One of the biggest challenges for healthcare providers practicing today is figuring out how to attract and engage patients without wasting marketing dollars on expensive, ineffective campaigns. More and more, traditional outbound marketing strategies are generating less return on investment, while simultaneously rising in cost. Here at our healthcare marketing headquarters, we foresaw this trend some time ago. So, to best serve our clients and provide effective marketing strategies that are also cost-effective, we pioneered a new approach centered on content-led inbound marketing.
Inbound marketing simply means using high-quality, original content to promote your health practice — articles, blog posts, videos, podcasts, social media, and more. So instead of broadcasting your marketing out to prospective clients, you draw your prospects in. Here at Paramount/MD, we say — Don’t chase prospects down. Compel them to come to you. This is the basis of inbound marketing.
Inbound marketing and social media are made for one another. Social media is changing the nature, frequency, and ease of interactions between patients and providers. Inbound marketing is about using interactions to build your practice. The two are a perfect match.
Social media not only gives patients an open channel of communication with health providers. It also empowers patients to take control of their own healthcare and health needs. According to an extensive survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers Health Research Institute, patients want their health providers to be even more active on social media. Over 70% of patients say they want providers to use social media to communicate the availability of appointments, issue appointment reminders, and provide specialist referral services.
Of course, this isn’t to say that using social media is a sure-fire way to attract and engage patients. There are excellent opportunities there, no doubt about it, but social platforms can also be a colossal waste of time and energy when used in the wrong ways.
How can you better seize the opportunities on social media, and use this powerful inbound marketing tool to your utmost advantage? We have written about this before, and recommend a quick read of the following if you’ve not done so: The Skinny on Social Media Marketing (It’s Easier Than You Think!. So now let us defer to none other than the American Medical Association, which has identified a number of social media opportunity areas for health providers. These are:
- Listening to users to discover areas for improved customer service
- Getting patient feedback on the effectiveness of treatments, and treatment side-effects
- Giving patients helpful educational information
- Investigating the competition to determine areas for improvement
- Identifying needed or desired services or products
Given the powerful benefits of maintaining an active social media presence — establishing and growing relationships; showcasing your practice; engaging your audience; building your reputation; expanding your online visibility; promoting health compliance; improving patient retention; increasing recommendations and reviews; and we could go on and on! — it’s clear that health providers who ignore these tools do so at their peril. Especially when used as part of a comprehensive content-led inbound marketing plan, providers in every area of healthcare can significantly benefit from the robust results and low cost of implementation.
We’re here to help. If you have questions about social media, inbound marketing, content development, or other healthcare marketing approaches we’d love to hear from you. Connect with us directly, or visit us online to get instant, hassle-free healthcare marketing support from Paramount/MD.