From self-diagnosing to looking up reviews, more patients use the internet to make health care decisions today. Successful medical practices must embrace digital marketing to bring in more patients — here’s how.
There was a time when medical practitioners didn’t need to market themselves. New patients would choose doctors or other medical professionals based on location, availability, and most commonly, referrals. But unless you live in a small town, there’s a good chance this is no longer the case.
Healthcare customers are more empowered than ever before. They have access to digital channels, which can be used in innumerable ways to decide how and where they will receive their healthcare. And if you’re not yet utilizing these digital channels, you’re undoubtedly missing out.
It’s a funnel, not a waiting room
Medical practitioners often focus on the waiting room to indicate their success. If all the seats are full, that must mean your business is doing just fine, right? Sure — but what about the long term?
The danger in using booked appointments as an indicator of successful marketing is that you lose sight of the bulk of the customer journey. If you can’t answer the question, “How did my customer end up in my waiting room?” you won’t be able to replicate that level of success in the future. You may enjoy a surge of initial bookings or annual visits, but if nothing fills up the rest of the funnel, those will eventually dry up.
Today, the rest of the funnel is digital. Thanks to the internet, healthcare customers are more comfortable than ever researching their ailments before even consulting a practitioner. By the time a patient arrives at your doorstep, they have already spent significant time assessing their options. Your job is to ensure that their path always leads back to you. If you aren’t leveraging digital platforms, you’re missing out.