Ready to plan your practice’s marketing strategy for the new year? We’ve been keeping an eye on the latest marketing trends. As we move into 2019, these are some of the marketing strategies you should consider for your practice.
1. Video Marketing
Content marketing will always be important for medical practices, but video marketing can help you spruce up your content strategy. As one of the rising trends in online marketing, video gives you a way to share your message in a different way. It allows you to explain concepts in a way that is easy for patients to digest, and allows you to make use of visual aids to aid in your explanation.
Video marketing also provides a platform to gain more exposure for your practice. YouTube is currently the second most popular website in the United States (Google, of course, is #1). While we recommend budgeting for a videographer to produce high-quality videos (especially if you plan on using these videos on other marketing platforms), the YouTube platform is free to use. YouTube videos are also easy to embed on your website or share on social media.
As for video topics, there are several different ways that you can use video to market your practice. You can make a videos introducing your doctors, giving a tour of the office, or explaining each of your specialties. Videos like these can help enhance the written content on your website and draw patients in with visually-appealing elements.
Below is an example of how one of our clients, Dr. Craig Greene in Baton Rouge, LA, is using video to market his practice.
2. Voice Search
We’ve written about voice search on the P3 blog before, and it seems that the trend will be continuing into 2019. Google says that 20% of its mobile app queries are voice searches, and media analytics company Comscore estimates that by 2020, 50% of all searches will be voice searches. With that in mind, your practice may want to jump on this trend now to stay ahead of the curve.
Optimizing your practice’s content for voice search is a bit different than optimizing your content for typed-out searches. When people use voice search, they tend to take a more conversational approach by asking questions or using longer phrases, rather than the shorter queries you tend to see on typical online searches. To optimize your content for these users, focus on phrases that are similar to how people speak. For example, instead of using the heading “Arthritis Symptoms,” you might instead use “What Are the Symptoms of Arthritis?” as your heading. You might also try adding frequently asked questions (FAQs) to your content plan, as Q&A format lends itself well to conversational search.
More and more, businesses are seeking to automate their marketing processes. It makes sense–it saves you time and allows you to better focus on the opportunities that come your way as a result of your marketing efforts. Automation trends like artificial intelligence and chatbots may be a bit difficult (and risky) for medical practices to adopt, but there are still ways that you can automate your marketing processes in a way that is safe for your patients and your practice.
One way that you can automate your marketing is via your contact forms. In most cases, when patients fill out a contact or appointment request form on a medical practice website, they get a quick “Thank you for contacting us!” message in the browser, and then have to wait until someone on your team gets back to them. With automated marketing, you can have an email sent to the patient that directs them to useful information while awaiting your response. For example, when a patient submits an appointment request, you could have an automated email sent with links to your medical forms. It’s a small touch, but it makes the information readily available to your patients with no additional effort on your part.
4. Influencer Marketing
Consumers are bombarded with ads these days, so it’s no wonder that they’ve begun to grow a bit weary of them. In fact, digital marketing research firm eMarketer estimated that 30% of internet users would be using ad blockers by the end of 2018. Instead, many businesses have turned toward influencer marketing, using prominent people to advocate for their brands. People trust endorsements from others, particularly when that endorsement comes from someone they know and respect.
While your practice may not have the budget to hire a famous person as your brand ambassador, you can still take cues from influencer marketing. At its core, influencer marketing stems from the fact that people tend to trust what others say about your business more than they trust ads produced by you. You can tell patients that you’re good at what you do, but that message is so much more impactful when it comes from people who have no obligation to say those things. In this way, patient testimonials and reputation marketing follow the same line of thinking as influencer marketing, and they are strategies that you can easily incorporate into your practice’s marketing.
If you want to get ahead of competing practices as we move into the new year, these are some of the marketing strategies that we suggest. If you’d like more targeted marketing suggestions for your practice as you plan for the new year, we also offer free consultations. We’re happy to help you move your marketing into 2019!