Today, a growing number of medical and health care professionals appreciate the vital importance of educating clients about subjects relating to the provision of services. From assisting patients in understanding how recent federal health care law changes will impact them, to obtaining better compliance with preventative medicine and wellness-promoting strategies, digital marketing tools offers many avenues for health care providers to establish meaningful channels of communication with clients.
A Health Care Revolution
Practice managers have discovered that promoting patient education also reinforces the role of health care professionals as trusted authorities in the minds of the public. In recent years, some hospitals and medical clinics have focused attention upon this strategy, implementing programs to inform and educate health care consumersabout many wellness topics.
People value useful information supplied by health care providers. Website visitors who obtain practical, pertinent information from a medical practice website usually feel more comfortable recommending the firm to others. In this respect, digital marketing furnishes a valuable tool for expanding the influence and client base of health care firms. Some evidence suggests consumers today generally have become much better informed about health issues, a situation some marketers view as a “revolution”. Just consider a few practical tools available to help accomplish the objective of delivering tailored, intrinsically valuable information to prospective patients:
One: Careful Website Content Selection
What types of information should health care professionals supply via online websites? Content-rich material frequently interests prospective clients. Sites such as the one maintained by Boston Children’s Hospital and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center have earned praise in this respect. Yet unlike world-renowned institutions, most health care professionals also need to appeal to a primarily local (or at least, a regional) SEO marketplace.
For example, a firm furnishing chiropractic assistance in North Carolina may discover more value by supplying information on the firm’s website targeted towards the Tar Heel State and its residents. By maintaining a definite geographic focus rather than appealing to a broad general national or international audience, the practice reinforces its role in the local marketplace. As a result, the website may eventually rank higher in proximity-based search engines. The medical practice should not exclude any visitors from other locations (people residing elsewhere do refer clients within North Carolina sometimes), yet managers may want to emphasize at least a few specifically local issues on medical practice websites for SEO purposes.
Two: Educating Clients Through Seminars
Some practice managers encourage medical professionals in the practice to deliver periodic short seminars or lectures about topics of public interest to increase the firm’s local profile. In many instances, prospective clients will seek information about health topics in the course of researching the best local health care provider. This marketing tactic mimics one employed by some respected hospitals, only on a much smaller scale.
Furnishing general information about a topic in this way may help inform and educate people in the community concerning the professional practice’s areas of expertise, for instance. This type of “meet and greet” event also supplies an excellent way to network within the community. A medical marketing specialist may send press releases to local papers that promote the event, and also raise the profile of the firm’s staff. Additionally, establishing a website specifically to promote attendance at these types of session may offer a useful cost-effective resource for a biomedical practice interested in raising its SEO ranking.
Three: Embedding Links to Informational Videos in Client Communications
Another very powerful tool for informing and educating patients involves embedding links to instructional videos in email communications with patients. For example, in addition to sending patients home after procedures with written after-care instructions, a health care firm may find emailing links to general website instructions maintained by the practice useful also. Many patients lose or misplace written directives. A helpful email contact may raise their awareness about specific after-care issues, such as keeping sutures dry or changing dressings.
For instance, if a dentist wants a patient to comply with specific teeth cleaning instructions, it may prove helpful to email the client with links to educational material posted on the dental practice website describing different types of toothbrushes and the best ways to floss and brush. While some patients may not pay attention to this type of communication, the information may greatly assist some clients. Similarly, an optometrist seeking to teach patients how to care for permanent contact lenses could furnish links to detailed instructional videos about this topic. Numerous other illustrations exist.
Four: Developing Targeted Mobile Apps
The spread of mobile technology has enhanced the role of mobile apps in educating and informing the public. Mobile apps, software programs written for mobile communications devices, help people with Internet-connected mobile phones, tablets, and laptops gain fast access to specific types of information.
Some medical practices may benefit by commissioning digital marketing firms to disseminate highly targeted information to a firm’s patients.
For example, consider the utility of a mobile app supplied by a dental practice that reminds patients to floss. Or a mobile app enabling a remote caregiver to confirm with a licensed physician that a patient received prescribed medications at a designated time of day? In some instances, mobile apps may contribute to more efficient patient care and reduce duplication, or oversights. Today a growing number of companies customize these software programs, enabling the firm to establish more effective patient engagement.
Enhancing Quality of Life Via Online Marketing
These digital strategies, and many more, may enable health care professionals to interact with patients and caregivers more effectively on a daily basis. By rendering valuable service to their local communities, medical practices also promote their utility to prospective clients.
To investigate how professional medical marketing tools might help expand your practice, contact Best Edge SEO at 919-256-3788. The company specializes in assisting firms promote services and products in the highly competitive health and biomedical field.