How Physicians Can Leverage Online Tools to Improve Marketing Strategies

July 28, 2014
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In today’s technological savvy world, it is not enough for a physician to rely on referrals or word of mouth to build a patient base. Running a private practice is a business, just like any other, and marketing is a key part of creating a connection not only with potential patients, but also with networking partners and collaborates.

In today’s technological savvy world, it is not enough for a physician to rely on referrals or word of mouth to build a patient base. Running a private practice is a business, just like any other, and marketing is a key part of creating a connection not only with potential patients, but also with networking partners and collaborates. Consider some ways a physician can leverage online tools to expand his or her reach.Digital Marketing, Physician Marketing, Medical Practice Marketing, Healthcare Marketing

Hospital Websites

Becker’s Hospital Review points out a website is a critical business tool for hospitals. The relationship between a medical facility and a physician is symbiotic. Doctors can use this to their advantage when planning marketing strategies. The “Find-a-Doctor” database allows you to become part of the hospital community. You should check regularly to ensure your name appears in the hospital directory. Consider creating listings under the doctor’s name and name of the practice to increase the odds of a hit, too.

Physicians can use the hospital website to gain exposure in other ways, as well. Query the hospital administrator about guest blogging or writing an article for the newsletter. Volunteer for a social media Q and A. The more people who see your name in connection with the hospital, the better. Ask about paid ads either online or as part of the newsletter, too.

Directories

Add your name and practice to online databases such as Healthgrades.com or ZocDoc.com. These sites target searches to connect patients with physicians in their area. While you are at it, add a posting to business directories, as well. Google MyBusiness, for example, puts your name and practice on local maps. Other options include:

  • Yellow Pages
  • MD.com
  • Yelp
  • Foursquare

Social Media

Becker’s also states that patients between the ages of 18 and 24 rely on information from social media sites. Leveraging this form of communication will increase your access to lifelong patients and emerging families. Facebook and Twitter are obvious choices, but expand your social media horizons to include video options.

Film short discussions on current health care issues and post them to your YouTube channel. For example, a quick blurb about controlling blood pressure through diet or summer eating habits provides helpful information on a topic you can cover quickly. Ecommerce University suggests that videos under two minutes get the most views on YouTube. Tip: If the video is shorter in length, transcribe the video in the notes section for better SEO results.

Once you have videos uploaded, use your other social media and website assets to promote them. You can embed a video directly onto the practice’s Facebook page. Create discussion groups or a video blog with a comments section on the website to talk about current issues covered in the videos, too. The more personal you make it, the stronger the impact.

Don’t lose sight of the big picture when planning your marketing campaigns. The goal is to connect. Doctors can leverage a number of online tools to make that happen. Improving communication options though patient portals, dedicated social media pages and videos are practical, cost-effective approaches to physician marketing.