At a Glance
- Physician marketing focuses on building trust and rapport between doctors and patients to create long-lasting relationships.
- Creating valuable content tailored to your patient demographics and posting regularly on social media are effective low-cost digital marketing tactics for physicians.
- Optimizing your website for search engines and mobile can also help attract new patients.
- Responding professionally to online reviews is essential for reputation management and nurturing doctor-patient relationships.
In contrast to traditional healthcare marketing, physician marketing focuses on the accomplishments, qualifications, and expertise of the physicians at your practice. The goal is to build trust and rapport between the physician and their current and prospective patients in the hopes of creating long-lasting relationships.
Although marketing can be expensive, there are ways to keep costs down by leveraging digital physician marketing strategies.
The importance of an effective physician marketing plan
A strategic physician digital marketing strategy will increase the visibility of your physicians, improve brand recognition for your practice, and elevate your providers and practice as leaders in your local medical community.
- Most physician marketing strategies will lead to more networking opportunities for your physicians and practice, as increased brand recognition can lead to speaking engagements and online guest posting.
- More brand recognition for your physician can lead to more referrals, as people will think of your physicians and practice first when asked where to go for healthcare from friends and family.
- Many doctor digital marketing services can help build your image as thought leader in your field and establish your place as an expert. This is especially true with content marketing, which gives you a place to flex your specialty knowledge and share original research and data. Establishing your physicians as thought leaders can lead to more visibility for your practice and, thus, more marketing opportunities — providing the momentum you need for continued and exponential practice growth.
This is only a handful of the perks marketing brings. Strengthening your brand and keeping people interested should be a priority.
6 steps for effective medical marketing for doctors
There are a number of strategies and tools that can be used in physician marketing. Each one offers something different.
1. Regularly post your practice on social media
Social media is a prime place to engage patients and increase your practice’s reach, but many providers don’t take advantage of it. Tebra’s 2023 Patient Perspectives survey found that only 18% of respondents said they follow their doctor’s office on social media, but 45% said they would if their doctor posted regularly.
“Tebra’s 2023 Patient Perspectives survey found that only 18% of respondents said they follow their doctor’s office on social media, but 45% said they would if their doctor posted regularly. ”
Although paid social media ads are an option, simply posting regularly on your social media can help your profile stand out and gain traction. If you need ideas for content, consider sharing relevant news articles about illnesses in the area, tips on staying healthy during flu season, and so on.
You can even use your social media page to hold contests, donate medical services to charity, or give your patients the chance to win prizes.
2. Create content about your healthcare specialty
Similar to social media posting, regularly posting high-quality content on your site’s blog can do wonders for your practice and physicians. Your blog is an ideal place to share unique content about staying healthy, the importance of yearly exams, and more.
Practices can also share any original research that physicians have completed, which demonstrates mastery and supports establishing physicians as thought leaders in the field. Being considered a thought leader can result in guest posting opportunities on other health-related sites, and even open doors to speaking engagements. Both of these opportunities can help your practice attract new patients, and reassure current patients that they’re with the best of the best.
When creating content, it’s important to think like marketers and keep your audience in mind. Consider the demographics of your patients and turn to social media to see what they’re talking about.
You could check out Quora, a popular social media network that focuses on Q&As, or look at similar physician's Instagram profiles to see what they’re posting about and how their followers respond. Taking this approach can inform your medical content marketing strategy by helping you understand what to post. It also provides insight into where patients spend their time online.
3. Guest post on health-related sites
With your doctors and providers established as thought leaders or experts in their specialty, guest posting opportunities will become easier to land. Guest posting is a great way for physician marketers to reach a new audience and potentially land new patients.
What’s more, guest posting can help your site strengthen its domain authority, which can, in turn, make it more likely your website content will appear at the top of search engines. This translates to more traffic and increases your chances of landing new patients.
4. Ensure your medical site is SEO-friendly
Content on your site can only do so much; your site must also be optimized for search engines. Make sure your medical site is SEO-friendly by following the SEO best practices shared by sites like The Moz blog, SEMRush, and SearchEngineJournal.
On top of general SEO, you must also ensure your website is mobile-friendly. Statista found that 46% of visitors are likely to abandon a web page if it takes longer than 4 seconds to load.
6. Engage in reputation management
For many years, physicians long avoided responding to online reviews for fear of inadvertent HIPAA violations. The idea seemed to be that it was better to say nothing than to jeopardize worsening the situation.
This is no longer best practice, and today it’s considered essential to respond to online feedback and reviews in order to effectively manage your practice’s reputation. Since physician marketing centers on bolstering relationships between providers and patients, it’s also a core component of any good physician marketing strategy.
“Today it’s considered essential to respond to online feedback and reviews in order to effectively manage your practice’s reputation. ”
Responding to positive reviews online needn’t be complicated or time-consuming. Simply thank them for their feedback and wish them a great day.
In the case of a negative review, it’s best to move the conversation offline by asking them to reach out to the practice directly. Avoid admitting fault, do not apologize, and refrain from referring to patients by their names. For in-depth guidance on this, check out our post on how to handle negative online reviews with ease.
Physician marketing services
Savvy practices recognize the necessity of physician marketing, but many lack the resources to create and implement effective strategies. If that’s the case for your practice, consider outsourcing your marketing needs to a company that supports practices with a tailored physician marketing strategy for providers.
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