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How Can Medical Practices Compete Online In The Antivax Era?

When it comes to online visibility, medical practices have always had some challenges. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, it was WebMD. This site, which has since amassed tens of thousands of content pages, was driving prospective customers in droves to punch in their symptoms and get a complete list of unlikely diagnoses they would then bring to their general practitioner.
Since then, reputable players like Harvard Health have also jumped into the content game.

While that means patients have easier access to health information, it also creates a challenge for small medical practices that want to get noticed online. Go to Google and the healthcare content you find will usually be from one of these older, more established sites.

At the same time, misinformed people deftly use social media platforms to cloud the discussion on public health. It’s often easier for patients to discover this content than it is to find your own.

But content marketing is a piece of the online visibility puzzle medical practices can’t overlook.

The key is to adapt an approach to what works in your unique market position and situation.

Here’s how:

1. Partner With Community Organizations and Local Media
Influencer marketing means providing useful, informative online content to other websites to drive traffic to your own. You not only win immediate attention from readers, but can also earn a link that will boost your overall search visibility.

To attract local patients, medical practices should focus outreach on other organizations in their community. Practices that offer telehealth or other remote services can expand their campaign to include respected national publications.

In a world where everyone is always talking over each other, doctors still have unique power to command attention – and journalists are always hungry for more insights they can publish. Use those facts to build your medical practice brand.

2. Respond to The Latest Public Health News and Concerns
The hypochondria that seizes people when they “check their symptoms online” and their susceptibility to unproven ideas about health come from the same source: Anxiety about health. It’s the worry that, like all of us, they’ll eventually face health challenges.

No one stays in perfect health forever, but your medical practice can reduce health anxiety so people in your community make more informed health decisions. Responding to public health news – that is, everything from vaccines to the Wuhan coronavirus – helps you do it.

Not only does it clear the air when experts weigh in on these subjects, it also helps your Google search rankings. “Topical” articles are more likely to be picked up by news outlets or even to appear in Google’s News tab. Amplifying them with social media helps them go further.

3. Launch Live Events Within the Community
Taking a hyper-local approach to promoting your practice fosters the confidence people need to feel when they entrust you with their health. Luckily, local and online initiatives can reinforce each other.

Consider this example: You hold an hour-long talk at a YMCA campus to discuss topics in children’s health. At the end, parents ask their burning questions. Unplanned topics come up, reflecting their needs, and you walk them through a flu season wellness plan.

Three amazing things have just happened:

  • You’ve learned a tremendous amount about what’s really on patients’ minds
  • You have positioned your practice as a credible and caring team of experts
  • You can build your library of online content by publishing the audio or video

Community outreach has always been a cornerstone of a local medical practice. Just don’t forget that there is always a way to build those events into your online strategy, even if it’s as simple as publishing the transcript. Text can become blogs, white papers, videos, and more.

4. Use Video Marketing Whenever Possible
One of the biggest concerns doctors are struggling with today is a lack of face time with patients. Without a strong interpersonal relationship, it’s far harder to work together to reach health goals.

Video marketing is one of the best ways to bridge the gap. Videos don’t need to be personalized to each patient to do the job: Just seeing the doctor, hearing him or her talk, makes a connection.

Medical practices should strive for a professional look, so the “grainy smartphone video” that works for other brands probably won’t fly. Still, it only takes a few minutes to record a video. They can enhance the search engine ranking of your blog posts like nothing else.

5. Find the Right Tone for Your Website’s Content
Medical content should strike a balance that’s both welcoming and informed:

  • It should talk about the health topics that matter most to your specific audience
  • It should leverage your unique expertise, experience, and informed perspective
  • It should be simple enough for readers to understand and act on independently
  • It should read as compassionate and friendly without sounding unprofessional.

This can be a challenging mix, but it is effective. Partnering with a digital marketing agency with a strong focus on content marketing can help you define and master your brand’s unique voice.

Marketing for Medical Practices is Evolving – Choose a Partner Who’ll Stand With You
Medical practice marketing is no longer a matter of “if you build it, they will come.”

Patients have more options than ever – and they’re more confused than ever about those options!

Web content is the key to ensuring your voice is the one that guides them as they make care and wellness decisions. That starts with consistent blogging and email marketing, but the five techniques above will launch you to another level in visibility and trust.

That means easier patient recruitment and retention paired with better adherence.

New York Ave can help your medical practice excel online. To start your digital marketing strategy, contact our team today.

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