Is Your Medical Website Design “Future Proof”?
Smart medical website with artificial intelligence and HIPAA compliant CRM is the wave of the future. Included in the the GOLD service from PatientGain.com
Your medical practice needs an intelligent website. Too often, doctors and owners of medical practices will have a custom-built “WordPress pretty” website. Yes, it may be visually appealing, and the aesthetics might be what you want. However, just because something looks pretty on your desktop computer doesn’t mean it’s a useful website for your current and potential patients.
You need a website that will automatically convert itself to a mobile-friendly website and a site that uses artificial intelligence to determine the experience a person has while visiting it. Intelligent websites can boost the conversion rate of your website and send more patients into your waiting room. Ask yourself these questions to see if your website is a smart medical website.
4 Components of a Marketing Plan for a Medical Practice
Traditionally, marketing experts tell us that there are 4 key components of your Medical Marketing Plan.
- The Product or Service – This will be service offerings for your medical practice. For example if you an Urgent Care clinic, do you offer service to patients based on 12 major categories. Examples will be Onsite X-ray, DOT Physical exams, Lab-test results, Ports Physicals, Simple Fracture treatment, Travel medicine, Immunizations etc. If you are MedSpa / Esthetic based practice, you may want to define your product/service strategy based on competition and availability of your staff’s credentials. For example if you want to offer “CoolSculpting”, you will need to make an investment in purchasing this technology and then training of your staff.
- The Price of the Service – In many cases, this is driven by the insurance company payouts to you. But there are certain procedures that are not covered by the insurance payments. There are additional strategies available to you here. Each patient can be divided into 3 main categories.
- PPO or Full Insurance – These insurance plans pay fixed amount for each procedure for in-network vs out-of-network procedures.
- Self-Pay Patients – Patient pays directly to the provider – you have leverage to provide better service than your competitors and charge more.
- High-Deductible plans – In this case, as an example, patients typically have to pay initial $4000-$10000 out of their pockets. After ta patient has spent these amounts on deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance, then the medical insurance plan pays 100% of the costs of covered benefits. Many patients consider that first $4000-$10000 as something that have to “shop” for prices, hence you have an opportunity to apply your own marketing strategy on how to attract these patients to your practice.
- The Place or Location of Service – For most parts, healthcare delivery system in USA and Canada is very local. Telemedicine can change this in the future, but for now patients typically go to a “local” provider. This is evidenced by 2000% plus increase in Google searches for “Urgent care near me” or “Sleep Apnea doctor near me” or hundreds of other variations based on mobile patients searching fro services “near” a patient. So your Place or Location matters.
- The Promotion(marketing) or Advertising of Service – This is one area, where you have true leverage to dominate your medical field. Your medical plan must include the promotion of your service. There are generally 2 main sub-areas for promotion of medical services:
- Offline Promotions – Traditional marketing – includes newspapers, yellow pages, billboards, referrals from peers, networking with other providers and suppliers.
- Online Promotions – This refers to digital marketing and digital advertising to acquire more patients and retain existing patient base.
Physician Marketing for Medical Practices Can Be
1. Offline Traditional Marketing
2. Internet or Digital Marketing
We highly recommend digital marketing for 99 percent of healthcare practices. Both of these approaches have merits and limitations, costs and ROI (Return On Investment) is not the same. Online advertising is a big part of digital marketing. It can be the most expensive part of your overall online marketing plan. The actual cost of advertising is always extra, with any service. Some clinics/doctors are very aggressive and spend $1000 per day (or more) and some spend $1000 a month on advertising. We also have few clinics/doctors who do not spend any money on advertising. Our data shows that proper advertising produces more patients for 99 percentage of the clinics/doctors.
13 Examples of offline advertising for physicians:
1. Newspapers (see list of top newspapers in USA)
2. Yellow pages (see list of Yellow pages in USA)
3. Billboards : Out-of-home advertising – Out-of-home (OOH) advertising or outdoor advertising, also known as out-of-home media or outdoor media, is advertising that reaches the patients while they are outside their homes.3. Referrals from peers and other entities like hospitals.
4. Networking with other physicians – This has been traditional way to expand. For many specialties, this still works. Building a nice referral network of providers who do not compete with you, will always benefit you.
5. Printed flyers – This has worked for physicians since late 1800’s. For example for a 5000 print run, 8.5 inch by 11 inch full color both sides, tri-folded on 100 lb gloss paper will cost you approx $492.48. Then delivery cost is extra. For example to mail this to 5000 residents close to your practice will be extra cost. Some techniques used for delivery are direct-mail, packaging inserts, point-of-sale display, leave behinds and sales helpers.
6. Business cards & event marketing – This approach has been very successful for physicians who offer a complex service. For example a medical practice that offers medical weight loss program. The practice may decide to offer a 2 step process. In the step 1, a free seminar is offered and promoted. And in steps 2 the attending patients are “sold” the package. Consider costs below: in this example you print 1000 flyers and distribute them to many places. Design setup $500, printing $172, distribution $500. Total costs $1172.
7. Indirect messaging / co-branding – Using this strategy, some physicians have seen very good results. For example, the manufacturer of CoolSculpting offered you a co-branding campaign. They pay a part of the marketing costs and you pay a part. The end result is that both parties benefit.
8. TV Ads – These ads work. Digital Ads for specific medical procedures are on the rise. However cost can be much higher that other mediums. Ultimately, the ROI from each medium determines the value.
9. Radio Ads – Physicians who use radio advertising to promote services over the radio, typically in 30 or 60 second spots. Radio can be more expensive than some newer advertising methods, but it is a very strong medium, reaching 93% of American adults weekly according to Nielsen data. With an adequate marketing budget, you can use radio to work for your medical practice. Radio advertising costs can range from $2000 to $5,000 per week depending on your location. You will also need to factor in the cost of producing the commercial, including copywriting, voice talent, and audio / visual editing, which is additional cost.
10. Magazines – Marketing and advertising in magazines has been effective to create awareness.
11. Car Wraps – Cost of full wrap is between $2,500 and $5,000. With proper messaging and exposure, compared to other outdoor advertising, your vinyl car wrap pays for itself within the first few months on the road! However this type of marketing is not for every medical practice.
12. Local movie theaters – This has been effective for many providers. However it is difficult to measure the net impact. Local movie theaters marketing costs $1000 to $4,000 per month depending on your location.
13. Mail drops – Still the easiest way to be placed in your local patient’s mail boxes, marketing costs $500 to $1,000 per mail drop per 10,000 residents, depending on your location.
Online marketing for physicians can be further divided into sub areas:
- Search or PPC ( Pay-Per-Click ) Marketing – Google, Yahoo and Bing are very common examples for this type of advertising. Some physicians equate this to Search Advertising. There are hundreds of variations within this category alone.
- SEO – Search Engine Optimization – This refers to techniques and content placed of your website so search engines like Google can find you and rank you higher for specific keywords. Consumers (your patients) use mobile devices and computers to type in phrases like “Medspa Near Me West Palm Beach FL” and search engines display relevant listings. More and more patients are speaking to devices rather than typing text. This is call Speech Based SEO.
- Local SEO Optimization – There are over 200 directories for medical practices. Most of them have no to marginal impact on your practice. The most important business listings are 1. Google Business Page 2. Facebook Business Page 3. Yelp Business Page. 4. Healthgrades and few other healthcare specific directories are also important. As a practice manager, you need to make sure that your listings are accurate and that you are posting on Google Business Page and Facebook Business Page regularly.
- Speech Based SEO – New Emerging Area – As more patients are “speaking” to devices.
- Display Advertising – Interest Based Advertising – there are many variations.
- Video Advertising – Advertising on YouTube for doctors can be effective.
- Social Media Advertising – Interest Based & Demographic Advertising. Can be visual, textual, video based.
- Mobile Advertising – Based on mobile ads and user’s location.
- Geo-Targeted / Geo-Fenced Advertising – Used by Apps, Search, Social Media and Location Aware apps, among others.
- Re-Marketing – Based on a User’s Past History, Past Interests and Predicted Behaviour.
- Similar Competitive Interest Based Advertising
Some physicians consider SEO (Search Engine Optimization) a part of Online Advertising. There are dozens of other variations based on these 6 major types approaches.
6 Pillars of Healthcare Marketing for Physicians.
Healthcare Medical Marketing Influencers
Every physician, medical practice owner and administrator should understand that there are 5 important aspects shaping the healthcare and patient care in USA & Canada.
No. 1 Public health delivery systems – Shift from hospitals to individual clinics
No. 3 Drug development and technology impact – Time to develop and bring new medicine is decreasing. Supercomputers and bio-technology is helping humanity and bringing hope. New drugs, new ways of non-invasive robotics are changing the outcomes and shortening the recovery time of patients.
No. 4 Health Care and information technology impact – Information is no longer in silos – Internet specifically has made the information available to billions of patients across the globe.
No. 5 Health Care commercialization – Ability for physicians and healthcare providers to reach patients directly. More and more Physicians, Dentists, Surgeons, MedSpas, Pharma & Medical Practices are turning to online medical marketing to acquire more patients and provide timely services to patients.
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To learn about Website Strategies and Website Examples for Doctors & Medical Clinics, please go here.
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To learn about Search Engine Optimization for Doctors & Medical Clinics, please go here.
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To learn about Content Marketing Strategies for Doctors & Medical Clinics, please go here.
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