Fifty years ago, when doctors and other professionals faced little competition and people rarely ventured outside their own cities for services, many physicians did little or no advertising. Even twenty-five years ago, when most people still let their fingers do the walking, a small Yellow Pages advertisement was more than enough for most professionals.
But even though it’s no longer 1967 or 1992, some medical marketing campaigns still have these same features.
The bottom line is that patients no longer come to you. Instead, you have to go to them. Here are a few simple ways to accomplish this objective.
A large number of Internet searchers do not look “below the fold,” just like many people don’t turn over the morning newspaper’s front page to see the rest of the headlines. So, if these people must scroll down to see your listing, you might as well not have an internet presence.
A pay-per-click campaign for doctors solves this dilemma. Your listing always appears at the very top of the SERP (search engine results page). And, unlike most other advertising mediums, you only pay when a searcher clicks on the link.
As a rule of thumb, PPC listings usually have a rather low click rate, but they have a much higher than normal conversion rate.
Search engine optimization basically takes the opposite approach. Although the organic listings on a SERP have lower conversion rates — because these searchers are looking for substantive content as opposed to the closest plastic surgeon who does breast reductions — these listings have very night click rates.
Authoritative and engaging content that’s also highly trustworthy is the best kind of SEO content. Typically, a blog is authoritative if the writer has a graduate degree, and “engaging” usually means that the content has some non-marketing value. A page is trustworthy if it has a “contact us” or other such link.
A large percentage of people look at social media reviews before they select a physician. Therefore, you need an active presence on Twitter, Facebook, and other social media sites. Moreover, you need to be mindful of your online reputation.
Inaccurate advertisements, such as a closed office or the wrong business hours, create negative feedback. Moreover, people with bad experiences will post about them. It’s relatively easy to contain the fallout, because people understand that other people occasionally have bad experiences. As long as you add a comment along the lines of “we’ve taken X action to correct this situation,” you are probably okay.