In today's changing healthcare environment, successful pediatric practices will beat out the competition when they display the skills of both compassionate clinicians and savvy entrepreneurs. They recognize that pediatric medicine is a chosen profession and that healthcare is a business. Understanding how to leverage clinical pediatric expertise, exceptional patient care, and successful outcomes through effective marketing strategies will not only improve your practice, but also your business.
With more and more Americans searching online for health-related information, it's vital for practices to be part of this ongoing trend, especially with millennial parents behaving differently from their parents when it comes to consuming services.
Preparing your practice and staff for the “digital push” can feel like a daunting task, yet through a simple list of tips, any practice can start small and increase their digital engagement. It's important to keep in mind that marketing is not advertising, and that it's an ongoing effort that grows slowly over time and bears fruit when given the right attention with consistent effort.
Here are a few tips worth considering:
#1: Create a captivating, yet simple website
Your pediatric practice needs an online presence so you can be found by current and future patients and their families. Online services will allow you to create a customized site easily. You can also check with your EHR vendor to determine whether they can help you create a perfect online home.
#2: Start a blog
Pediatric patient families will engage with your site regularly if you offer them information they do not want to miss. A regularly updated blog that is part of your website provides many opportunities to address the needs and interests of your patient family audience and to build your personal brand. For an example of a smart pediatric practice’s brand efforts, download our detailed case study of Kids Plus Pediatrics. They continually demonstrate leadership in their region and in pediatrics.
#3: Share content on social media
There are nearly 2 million users on Facebook every month globally. You want a slice of that audience. Creating a professional Facebook page for your pediatric practice, separate from your personal page, gives you an opportunity to share important content with your patient family audience. Simply posting practice news, seasonal health tips, and general pediatric information keeps you in the minds of your audience. Make sure the content is timely, frequent, and relevant. Twitter and LinkedIn are additional social media channels to consider, as long as you remember that you want to share your pediatric expertise using an account set up for your practice.
#4: Create an email newsletter
With their permission, gather email addresses for your patient families and send them links to your blog posts, updates you post on your website, and other non-clinical information. This will create a “top of mind” approach with your patient families. There are inexpensive mailing services you can use, and an email newsletter can serve as a low difficulty starting point.
#5: Set up an online profile
As millennial parents search for information online, it's important to build your profile on online healthcare marketplaces, like Healthgrades or ZocDoc. Not only will it give you the opportunity to keep your practice information up to date, it also allows you to link to your website and to display patient reviews. Remember that word-of-mouth through existing patient families continues to be a strong marketing tool. Your positive reviews are a mirror that shows how your practice is perceived.
#6: Improve your SEO
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) includes steps you can take to improve how high you will rank during an online search. You can improve your search ranking through small additions, such as adding your practice’s address to your website pages.
Creating original content for your website's blog can help as well, especially if you can link from other sites back to your website. How can this be done? You can comment on colleague’s sites and offer to do guest blogs or video interviews. If this task feels too involved or difficult, you can engage an SEO specialist to help you through this process.
Again, don’t hesitate to ask your pediatric EHR vendor for input, as they may have programs to support your practice’s marketing goals.
With these 6 tips, you should be well on your way to engage your millennial audience in a significant fashion. Any of these tips can help market your pediatric practice – however, these tactics are ideally employed in an organized and sustained manner to bring about success.