Healthcare marketing is an ever-changing world, but it has endless possibilities for healthcare professionals to reach the audiences they need, grow their patient base, educate patients, introduce physicians, and grow their practice. Healthcare marketing efforts are rapidly evolving to keep pace with today’s competitive environment and economic shift. As patient-centric marketing has become the name of the game, your healthcare organization must invest heavily in acquisition-focused marketing strategies to stay ahead of the competition.
What is Patient Acquisition?
Patient acquisition contains all the strategies your practice implements to conduct new patients. It primarily involves marketing efforts that highlight the distinctive features of your medical practice and how it differs from your competitors. It targets patients who have never used your services before, rather than your existing patient base.
5 Key Marketing Strategies to Boost Patient Acquisition And Retention
1. Create a Patient Portal:
The Patient Portal is a digital platform designed to offer patients secure access to their personal medical information, schedule appointments, and communicate with their healthcare providers. The portal is intended to improve the overall experience of patients by streamlining communication and making healthcare more accessible. Below are some of the key benefits of a patient portal:
- Increases patient engagement.
- Upgrade communication between patients and healthcare suppliers.
- Simplifies meeting scheduling.
- Increases patient satisfaction.
By using a patient portal, patients can take control of their health and take a more active role in their care. They can view their medical records, receive test results, and communicate with their healthcare providers from the comfort of their own homes. This convenience not only improves the patient experience but also helps increase patient engagement, leading to better health outcomes.
In addition, a patient portal can improve communication between patients and their healthcare providers by providing a secure platform for information exchange. This approximates the need for phone calls, emails, and in-person visits, saving time and streamlining the healthcare process. With the patient portal, patients can easily schedule appointments, receive appointment reminders, and even receive virtual visits when available.
2. Optimize for Search:
High Google rankings don’t happen by accident – you have more control over your practice’s placement than you might think. This is over through search engine optimization (SEO). First, make sure your website is mobile-friendly and loads quickly, ideally within two seconds, as recommended by Google. Additionally, make sure your practice is listed and updated in local directories and larger directories such as Google Business, Facebook, and Yelp. Apply your practice to these sites and standardize your online presence to foster patient trust and increase your Google ranking.
While stock photos help get a website up and running quickly, professional photos depicting your practice, place, and people will help you stand out to search algorithms and potential patients. Add these photos to your online directory profiles to increase your plea to people searching on these sites.
3. Use Paid Social for Patient Acquisition:
Social media works. However, when it comes to getting patients online, you need to choose and spend your budget wisely.
Don’t get us wrong. We love to socialize. However, we do not recommend investing in social media unless you have a solid SEO and PPC foundation. Once you’ve maximized your organic and paid search, it’s time to move on to social media, specifically Facebook and Instagram.
The best thing about these social channels is how they provide different ways to listen and engage with your audience. This is why many healthcare companies use social media as their primary branding platform.
They are constantly publishing different kinds of content there, including educational videos, Facebook Live, Instagram Reels, video testimonials, and more to provide value to their audience and create rich engagement. This way of living, breathing, and growing your Facebook presence is a powerful way to increase brand awareness and strengthen brand affinity.
Even if your potential patients are indeed on Facebook and Instagram, just getting in front of an audience isn’t enough to get leads right away. If you want your social media strategy to lead to patient acquisition, you need to connect performance marketing with branding.
4. Respond to Patients’ Reviews:
Reputation management is not only a way to maintain positive relationships with current patients – it can also attract new prospects! Health grades research shows that 78% of consumers check online reviews before making an appointment with a new doctor, and 86% of them consider patient reviews somewhat or very important. Prospects don’t just consider patient feedback, they also consider how doctors or specialists respond to praise and criticism.
Consumers look favorably on healthcare systems where doctors take the time to thank patients when they receive a compliment or respond kindly when they receive a negative comment. This shows a commitment to accountability, self-improvement, and prioritizing patient satisfaction that will bring patients to your door. Ensure all patient engagement is HIPAA compliant and offer to resolve any negative feedback offline.
Watch Out for Competitors:
If you want to stand out from the pack, you need to watch how competing healthcare systems respond to market changes and adapt to changing consumer preferences. Knowing what your competitors are doing can help you be proactive by quickly spotting underserved areas.
If you find that no one in your area offers services in more than one language, but you can, you’ve just discovered a way to differentiate yourself from the competition.
Don’t hesitate to go outside the box, especially if it means directing patients to the end of the sales funnel that your competitors may not follow.
Due to increasing competition, patient acquisition is one of the most difficult challenges for businesses in the healthcare industry. By taking help from a healthcare marketing company, you can create the perfect strategy to boost patient acquisition for your business. The best practices defined above will call potential patients to action. An effective acquisition marketing strategy should always include these elements. Help you create awareness, cultivate interest, explain the underlying considerations,
As healthcare slowly but surely engages in digital transformation as we continue into 2023, marketers should continue to focus on creating a better patient experience online and on mobile. Patients will feel empowered with more information available to make more informed decisions, increasing loyalty and reducing aversion to care.