Online Reputation Management for Doctors
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Online Reputation Management for Doctors
Curated and Written Articles to help Physicians and Other Healthcare Providers manage reputation online. Tips on Social media, SEO, Online Review Managements and Medical Websites
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How Sentiment Analysis Helps Improve the Patient Experience

How Sentiment Analysis Helps Improve the Patient Experience | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

What Is Patient Sentiment Analysis?

Patient sentiment analysis is a process of analyzing patient feedback about your practice based on the patient’s emotions at the time. The analysis helps to uncover the emotions, opinions, and attitudes of patients based on what they say about your practice.

 

Patient sentiment analysis can help healthcare providers gain a competitive edge over the competition and improve their services based on the feedback provided.

 

You can use a software application like RepuGen to analyze comments or texts by patients about their experience in your facility.

 

The software analyzes patients’ comments about your facility on Twitter, Facebook, and other platforms to extract the true picture of patient experience in your center.

Importance of Patient Sentiment Analysis for Healthcare Organizations

Patient sentiment analysis enables healthcare providers to understand what patients feel about them, identify gaps in their patient experience, and implement timely corrective measures.

The benefits of patient sentiment analysis include:

i) Gathering in-depth insight on the patient experience

Sentiment analysis can help healthcare providers identify the areas where they excel or fail in patient satisfaction.

 

Management can analyze the data collected to find out the most common complaints or compliments, segment the information based on doctors or departments, and other parameters to identify opportunities for patient care improvement.

ii) Quantifying departmental and employee performance

Patient sentiment analysis can quantify the emotions and feelings of your patients to paint a clear picture of your facility’s performance.

 

The analysis can classify patient comments into specific categories such as processes, places, and people, and then assign them various scores to uncover what patients feel about various aspects of your facility.

 

For example, the Word Cloud Analysis feature of RepuGen checks the frequency of words used by patients and picks up the most used words from the comments left by patients.

 

Here are some examples of comments patients may leave about their experience:

  • We waited for hours. (Negative)
  • Excellent service but still need to improve on waiting hours. (Neutral)
  • Helpful and caring staff. I was seen in less than half an hour! (Positive)

The comments can be collated based on their intensity and to determine the areas where a healthcare practice is performing excellently, has room for improvement, or is failing.

Benefits of Sentiment Analysis for Healthcare Businesses

Sentiment analysis provides insight into the performance of a healthcare facility. The collated analysis of comments can provide a clear indication of what patients need from your practice, how your employees are rated, and other concerns that may not be obvious to the management.

How RepuGen Uses Machine Learning for Sentiment Analysis

RepuGen can help you understand what patients are thinking and feeling when they leave your practice.

 

The software gathers patient feedback across multiple locations and providers and uses machine learning to analyze and extrapolate the data into intuitive reports and charts for each location and provider.

 

From the reports generated, you can see trends for sentiments and their intensity. This will give you a clear picture of the areas where you need to improve patient care or service delivery.

Using Sentiment Analysis to Improve Healthcare

Physicians, health care facilities, and health centers can use sentiment analysis to improve clinical quality.

 

The data gathered by a sentiment analysis software can help to understand what aspects patients need to have a positive experience at healthcare facilities.

 

Sentiment analysis allows everyone in the health sector with an opportunity to understand the ideal patient experience that creates better health care and increases revenues.

Technical Dr. Inc.s insight:
Contact Details :

inquiry@technicaldr.com or 877-910-0004
www.technicaldr.com

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10 Doctor Review Sites to List Your Healthcare Practice

10 Doctor Review Sites to List Your Healthcare Practice | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

A great way to improve your healthcare practice reputation is to list your practice on doctor review sites.

 

There are many online review sites where you can list yourself or your healthcare practice. The sites get millions of visitors every month, which you can tap to be your patients.

 

According to a recent survey, 84% of patients use online reviews to evaluate doctors. If your practice has no reviews online, prospective patients would think twice before making an appointment.

The Top Doctor Review Sites

Below are 10 top doctor review sites for healthcare providers, listed in no particular order, which can help improve your online reputation, gain trust and new patient leads.

  • Healthgrades
  • Vitals
  • RateMDs
  • WebMD
  • Yelp
  • Zocdoc
  • Google My Business
  • Facebook
  • U.S. News Doctor Finder
  • CareDash

#1. Healthgrades

With over 19 million visitors per month, you want your practice to be listed on Healthgrades. The directory has a searchable database of hospital, dentist and doctor profiles. The site also posts content about specific medical conditions and issues at a section called “The Right Care”.

#2. Vitals

Vitals gets slightly over 3.4 million visitors a month and ranks 151 in the health category. At the directory, patients can search for practices based on name, location, specialty and insurance accepted.

#3. RateMDs

RateMD allows patients to search for physicians by name, location, specialty and gender. The site also has a forum and blog where patients can get their health questions answered.

#4. WebMD

This is a health research forum with a doctor’s directory. With over 2.4 million visitors a month, WebMD is one of the best physician review sites. At WebMD, patients can rate doctors based on how well they explain conditions and treatments.

#5. Yelp

Yelp allows users to rate local hospitals and clinics, and provides the most helpful reviews. Having great reviews on the site can lead to a stream of foot traffic to your practice.

#6. Zocdoc

ZocDoc has an online and mobile appointment service setting and charges a listing fee. Patients can search for practices based on standard name, location, specialty and insurance accepted.

#7. Google My Business

Google My Business allows you to create free profiles for your practice. The profile can appear on local search results with complete information about your location, service hours, contact information and so on.

#8. Facebook

Millions of patients use Facebook to search for nearby clinics when they have a health problem. Having a profile on the social network will allow you to stay in touch with your patients and connect with new prospects.

#9. U.S. News Doctor Finder

In this directory, patients can search for doctors by name, location, years of experience, specialty and gender. Physicians can update their profiles to upload photos, contact information, insurance accepted, hospital affiliation and experience.

#10. CareDash

CareDash aims to make hospital and doctor information more transparent, inclusive and accessible. The site has doctor and hospital ratings and while fairly new, is steadily gaining more traffic.

Technical Dr. Inc.s insight:
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inquiry@technicaldr.com or 877-910-0004
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How to Communicate Effectively During a Crisis

How to Communicate Effectively During a Crisis | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

During a crisis like a health scare or natural disaster, it’s often the job of marketers to communicate to patients, staff, vendors, partners, and the community at large. 

 

Like anything, it’s a lot harder to do your job without any sort of plan or guidelines in place, but you aren’t alone. In fact, according to a recent survey from Deloitte, the multinational professional services network, only 49% of board members say their companies have playbooks for likely crisis scenarios. 

 

Read on for some top-level strategic crisis communication tips and actionable tactics to consider when steering your medical practice messaging through a less than ideal situation.

Things to Remember 

A good crisis communication plan cannot be copied and pasted. There are factors specific to your medical practice, and the emergency you’re dealing with that are required to be factored into your plan. That said, your plan should include:

  • Steps to take when the crisis first emerges 
  • How and when to communicate with internal and external audiences 
  • Strategies to prevent the incident or improve response if unavoidable 

So, when it comes to planning for an emergency like a natural disaster or mass shooting (something a lot of us may have more experience in than we would ever want), here’s what to consider doing to create and implement your crisis communication plan. 

Be Honest & Intentional with Your Communication 

If there was ever a time to remove all the fluff from your marketing communication, it’s now. Be honest and get to the point – fast. Whether it’s with employees or patients, define your message, update it as needed, but do not lie about what’s going on. 

 

According to CEO Magazine, honesty is considered to be the single most important leadership value, and if you aren’t truthful in your communications here, it will come back to haunt you. 

 

How can you be intentional about what you want to say and how you want to say it? Practice. 

 

Create a list of possible scenarios and write out how you would respond to each of them. What are the messages you would use? How would you communicate your key points to stakeholders? Media? Staff? Patients? You’ll need an answer for each. 

 

It may also be helpful to involve other key leadership here as you draft these scenarios, and you may even want to incorporate protocols or drills into your workflow throughout the year. 

Define Roles and Expectations

Once you have some of your key messages outlined, it’s time to create an organizational chart. In other words, determine what and who is expected to step up when a crisis does hit. And, when that person isn’t available, who is next in line?  

 

First, establish a point of contact for your crisis management team (CMT) and use whatever internal communication methods you have to get the message out to your staff that John Smith is the point of contact, and these are the talking points if asked. 

 

WorldAware.com says a CMT lead is responsible for developing, implementing, administering, evaluating, and maintaining the entire program.

 

Reach your team by email, a bulletin board in a break room, intranet, word of mouth, memos, smoke signals – whatever you can do internally to let people in your organization know what they should be saying and what they should expect in terms of their jobs and disruptions to their day-to-day lives.

 

You may also want your CMT to be in charge of the external communication as well because depending on what sort of disaster or crisis you’re dealing with, there are potential media, vendors, partners, and patients are all going to be affected.

 

If you’re a larger practice, you may want to consider putting together a full committee or emergency response team instead of just one lead or a few top managers. In this scenario, each of the large departments at your practice has a representative so they can communicate to their teams and so forth.

 

Then, depending on the level of the emergency you’re dealing with, you can activate the team and do a weekly, daily or hourly meeting depending on severity, even if it’s just 5-minutes on the phone to ensure everyone is on the same page.  

 

Who should be part of the team? Consider involving a few select physician partners, branch location managers, administrators, and managers and, if you’re not the marketing person, make sure someone from the marketing team is involved because they may be the ones communicating the information to patients, partners, and media. 

Technical Dr. Inc.s insight:
Contact Details :

inquiry@technicaldr.com or 877-910-0004
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National Dentists Day marketing ideas to boost appointments

National Dentists Day marketing ideas to boost appointments | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

Dental marketing ideas to boost appointments

1. Thank your patients

On National Dentists Day, thank your patients for trusting you with their smiles. It’s important to take advantage of opportunities like this in order to remain top-of-mind and encourage strong patient retention.

Show your gratitude to patients by sending them a thank you email, sharing a social media post, or even thanking your patients in person on March 6.

2. Urge patients to commit to better oral health

When it comes to holidays like National Dentists Day, many patients’ natural inclination is to send cards, flowers, and small trinkets. But what most dental professionals really want is a commitment to better oral health.

Use the time leading up to National Dentists Day to encourage patients to promise to take the best possible care of their teeth and gums. For example, you could: 

  • Have them sign a pledge to brush and floss every day
  • Encourage them to book their next dental cleaning, if they have not already
  • Remind them to limit food and beverages that stain teeth

3. Share what inspired you to become a dentist

It’s not every day you get to talk with patients about your career choice. In anticipation of National Dentists Day, film a video detailing what inspired you to become a dentist. This will give current patients the chance to know you on a more personal level and better understand your professional passion.

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Video also gives you the ability to showcase your personality to prospective patients who haven’t met you yet. According to Statista, 85 percent of internet users watch online video content, making video a great medium to reach new patients.

4. Publish a National Dentists Day blog post

A smart dental marketing strategy is to use timely events like national holidays to drive traffic to your website. Writing a blog post about National Dentists Day increases your chances of appearing in search results when people Google the term.

 

In your blog post, explain what National Dentists Day is and ways patients can acknowledge their dental care team.

 

Take it a step further by sharing your blog post on social media or by including it in an email to current patients. Emailing patients is a great dental marketing idea because 59 percent of people say they prefer email communications from brands above any other channel, according to the Direct Marketing Association.

5. Offer a National Dentists Day discount

Offering a discount is always a good way to inspire patients to schedule appointments. Discounts are usually offered for a limited time, which creates a sense of urgency and gives people the extra push they need to take action.

 

On March 6, consider offering a discount on out-of-pocket services like teeth whitening for any patient who schedules their appointment on National Dentists Day. Make prospective and current patients aware of the offer by sharing it to social media. According to Sprout Social, more than one-third of people (37 percent) believe the most engaging content on social offers a discount.

6. Use the National Dentists Day hashtag

Social media is great for dental marketing because 72 percent of U.S. adults use at least one social media site, according to the Pew Research Center.

 

Leading up to and on National Dentists Day, share content on your social media channels and include the hashtag #NationalDentistsDay. Hashtags help get your content in front of more people. Make sure you also tag your location, so you can feel confident you’re reaching people in your local area.

 

A social media post can be as simple as a photo of you and your staff in the waiting room.

 

This helps you show off your team and your office space. If your patients are active on social media, encourage them to use the National Dentists Day hashtag, too.

 

7. Encourage patients to share positive feedback online

Having a strong online reputation helps attract new patients to your practice. In fact, 59 percent of patients say online reviews contribute to their decision in choosing a healthcare provider, and 70 percent of patients consider positive patient reviews to be very or extremely important, according to PatientPop.

 

On National Dentists Day, encourage your current patients to describe their positive experiences at your practice via an online review. According to PatientPop, patients are 22 percent more likely to submit an online review simply when asked, so don’t allow this great opportunity to build a positive online reputation pass you by.

 

National Dentists Day only comes around once a year, but the folks at PatientPop recognize the hard work dentists do year-round. From us to you, Happy National Dentists Day!

Technical Dr. Inc.s insight:
Contact Details :

inquiry@technicaldr.com or 877-910-0004
www.technicaldr.com

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5 proven tactics for long-term healthcare SEO success

5 proven tactics for long-term healthcare SEO success | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

How to boost your healthcare website’s local search engine ranking

1. Use localized keywords

Incorporating the right keywords throughout your website content is one of the most important elements of healthcare SEO. Start by conducting keyword research to see what your prospective patients search for when looking for a practice like yours.

 

For example, a podiatry practice in Glendale, AZ, might use keyword phrases like [podiatrist glendale], [ankle sprain glendale], and [ingrown toenail glendale]. Just be mindful when choosing keywords, as keyword stuffing — i.e. aimlessly filling a page with keywords in an effort to boost your ranking — can negatively affect your rank.

 

A study conducted by Ahrefs revealed that sites commonly rank for two to three keywords with more than 1,000 searches per month.

 

However, they rarely rank for more than one keyword with more than 10,000 searches per month. Keep this in mind when deciding which keywords — and how many — to weave into copy.

2. Create individual service pages

Your practice offers a variety of services to patients. Make sure each gets the attention it deserves by dedicating a page on your healthcare website to it.

 

This is a crucial element of SEO for doctors because it will allow each page to rank for the specific service noted. It also makes it easier for search engines to crawl your site because it creates a more organized site map.

 

The same rule applies to practices with multiple locations. If your practice has more than one office, boost local search results by creating a separate page for each location.

3. Publish blog posts

Not only does blogging engage your patient base, it’s also an important SEO for medical technique. Crafting informative blog posts on a regular basis takes time, but it’s worth the effort.

 

According to HubSpot, blogging boosts your SEO rank by positioning your site as relevant to patient questions.

 

The company recommends creating evergreen content and repurposing or updating it as needed to keep the information current.

4. Practice backlinking

If you’re not familiar with backlinking, it’s the process of obtaining links from other websites back to your healthcare website. This is important for healthcare SEO because search engines use links to help determine your page rank.

 

In addition to scanning page content, search engines look at the number and quality of links pointing to the page from external websites.

 

Typically, the more high-quality websites that link to your page, the better your chances of scoring a competitive ranking.

5. Optimize page speeds

Site speed has been a Google ranking factor since 2010. It’s not as significant as some other factors — like page relevance — but it’s important to pay attention to all elements that play into your SEO ranking.

 

Google recommends having a time-to-first-byte — i.e. the amount of time the page takes to start loading — of less than 1.3 seconds.

 

A slow page speed also means search engines can crawl fewer pages with their crawl budget, according to Moz.

 

Page speed is also a user experience issue. The average mobile landing page takes approximately 15 seconds to load, according to Google.

 

This isn’t good, considering 53 percent of mobile visitors leave a page with a load speed greater than three seconds.

 

Healthcare SEO isn’t a one-time effort. Long-term success requires an ongoing time commitment — one you can’t afford to ignore. Your website visibility depends on its search engine ranking, so give it the attention it deserves.

Technical Dr. Inc.s insight:
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inquiry@technicaldr.com or 877-910-0004
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Reputation reboot: Doctor's guide to salvaging a poor reputation

Reputation reboot: Doctor's guide to salvaging a poor reputation | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

5 doctor reputation management concerns — and how to resolve them

1. An inappropriate online review

A whopping 97 percent of people who read online reviews also read businesses’ responses to reviews, according to BrightLocal. An overwhelming majority (71 percent) say they’re more likely to use a business that has responded to their reviews.

 

Given these numbers, the importance of taking action cannot be emphasized enough. If a review is fake or fraudulent — i.e. it is clearly spam or it is a review by a competitor — contact the review site it’s posted on and explain the situation. You might be able to have it removed if it’s clearly fake or vulgar in nature.

 

However, don’t panic if you’re unable to have the review taken down. As noted above, people will read your response to review, so write a calm and collected reply, if necessary, that shows you’re a class act.

2. Someone else claims or populates a directory profile

Claiming, completing, and monitoring directory profiles should be a part of your online reputation management strategy. Realizing someone else has access to — or complete control of — a profile with your practice name on it is undoubtedly alarming.

 

Every site has its own process for dealing with these issues, so you’ll need to reach out to the customer service team immediately.

 

They should be able to help you figure out what’s going on and return exclusive access back to the rightful owner: you.

3. An incorrect response to a question on Google Q&A

The Google Q&A feature allows people to quickly and easily ask questions about your business. Both questions and answers are displayed on your Google My Business page, which can be helpful — if they’re answered correctly.

 

Finding an incorrect response can be alarming, so take swift action to have it removed. Click “more” next to the answer, then click “report” to alert Google of the false information.

 

In the meantime, replying to the question as your business is a great doctor reputation management strategy. The correct response from the business owner should set the record straight and negate the false information provided by the other user.

 

4. Several negative comments from a social media troll

It’s important for your practice to have a presence on popular social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Unfortunately, this opens the door to trolls who want to cause problems for your practice.

 

Having a plan in place to deal with trolls is an essential part of reputation management for doctors. The best approach to take often varies by situation, but a polite reply — or none at all — is generally the smartest route.

 

Unless the troll uses profanity or other languages that’s offensive in nature, it’s typically best not to delete their comments.

 

5. A poor star rating

Only 53 percent of people will consider using a business with less than four stars, according to BrightLocal. Don’t panic if your star rating falls below this mark, however, because you can turn things around.

 

Send patient satisfaction surveys after each visit to find out what you’re doing well and where there’s room for improvement. Give satisfied patients the opportunity to share their feedback publicly, as each positive review will help bump your star rating up to an impressive level.

Technical Dr. Inc.s insight:
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inquiry@technicaldr.com or 877-910-0004
www.technicaldr.com

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6 essential elements for great dental website design

6 essential elements for great dental website design | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

Dental website design elements you need to incorporate

1. Easy navigation

Nearly all people (94 percent) believe easy navigation is the most important website feature, according to a survey conducted by Clutch.

 

This makes sense because it’s frustrating to seek information on a website and not be able to find it.

 

Effective dental website navigation makes it easy for people to move between pages.

 

A header at the top of the page containing information organized in a logical manner is a classic structure people recognize and understand.

2. Well-written content

When you think of dental website design, the content might not be the first thing that comes to mind, but it’s crucial.

 

The content on your website tells the story of your practice and what you have to offer.

 

Make content digestible by using headers to break up text and keeping sentences short. When possible, present information in list form, as this is easier to read than a large block of text.

 

Misspellings and grammatical errors will make your practice appear unprofessional, so have multiple pairs of eyes proofread all content.

 

This is important because flawless content will make your practice appear professional and trustworthy.

3. Quality images

Nearly one-third of marketers (32 percent) cite visual images as the most important form of content for their business, according to Social Media Examiner.

 

Therefore, your dental website needs quality images that complement the text.

 

Introduce patients to your team by including professional headshots with bios on your “About Us” page. Include photos of your office — i.e. waiting room, exam rooms, etc. — so they can picture themselves receiving treatment.

 

4. Short videos

Most businesses (87 percent) use video as a marketing tool, according to Wyzowl. This isn’t surprising, as 96 percent of people say they’ve watched an explainer video to learn more about a product or service.

 

Incorporating video into your dental website design can add serious value. Engage patients by creating videos explaining the different services you offer, so they can quickly learn more about them and the benefits offered.

5. Clear calls-to-action (CTAs)

The ultimate goal of your dental website design should be to convert visitors into patients. Place prompts such as “Call Us” and “Request an Appointment” prominently on every page of your website, so it’s easy to get in touch.

 

Including a variety of calls-to-action (CTAs) is important because not everyone wants to reach out through the same medium. Some people prefer the phone, while others would rather connect through an online form or email.

 

This covers all the bases, so you can please everyone.

6. Responsive design

According to Google, most users now access the search engine through a mobile device. Consequently, the company recommends using responsive web design for many reasons.

 

Google cites some of the benefits of responsive web design as making it easier for patients to share and link to your content and helping its algorithms accurately assign properties to the page.

 

In fact, Google has been practicing mobile-first indexing  — i.e. primarily using the mobile version of the site for indexing and ranking — for all new websites since July 1, 2019.

 

Ultimately, patients will visit your site using a variety of devices. Since responsive web design adjusts to fit the content on a variety of devices and screen sizes, you’re able to provide a positive user experience to everyone.

 

Great dental website design encompasses a variety of features that make it both attractive and functional. This is the first impression many patients will get of your practice, so investing in a quality site will add tremendous value.

Technical Dr. Inc.s insight:
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inquiry@technicaldr.com or 877-910-0004
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5 ideas to encourage patient retention with healthcare marketing

5 ideas to encourage patient retention with healthcare marketing | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

Patient retention is crucial to the lasting success of your practice. However, many businesses are more focused on marketing to new patients than nurturing relationships with existing ones.

 

More than three-quarters of consumers (77 percent) have stuck with certain brands for at least 10 years, according to the 2018 InMoment US Retail CX Trends Report.

 

Retaining an existing patient is less expensive than acquiring a new one, and marketing to them can strengthen your bond.

 

5 healthcare marketing tips to boost patient retention

1. Start a blog

Savvy patients are proactive about their health, so educate and inform them on topics relevant to your practice by starting a blog.

 

This is a great way to keep patients engaged and highlight your authority on the issues they care about.

 

More than half of companies (55 percent) consider blogging a top priority, according to the HubSpot State of Inbound 2018 report.

 

Chances are, your competitors have started using it in their healthcare marketing strategy, so you don’t want to fall behind.

 

Of course, just throwing together a blog post for the sake of having one doesn’t work.

 

Nearly one-quarter of bloggers report strong results after spending less than an hour on a post, according to a 2018 survey conducted by Orbit Media Studios. However, 38.9 percent who spend six or more hours on a post reported strong results.

 

As a busy doctor, you might not have enough time to write your own blog posts — and that’s OK. Delegate this task to a staffer or a third party to make sure it receives the proper time and attention.

2. Maintain an active social media presence

About seven-in-10 U.S. adults are on Facebook, according to the Pew Research Center. Furthermore, 37 percent have an Instagram account and 22 percent use Twitter.

 

Therefore, it’s basically a given the bulk of your patients use social media.

 

If social media isn’t already part of your healthcare marketing plan, it’s time to change that.

 

Your patients want to connect with you on social media, and doing so will strengthen your relationship.

 

Keep patients engaged by posting informative content on a regular basis.

 

When they see something particularly interesting, they’ll also likely share your posts, as 75 percent of loyal customers are willing to recommend a brand to friends and family, according to InMoment.

3. Launch an email newsletter

More than half of people who responded to a 2017 Campaign Monitor survey revealed they check their personal email account more than 10 times a day.

 

They also said email is by far their favorite way to receive updates from brands.

 

Take advantage of this by starting an email newsletter aimed at existing patients. Depending on the amount of content you have, this can be sent on a monthly, bi-monthly, or quarterly basis.

 

Include practice updates, industry news, and any other relevant information you think would interest your patients.

 

This is a great healthcare marketing tool because it keeps people connected to your practice.

 

4. Send direct mail postcards

You might think direct mail campaigns have passed their expiration date, but there’s a time and place for them. People enjoy getting mail — admit it, you do too — so step up your healthcare marketing strategy with an approach many other businesses no longer take.

 

Personalize communications by mailing birthday cards and appointment reminders.

 

This is brilliant for patient retention because the extra effort shows people you really care.

5. Offer exclusive discounts and freebies

Everyone appreciates the ability to save money. In fact, discounts are the reason 72 percent of consumers are inclined to open an email from a brand, according to Campaign Monitor. 

 

Therefore, giving discounts and freebies to existing customers is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. For example, a dermatologist might offer a free skincare product to patients who book a certain service.

 

Feeling like they’re getting something special will make patients feel valued. Satisfied patients don’t even think about switching providers.

 

Patient retention requires an investment on your part, but you can’t afford to ignore it. Your practice will struggle if you don’t have a steady stream of long-term patients in your waiting room, so including them in your marketing efforts is a must.

Technical Dr. Inc.s insight:
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How to promote health-related products with digital marketing

How to promote health-related products with digital marketing | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

1. Purchase paid search advertising

Paid search advertising is a form of digital marketing in which you purchase ads for search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo.

 

Google AdWords is the most popular paid search platform, most likely because Google enjoys close to 93 percent of search engine traffic, according to Statcounter.

 

There are a number of reasons to consider paid search advertising to promote health-related products.

 

First, your practice has an equal opportunity to rank for highly competitive keywords. This is unlike organic rankings, which take into account a number of website factors like page speed and mobile-friendliness.

 

With paid search advertising, the highest bidder always wins the top spot.

 

Another reason to consider this form of digital marketing is that paid search ads bypass the waiting period that often accompanies achieving a high organic ranking.

 

This means you benefit from instant visibility. Better visibility means your product will receive more clicks, your healthcare website will see more traffic, and your product sales will likely increase.

 

A third reason to consider paid search advertising is that it allows for uber precise audience targeting, which ultimately helps you reach your ideal patients.

 

In Google Adwords, for example, you can target demographics such as gender, age, and household income. You can also exclude demographics if you know certain audiences would not be interested in a particular product.

2. Publish product-centric blog posts

Blogging is a digital marketing tactic that’s proven to boost organic search rankings and increase healthcare website traffic over time. This is because search engines like Google regularly crawl websites for new content.

 

When you publish blog posts about your products, search engines surmise that your practice is an authority on those products, and they feel confident sending searchers to your site.

 

According to HubSpot, companies that blog receive 55 percent more visitors than companies that do not blog.

 

Additionally, blogging can help position your practice as the go-to place for particular products in your area.

 

Blogging also allows you to go into greater detail about your products — detail you might not be able to provide via a product page located elsewhere on your healthcare website. Plus, with blog posts, you can offer a different perspective on products, whether that’s a product review or comparison.

3. Discuss products on social media

Social media is an ideal digital marketing platform to promote out-of-pocket products. One reason is because social media is widely used and regularly accessed.

 

According to the Pew Research Center, 73 percent of U.S. adults use YouTube, 69 percent use Facebook, and 37 percent use Instagram. Fifty-one percent of YouTube users, 74 percent of Facebook users, and 63 percent of Instagram users access the sites at least once per day.

 

Another reason to use social media for healthcare marketing is that people actually want to consume the content healthcare practices share.

 

According to a survey by the American Osteopathic Association, two-out-of-five adults said they already are or would like to follow their healthcare providers on social media.

 

And according to a PwC report, 61 percent of people are likely to trust information posted by healthcare providers.

 

To ensure people are seeing your product posts, you can invest in sponsored content. Similar to paid search advertising, sponsored content allows you to target highly specific audiences.

 

On Facebook, for example, you can specify demographics like gender, age, and location as well as interests and behaviors. According to Sprout Social, 65 percent of people who engage with a social media advertisement will click through to learn more about the topic at hand.

4. Send marketing emails to patients

Although many healthcare practices exclusively focus on attracting new patients, marketing to current patients is also worthwhile. According to RJMetrics, 68 percent of customers won’t make a second purchase.

 

But, if you can get people to make a second purchase, 53 percent of them will make a third. With each successive purchase, the likelihood of them coming back increases.

 

Email marketing is a tried-and-true digital marketing tactic for getting patients to make first, second, and third purchases (and so on). Not only do 97 percent of people with a personal email address check their accounts at least once every day, according to the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), but nearly six in 10 people say they prefer email communications from brands above any other channel.

 

Also, email marketing is proven to influence people’s behavior. According to the DMA, 40 percent of people say they would click on a link in the email if they found the email “interesting.” An additional 27 percent of people said they would be likely to go to the company’s website, just not directly from the email.

 

Display signage and other in-office promotions will always be important for selling health-related products. However, if you want to reach people beyond those coming into your office, you must branch out into digital marketing. 

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5 holiday healthcare marketing mistakes practices must avoid

5 holiday healthcare marketing mistakes practices must avoid | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

1. Not marketing your practice during the holidays

If you associate the holiday season with a lower patient volume, you may think healthcare marketing is less important this time of year. But choosing not to market your practice is perhaps the biggest healthcare marketing mistake of all.

 

By not marketing your practice, you’re counting yourself out of the decision-making process for those patients who are seeking care. A successful healthcare marketing strategy can also help you mitigate against a slower season for your practice.

 

You’ve also missed the opportunity to incorporate creative campaigns and content topics into your healthcare marketing ideas. Timely and relevant content can make your campaigns more effective because you’re providing your patients with the information they find useful. Campaigns and blog posts that are tied to a specific event like a holiday are also more likely to be shared with others, so the right content can help you reach more people.

 

Plus, even if fewer new patients are coming into your practice this season, the holidays present an opportunity to use healthcare marketing to reach and retain your current patients, to wish them well, and to thank them for being loyal to your practice.

2. Thinking there’s less interest in health toward the end of the year

The holiday season may have its share of parties and late nights, but it would be a mistake to think there’s a lack of interest in health this time of year. On the contrary, during moments where people may be indulging more, there can be a heightened awareness of healthy habits. 

 

New Year’s resolutions, for example, are often tied to health and productivity goals. According to Branded, one out of four people said they would make a resolution in 2019, and 65 percent of people said resolutions are always or sometimes an effective way to break or curb bad habits.

 

Plus, because people are more likely to have hit their deductibles toward the end of the year, they might seek care when they can minimize their individual costs. An analysis by athenahealth shows a rise in patient appointments toward the end of the year among commercially-insured patients.

 

Try a healthcare marketing campaign that targets your commercially-insured patients and reminds them of end-of-the-year care deadlines.

3. Not being inclusive in messaging

When planning your holiday healthcare marketing strategy, it’s important to create messaging and content that is inclusive of everyone. Patients celebrate many holidays toward the end of the year depending on their culture or religion, and you may risk alienating some by only focusing on a single holiday.

 

Being inclusive with your healthcare marketing allows you to reach more people and is especially important to younger patients. According to Accenture, Millennials are more likely to choose one brand over another if that brand demonstrates inclusion and diversity in terms of its promotions and offers. This was cited by almost 70 percent of all Millennials.

4. Not updating your website and web profiles

The holidays often mean changing schedules for both patients and healthcare providers alike. If you have special holiday hours, make sure that communicating them to current and prospective customers is at the top of your healthcare marketing strategy this year. This gives patients the transparency they need to book an appointment.

 

An accurate and prominent web presence is an essential component of your healthcare marketing strategy, and this is even more important during the holidays when you may have less time to field questions.

 

Update your hours wherever they exist online, including your website and web profiles. You may also want to include your holiday hours in an email to your patient list well in advance, so they can make the proper arrangements.

5. Waiting until the last minute

Do not wait until the week before major holidays to start your holiday healthcare marketing. Give your patients ample time to understand any changes to your schedule or promotional offers. This also gives you a chance to share important messages multiple times, so you can ensure more people see them.

 

Plus, if you’re offering holiday-related tips — like how to eat healthy during the holidays, how to best avoid getting sick while traveling, or how to stick to your New Year’s resolution — waiting too long may make your content less relevant to the audience you’re trying to reach. According to Yes Marketing, conversion rates for holiday-themed emails in November 2018 were double those sent in December, so getting an early start can mean better outcomes, especially if you’re selling gift ideas.

 

Healthcare marketing is a year-round effort. There’s always an opportunity to connect with your patients and make your practice stand out from all other care options.

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8 benefits to investing in paid Dental Advertising

8 benefits to investing in paid Dental Advertising | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

Patients today make their healthcare decisions online. A PatientPop survey revealed that 74.6 percent of people have looked online to learn more about a doctor, a dentist, or medical care.

 

For the most part, patients are looking for their dental care on Google. Google has 88 percent of the U.S. search engine market share, according to StatCounter.

 

According to Google, one in every 20 searches is health-related, which translates to at least 100 billion health searches a year, according to Search Engine Land.

 

Thus, showing up prominently in Google results is a key marketing priority for any dental practice. Dental ads offer dentists a unique opportunity and competitive advantage in reaching patients who are searching for their services.

 

Read on to learn why paid dental advertising is a good investment for your practice.

How dental ads are different from traditional marketing

1. You control where you rank.

On Google, paid dentist ads appear above organic listings on search engine results pages (SERPs). They look almost identical to organic results but are delineated with the word “Ad” in a green box. Placing a dental ad on search can place you at the top of the search results.

 

This is important because where you rank on Google matters. Generally speaking, the higher you rank, the more clicks you can expect to receive.

 

According to Advanced Web Ranking, the top organic Google result on desktops garners a click-through rate of about 31 percent, the second position receives about 15 percent, and the third position receives almost 10 percent.

2. The results are immediate.

Online advertising for dental practices is the perfect complement to search engine optimization (SEO). It’s important to have a website optimized for SEO, but climbing search results organically is a steady process, and you may not be ranking for all the keywords that you desire.

 

When you place a dental advertisement, you can rank the top of the page for that keyword as soon as your campaign goes live, which can mean an instant boost in traffic and dental patients. This can be an especially good strategy if your website has recently been redesigned, as it can take several months for Google to index your site.

3. You can reach your ideal customer.

Unlike more traditional forms of dentist advertising, placing a dentist advertisement on Google allows you to control who can see your ads, meaning you only market to the people you are trying to attract to your practice.

 

You can select to market only in relevant geography. If you’re a dentist in Brooklyn, for example, you may choose to only market to Brooklyn, rather than all of New York City, depending on your specific goals

4. Place dentist ads on the highest value keywords.

One goal of search dental advertising is to reach patients who are ready to convert (book an appointment). The keywords that patients use when searching for care can show their intent of seeking dental care.

 

For example, a patient searching for [teeth whitening] might just be curious about the process and how it works. They may not be ready to book an appointment just yet.

 

However, patients searching for [affordable teeth whitening near me] are showing their intent to seek dental care soon. This may be a higher value keyword because it’s likely to generate more appointment requests. With paid dental advertising, you can rank specifically for these high-value terms.

5. Payment is tied to results.

Paid search advertising for dental practices works on a payment model called pay-per-click (PPC). This literally means that you only pay when someone clicks on your ad. It doesn’t matter how many people have seen your dental ads.

 

A lot of practices hesitate to spend money on dentist ads, but this pay model makes it a safe marketing investment.

 

Because your ad is targeted to those seeking your specific services, the chance that those clicks become booked appointments is higher than with other dental advertising strategies.

6. The return on investment is highly measurable.

With Google advertisements, you can see everything that’s tied to a click on your ad — from the person’s initial search query to what they did on your website, including whether they booked an appointment or if they called.

 

You can see which of your dental ads are working and which aren’t and calculate exactly what you’re getting in return for your investment.

7. It’s a consistent marketing investment for your practice.

Because you pay per click on your ad, it may feel like something that’s difficult to plan month-to-month. However, after some trial and error and figuring out which of your dental ads work best for you, this form of dental advertising becomes consistent over time and is something that you can plan for in your business.

 

8. You can change your budget at any time.

Paid dental advertising is a flexible form of advertising. You can adjust your budget or start or stop your dental ads at any time. Use online dental ads to serve your marketing needs on a budget and commitment that works best for your practice.

 

PatientPop provides dental practices with an all-in-one solution that helps them expand their web presence, boost their online reputation, and automate their front office.

 

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Is word-of-mouth marketing best to attract new patients?

Is word-of-mouth marketing best to attract new patients? | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

4 reasons why word-of-mouth marketing is not enough to grow your practice

1. Patients still conduct online research even after being referred

A referral might help you attract new patients, but that alone probably won’t seal the deal. Nearly all patients (91 percent) always or sometimes conducts additional research after receiving a referral from a healthcare provider, according to the 2018 Patient Access Journey Report conducted by Kyruus.

 

If your online reputation isn’t great — or is non-existent — people probably aren’t going to take the recommendation. With so much information readily available online for other providers, it’s easy for patients to find a doctor who meets their unique needs.

 

2. There is a limit to how many people word-of-mouth marketing can reach

Online reviews and your practice website can be accessed worldwide on a 24/7 basis. Word-of-mouth marketing has a much smaller reach, as it relies on the discourse between two people.

 

“There’s a limit to how many people you can access through your existing patients, and even if a patient refers me to a friend, that person will look for me online,” said PatientPop customer Dr. Nicole Mermet. “No matter how good your dentistry is, or how strong your staff is, or how well you run your business, you’re invisible if you don’t have a strong online presence.”

3. You’re not in control of the conversation

Nearly three-quarters (71 percent) of people make recommendations because of a great experience, according to the Chatter Matters report. This is a good thing, but even when patients rave about your practice, you don’t know what they’re saying.

 

Just because patients praise your practice, it doesn’t mean they’re speaking to an audience who requires your services. Even if they are, their recommendation might not include the information needed to convince the other person to give your practice a try. If they go online to learn more about your practice but don’t find anything, they might opt for your competition.

4. Growth can take a long time

When trying to figure out how to get new patients, growth is something you’d like to see sooner, rather than later. Unfortunately, you don’t know when referrals will be given or when recipients will need to use them.

 

Your practice might be referred by a patient today, but it could be months or even years before the other person actually makes an appointment. If you want to grow your practice now, this method might prove to be of little help.

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Did you know that Long Patient Wait Times Costs You?

Did you know that Long Patient Wait Times Costs You? | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

Patience is a virtue, but patients don’t always feel the need to practice it. And that makes sense; as more practices offer shorter wait times and more one-on-one time with the doctor, why would they want to put up with long patient wait times?

Attitudes towards patient wait times are changing

If you’ve worked in the healthcare field for quite a while, you’ve probably heard the term “healthcare consumerism.” While the term encompasses many different things, the big idea is that patients expect their healthcare experience to be more like a customer service experience.

 

This retail mindset means patients are no longer willing to put up with long wait times at the doctor’s office—just as they wouldn’t wait a half-hour in line at the store to buy an item.

Reasons for shifting patient attitudes

The truth is that patients have never enjoyed long wait times in the office. In many cases, they simply accepted it as the norm.

 

While some offices have always attempted to streamline processes, we all know that practices and hospitals have a reputation for scheduling appointments that rarely begin on time.

 

So what’s different now? Patients have become empowered to take control of the situation. They know that there are other options out there. And while they may not be able to turn back the clock and choose another office, they can prevent other people from making the same mistake.

Your reputation is on the line

Wouldn’t it be great if a doctor or hospital’s reputation was based solely on their professional merits? Of course, you strive to provide the best level of healthcare you can. But in this day and age, that’s not enough to earn a strong patient referral.

 

And patient referrals are not just limited to someone’s family and friends. A recent Vitals study showed that healthcare facilities with long wait times tend to receive much poorer reviews than those with shorter waits.

 

The highest reviewed practices had average wait times of 13 minutes, while those receiving low star ratings had wait times of 34 minutes.

Patient reviews have greater reach than ever before

90% of patients have researched a doctor or hospital before visiting. Chances are high that most of your patients have looked you up online. They may have been pleased with your reviews, or they may have decided you were worth a shot despite them—but after a visit, they could change their mind.

 

This fact is not just limited to primary care. Even patients who receive a referral from another doctor are likely to research that referral online. And if they don’t like what they see, they may seek out a second option.

Your competition is changing

Depending on your area of specialty, the competition surrounding your practice or hospital is likely a lot different than it was just 10 or 15 years ago.

 

Primary care doctors and some other specialties are competing with urgent care clinics, including those in retail locations like a CVS. Urgent care clinics now compete with telehealth apps on mobile devices.

 

If you want to keep patients in your practice or hospital, you have to create an experience of care that keeps them coming back and is competitive with these modern healthcare environments.

Losing a patient is expensive

According to Vitals, 30% of patients have simply left a doctor’s office because they were dissatisfied with the wait time.

 

In some cases, the cost of acquiring a new patient can be a couple hundred dollars—worth it when you consider the lifetime value of that patient, but not if you lose them!

 

And when one patient leaves, you miss out on the opportunity for several more patients. This includes their family and friends and, of course, several people reading your negative reviews.

What can you do to reduce the wait?

It may be time for an audit of your systems and processes. Think about what you could do to really streamline appointments and make sure everyone is in and out in as little time as possible. Could you…

  • Automate check-ins or keep these online?
  • Keep better estimates of the amount of time needed for certain times of appointments?
  • Text patients when you’re running behind and allow them the option to reschedule?

 

Best of all, listen to your patients and their needs. Even if you fall behind in scheduling, your patients will appreciate transparency and your willingness to fix the issues over time.

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Tips for Truly Great Healthcare Content Marketing

Tips for Truly Great Healthcare Content Marketing | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

We are not trying to be self-congratulatory when we say: “we know a thing or two” about healthcare content marketing.

 

We have a little history. From nearly the first day of business at Healthcare Success (in 2006), we have been producing educational healthcare content materials for our readers. And that was long before someone coined the term “content marketing.”

It’s important to remember that this is a hard-working but long-term marketing strategy.

 

And, that’s all right…it has been working quite well for us. Over the years, we have used emails, online article library (subsequently known as a blog), e-Newsletters, audio/podcasts, conference calls and more.

 

Taking things another step, we created a premium CD series that was distributed through Medical Economics.

 

Healthcare Success also partnered with Dental Economics, creating an authoritative and educational marketing column.

In short, content marketing is not something new…it’s just been given a new name. We’ve been practicing what we preach in creating interesting, useful, informative and educational content for healthcare marketing audiences.

 

By design, content marketing does not explicitly promote a brand, product or service. Broadly speaking, readers are looking for topical, timely information, or they want to learn about a product or service. The core concept is that content engages and stimulates interest…you are educating rather than “hard selling.”

 

This approach delivers value and practical information at a time when the audience wants to learn. By design, it provides a lot of free material, while positioning you as an expert or trusted authority. Ultimately, a certain percentage of the audience will seek you out, and, because they want more, they will pay for services.

Benefits of Great Content Marketing

Creating and publishing quality content for healthcare audiences has many paybacks and benefits.

 

Here are some of the reasons that producing well-researched and well-written content is a worthwhile investment:

  • Provides informative and useful information for readers. The healthcare readership is likely to be individuals hungry for authoritative details about a health or procedure-related subject matter or topic. The readers may be prospective patients, or perhaps a friend or family member.

  • Extends Search Engine Optimization (SEO). It’s a less obvious, but highly valuable benefit when content contributes to visibility and search results ranking. Of course, Google is an industry-dominant player, but all search engines love to find credible, fresh content. It’s an SEO-plus to publish new and expert information regularly that uses relevant keywords in text, title, subheads and elsewhere throughout your content.

  • Amplifies brand awareness and credibility. Compelling and well-written content (along with a strong PageRank position) allows your brand to be seen and sought-after. This is a platform to regularly showcase your expertise.

  • Inspires brand trust and loyalty. Having earned a leadership position in the reader’s mind, they are likely to look to you as a trusted source and return in the future. Trust-building and customer experience are important connecting points.

  • Grows your social media following. Digital content and topics are often designed to be used in several forms or formats. Blog/article content, for example, is typically cross-promoted through social platforms.

  • Stimulates inbound leads and prospects. Deliberately, there’s no “hard sell” here, but the reading audience is often drawn to website product pages or landing pages. Direct inquiries and self-qualified sales leads and opportunities typically follow.

  • Content creation is cost-effective and efficient. Estimates have it that creating content costs about 60 percent less than traditional marketing options. Over time, content marketing typically generates a strong response and lead generation.

  • Expands the audience through information sharing. As a trusted resource, truly good online information will be shared among readers…with some material more likely than others. The content to be shared will likely be entertaining, timely and provocative. These may include items that are amusing and highly relevant.

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How to Set Up Your Healthcare Social Media Profiles for Success

How to Set Up Your Healthcare Social Media Profiles for Success | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

Healthcare Social Media: Is It Really Worth It?

Here’s the hard truth: Facebook’s organic reach is dead. Businesses hoping to reach potential patients and clients by simply posting somewhat frequently on Facebook are extremely unlikely to see a return.

 

Due to changing algorithms on Facebook and Instagram, followers are much less likely to see organic (unpaid) posts from your brand than from their own friends and family. 

 

For more on this topic, see our article: 

 

The Biggest Misconception about Social Media in Healthcare

That said, it is certainly worth setting up and claiming your social media accounts.

 

Updating your social media accounts can also boost search engine optimization and generate patient referrals. But if you’re simply hoping to gain patients from your marketing efforts, we recommend you do not spend a large portion of your time on organic social media.

 

Paid advertising is another story. Targeted campaigns reach people throughout your geographic target (not just followers) based on age, gender, and other qualities. For this, we recommend hiring a healthcare social media advertising agency.

 

Either way, you’ll want to get your account up and running as soon as possible, and establish some guidelines for posting and sharing. Here’s what a healthcare social media account manager should do.

1. Create a new page (or claim an existing one)

Facebook

Of course, the first step with any new social media platform is creating your new page. With Facebook, you’ll simply go to facebook.com/business and follow the directions on the screen.

You’ll be able to link this new business page to an existing personal profile or create a new profile to manage the page. You can also invite current employees as administrators and give select access to posting and editing capabilities.

In some cases, a Facebook page already exists for a business thanks to patients checking in at your location and tagging themselves on Facebook. In this case, you can claim the page using these instructions.

Instagram

To setup an Instagram account for business, first create an account from the Instagram app on your phone or tablet. Then, find the settings (the gear icon on your page) and press “Switch to Business Account.”

Twitter

Twitter’s page creation is incredibly simple. Keep in mind that Twitter uses the same profiles for business pages and personal pages. Simply go to Twitter.com to set up your new account.

2. Learn your social media platform

Once you’ve updated your basic information, you’ll want to get to know the particular platform you’re working in. Each platform is unique. For example:

  • You’ll need a header image and profile picture for each account, but every platform has different requirements. You can find an up-to-date guide on image sizing here.
  • It’s a good idea to use relevant hashtags on Twitter and Instagram, but it’s not very useful on Facebook.
  • On Twitter and Instagram, it’s a good idea to start following other accounts related to yours as soon as possible.
  • Facebook is a great place to post and share events.

3. Get to know your audience

Doctors may be interested in sharing the latest research studies or stats on the newest equipment out there. But do you think patients want to comb through a complicated 30-page report? Of course, patients are interested in your expertise.

 

However, they would prefer an easy-to-read, quick professional assessment of a study.

Learn what types of content your audience prefers, and try to contribute something they will appreciate and share. 

 

  • Can you explain a new treatment option briefly and succinctly (or link to a source that does this)?
  • Can you direct them to in-person or online support groups for their illness or recovery?
  • Do you have an announcement to make about your location or services? (Note: Important announcements to existing patients are better left in email inboxes.)

4. Use clear images throughout your profile and posts

A plain text post may go over well with your friends and family. But if you’re trying to attract attention from prospective patients, images and video are key to gaining attention—especially with paid social media advertising.

 

You don’t need any fancy equipment for this. The latest iPhone takes incredible high-quality images. However, if you don’t already have a collection of in-house photos to use in your posts, stock photos are a good way to go. There are free stock photos available on sites like Unsplash and Pexels.

 

You can also overlay text using free, easy-to-understand tools like Canva.

5. Remain compliant with HIPAA and other regulations

Of course, you take HIPAA and other regulations seriously, but it helps to remind staff members who are the most active on your social media platforms.

 

We recommend consulting a lawyer if you are unsure of any issues of compliance. Some starting tips:

  • Photos of patients and clients, of course, require their signed consent.
  • Any pharmaceutical promotion requires disclosure of risks, etc.
  • Patients may comment on your page regarding their visit, but you should take care not to confirm they are a patient.

Organic Social Media vs. Paid Healthcare Social Media Ads

Some doctors have seen success by posting organically on social media—but these accounts are few and far between. If you hope to gain followers as a “thought leader” in your specialty, you’ll have to post very frequently and become involved in conversations online daily.

 

Still, thought leadership does not guarantee patients in your area. Social media can help build your brand and even improve morale around the office—but it’s not recommended for lead generation. That is, unless you work with a social media advertising agency to target local patients in your demographic.

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5 reasons your dental practice isn't attracting new patients

5 reasons your dental practice isn't attracting new patients | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

1. Your dental website is not appearing highly in search

When conducting a Google search, 75 percent of people don’t look past the first page of results, according to Moz. If your dental website isn’t ranking highly in search results, new patients probably aren’t finding it.

 

In fact, 61 percent of marketers cite boosting search engine optimization (SEO) and improving organic presence as their top inbound marketing priority, according to HubSpot. Therefore, the importance of having a robust dental marketing SEO strategy in place cannot be emphasized enough.

2. You have not expanded your dental practice’s web presence

Having a beautiful dental website is important, but you need more than that to attract new patients. Get in front of people by claiming online directory dentist profiles and engaging them on social media.

In 2018, approximately 243.6 million Americans used social media — roughly three-quarters of the U.S. population — according to Statista. Social media for dentists is an important dental marketing strategy because you can get more dental patients by connecting with them on platforms they’re already using.

 

Claiming online directory profiles is also key because patients use these sites to research your dental practice. In fact, 48.8 percent of patients check Google for patient reviews, followed by WebMD (32.8 percent), Yelp (22.8 percent), Healthgrades (21.8 percent), and Facebook (16.8 percent), according to PatientPop.

3. Your dental practice has few patient reviews

Most people (74.6 percent) have looked online to find out about a doctor, a dentist, or medical care, according to PatientPop. In fact, more than three-quarters (69.9 percent) consider a positive online reputation to be very or extremely important.

 

If your dental practice doesn’t have many — or any! — recent patient reviews, this is likely steering people away. Since reviews have become so prominent, people don’t want to schedule an appointment with a dentist they know nothing about.

 

Sending patient satisfaction surveys after each visit is a dental marketing strategy that can help you gain valuable feedback and generate more reviews. Inviting satisfied patients to share their experience on your dental website will give new patients the information needed to feel comfortable making an appointment.

4. You haven’t enabled online scheduling

Picking up the phone to schedule a dental appointment is inconvenient for many modern patients. Finding the time to call a dentist during business hours and waiting on hold can be difficult to fit into a busy schedule. 

 

Consequently, it’s not surprising that 68 percent of patients say they’re more likely to choose a provider who offers online scheduling, according to Accenture. Therefore, if you want to attract more dental patients, consider enabling online scheduling.

5. Patients have to wait too long to be seen by a dentist

When new patients have a toothache or are greatly overdue for a cleaning, they want to be seen by a dentist as soon as possible. However, on average, patients wait 6.8 days before their first appointment with a dentist across all specialties, according to Statista. Eliminate long wait times by saving a few appointment spots for new patients who want to book appointments in the near future.

 

While making this adjustment, take an honest look at your appointment times, as a lack of convenience could also be keeping new patients away.

 

In fact, 56 percent of patients seeking traditional healthcare services cite convenient appointment times as an important factor when choosing a provider, according to Accenture. Making a few small adjustments to your schedule — i.e. opening or closing your office an hour later — can have a noticeable difference.

 

Your dental practice offers outstanding care, so it’s time to stop new patients from missing out. Increasing your dental marketing efforts and making scheduling more convenient are relatively simple changes that offer big results.

 

If you’re willing to invest the time and resources needed for a dental marketing strategy that will put your practice out there, you’ll gain the competitive advantage needed to fill your waiting room with new patients.

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Develop a memorable, effective brand for dental marketing

Develop a memorable, effective brand for dental marketing | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

7 ways to differentiate your practice through branding

1. Know your audience

Different patients want different things from a dentist, so really think about the people you want to make up your patient base. Knowing exactly who you’re trying to reach will allow you to create a brand that speaks to them.

Conduct market research to learn how you can best reach this group. This will help you create the kind of dental brand your demographic can relate to.

2. Create a niche

Choosing a dentist can be overwhelming, so attract more dental patients by carving out a niche. For example, you might focus on sedation dentistry to help people nervous about going to the dentist relax during procedures.

After zeroing in on your niche, create a dental marketing plan that centers on it. Positioning your practice in a unique manner will allow you to create a brand that stands out.

3. Design a logo that represents your brand

A logo is an important part of dentistry marketing because it allows patients to easily identify your brand. For it to be effective, it must be immediately recognizable and invoke feelings of trust.

Start the planning process by researching other dentists’ logos in your market, as you don’t want to inadvertently create something similar. The final product will be synonymous with your practice, so make sure it’s something you want working for you.

4. Find your voice

Step your dental marketing up by defining your brand voice. Creating a personality for your practice is a smart branding move because it highlights who you are and what you stand for. A consistent tone helps patients relate to your practice, making it more memorable.

Branding a dental practice like an individual might sound a bit inane, but personality creates connections. When patients feel like your brand is speaking to them, they listen.

5. Be consistent

As noted above, consistency is key in all marketing for dental activities. If you send patients mixed messages, they won’t understand what your brand represents.

Everything from your brand voice to design choices must be consistent across all brand properties — i.e. your dental website, blog, social media pages, and marketing materials. Deviating from these standards will make you appear confused, which will not inspire patients to trust you with their dental health.

6. Show results

Actions speak louder than words, so include before and after photos — with patient consent — in your dental marketing materials. This will highlight your skills to prospective patients and help them feel comfortable in your hands.

Nothing adds to the value of a brand like quality. Putting patient results out there leaves no room for interpretation. This will allow patients to see that their quality standards align with yours, which will build trust.

7. Engage in thoughtful partnerships

Partnering with other local businesses can raise your brand profile while creating opportunities to bring new patients into your practice. For example, a pediatric dentist might partner with a pediatrician to sponsor a health fair for children.

 

Forging partnerships with complementary businesses can allow you to bring added value to patients. This creates a care network patients can rely on, allowing them to feel like you’ve covered all the bases for them.

 

Brand awareness is the key to the lasting success of your practice. Center your dental marketing efforts on this goal to create a brand that patients instantly recognize and completely trust.

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How to effectively communicate with patients during COVID-19

How to effectively communicate with patients during COVID-19 | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

4 best practices for communicating with patients during a healthcare crisis

1. Ensure business information is up-to-date and available

COVID-19 might have caused you to temporarily change some of your standard business practices. It’s important to keep your business information updated online to keep both current and prospective patients in the loop.

If you are temporarily closing your practice or expanding your hours of operation, update your office hours on your website and important online profiles such as Google My Business and Facebook.

Depending on your specialty, it’s possible you’re receiving a high volume of requests. Let patients know if you have a preferred method of contact right now — for example, a direct phone line or email address — so you can streamline requests to best serve them.

It’s also important to let people know if you’re accepting new patients or referring healthy patients to a different facility.

 

For example, you might be treating patients displaying symptoms of COVID-19 in your office but sending well patients elsewhere — or canceling their appointments entirely — to minimize their exposure to the virus.

2. Share facts from reputable sources and tackle misinformation

There is a lot of misinformation about COVID-19 on the web. Patients rely on you to separate fact from fiction, so don’t let them down.

 

Avoid spreading false information by only sharing data from reputable sources like the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the American Medical Association (AMA). Always cite your source. This increases your credibility and helps ensure your message doesn’t get twisted as people share your updates with others.

 

If your patients have been asking you the same questions based on misinformation, nip it in the bud by writing a blog post, social media update, or email refuting the information. As a medical professional, you’re in a unique position to help stop false rumors.

3. Touch base often to keep patients well informed

Patients depend on their trusted healthcare providers during a healthcare crisis. The unknown nature of COVID-19 has created a sense of pandemonium, so your patients want to hear from you.

The frequency of your messages will depend on your specialty. For example, if you’re a primary care physician, family doctor, or pediatrician, you might share daily updates — or more if the need arises.

 

If you’re not in a general health specialty, you might only reach out with updates regarding changes to practice procedures. For example, the American Dental Association has advised dental providers to postpone all elective procedures.

 

The U.S. Surgeon General has also asked hospitals and healthcare systems to consider stopping elective procedures for the foreseeable future.

 

If you change standard business practices, reach out once with the information, then again when the situation changes.

4. Use multiple channels to ensure messages are received

Not all patients use the same communication channels, which is why it’s important to share messages across multiple channels to reach as many people as possible.

 

Send emails, post updates on social media — possibly including Instagram Stories and Facebook Live — and write informative blog posts to help educate and inform.

 

You should also post the most important information on your website homepage, possibly by installing a website popup.

 

It’s also a good idea to share information using Google Posts. More for prospective patients, this feature allows you to share messages on your Google My Business profile.

 

This can make it easier for prospective patients seeking care to quickly determine whether your practice can meet their needs.

 

COVID-19 is a major healthcare crisis that has taken the entire world by storm. Right now, your patients need you more than ever, so effective communication is a must.

 

As a healthcare professional, you want to do everything possible to help people get through this pandemic.

 

Staying in touch with patients keeps them informed and makes them feel cared for in this time of distress.

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Healthcare website promises doctors should be wary of

Healthcare website promises doctors should be wary of | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

7 healthcare website promises that should make you think twice

1. “You don’t need a responsive site.”

As of February 2019, 81 percent of Americans own a smartphone, according to the Pew Research Center. Furthermore, GSMA Intelligence predicts 3.7 billion people — 72 percent of global internet users — will access the internet using only mobile devices by 2025.

 

Given these numbers, it’s clear patients are using a variety of devices to access your site. Therefore, having a responsive medical website is a must, as it adjusts to fit the screen size of the device. This allows all patients to enjoy an optimal viewing experience.

2. “Anyone can build a website that can be found in search.”

Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise: Creating a medical website that ranks highly in search requires vast search engine optimization (SEO) knowledge.

 

This isn’t easy, as nearly two-thirds of companies (61 percent) cite generating traffic and leads as their top marketing challenge, according to HubSpot.

 

You can have the most amazing healthcare website, but it’s essentially useless if people can’t find it. In fact, three-quarters (75 percent) of people don’t look past the first page of Google search results, according to Moz.

3. “Website content can be written by anyone.”

Bad content can ruin an otherwise amazing healthcare website. In fact, nearly half of consumers (44 percent) won’t purchase from a brand if its content is too wordy or poorly written, according to Adobe.

 

Content should be written during the website design process. Consider it a red flag if your web designer doesn’t make it a priority or suggests having anyone but a professional copywriter do the work.

 

4. “Web design tools will build a great site.”

Easy-to-use web design tools seemingly make it possible for anyone to create a website. However, there’s no comparison between a site made with one of these tools and one created by a seasoned web designer.

 

If building a quality healthcare website was easy, everyone would do it. Working with an experienced web designer is the only way to get a finished product your business deserves.

5. “Your website only needs to work on Chrome.”

At 49.35 percent market share as of November 2019, according to Statcounter, Chrome is the most popular internet browser in the U.S. There’s a 50-50 chance your patients are using Chrome, but if they’re not, you still want them to have an outstanding user experience. 

Making sure your healthcare website is compatible with all browsers is a must because it could cause you to lose out on new business. If prospective patients visit your website using a browser other than Chrome, they’ll probably move on to your competitor if it doesn’t function properly.

6. “A lack of healthcare experience doesn’t matter.”

No one can be an expert at everything. Be cautious of web designers who claim they can create an outstanding medical website despite having few or no healthcare clients.

 

Sure, any experienced web designer might be able to create a website that’s attractive and functional. However, a professional with specialized healthcare industry experience will be better equipped to know exactly what your practice website needs.

 

After all, podiatrists and ophthalmologists are both doctors, but you wouldn’t go to the latter to have a foot fracture treated.

7. “Your website will be completed ASAP.”

If your current healthcare website is seriously lacking — or nonexistent — you want a new one as soon as possible. However, quality websites aren’t built overnight. 

 

For example, it takes an average of three hours and 57 minutes just to create one blog post, according to Orbit Media. That’s only one piece of content, so be wary of a web designer who promises to complete your site in a matter of days.

 

They should provide you with a clear implementation process that details the work they’ll be doing — and the timeline — from start to finish.

 

This gets the two of you on the same page from the beginning and allows you to know exactly what they’re doing.

 

Your healthcare website should make you proud. Carefully vet the company you work with to create it to ensure it meets the quality standards your practice deserves. 

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5 benefits of acting on patient feedback

5 benefits of acting on patient feedback | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

5 benefits of acting on patient feedback

Provide a better patient experience

When you analyze patient comments, you’re able to recognize patterns that need your attention. 

 

Common patient complaints — such as unpleasant staff, problems scheduling an appointment, and difficulty or delays getting medical records — can cause people not to return to your practice.

 

Dentists who fail to provide a positive patient experience can face serious consequences. More than half of Americans have decided not to go through with a planned purchase or transaction due to bad customer service, according to American Express.

 

Furthermore, 33 percent said they would consider switching companies after just one instance of bad customer service.

Make patients feel valued

It’s discouraging for patients to voice their opinion and not feel heard. Requesting patient feedback is nice, but it doesn’t mean much unless you actually do something with it.

 

Nearly half of Americans (45 percent) claim appreciation for them as a customer is a very important component of providing excellent service, according to American Express. Choosing not to take action on common patient complaints inadvertently sends the message you don’t care.

 

Using critiques to make meaningful changes is a gesture that goes a long way, so don’t underestimate its value. Make patients confident they chose the right dentist by showing them the appreciation they deserve.

Improve patient satisfaction ratings

There’s a good chance you send patient satisfaction surveys after every visit. In fact, this is probably where you’re getting most of the feedback about your practice.

 

If scores aren’t as high as you’d like, the comments you’re receiving essentially guide your path to improvement. Boost your ratings by implementing as many suggestions as possible and resolving any problems that seem to be a widespread issue.

Achieve higher retention rates

Common complaints noted in patient feedback — surprise bills and long wait times, for example — can cause people to seek care elsewhere. In fact, one in five patients has changed doctors because of long wait times, according to Vitals.

 

If your retention rates aren’t great, simply listening to your patients and taking their suggestions for improvement can make a world of difference. It doesn’t get much easier than having people tell you exactly what’s causing them not to return.

Get more positive reviews

Reviews are an important part of dental marketing. For consumers to believe a business’s star rating is accurate, it needs to have an average of 40 online reviews, according to BrightLocal.

 

Of course, quantity isn’t everything, as positive reviews make 68 percent of people more likely to patronize a business, while negative reviews are a turnoff to 40 percent of consumers.

 

If you don’t have the high quality or volume of patient reviews you’d like, acting on comments can make a world of difference. Satisfied patients will be happy to sing your praises, especially when you took the time to rectify a concern they voiced.

 

The more positive reviews you’re able to generate, the better your dental practice will look to prospective patients.

 

You’ll almost certainly notice an increase in patient volume when you gain a reputation of truly caring about the people you serve.

 

Patient feedback is only effective when dentists use that feedback to make changes for the better. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by carefully analyzing comments and using them to improve your dental practice.

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3 Easy Ways to Engage Patients Online During the Holidays

3 Easy Ways to Engage Patients Online During the Holidays | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

Many people love this time of year because the holidays offer a chance to slow down, give thanks, and spend time with friends and family.

 

For healthcare providers like you, the holidays present a good opportunity to connect with patients in a way that helps them keep their health — and your healthcare practice — top of mind.

Email a Digital Holiday Card

Sending holiday cards is a beloved gesture. According to the publication JSTOR Daily, Americans purchase 1.6 billion holiday cards every year.

 

Rather than send paper cards through USPS, take advantage of your robust patient email database to send digital cards. A digital holiday card expresses the same “thinking of you” sentiment and helps you save time and money.

 

Websites like Paperless Post offer hundreds of holiday card templates that you can customize.

 

All of your patients, including those who have not visited your practice in some time, should be sent a digital card.

 

In fact, a digital holiday card might just be the reminder some patients need to schedule appointments in the new year.

Offer Holiday Discounts on Social Media

People jump for discounts during the holiday season. According to Marshal Cohen, Chief Retail Analyst at NPD, almost one-third of purchases made around holiday time are for the buyer themselves.

 

If your healthcare practice sells retail products or can offer reduced prices on services, you can take advantage of “self-gifting” by running a special holiday sale on social media.

 

To effectively market your sale, you should share eye-catching images and use strong language that specifically outlines exactly what patients must do in order to take qualify for the discount. If you choose to promote the sale on Facebook, for example, you might require patients to “Like” your healthcare practice page and “Share” the specific post.

Discuss Hot Holiday Topics on Your Blog

Now is a great time for healthcare providers to write original blogs that discuss hot holiday topics.

 

A general practitioner, for example, can write several blogs that tackle one of the biggest holiday concerns: weight gain.

 

A few blog topics could include:

  • How to avoid overindulging at holiday parties
  • Healthful alternatives to harmful holiday foods
  • How to exercise regularly when the weather is frightful

Remember, publishing a blog is just the first step in encouraging patient engagement online. You must also share your blogs on social media. You can also send your blogs to patients via email or submit your work to a healthcare publication to bolster your online brand.

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Use dental marketing to build trust with prospective patients

Use dental marketing to build trust with prospective patients | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

Dental marketing strategies that build trust

1. Demonstrate reliability with consistent online directory information

Most consumers (80 percent) lose trust in a local business if they see incorrect or inconsistent contact information or business names online, according to BrightLocal. Furthermore, most people blame the local business, not the directory, for the error. 

 

Obviously, online directories play a huge role in dentistry marketing. If you haven’t claimed your listings on popular directories like Google My Business, it’s time to do so.

 

Being in control of your directory profiles will allow you to ensure your business information is accurate. This will avoid confusion that can turn prospective patients away from your practice.

2. Highlight the human side of your dental practice

There were 199,486 dentists working in the field in the U.S. as of 2018, according to the American Dental Association. Finding the right dentist is a very personal choice — and, clearly, patients have plenty of options.

 

Your dentist marketing should make patients feel comfortable with your practice. Humanize it by sharing photos and videos of dentists, hygienists, and practice staff on your website, directory listings, and social media.

 

Additionally, show prospective patients they’re in good hands by highlighting your credentials on all web properties and directory profiles. Your expertise will put them at ease because they’ll feel confident you know what you’re doing.

3. Prioritize dentist reputation management

Three-quarters of people (74.6 percent) have looked online to find more information about a doctor, dentist, or medical care, according to PatientPop. About the same amount (76 percent) trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, according to BrightLocal.

 

Take control of your dentist reputation management by integrating it into your marketing plan. Continuously ask current patients for their honest feedback by sending automated patient satisfaction surveys.

 

Feature positive reviews on your dental website, and respond to negative public feedback where appropriate. This is key because people won’t necessarily hold negative feedback against you if you try to make it right.

 

For example, 97 percent of consumers read local businesses’ responses to reviews, according to BrightLocal. This means prospective patients would almost definitely be reading your side of the story, lessening the impact of any negative reviews.

4. Share real patient stories

More than half of people (56 percent) trust brands based on their customer experience, according to Edelman. Since you haven’t treated prospective patients yet, learning about those you have can build trust.

 

For example, you might feature before-and-after photos of cosmetic procedures — i.e. teeth whitening, veneers, gum reshaping, etc. — on your website and social media. With patients’ written permission, you can also write about their dental transformations on social media or blog posts on your website.

 

This is a great dental marketing strategy because it helps prospective patients envision what you could do for them.

5. Educate and inform

Prospective patients want to ensure their new dentist knows what they’re doing. Presenting yourself as an authority in your branch of dentistry will put your knowledge on display.

 

Dental marketing ideas might include writing blog posts to explain cutting-edge techniques or sharing the steps involved with common patient procedures. This shows prospective patients you’re fully engaged and know exactly what you’re doing.

 

Prospective patients won’t trust their dental health to just anyone. Thoughtful dental marketing can allow you to connect with people and show them they’re in good hands at your practice.

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6 challenges doctors face with social media marketing

6 challenges doctors face with social media marketing | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

Social media marketing has essentially become unavoidable. More than three-quarters of the U.S. population (79 percent) has at least one social media profile, according to Statista.

 

Furthermore, Statista estimates the number of social media users in the U.S. will rise from roughly 244 million in 2018 to approximately 257 million by 2023.

 

Given these numbers, standing out from the crowd on social media is important, but it isn’t easy.

 

Here’s some advice to help your practice overcome common challenges of healthcare social media.

1. Highlighting patient success stories without revealing PHI

Incorporating patient success stories into your social media marketing is a great way to promote your expertise.

 

However, be careful not to accidentally disclose PHI, as this can lead to a HIPAA violation.

 

Knowledge is the key to avoiding this, so know what constitutes PHI — i.e. using a patient’s name or nickname, their address or geographical location, dates they were treated, numbers that could identify them, and anything else that might compromise their identity.

 

When compiling patient success stories for social media, work with a legal professional to create patient marketing consent forms. Otherwise, only discuss patients in general terms without revealing PHI, and always triple-check content for potential privacy violations before posting.

2. Reaching their target patient base

A Facebook post has an organic reach of just 6.4 percent of a Page’s likes, according to We Are Social. However, the average paid reach is 27.3 percent higher than the average total reach. 

 

Given these numbers, it’s not surprising that 53 percent of companies use social advertising — i.e., purchasing ads on social networks — according to HootSuite. Facebook advertising and sponsored content can extend your social media reach to ensure your practice gets in front of your target patients.

 

Social media advertising campaigns can be created to fit any budget, and they’re effective. Nearly two-thirds of consumers (65 percent) will click through to learn more about social ads that appear on their screen, according to Sprout Social.

3. Determining good content to share

Growing your patient base is the overarching purpose for social media marketing, but coming on too strong will get you unfollowed fast. Generally speaking, approximately 80 percent of your content should be informative or interesting and 20 percent should be promotional.

 

When it comes to the type of content that performs best, no two audiences are the same. Carefully monitor your posts to see what types of content — i.e. pictures, videos, graphics, how-tos — as well as what subjects get the most engagement.

4. Finding time to share and engage

Proper social media management is a key component of an effective strategy. You won’t engage your patient base by posting content sporadically and occasionally responding to comments.

 

In fact, 52 percent of small businesses post on social media at least daily, according to Clutch. Schedule time on your calendar each day for social media marketing activities to make sure they don’t fall by the wayside. 

 

Of course, as a busy doctor, you might not have time to effectively manage your social media properties. In this case, delegate this task to a member of your staff or take on an outside social media partner.

5. Choosing the right social media platforms

Different demographics gravitate toward different social networks — i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. If you don’t take the time to figure out where your patient base is, your medical social media efforts might be wasted on the wrong crowd.

 

For example, 64 percent of 18-to-29-year-olds are on Instagram, but only 40 percent of 30-to-49-year-olds have an account on the site, according to Sprout Social.

 

Maintaining social media accounts on multiple platforms will allow you to reach different demographics that fall into your target patient group.

6. Getting patients to share their content

The more your social media content is shared, the broader your reach. However, people don’t share just anything, so give them quality and compelling content they’re excited to share with their own networks.

 

Post on topics important to your patient base, take time to proofread for spelling and grammatical errors, and share information from credible sources. You can also hold a social media contest where entry involves sharing a certain post and tagging a friend or two.

 

Patients want to connect with you on social media, but simply having an account isn’t enough to promote your practice. Finding success in healthcare social media requires a significant time investment, but it’s well worth the effort.

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Why a healthcare marketing strategy should include directories

Why a healthcare marketing strategy should include directories | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

5 reasons it’s important to have healthcare directory profiles

1. Prospective patients use directory profiles to evaluate providers

It’s important to have listings on websites such as WebMD and Vitals because people use them to make healthcare decisions. About 50 percent of patients say information found on third-party websites such as these contribute to their decision when choosing a doctor, dentist, or other healthcare providers, according to PatientPop.

 

Creating profiles on healthcare directories gives you an opportunity to show patients what it’s like to visit your practice. Beyond your name, address, and phone number, include a bio that describes your experience, expertise, and bedside manner. Show off pictures of your waiting room and the exterior of your building, so patients know what to expect.

 

2. Having a profile on healthcare directories expands your web presence

One of the key components of a healthcare marketing strategy is meeting your ideal patients where they are. By creating a profile on healthcare directories, you’re expanding the number of places where patients can find your information.

 

According to PatientPop, three-in-four people have looked online to find out about a doctor, dentist, or medical care. This means the majority of patients are relying on the internet not just to find new providers, but to also research their symptoms or look up treatments.

 

The healthcare website WebMD, for example, had 82,000 total unique visitors in October 2018, according to data from Comscore. By having your information on a site such as this, you also have the opportunity to attract patients as they’re learning about health conditions or treatments.

3. Healthcare profiles help elevate your online reputation

It may sound obvious to say that patients expect to find physicians and other healthcare providers to be listed on healthcare directories.

 

But this simply underscores how important it is to have a presence on these sites. People trust the information on these websites and by having your profile included, you get a positive brand association as part of a collection of reputable doctors.

 

In addition, these websites often contain online reviews, which patients list as the most influential decision-making factor when choosing a new provider, according to PatientPop.

 

In fact, 59 percent of people say online reviews contribute to their decision when choosing a doctor, dentist, or other healthcare providers.

 

Additionally, 32.8 percent of patients say they read patient reviews on WebMD and 21.8 percent said they do so on Healthgrades.

 

By claiming or listing your profiles on these healthcare websites, you can monitor your online reputation, stay on top of patient feedback, and quickly address any negative feedback you receive.

4. Google and other search engines find directories highly reputable

When Google and other search engines return results for a search, they rank the listings based on which are most likely to satisfy a searcher’s request.

 

Key factors that help determine search rankings include whether a site is reputable and authoritative. Because healthcare directories have a lot of web traffic and satisfy searches for symptoms, treatments, hospitals, and providers, search engines consider them reputable.

 

This means that your profile on these websites can sometimes rank higher than your own healthcare website.

 

Thus, this provides an opportunity for you to direct traffic to your website from your healthcare profiles. This also sends signals to Google that your healthcare website is reputable and contains accurate information.

5. Claiming your profiles helps stop misinformation

Even if you’ve never created profiles on any healthcare directory, it’s possible they already exist.

 

If they exist without your input, it’s possible they contain inaccuracies. Knowing that patients rely on these websites to choose their providers, it’s a good healthcare marketing strategy to claim and update them, if necessary.

 

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5 Challenges for Advertising Healthcare on Google

5 Challenges for Advertising Healthcare on Google | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

With 3.5 billion Google searches made every day, there’s no question that businesses need some sort of presence on the world’s most popular search engine to succeed online.

 

And the most efficient way to ensure you have a presence on the search engines is with paid advertising. Advertising healthcare on Google, however, comes with its own set of challenges.

1. You cannot promote certain services and products

The first challenge for healthcare marketers is that certain products and services cannot be advertised at all. For example, Google does not allow advertisements for CBD oil.

 

In some cases, products and services will only reach a limited audience, rather than an ad getting banned altogether. And you can only advertise certain products and services—including pharmaceuticals and addiction treatment centers—in select countries with a special certification from Google.

2. Can’t use certain phrasing

Aside from the products and services you cannot promote, healthcare marketers also must avoid certain phrasing in Google Ads. These phrasing concerns apply to both the ad copy—what appears in the Google search results—and the landing page copy—where people land when they click on the ad.

 

In some cases, Google rejects or takes down advertisements it deems to be against their policies, all of which are outlined here.

 

For example, a low-testosterone clinic would have to be very careful phrasing their advertisements, as Google may consider an ad or associated landing page to be banned adult content. 

3. Must use certain phrasing

Healthcare advertisers must also include certain types of phrasing in advertisements. You cannot guarantee specific results from a product or from your services. On a landing page, when displaying testimonials or before-and-after pictures, it’s important to use phrasing such as “Results vary and are not guaranteed.”

 

Another thing to include on any landing page is ad copy that actually matches or lines up with the landing page copy. Google’s sophisticated algorithms can quickly detect that an ad for vein services leads to a landing page without any information about veins whatsoever. 

4. No retargeting

Google does not allow healthcare marketers to retarget prospective patients with advertising.

 

This means that, if someone visits your website or clicks on your ad, hospitals and practices cannot use display advertising (ads that appear on other sites) to lure that person back in—all due to potential patient privacy concerns. (However, there are other ways to 

That’s why it’s so important to design a landing page for conversions, so that people who click on your ad have an easy way to fill out a form (or call) and express interest in your services. 

5. Competition

When our agency first got started over a decade ago, digital marketing for healthcare was a fairly niche expertise. Today, we are still leaders in our area—but the competition has gotten tough.

 

When you’re advertising on Google Ads, you’ll have to bid strategically, take advantage of negative keywords (the keywords you DON’T want to rank for), and use advertising best practices to get potential patients to visit your landing page and convert. 

Work with a Google Premier Partner

When you work with a Google Premier Partner for your campaigns, you’re partnering with experts who don’t just employ a “set-it-and-forget-it” mentality with your Google Ads. They’ll constantly optimize to get you ahead of the competition and help your landing pages convert. 

 

Better yet, partner with Healthcare Success to work with a healthcare digital advertising agency that knows the challenges specific to healthcare. Call 800-656-0907 for more information.

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