With the changing times, the presence of medical care has become vast. There are different sizes of clinics and hospitals now offering specialized services. Any healthcare institution is closely linked with the medical professional hired to represent its brand. All the involved parties, i.e., the doctors, management, administrators, and support staff, need to have a similar vision of achieving organizational goals while serving patients who actively engage with them.
To make a long-standing presence, you must transform how you deliver your services. Building a reputation is not always easy. It is a combined effort between all those involved to build a brand, likely those who represent the organization. To attract patients and make a name in the market, you must carefully strategize how you can pitch your services. Creating innovative strategies for medical practices can be challenging and often perplexing. While putting in so much effort, time, and money, you surely want to reach your patients in a way that best suits their needs. You need to offer solutions that are not only unparalleled but also personal to your patients. Your services should be definitive to your organization and ultimately add to your brand USP.
Additionally, patient and consumer healthcare expectations are shifting. To stay relevant, you need to be present in a way that makes you more accessible, dependable, and inclusive. Let’s discuss some strategies you can adopt to bring more patient traffic and stand out amongst the competition(s) in the market.
1. Create a user-friendly website for the finest patient experience– Internet has become an essential commodity in assisting us with our day-to-day critical decisions. Potential patients will want to look through your website before estimating whether your services are reliable or not. By doing so, they want to establish a trust and to know they will be in safe hands. Optimizing your website can increase patient leads and inform them that you are the experts in the field.
Most people who look through websites have been recorded to use cell phones. You can begin by creating a website with a good user interface for both the phone and the laptop. All the action features on the website, like menu, assistance, services, etc., should be properly visible so that the patient experience is smooth.
2. Include SEO to increase user traffic – Good SEO involves various aspects like identifying relevant keywords in the healthcare space that have high search traffic potential, creating content that is useful & relevant for patients, and optimizing it for search engines and potential patients. Carry competitive keyword research to master your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) strategy, so your site appears as a top result while looking for the best clinics/hospitals or doctors in town.
Even your website’s speed is of prime importance. Time matters, so a quick result-fetching website can be crucial to transforming leads into permanent patients. Your patients will not want to wait for longer durations to access the contents on your website. Website Speed Optimization impacts how your webpage will be ranked online. Additionally, page speed also influences bounce rate and the time spent by patients on your website, which in turn affects the SEO.
3. Expand social media presence– Social Media can invite a larger crowd and effectively assist you in analyzing your progress based on online presence. You can easily track your reach and the audience engaging with your content. This data will help you decipher the most active hours when you can achieve the highest traffic and how strongly your target audience is being driven by everything you present on your social networking sites.
Regularly posting content is a must if you want to improve your visibility ratio. Being unique with your approach and eye-catching themes will pull a lot of attention to what you convey compellingly.
Online ads are an effective way to grow your brand awareness. By putting out ads on Google and social networking sites like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter, you can connect with your patients on a personal level and get a boost on your marketing campaigns.
The ad could be in the form of a static image, video, or story. It’s critical to understand how these ads work and help your business keep up with the competition. Alongside, social media advertisements are cost-effective, providing excellent rates of return on investment.
4. Powering long-term relationships using PRM –One way to market your hospital or clinic is through PRM (Patient Relationship Management). You can create a physician-affiliated program that helps patients easily interact and engage with healthcare professionals. It takes care of the entire patient experience and facilitates better patient relationships. Providing a holistic patient management system gives a superior experience to patients. Its essence lies in delivering timely, high-quality care while reducing administration costs. Your patients can book an appointment with you 24/7 via any registered digital platform. Online registration & fee payment and subsequent check-in alongside appointment reminder facilities will ease your patients’ experiences without having to hustle to get healthcare assistance. You can even get feedback through questionnaires or surveys to align your goals with the patient’s needs and provide better care.
5. Regularly update your organization’s online listing– Your brand’s business rating is crucial to set recognition amongst the visiting patients. All these ratings are available online and, hence, easily accessible to everyone searching for your name. You should apply and verify all the ratings on various online platforms so that there are consistent reviews across all the platforms. It promotes authenticity and grabs a hold over patients, encouraging them to associate with your business and its services.
6. Send e-mails to reach more patients– E-mails are a great way to build hospital/clinic and the patient relationship. You can stay in touch with your patients by regularly sending them e-mails & newsletters about your services, achievements, and records. It can also be a way to reach out to new patients who may have expressed interest in understanding more about you online.
7. Medical Tourism– India is one of the fastest-growing countries in medical tourism. Technological advancement, scientific research, superior medical expertise & education, and a greater awareness of alternative medicines have led to India’s positioning as a contender for medical tourism locations. It has further boomed worldwide, with insurance companies promoting medical tourism actively. The global insurance companies are sending patients to India, as its reputation as a developed country has greatly benefited from the high caliber of its medical services. The low medical expense in India is a great catch for foreign nationals when seeking cheaper yet high-quality medical assistance.
8. Encourage patients to share testimonials – Positive online reviews can help you gain trust in the community. Most people choose your services only because you are one of the highly rated organizations on their search engine page. Requesting your patients to leave genuine reviews for your hospital/clinic will ensure you are claiming credibility by the word of those who have been satisfied with your services and recommend you with utmost faith. This adds to your reputation and invites more patients who are likely to be interested in your healthcare facilities.
9. Get experts on board and create videos– Videos are the new in-trend asset of the online world. With higher engagement and great creative liberty, videos can be highly engaging and easily catch anybody’s attention. You can create videos featuring doctors hired under the brand to produce personalized content specific to your niche audience. The professionals can answer patients’ common doubts or talk about any relevant health-related topic to engage them and gain online recognition that will further generate offline patient attendance.
10. Introduce CME– Continuing Medical Education (CME) improves employee knowledge and trains them toward safe and effective patient care. With constantly evolving industrial dynamics, medical professionals need to be up to date with all the advancements in research, treatment, knowledge, and skills. Digitization gives access to educational material through a flexible model of e-learning. It cuts the budget of training centers and allows engagement as per individual convenience. Engaging with CME will ensure cost-effective functioning and better clinical results due to the high competence of healthcare professionals hired under your organization. Customized orientation sessions will introduce a variety of learning experiences that foster a flourishing healthcare culture.
Organizing a webinar authorizes you as a healthcare professional. You can share your expertise and knowledge in the field with a greater audience. It further breaks down geographical barriers and promotes collaboration at a larger distance. Doctors can better represent their hospitals or clinics to new patients and grow their brand.
All these strategies will give your hospital and clinic a more personal touch. Your main aim should be to set up a brand promise which honors your business’ mission, vision, & objectives and is aligned with the target audience’s needs. Once you achieve this, your growth in the sector will be long-term and sustainable.
Pramita Sen is the Founder of WeYou Partners and a healthcare brand strategist
Vartika Srivastava is interning with WeYou Partners, and a student at Christ University, Bangalore