In my previous blog post, Medical Marketing Strategy (Part I), I discussed the tools that need to be in place in order for you to implement a monthly marketing plan (the set up pieces). In this article I’ll discuss everything your practice should be doing on a monthly basis.
1) SEO: While some people think social media will make SEO irrelevant over time, I couldn’t disagree more. The content that you have on the internet needs to be structured in such a way that Google, Yahoo and Bing can index it quickly. As the internet becomes more accessible, more people are doing their research before they make buying decisions, and they’re doing this research on search engines. What will they find about you and your practice? You need to be able to answer to this question. After your website is optimized (see step 1) you should create your monthly SEO plan, and it should include:
- Blogging– Aim for at least 1 per week to start. Make sure you optimize these articles and syndicate them to social bookmarking sites, as well as your social networking sites
- Link building– Simply put, this means building the number of links from other websites that link to yours. It helps to make your website look more popular to search engines, thus helping it to rank higher. Keep in mind that you need to be careful when you do link building. There’s no value building links from poorly ranking websites.
2) Build your presence on social media sites: While SEO is very important, social media is where the relationships develop online. Start by creating a Facebook, Twitter and YouTube account for the practice. Make sure to custom brand each of these networks to mirror the look of your website. Also, consider using a scheduling software, such as Hootsuite, to help post messages to these networks. Once you’re established on these social networks, make sure you actively promote them on your website, in your email marketing, and at your practice. Offer incentives for patients to become Fans. Your goal should be to engage your Fans and Followers. The more interaction your have between you and your Fans the better.
3) Get set up and start promoting your review sites: Not only does this mean setting yourself up on Yelp and Google Places, you should get established on medical review sites and communities such as Real Self, Make Me Heal, and Doctor Base, if applicable. Consider utilizing services such as Ratepoint, which integrate with your website and allow patients to write a review which you can approve before it gets published. Best of all, clients can publish their Ratepoint review to their Facebook, Yelp and Google accounts. I encourage you to set up a station in your office where patients can go and write a review before they leave.
4) Record your happy patients: Ask your VIP patients if it is ok if you take a quick video of them talking about their experience the practice. Not all patients will feel comfortable being recorded, but many will. The key is to ask them simple questions, such as how did your find the doctor? How was your consultation? Why did you decide to go with the doctor? How was the surgery/treatment/procedure? Are you happy with the results? You don’t need fancy, expensive equipment to do this. You just need:
- A Flip Cam, Kodak Zi8 or handhelp camcorder (all can be found for under $200)
- A tri-pod (helps to keep the camera steady)
- Sufficient lighting
- A background that is not too busy (don’t want viewers to be distracted)
Once you record your patients then you’ll want to edit the video, optimize & post to YouTube, and then syndicate the video to other video marketing websites, such as Viddler and Vimeo.
5) Get set up with an email marketing software: This step is critical for your business’ success. If you structure your website properly you’ll start to generate leads from potential patients that you need to follow up with. They may not come in immediately for a consultation, but they’re interested. This is where email marketing works wonders. Consider sending at least one email per month to your list offering a different promotion. One word to the wise, make sure the software that you’re using gives you the ability to track the effectiveness of your emails. You should know how many people are opening them, clicking on links in them, and opting out of your list.
- Direct mail: Like email marketing you’re utilizing the list that you already have. In many ways direct mail can be more effective than email marketing because people are less likely to throw away physical mail than delete an email.
- Directories: It’s always a good idea to be listed in different online directories. They often show up in search results.
- Magazines & other publications: Depending on your area, this could be a good place to advertise.
- Write a book: There’s no better way to brand yourself as an expert in your field than to write a book. It is also a great marketing tool. Talk to Turbo about our publishing services.
If you need help preparing a monthly marketing plan then contact Turbo Social Media today, or call 877-673-7096 x2.