As a healthcare practice, it is really important to stay top of mind with your current patients and also future patients. By using digital marketing there are so many ways to stay connected.
One question we get asked a lot is:
“How do we increase our engagement and promote our practice with digital marketing?”
Well, that answer is a little tricky since there are many different options out there. It’s more of a combination of different tools to make your digital marketing work for you. In the digital marketing world, it is about trial and error, seeing what your audience responds to the most and how to start those conversations.
In this blog, I am going to talk about 5 ways to help increase your engagement and promote your practice.
Word of mouth and referral marketing are still the best ways to grow your practice, but with people being able to access information from SO many places we have to be a little more creative and think outside the box to build those relationships and loyalty.
Once they have come into your practice you want to make sure you stay top of mind, more importantly, you want to make sure you have good online profiles so it is easy for your audience to refer you.
How many of you have wanted to try something new with digital marketing but just don’t know where to start or what to try?
Social media marketing is one of the most popular ways to get in front of your current audience and potential new patients.
You can do this organically or implement paid ads as well. This is not an overnight success, it does take time, but it does work!
Let’s talk about the 5 Ways to Help Increase Your Engagement and Promote Your Practice:
We have been talking about Instagram a lot this year and we will continue to do so, it is one of the fastest growing social media platforms with the average age 35-65-year-olds. Instagram is all about the visuals, from building a strong brand presence on your feed, having font styles on your images, color scheme, image theme, etc. this makes your feed look clean and interesting. Let’s dive into how to master Instagram Stories
This biggest thing with Instagram right now is the Instagram Stories, these stories only stay up for 24-hours, so this is a great place for:
- Behind the scenes
- An employee of the week
- National Observance Days
One really cool thing you can do with these stories is “Highlight” them, this saves them into an area about your feed pictures, you can categorize them so all your stories go to the correct boards. This turns into a great resource for your audience, each video on Instagram Stories can be 15 seconds long, you can record a 45sec to a 1 min long video and then use this app called CutStory and it automatically cuts your video into 15-second increments for you to share.
You can also create branded Instagram stories images with Canva, they have different themes you can choose from, you can use your own font styles, brand colors, logo, and images.
Now, you may be thinking what if I do a video that is more than 1-minute long, where should I put that? Well, don’t worry, Instagram has you covered and that is where IGTV comes into play. This is similar to YouTube but it allows your audience to watch the full video on Instagram, they don’t have to leave the platform.
A few ideas to create IGTV videos around are:
- New mother tips
- Birthing Plan
- Physical Therapy
- Counseling Tips
- National Observance Days
- Surgery Tips
- New medical practices
- Interviews with nurses and doctors
Instagram has a lot of bells and whistles you are able to tap into and really grow a long-lasting relationship with your audience.
2. Video Marketing
It’s 2019 and it’s all about the videos! Video marketing is huge and will continue to grow. Videos are great because it allows your audience to connect with you quicker. We wrote a blog a few months ago about “How to Create a Strong Video Marketing Strategy” videos are something you either love or hate.
Videos can be educational for your audience, videos with closed captions are even better. Here are a few good stats about video:
Let’s dive into the statistics behind healthcare marketing with video:
- About 46% of people say they’d be more likely to seek out information about a product or service after seeing it in an online video. (Source: Eloqua)
- Video is now the sixth most popular content marketing tactic, as 70% of B2B marketers use some form of online video with their overall strategies. (Source: Eloqua)
- Of the 80% of internet users who watched a video ad, 46% took some sort of action after viewing the ad. (Source: Video Brewery)
- The average user spends 88% more time on a website with video. (Source: Mist Media)
- Video and e-mail marketing can increase click-through rates by more than 90%.(Source: Mist Media)
- Video equals higher viewer retention. The information retained in one minute of online video is equal to about 1.8 million written words. (Source: Brainshark)
- Video attracts two to three times as many monthly visitors, doubles their time spent on the site and has a 157% increase in organic traffic from search engines. (Source: MarketingSherpa)
- Blog posts incorporating video attract three times as many inbound links as blog posts without video. (Source: SEOmoz)
- 59% of senior executives prefer video over text. (Source: Brainshark)
- Having a video on the landing page of your site makes it 53% more likely to show up on page 1 of Google. (Source: Mist Media)
When you think of video marketing, most people think you have to have a studio, pay a professional, take a lot of time on editing, props, backgrounds, and more. In all honesty with the technology of the newer smartphones and HD cameras, you can really shoot your own videos in office. Actually, the more authentic videos are the ones that get the most engagement online.
A couple of things to remember when shooting a video from your smartphones when you are recording a video for Instagram be sure to have your phone vertical, and when shooting a video for YouTube, Blogs, or Facebook you will want your phone horizontal.
Let’s start recording! Be Authentic, real, give value, and have fun!
3. Facebook Groups
Facebook groups are climbing higher on the list for digital marketing, gone are the days where just having a Facebook page worked, Facebook pages work great if you plan on spending money on ads.
There are a ton of Facebook groups out there that your practice can join, you can even start your own group.
For example – Let’s say you are a women’s medical office, Your services include OB-GYN, birthing center, primary care, pediatrician, etc. But, one special thing that your office focuses on is wanting to help new mothers with education. Vaccines, breastfeeding, car seats, home care, feeding, etc. Most of your patients come from within a 25-mile radius of your office, you can create a group on Facebook called “Tips for New Mothers YOUR CITY” in this group you can invite your current patients to join, post daily, as your group continues to grow you will post two or three times a day. You are creating a community of women that are going through the same thing and want answers. You can allow the members of the group to post questions and concerns for your practice to answer. This is a wonderful way to create trust with your patients. You can then start to mention the other services your practice offers.
In this video below, I will show you how to start a group from scratch and also how to search for groups to join.
4. Email Marketing
Email marketing is NOT dead, I know some may think that email marketing and newsletters are a waste of time, but they actually work great. It is a convenient way to stay top of mind with your patients. With social media marketing and the algorithms it’s hard to really know who has seen your organic posts, then to monitor the engagement. Now, the insights and analytics on the social media platforms tell you how many likes, comments, and shares you had on posts. With email marketing, you can actually see who opened your emails, who read them, and who clicked through to your website.
There are a few ways to incorporate email marketing into your plan:
- Content Upgrades, also known as Free downloads. This is a piece of content you put together for your ideal patient to download, in order for them to download it they have to submit their name and email. For example – if we go back to the example in number 3, you could create:
- Newborn checklist
- Going home checklist
- Breastfeeding Tips
- New Momma Myths
- Top 10 products to have at home for your new baby
This pdf would then be uploaded to your website and linked into MailChimp or Leadpages to create a landing page with the form for name and email, you can then push this out to social media, your current email list of current patients. Over time you will create quite a few content upgrades. Make a list of different checklists, ebooks, resources you can create for your patients now and then you push that out to gain new email subscriptions to grow your email list. This is an example of what a sign-up form looks like:
- Newsletters – You can send weekly or monthly newsletters to your lists, in some cases you may have multiple lists and can customize a newsletter for each list based on your audience. It is important to understand what your audience wants to know about so you can pack your newsletters with valuable content. It doesn’t matter if you do weekly updates or monthly, what matters most is consistency. Whatever you choose to do be sure to stick with it. You can also incorporate your videos into these emails, this allows you to build those deeper relationships!
Blogging serves dual purposes, it is great for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and it allows you to show your expertise. When you are promoting your practice on social media your end goal is to get them back to your website to sign-up for your email list, book an appointment, or fill out paperwork, how do you give them an incentive to go back to your website?
When blogging just like everything else we have spoken about it is all about consistency. One blog per month or two, as long as you do one each month, these are no longer 300-500 word blogs, these are cornerstone blogs which means 1500+ words per blog. We recently wrote a blog on how to share your blog, in that post there is a FREE download, a blog checklist, you can download it here.
Your blogs should cover content that your audience wants to learn about, whether this is myths around vaccines, childbirth, new momma tips, etc.
This is where you tie the above 1-4 items into your blogging. In each blog post you will be:
- Making an image you can share onto Instagram
- Make a “teaser” video for Instagram with 3 inside tips from your blog
- Create a longer video for IGTV about your blog
- Create videos to go inside your blog post – you will place these videos on YouTube then insert them into your blog posts
- You can also create a content upgrade or call to action for your readers to sign-up for your email list. Here is an example of a great blog post
Your website/blog is your hub, you want to drive traffic to your hub. Once your blog is complete you can then share it to multiple platforms with links back to your site, this helps reach new potential patients as well.
As you can see through these 5 different marketing platforms, they each allow you to grow your practice and connect with your audience on a deeper level. They all work based on consistency and planning. This is why having a digital marketing plan is so important.
If you are ready to take control of your digital marketing and want to see how to implement these tasks into your marketing plan please schedule a FREE 30-minute consultation with us today!