Healthcare Marketing Agency Guide for 2019
Doctors and dentist are inundated with options and decisions for the best route to go when marketing or advertising their practice.
There seems to be endless strategies and platforms and countless agencies to help them execute these tactics. When shopping for a new agency why should you consider hiring an agency that exclusively focusing on health, medical and dental practice?
Is there a real advantage to hiring a healthcare marketing agency? We explored 10 reasons why they can be the best fit to grow your practice and generate new patients.
1. Unique healthcare market insight
A healthcare marketing agency has the expertise in all channels of marketing but also the direct, high-level knowledge of the healthcare industry. A professional healthcare marketer understands the medical space, physician competition, and the patient journey.
Medical and dental marketing requires a unique approach and knowledge of the current healthcare ecosystem. A healthcare marketing agency recognizes the role insurance companies and healthcare laws play in crafting the overall marketing strategy for your practice.
Healthcare marketing agencies understand the competitive marketing needed for small privately owned physician practices as well as large hospital systems.
Market insight is key to executing a successful medical marketing plan and attaining knowledge of the local physician competition. A healthcare marketing agency will attain market research to understand competing doctor’s marketing campaigns’: budgets, rankings, advertising channels, and promoted services.
The healthcare marketing agency’s insight gives the physician a comprehensive competitive analysis and helps navigate marketing efforts moving forward.
2. Understanding Patient intake process and flow
The best healthcare marketing agency understands the patient journey from what information they are looking for on your website, differentiators that matter, where they go to read reviews to make decisions to the importance of streamlining the appointment scheduling process.
This is critical because developing effective marketing and advertising strategies to target the exact potential patient base for your practice requires a vast knowledge of what the patient’s journey looks like and what, where and how to communicate an effective message to them that converts.
Not all patient scheduling and treatments are the same, so working with an agency that understands value per patient is a huge advantage. Some patient treatment options are one-off and some are returning patients for continuous care.
A healthcare marketing agency uses this information to develop marketing initiatives most effective for driving in new patients, increasing high revenue procedures, and staying in front of current patients.
3. Increasing Patient engagement
Direct patient engagement is a great way for physicians and medical practices to set themselves apart from the competition.
The most successful agencies develop marketing strategies, generate content and build advertising campaigns that drive new patient engagement and deliver value to potential patients.
A physician like Dr. Pimple Popper has mastered the art of delivering content that their target patients base cares about and therefore wants to engage with.
The result is building a large audience, extending brand reach and driving new patients into the practice.
4. A Focus on Patient Referral Volume
Patient referral volume is simply the process of gaining and obtaining patients through physician referrals and tracking that growth. Doctor referrals are the foundation of a majority of specialty medical practices and maintaining a solid patient base may rely on the volume of those patient referrals.
Building strong relationships with referring doctors is critical in growing your medical or dental practice and gaining new patients.
A healthcare marketing agency should understand the value of not just digital marketing initiatives but the role that physician referrals plays in practice growth. One should complement the other as even when a patient gets referred to a practice often times they will go online to research the practice and physicians.
Therefore, it is critical that you have positive reviews, your website is performing well in search so it’s easy for patients to find you and the right information to educate themselves once they do find you.
5. Experience working with physicians and practices
A healthcare marketing agency, with some exceptions, works exclusively with physicians, dentists and those focused in the medical and dental industry.
Therefore, physicians and dentists can have confidence that the healthcare marketing agency understands the medical and dental industry and what marketing will be most effective for their practice.
Healthcare focused agencies also understand the life of a provider and have the flexibility to work around a doctor’s schedule. Deciding to go the route of higher an outside agency instead of an internal marketing employee should make your life as a provider easier, not harder.
Unfortunately, we all too often hear from providers that higher an agency that it just created unnecessary headaches for them because they were constantly telling them what they legally can and cannot say or how to reposed to patients in a HIPAA compliant manner.
These are things that are streamlined with an agency that focuses on health and medical marketing.
6. Knowledge of the major medical marketing channels
A healthcare marketing agency is dedicated entirely to improving healthcare organizations by enhancing practice reputations, drawing in new patients, and amplify their overall practice success.
They use customized and data-driven strategies to drive their marketing and advertising campaigns. Working closely with physicians and hospitals, an agency identifies benchmarks and goals needed for success and defines metrics to track progress.
Not all marketing and advertising channels are the most effective for every healthcare organization. Healthcare marketing and advertising agencies know from experience and data which channels and services will deliver the best results for your given demographic or specialty focus.
Below are some of the channels often used by a healthcare marketing agency to cultivate new business for physicians and hospitals:
- Medical website design & development
- Digital advertising
- Social media marketing
- Business listings management for SEO
- HIPAA Compliant Review Generation
- Content Marketing
- Medical SEO
- Graphic design and branding
- Video marketing
- Email marketing
- Physician liaison marketing
- Analytics and reporting
- Event coordination and management
- Press Releases
- Influencer marketing
- Tradeshow marketing
- Internal marketing
Just to name a few!
7. Stark and HIPAA laws
Stark and HIPAA laws violations are very serious risks for hospitals and physicians in their marketing efforts. Having a marketing and advertising agency focused on the healthcare industry ensures physicians and dentists their agency is well versed of the parameters of Stark and HIPAA requirements.
This prevents providers from violating laws in their marketing campaigns and that all marketing and advertising is done within the strict guidelines of Stark and HIPAA.
8. Importance and Realistic Pain of Generating Patient reviews
Research shows it only takes 1-6 online reviews for 68% of potential patients to form an opinion about your practice. What this means is potential patients are making decisions about what doctors they want to see based on the reputation your practice has online.
When you perform a Google search and the local “Google 3 pack” is returned (the map and the three listings) the top ranking signal next to proximity is the number of reviews and the quality of those reviews as compared to your competition.
Therefore, it is critical to put a high-level emphasis on collecting reviews on Google as well as other third party websites such as Yelp, Facebook, Healthgrades, Vitals, etc., as well as, on your website.
A healthcare marketing agency knows that developing a marketing plan that focuses on generating reviews is often a pain point for physicians despite it being such an important component of any local SEO strategy.
Physicians are hesitant to put an emphasis on collecting new patient reviews because of the possibility of receiving negative reviews. This is not because physicians are not confident in their level of quality when it comes to patient care, but because patients can put blame on the practice for things that are often times unrelated to patient care.
Basically, physicians can receive negative reviews because patients do not understand copays and insurance reimbursement for their treatment or if it was completely covered by their insurance plan.
Despite a practices best efforts to communicate all charges with a patient it can still result in a bill from the insurance company and a disgruntled patient taking it out on the practice.
Most negative reviews given by patients center on treatment cost and insurance coverage. These are circumstances that are not controlled by the medical provider or practice, but they are the ones who receive the blame.
With this being an unfortunate reality of patient care doctors, for obvious reasons, are hesitant to further encourage leaving reviews because of the potential for these type of occurrences.
The truth is, unhappy patients are going to leave a review whether you ask them to or not and it is a proven fact that reviews are one of the top 3-5 most important ranking factors for local SEO.
Therefore, it is absolutely critical to push forward and generate positive, well-distributed reviews across medical and non-medical focused reviews platforms.
9. Budget Conscious
Marketing budgets frequently decide the marketing channels and efforts that a medical practice will use. A healthcare marketing agency is familiar with reasonable marketing budgets for all sizes of medical practices and healthcare organizations.
By understanding the reality of marketing budgets for single provider privately owned practices all the way to large hospital systems, healthcare marketing and advertising agencies can select the initiatives best suited to maximize patient growth and results.
10. Medical website design and user experience can affect patient conversions
Your practice website is the foundation and most essential digital marketing asset for growing your practice. It is the “digital billboard” that represents your practice and engages with your potential patient base.
That is why it is so critical when a physician is going through the medical website design process that they concentrate on some fundamental design elements that will attract potential patients.
A healthcare marketing agency knows the critical components of UX/ UI for patients and how to build a responsive website that increases engagement, traffic and patient conversions.
There are many options to choose from when selecting an agency to market or advertise your practice. A healthcare marketing agency can provide a high level of expertise that may be hard to find from other marketing agencies.
They can understand your pain points, the patient journey and what will work best to generate new patient traffic to the practice.
If you are looking for a healthcare marketing agency to help you grow your practice or improve your marketing and advertising efforts, we are here to help! Intrepy Healthcare Marketing is an industry-leading health, medical and dental focused marketing agency that will generate new patients for your practice through proven strategies. Give us a call 678-250-4757 or fill out our contact form.