Medical Marketing is essential to help your medical practice achieve its full potential and increase the bottom line. Unfortunately, marketing mistakes happen. Honestly, don’t give up. You can get this right by being well informed and avoiding these six common mistakes listed below.
1. No Online Presence
The web has become go-to for need-to-know-immediately information. Online presence through a website, blog, social media as well as involvement in professional groups, social media engagement provides much-needed visibility. By not being present online you are denying your practice this visibility and thereby losing out on a massive chunk of clients who search and compare online before deciding on which practitioner to consult.
Creating e-presence is easy, you can sign up with a free blogging or web-hosting service provider and pick from an array of stock medical website templates available. The only issue with these free blogging/web hosting sites is that in exchange for offering the service for free they display their ads or banner on your website.
You have little to no control over the ads being displayed on the site.This looks rather unprofessional. Besides, there may be storage limits, customization restrictions, and monetization limitations too. The host has ownership of your blog and can shut it down anytime.
Hence, it is recommended that you hire a professional and buy a custom domain name (preferably with subdomains). This will give you the freedom of customizing your website to reflect your brand image. Pick a professional with experience in medical websites design, and they can get your personalized website up and running in no time.
Make sure your site is mobile friendly so that the time-poor patient searching for your services on the tablet or cell phone is not left out. Having a professionally designed website ensures that your patients have a favorable first impression of your practice. It helps them familiarise themselves with you and your clinic even before they have walked through the door.
2. No Review Management
Having business profiles on social media and online platforms will allow you to gain new customers, direct traffic to your site, and boost sales. However, to draw customers, you must have a system in place for responding to and managing reviews. Especially negative reviews. Negative reviews are a significant blow to your business and can damage your brand image.
The first step in negative review management is to make sure they do not happen. Ensure good customer service, and there won’t be negative reviews to deal with. The world is not such an ideal place, no matter what you do some patients are excessively hard to please and as a result, you will wind up with a bad review online.
Seek details of their bad experience as suggestions about how to improve your services from dissatisfied clients. Fake negative reviews could also be posted online by your competitor or a disgruntled ex-employee. When you come across any such activity act promptly. If the review is on your website or blog, it is easier to deal with as you can simply remove the review.
When such reviews get posted on third party websites and blogs the process is not so simple. You need to write to the third party website and request them to investigate the matter and take down the ill-intentioned criticism/review. Ideally, there should be a dedicated employee for the sole purpose of ‘review management.’
3. HIPAA Non-Compliance
Often when posting on social media, medical professionals ignorantly use content, words, and phrases that are not in conformity with the health insurance portability and accountability act. All Social media practices should be HIPAA compliant to ensure that the content does not wind up flagged and taken down for a violation. It also saves you, from legal consequences that may arise due to non-compliance.
4. Missing Call to Action Statement
Just sharing knowledge about your practice and services is not going to help increase your business and client base. The target audience needs to be told what to do with the information provided. A call to action statement or clickable button serves this very purpose. When there is no “call to action” statement or button, the target has information but doesn’t know what to do with it. Studies show that marketing content that includes ‘call to action’ is yields more return on investment as compared to content without it.
5. Not Using the Office Phone as A Marketing Tool
Your office phone is a potent marketing tool sitting on your office desk. When a patient calls seeking information about the services you offer and charges is your staff informing them about all relevant services.
When the caller seeks service charge details it is obvious that money is a crucial deciding factor for them, is your staff informing them of all the financing options available or the insurance plans accepted at your clinic?
These little nuggets of information can be crucial in helping the patient pick you above your competitor. If your charges are higher for a particular service, because you are using an advanced form of technology for precision diagnosis or treatment, instruct your staff to shares this information when a client enquires about fees instead of just sharing the charges. The caller should know that they are not being asked to pay more whimsically, but they are paying more for a superior service.
6. Not Seeking Referrals From Peers
There is a wealth of referrals patients hidden in your peer group. Not every one of your peer professionals is your competitor. In all probability, you know a few cardiologists and gastroenterologists that have patients with issues that require treatment by someone with your specialization.
By ignoring this fact, you are losing out on likely clients. If you can only open up to the idea of asking for patient referrals from those peers your patient base would begin to grow organically.
Medical marketing is neither expensive nor difficult. Keep these marketing mistakes in mind when formulating your medical marketing plan and the time and money you invest will be worth it!