Medical Marketing and Word of Mouth Marketing
So you’ve decided that your medical practice could use a boost in 2013. Maybe you’re doing enough to get by, but your vision for your practice is not quite fulfilled. It’s easy to say that your work will speak for itself, and if you’re good enough at what you do, patients will come. While there is definitely truth to that, it is certainly not the whole truth. For example, plastic surgery practices rely heavily on referrals to increase consultations, as the best advertisement for your plastic surgery practice is the results that are produced within. Each and every plastic surgery procedure you perform translates to a walking billboard of your success and skill. So why do you even need Medical Marketing? Medical marketing is really just taking control of your brand, and not always leaving it up to previous patients to spread the word for you. Keep in mind, that while plastic surgery is a growing field, not everyone is going to run home and tell their friends that they had work done. So how do you reach potential patients that may not have a close friend or family member telling them how great you are? While I won’t argue that the early days of SEO didn’t necessarily focus on the quality of a medical practice, Google Updates in 2012 have drastically changed the industry for the better.
The SEO industry has changed so much over the last year, that many SEO professionals have been forced to learn how to rank websites based upon creating actual quality. This means that there is more focus on quality content, user-friendly medical website design, social media marketing, and actual PR. The days of buying links to your site to rank for terms you don’t necessarily deserve are over. Now is the time to implement realistic medical marketing plans to increase your online visibility. After all, that’s exactly what SEO originally was intended to do. Let’s put it in perspective by examining some of the older forms of marketing and advertising that medical practices relied upon. Let’s use the Yellow Pages as an example. Did you settle for the free listing that was listed alphabetically along with all of your competitors, or did you make an investment for a half-page or full-page layout? The best way to look at medical marketing is to relate it to buying a full-page advertisement in your local phone book. Do you want the full-page to be in color to get people’s attention? Do you include a “call to action” to increase conversion? Do you clearly offer the services provided at your practice?
Does Word of Mouth Marketing Still Have Value?
Of course it does! Just as other forms of marketing have value (i.e. radio, print and television), so too does word of mouth marketing. There is no doubt that word of mouth marketing is a great way to grow your medical practice and has the highest conversion rate. Just as you might diversify your stock portfolio, a diversified marketing strategy will also yield the best long-term results. While Medical Marketing focuses on your online presence, the oldest form of marketing, word of mouth marketing, will always play a large role in the success of your medical practice. To see how word of mouth marketing and medical marketing might work together, you need to look no further than a strong social media presence. Since social media plays a large role in how society communicates and fosters relationships it makes sense to utilize a “fan page” to make social sharing simpler.
Developing Your Brand with Medical Marketing
Take out a full page ad for your medical practice! Remember, medical marketing is designed to highlight the best parts of your practice and increase your online visibility. There’s a certain amount of people who believe online medical marketing isn’t a fair practice because it can elevate a practice in Google rankings allowing for more leads. But if you develop a well-known and visible brand through marketing, you’re reaching potential patients that are looking for you. Also, it should be looked at no differently than taking out a full page in the Yellow Pages. You’re simply putting your medical practice in a position to succeed in a competitive market. With recent studies showing that 80% of those surveyed have used the internet to search for healthcare information, take stock of your current medical marketing plan in 2013. Do you have a full page ad, or are you just another name in the long list of your competitors?
To see how many more leads Omni Medical Marketing can get for you, give us a call.