There is no denying that the digital sphere is incredibly saturated. From businesses to non-profits, almost everyone and everything is online—and as time goes on, it gets more and more difficult to create marketing and promotional content that stands out. It’s also understandable why many doctors are hesitant about the idea of promoting themselves online. After all, the American Medical Association prohibited self-advertising from its code of ethics until 1975. That rule has thankfully been reversed already, but there might still be a lingering stigma against medical advertising or marketing.
Why do healthcare professionals like doctors, dentists, therapists, and others stand to gain from having an online presence? Why invest in something so big for so little rewards? Well, surprisingly, there is actually so much to gain from promoting online. Here are some reasons why health care providers need to start promoting their practice online.
High visibility can drive patients to your practice.
The benefits that online marketing provides to regular businesses are the same benefits healthcare providers stand to gain. You may not think of your practice as a business, but many of the business world’s functions and rules apply to your practice as well. You may not be in it for profit, but the more you put the word out about your practice, the more people can come to your office and receive help from you.
For example: If a shy person is new in your town or neighborhood and may not necessarily know anyone, they can ask for recommendations, and they somehow come across your ad or promotional material online, which allows them to find a good doctor or dentist. Having an online presence can help not just you but also your potential patients. If you know you’re good at your job, you’re doing people a disservice by not telling them about how you can help them.
It’s a way to help your local community find much-needed health services and resources.
A well-crafted marketing plan filled with helpful and accurate content can help the people in your community gain access to medical resources at the click of a finger. While it’s true that they can Google whatever information they need, not everyone has your experience and area of expertise. Simultaneously, people in your neighborhood or town are particularly advantageous because they can easily make an appointment to visit your office.
Where to Start
If you don’t know where to begin marketing your practice, here are a few good places to start.
Hire a team of experts.
One of the reasons why healthcare providers are hesitant about online marketing is that they don’t necessarily know where to start. Not everyone is tech-and-social-media savvy, and it’s an industry that is so far removed from the medical world. For this reason, hiring an agency that specializes in your specific field can help you grow, not just your client base but also your reputation.
A team that specializes in digital marketing for dentists, for example, can help you create an internet marketing campaign that sets you apart from other dentists in your area. They can help with digital marketing’s technical aspects that you don’t necessarily have time to learn or be bothered with. It frees you up to focus on what’s most important—your patients—while your practice continues to grow in influence. They can focus on the nitty-gritty while you can keep on doing what you love most.
Spread the word about your practice through word-of-mouth.
At the end of the day, there are still so many benefits to word-of-mouth marketing. Empower your patients and clients to speak out about their experience with receiving treatment from you and using their feedback to lend credence to your practice. You can do this by handing out surveys or setting up a patient referral program. It doesn’t have to be complicated; it can be as simple as giving patients or clients rewards for recommending new people to your practice. Even something as simple as a $50 gift card that they can redeem online can be an exciting prospect for your patients and clients and a great incentive for them to recommend your practice.
The Bottom Line
In the time of COVID-19, more and more people need health care providers that they can trust to provide them with a medical treatment plan and accurate information about their health—whether it’s physical, dental, mental, or emotional. Digital marketing can be a great and powerful tool for you to get connected with people who need help with their health.