, operational website, we've found the most valuable channels for our medical professional clients to be email marketing and social media.

Both channels enable your business to engage directly with your clients. You deliver updates, testimonials, special deals, or other major announcements right to their inbox or post those same items on the social channels your patients already use. These are great ways to keep your practice at the front of their mind.

You don't have to use every social platform out there, either. Focusing on Google My Business, Instagram, and Facebook typically will do the trick. You can maybe add Twitter at some point, too if you feel it's relevant to your clientele. The rest, while valuable for many industries, don't tend to bring in great returns for medical professionals. Most people aren't anxiously waiting for their dentist to show off the trendiest Tik Tok dance.

Create a Google My Business Account for Each Doctor

One of the most powerful social platforms for any local medical practice is Google My Business (GMB). Simply creating a GMB account improves your local SEO ranking, gets you registered with Google Maps, and gives clients another opportunity to encounter your business. It's a quick, easy, and free way to immediately bolster your digital presence.

Many of the clients we've worked with already have a GMB account for their entire practice, but they're missing a big opportunity by neglecting to create a unique profile for each practitioner. Doing this expands the overall reach of the practice, but it also provides additional channels through which potential patients can find your practice.

Measure What Matters

Digital marketing is a mixture of creativity and analysis. You want to create compelling social content, but you also want to make sure that content delivers what it's supposed to. At the end of the day it comes down to one question: are your efforts providing you with a proper return? That's where the analytics come in.

Medical professionals have specific metrics they'll want to measure when evaluating the efficiency of their digital marketing efforts. Your team might look at things like…

  • Customer Acquisition Costs
  • Email Subscribers
  • Social Engagement
  • Patient Retention Rates
  • Search Engine Ranking.

This is hardly an exhaustive list, and each practice will have to establish its own relevant metrics that align with the overall marketing plan. The most important takeaway, though, is to ensure that you are tracking and measuring your success. Otherwise, it will be impossible to know how effective your efforts have been.

Consider Partnering With a Digital Marketing Agency

The digital marketing world can overwhelm and intimidate anyone, especially those who are busy running their own complex business. Medical practices are among the most complex, which is why many practices choose to partner with a digital marketing agency.

An agency works with you to establish a plan, develop a strategy, and implement it well. It allows you and your team to focus on your practice's immediate needs while the agency takes the burden of digital marketing off your shoulders. You get the benefits with less work.

We at Think Donson have worked with dozens of medical professionals over the years and would love to help your practice achieve its digital marketing goals. As an all-inclusive agency, we can come alongside you at any stage you need. We've got everything from a complete start-to-finish package to an easy-to-use reporting dashboard that helps you track and improve your results.

If you'd like to talk more about how to optimize your digital marketing efforts, schedule a call with us today. 

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