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Why Doctors Should Care About Their Online Presence

When all is said and done, strong relationships are the foundation of successful medicine. That’s true no matter what kind of medical practice you lead. But the healthcare industry today is at a tough point. Just about everyone, from providers to patients, agrees there isn’t enough face time in patient care.

With increased time pressure from issues like Electronic Medical Record systems, doctors must do more support work outside of each patient encounter. That further drains the time and energy they would use to foster their patient relationships. The question: How to save those relationships from falling apart?

The relationships you build within a medical practice aren’t only about moral support.

They have practical impacts on the patient’s health outcomes and on your business.

For instance, it’s well known that a patient is more likely to adhere to a plan of care when he or she feels heard and understood by a doctor. Without that trust, patients are more likely to gradually lose focus or interest in their plan of care. They are also far more likely to get ensnared in mistakes or oversights.

Increasingly, doctors are using their online presence to bolster relationships and make up for the lost time that simply cannot be spent face-to-face. The trend has been rising for decades but was accelerated by the pandemic. Billions have been poured into the growing world of telehealth.

But whether you focus on telehealth or traditional face-to-face care, your online presence is still crucial. Digital marketing has a history of more than 25 years. It reaches back far beyond modern telehealth and allows doctors to connect with their patients (and future patients) on a deep, human level.

That connection is often the key to getting them to take action – and helping them stick with it.

A Strong Online Presence Supports the Best Outcomes for Your Patient Community

Developing your online presence doesn’t mean you have to spend all your time on Twitter or that you’ll painstakingly write emails to each one of your patients. For most providers, an effective online presence is a collaborative effort where patients feel recognized through “one-to-many” approaches.

Hundreds of common questions are bubbling into the minds of patients, future patients, caregivers, and family members. By choosing to answer them in your own voice and under your own brand, you are extending the aegis of care so people can stay with you … not just “do their own research” on Google.

Indeed, your online presence is a way to help patients feel comfortable with the idea they don’t need to “do it all alone” – you’re right in their corner even when you’re not in the room with them. You’ve seen how easy it is for well-intentioned people to misinterpret medical data, so why not avoid it?

Between visits, there are thousands of things a patient might want or need help with. For providers who embrace a modern online presence, a partnership with a marketing agency is a match made in heaven. You retain editorial control, but no longer need to plan, write, or design everything on your own.

Yes, some aspects of an online presence resonate with patients best if a doctor is directly involved. If you work with a marketing agency, your team can help you make the most of these elements while keeping you safely out of the weeds of technical issues like search engine optimization.

Ultimately, a sound online presence means:

  • You do less work outside of patient encounters, not more, yet have a wider impact
  • You are more likely to have patients stay with your practice for years and decades
  • You can expand your positive influence on patients’ health habits and lifestyle
  • You have the opportunity to sharpen your industry and community reputation

What Should Doctors Do to Elevate Their Online Brand?

Online presence goes hand in hand with a marketing strategy aligned with your goals and values. Good marketing rarely means “a little bit of everything” or “throwing things at the wall to see what sticks.” A marketing team that understands your industry is vital to your success.

What works for just about everyone else may not work for a medical practice. For example, you won’t see many medical practices turning online traffic into patient visits using TikTok. That audience skews too young to have many medical needs or much interest in being proactive about them!

Likewise, your online presence should enhance the sense of prestige and solidity patients respond to.

Of all the countless options out there, a few stand out as particularly valuable for doctors like you:

1. Longer-Form Video Marketing

Compared to micro-videos like those on TikTok, longer videos of three, five, or even seven minutes can serve as the sweet spot for doctor marketing. Over the last three years, video has taken its place as the next best thing to being there, and it’s a natural extension of your telehealth efforts.

If you take time to be personally involved in any aspect of online presence, video storytelling is the one to choose. Doctor-led video marketing is one of the most versatile tools in your toolkit. It helps leads understand where you are coming from and reminds patients why they chose you over others.

When you need to advise a large community of patients on general habits for personal well-being, video marketing is the most memorable way to do it. Video marketing is also an engaging way to introduce your office staff, explain processes like appointments and billing, and much more.

2. Secure Email Marketing Follow-Ups

Most people have limited attention and face plenty of demands on it. Email marketing is a terrific way to be confident you’re touching base with your patients on a regular basis. Email can be used as a reminder to set follow-up appointments, check in regarding prescriptions, and much more.

It also has a second dimension that’s just as powerful. Patients love to feel heard, but they often aren’t asked about their experiences until after they’ve already forgotten them. With email, you can request patient feedback right away as an appointment concludes, getting fresh insights.

3. Consistent and Appropriate Social Media

Social media is a mixed bag for doctors and others who benefit from being seen as above the fray. Done correctly, however, it can keep patients in the loop and coming back. Often, its greatest value is found in developing a community of patients and brand advocates, not speaking to the general public.

Social media gaffes cause bigger headaches for doctors than for other professionals, so don’t leave your social accounts in the hands of anyone inexperienced or untested. A trusted digital marketing agency is best.

When you’re marketing a medical practice, you want to be certain all your collateral speaks with authority. New York Ave can help you with polished, professional videos and other marketing content – even if you have never spent any time in front of the camera. We provide all equipment, setup, and guidance.

Contact us to find out more or get started.

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