Patient care in the United States is a $1.068 trillion business. While healthcare revenue had been growing in the U.S., COVID-19 has had adverse effects on practices:
- For the first time in years, revenue for primary care doctors of all types is anticipated to decline 3.3% in 2020.
- In an effort to slow the spread of the virus, many practices have chosen to temporarily close their practices.
- Although telehealth is an option for some visits, practices anticipate a huge backlog of immunization and other types of pediatric visits which must be conducted in person.
- On average, practices are experiencing a 55% decrease in revenue since the pandemic began.
The events which have unfolded over the past few months are fundamentally (if temporarily) changing the way pediatric practices operate. As with any healthcare organization, building your practice in today’s environment takes a careful balance of compassionate care and smart marketing.
How can you grow your pediatric practice?
In this post, we outline five ways that online marketing can help you attract new patients to your practice and grow revenue.
Target the right audience with social ads.
Social media is an extremely powerful tool for your healthcare practice. It allows you to target the exact right individuals, very cost-effectively. Whether your goal is to build your practice, or simply to increase engagement with current patients, you can run very targeted ads based on location, interest and even income level.
For example, one of our pediatric practice clients is getting great results on both Facebook and Instagram. Through a mix of informative posts about their patient portal, health/safety tips and other important information, this practice reached 10 times more people per day on social media!
It’s not dead! In fact, it remains one of the most cost-effective ways to reach patients:
- Industry-wide email open rates for healthcare hover around 21% with 8.9% of people taking action by clicking on a link.
- To grow your list, explain to parents and other caregivers the benefits of joining your email marketing list and encourage your staff to ask for email addresses. If you’re able to build a strong list, it can help you to not only build more on-site traffic, but also increase referrals to your practice.
Update your website and optimize it for search.
We see pediatric practices that provide amazing care, from talented and caring professionals, in beautiful state-of-the-art facilities – but fail to put their best foot forward online. Your website can be a powerful tool to build a strong brand, rank well in the right types of searches, and drive new patients to your practice. Here are a few ways to achieve these results:
- Add separate location pages for each of your offices, and build a Google My Business profile for each. This feature levels the playing field for small practices, so take advantage of the opportunity by making sure each profile is complete.
- If you offer unique services, highlight them on your website with dedicated pages. If someone doesn’t see it highlighted on your website, they will assume you don’t offer it.
- Optimize key pages. In this post, we explain how to choose the right keywords for your pediatric practice.
Consider pay-per-click advertising.
This isn’t for everyone and costs vary greatly by your market. But, if you’re in an area that isn’t extremely competitive in terms of PPC, then this could be a great way to drive traffic to your site, increase inquiries and gain new patients.
In healthcare, you can use PPC to show up in sponsored results when a parent or caregiver is searching for “pediatricians in [city].” The best part about PPC is that you only pay when someone takes action. We have found that the most effective campaigns drive people to a very specific landing page (where they can opt into your email marketing list, for example) and make it simple to learn more about your practice or schedule an appointment.
Get more reviews.
If you’re looking to grow your practice, online reviews are crucial. Nothing can hurt your organization more than a few bad reviews that go viral. Take time to proactively build great reviews and testimonials from your happy patients (we even offer a great healthcare practice review tool that does it for you). Once you begin to gather reviews and testimonials, showcase them on your website, social pages and other promotional materials. Positive online reviews can also go viral and build a great referral stream for your practice.
Bonus tip: Call BARQAR Marketing!
We offer smart marketing services for pediatric practices and other healthcare organizations. From email marketing to website development, digital marketing, creative services and more, we can help. Let’s start a conversation about growing your practice today.