Did you know that 72% of ALL U.S. Internet users have gone online in the past year specifically for health-related information. Additionally, 77% of that group (i.e. 77% of the 72%) say their research started at Google, Bing or another general search engine - not web portals like WebMD or HealthGrades. What are you doing to drive your business's growth online?
Small business owners know the value of marketing, so why don’t more doctors and urologists perfect this art? In short, there simply isn’t enough time in the day for most urologists to engage in effective marketing. Here, five marketing hacks for urology practices will be discussed, which can change the flow of your business and help you with marketing.
In the digital age, many patients find it easier to fill out an online form than spend time on hold on the telephone. A lead form allows urologists to receive information from patients without even forcing them to leave Facebook. With only one or two clicks, a patient can submit his or her information or request an appointment, even from a mobile device. This practice cuts down on the number of steps a patient must take to track down a phone number or email address, thereby increasing the chances of attracting new clients. This may not sound like much, but it can significantly increase the number of patient leads.
Claim your Yelp! Profile
The social business review platform Yelp! has made customer referral easier than ever. Potential customers want to see real reviews of the businesses they frequent, from the donut shop down the street to doctors and surgeons. Claim your Yelp! profile and begin engaging with clients. People love to share their opinions, and a glowing word-of-mouth review can bring in more business than targeted marketing. A plus side to Yelp! is that businesses can engage with dissatisfied customers, making their return business more likely while also diffusing bad reviews. If you are having problems with the quality of your online reviews or have a suboptimal "star rating", then consider enlisting the help of a company like Reputation.com.
Create Interesting Blog Content
Blog content is important for marketing because it not only gives potential clients a better idea about the urologist, but also drives traffic to the practice’s website. Many urologists feel they do not have time for writing a blog post, but they simply may not be looking at the problem from the patient’s perspective. Which questions did you answer most today? Was there a topic that continually arose? If so, you have great fodder for your next blog post, and one that you already know will be interesting to the public.
The more relevant the article, the more likely it is to be shared on social media, which will attract attention from potential clients. Keep headlines interesting, such as “X Things You Should Know About Erectile Dysfunction But Were Afraid to Ask” or “5 Things People with (Blank Disease) Should Do Everyday.” If finding time is the issue, consider having lower level staff come up with initial drafts of blog posts then having the urologists review and refine them.
Provide Patient Testimonials
Search engines (and WebMD) are the bane of most doctors. However, you can use search engines to your advantage by creating content on your website that is written from a patient’s perspective. It is highly likely that the way in which you write your blog content is not worded the same way in which a patient would search for answers. However, by providing patient testimonials you are more likely to create content that jives with the way a potential client would search for it.
In addition, a patient testimonial is a more directed form of word-of-mouth marketing. Potential clients want to know that someone else with their condition was successfully treated by you. Find patients with common problems, such as erectile dysfunction, overactive bladder, stress urinary incontinence, benign prostatatic hyperplasia, or pelvic organ prolapse and ask them to provide testimonials for your website. While you can engage potential patients and describe how you would treat them, it is far more effective for them to hear this information from their peers.
Host AMA Events on Social Media
Trust in physicians – and science in general – has reached an all-time low. Physicians must break down these barriers by appearing both approachable and knowledgeable, which can be achieved with an AMA (ask me anything) event. Set aside an hour each month to be available on social media for a live chat, where you elicit questions from new or existing clients and answer them.
This process can be done in one of many ways. For instance, a Facebook or Twitter post can be made in advance to solicit questions, which are answered in a live video format at a predetermined (and advertised) time. This method is usually best for a first AMA event. Another method involves the doctor taking over the social media page and answering questions that are posted in real time.
This method is also effective – and allows for more engagement – but can place doctors in uncomfortable situations if inappropriate questions are asked. Overall, public engagement lends credibility to a urologist or practice, and can be the push that a patient needs to finally set up an appointment for a nagging problem.
Bonus Hack: Master Google AdWords
As stated above, 72% of ALL U.S. Internet users have gone online in the past year specifically for health-related information. Additionally, 77% of that group (i.e. 77% of the 72%) say their research started at Google, Bing or another general search engine - not web portals like WebMD or HealthGrades. Given these facts, one would think urology practices would be leveraging Google AdWords and Bing marketing. However, only a small fraction are using its potential. This is a huge missed opportunity for most urology practices. With Google AdWords you can target specific geographic areas, specific key words (e.g. “urine leakage”), and even specific demographics. Furthermore, you can fine tune your budget so you only spend what you want for a given month or week. If you don't have time or the experience to master Google AdWords, considered hiring a consultant like BHN ([email protected]).
If you would like get some additional hacks, email us at [email protected].