by Kevin Poirier
After spending wellover a decade of marketing in the dermatology industry as well as owning a digital marketing agency, I’ve compiled several key points that all dermatologist / medical practices must adhere to in order to reach the target audience and deliver a strong, compelling message. Here a a few from two lucrative marketing channels:
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
This may very well bethe most critical channel in digital marketing for a medical practice regarding growth strategy. Here is why; 77% of all patients will search for a specialist,treatment or procedure via search engines such as google, bing or yahoo. It is also known that 85-90% of people searching for these services will not look further than the first page of the search results. As an aside, 70% of all people that use a search engines will bypass the paid Ads (PPC) and go straight to the organic search results, which number approximately 10 or so results per page. Getting to the first page as an organic search result can provide for significant exposure to prospective patients and ultimately measurable increases in practice revenue. SEO is not something you do once and then move on. It is an process which needs to be managed every month if not every week. There are also several changes to the search algorithms throughout each year and these changes drastically affect where you or practice rank. In August 2018, the ‘Medic Update” was a change Google made to their algorithm which drastically affected many practices in terms of ranking and authority. One of the primary changes these update targeted was how it measures and ranks content quality. Practices that were engaged in low-cost content creation for the purpose of SEO were significantly affected.
Here are some of the key basics involved in the optimization process:
– all website back-end code is analyzed and updated
– URL restructure
– page titles, headings, and meta-descriptions
– all on-site images and copy must be optimized
– social media channels
– back-links generated
– keyword analysis and selection
– content development on a scheduled basis
Social Media Marketing
This marketing channel, albeit extremely crowded, is a great way for a practice stay in frontof existing patients as well as target new patients via paid promotions. Your social strategy should have the following basics: post frequency/schedule, content philosophy, engagement goal, targeting demographic(for paid).
post frequency/schedule: We guide our clients to post at least 3-4 times every week at a minimum. We also set up a marketing calendar to ensure all holidays, special events, and service/procedure promotions are accounted for and content is prepared well in advance.
content philosophy: Maintain or even growing engagement in the network is no easy task. Users have become disinterested in the standard, run of the mill content. These same users will lose interest if yourposts are constantly the same or even worse, follow absolutely no rhyme or reason in terms of type. We follow a 3-pillar approach in the “types”of content we post on social media.
– Brand : lends images and content that can be directly interpreted as relates to you practice. e.g.images of interior of your office, physicians, employees, etc.
– Environment: provide a lens into the actual physicians/staff “in action” via posting images and/or content of: procedures and treatments with before and after results (highly sought after by prospects), notable clientele, repost of media, etc
– Story: This allows for an abstract representation of how you want your brand to be perceived by the prospective community of patients. If you are focused on projecting a center medical dermatology you will want images alluding to an academic-like setting. If you are targeting the cosmetic/elective patient you will procure content that maintains a degree of sensuality. Your brand-story posts provide a platform to connect with your target demographic by way of you demonstrating “who” your patient is and what is important to them in a practice.
engagement goal: The engagement in social media is measured by way of someone taking action to a post. This action can be; a like,comment, @mention, a repost or a new follow/friend. For a business such as a medical practice, the conversion on engagement will widely vary depending on a few factors. 1) number of followers 2) frequency of posts 3)content type (video/image/text) 4) commitment to content philosophy. A target engagement for an established business social platform is generally 2-5%. We’ve managed platforms with engagement as high as 10-15% however, these tend to be more the exception and not the rule.
targeting demographic: How well do you know you business? What are your top procedures? Are there procedures or treatments that you would like to have more volume in? How old is your average customer? Are they male or female? How far do they live or work from your office? Knowing the answers to all ofthese questions will help provide you with a target demographic.