The spread of technology in every field has led doctors – like most professionals across the world – to go online to build and grow their business.
Even those doctors who didn’t believe in online engagements have taken the digital path amid the coronavirus pandemic. It helps them to engage current clients, attract new ones, and build a trusted reputation for quality care.
Why doctors need to go online?
Dr Rajesh Dewan, who runs a small clinic in Jhansi, a town in Uttar Pradesh, is one of them. His staff includes a junior doctor and a compounder, and the continued spread of illnesses through the year means patients keep knocking at his door.
He’s keen to take his business to the next level by going online but doesn’t really know what to do. And what not to do. What are the dos and don’ts for a medical expert going online for the very first time?
Telemedicine, along with other accelerated digital trends, is likely to be one of the most enduring impacts of COVID-19. How can doctors like Rajesh ensure a mobile-savvy presence?
Thing you should do
1. Create an easy-to-navigate website
The first thing to create when setting up an online presence is a website. Online visitors will form an opinion about your practice in barely 0.05 seconds after your site loads.
Make sure your site loads quickly, is well designed, mobile-friendly, optimised for search engine rankings, is secure, and easy to navigate. Make it easy for prospective clients by offering online patient portals, allowing ways to connect, and offering online scheduling and billing.
2. Use the power of social media
There was a time when people looked for a doctor, or a specialist referred to them by family or friends. These days, healthcare customers use the content they find on social media to choose their doctor, clinic, or treatment centre.
Be it Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Instagram, it’s important to use the social media that works best for your clientele to reach maximum number of potential customers.
Email marketing can also be a good way to keep clients informed about various things. Aim for a weekly or bi-weekly newsletter and personalise emails based on the target audience.
3. Set yourself up as an expert
Use your social media networks to add to your credibility and boost your reputation. Consistency is important. So make the time to post regularly on all major social media sites – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, and LinkedIn.
The content should be easy to understand and engaging, and will over time create your reputation as an expert in your field and improve your online presence. Apart from writing blogs on a regular basis, share short, informative videos about ailments, solutions, and more.
You can also start using Facebook or Instagram live to send out a direct message to your target audience.
4. Encourage patients to leave reviews and ratings
Patient feedback is extremely important for it works as “social proof” in this time when everyone turns to the internet to scout for the best doctor or medical expert. This is why reviews and ratings from happy, satisfied patients who are enjoying life thanks to their treatment by you are so important.
Encourage your patients to leave reviews and ratings so that proof of your expertise is out there and can be seen by whoever is looking for a doctor.
Video recording of reviews are not so common and can create a powerful impact on prospective clients.
Things you shouldn't do
1. Forget to understand what your patients need
It is important that your medical marketing content takes into account your patients’ needs and expectations. Medical visits or procedures are not something that one chooses to have or opts for willingly.
They are essential to survive, which is why people need to see a doctor. They want treatment, but most people don’t really know what to do and what will help.
Make sure your website takes into accounts their fears and doubts and offers a pathway to recovery – showcase how you can help them recover rather than just listing down the procedures that you offer.
2. Think of marketing as an expense
An online website without digital marketing is like pizza without cheese. Think of marketing as an investment instead of an expense.
With more and more patients venturing online to search for doctors, it’s important for you to be discovered quickly.
And digital marketing makes this possible. This cost-effective method of marketing can help with patient acquisition, engagement, revenue, and reputation management – all vital to help your practice grow.
3. Skip implementation of a video marketing strategy
The popularity of video content is growing by leaps and bounds – the fact that YouTube is the second largest search engine after Google reveals this. How can you use videos to further your reach?
Put in place a “welcome to the website” video, shoot patient testimonials, and make it a habit to record a few procedures to showcase your expertise. You can also post a video that answers frequently asked questions.
Increasing your video presence can help build your reputation and improve your website’s search engine rankings.
4. Forget to use event coverage
Doctors tend to attend a lot of conferences throughout the year, but chances are that no one knows much about that aspect except the other doctors who attended the event with you.
Patients and prospective clients are sure to be interested, especially if that conference or event adds to your skills or recognises your expertise. Document the event and what exactly it means to you – and for your patients – through social media or newsletter updates.
The way forward
People today want access to convenient, quality care, and are more than willing to do their own research to find it. They may begin their search by asking a friend or family member, but it always ends online – even after receiving a referral from a medical expert. This is exactly why doctors need to be online. And Boost360 can help you start your online journey and build on it.