With a population of over 33,000 people, Beverly Hills needs top-quality health clinics. Residents of every age need to find providers, and there are so many to choose from. How can you make sure they find your practice and book appointments?
Digital Marketing is all about converting potential patients who have never heard about your health clinic into loyal patients. This guide will walk you through the marketing funnel and the marketing tools you can use to increase appointments.
The Marketing Funnel for Health Clinics
The marketing funnel describes the patient’s journey with your health clinic. It’s usually shown as a funnel that leads clients from the first stage (awareness) through conversion and loyalty.
While there are many versions of the marketing funnel, the below stages have been simplified to relate to health clinics.
- Awareness – Potential patients become aware of your health clinic.
- Interest – Potential patients want to learn more about your health clinic.
- Consideration – Potential patients consider scheduling an appointment at your health clinic among their alternative options.
- Conversion – Potential patients decide to schedule appointments at your health clinic.
- Loyalty/Retention – Potential patients become loyal to your health clinic and will schedule appointments on an ongoing basis.
With these stages in mind, we will share digital marketing tools to correspond to each one.
Awareness: Patients Find Out About Your Health Clinic
This stage is all about getting the news of your health clinic out to people who haven’t yet heard of your practice yet.
Having a presence on social media is one excellent way to achieve more awareness. In addition to regularly posting and tagging your location or using location-based hashtags, you can also boost popular posts or run brand awareness ads. Since 82% of United States citizens use social media, this is a great place to reach locals who haven’t heard of your health clinic yet.
Google My Business
If your health clinic isn’t listed on Google maps, does it really exist? Searching for business addresses on Google has become so second nature that it’s now crucial to have a Google My Business profile and regularly update it. If a potential patient types in “health clinics near me,” you want to appear on the search results page, or else your practice could be overlooked.
Search Engine Optimization
The more you optimize your website for top search keywords, the better your chance of appearing in search results. This is an effort that takes time as you regularly post, optimize, and update your website. This is one of Caledon Virtual’s specialties.
Advertising in General
There are many platforms for advertising. While Google Paid Search is an extremely popular and effective option, you also have your choice of social media platforms, radio spots, print ads, billboards, TV, and more. Think about your target demographics. These will play a key role in choosing where and how you advertise.
Interest: Patients Find Out About Your Health Clinic
Now that the potential patient is aware that your health clinic exists as an option, make sure you provide information to answer their questions as they seek to learn more about you.
Make sure the content and resources answer many of the potential patient’s questions. These could include the types of services you provide, the credentials of your doctors, and the types of insurance you accept. If you want to provide helpful and informational content related to your services, this can also help hold their interest.
The interest stage comes right after the awareness stage, so if the potential client does click on an ad, you want to make sure the landing page answers their key questions. Landing pages should include basic information about your services, who you are, and your location.
Consideration: Patients Begin to Trust Your Health Clinic
Unlike the interest stage where questions surface, the consideration stage is the response to the information you provide. After reading about your health clinic, patients begin to trust you and believe you could be the solution they’ve been searching for.
Website & Landing Page Content
As discussed before, you want to provide helpful content that answers the potential patient’s initial questions during their search for information. If the content does adequately and successfully answer these questions, trust will build from there.
Having a Google My Business or Facebook profile in place will enable current patients to leave reviews. Positive reviews play a key role during the consideration stage because this is one-way potential patients can make sure your marketing aligns with what existing patients have experienced.
Remember to always respond to reviews, both positive and negative, but ensure the responses are generic and comply with HIPAA.
Many health clinics rely on word-of-mouth advertising to gain new patients. One way to promote referrals is to hand out cards to patients after a positive experience to share with their friends or relatives if they wish.
Note: formal referral programs with financial or valuable incentives do violate the American Medical Association’s code of ethics, so it’s important to make sure referrals are completely voluntary.
Conversion: Patients Take the Desired Action
Conversion is what your marketing dollars and efforts are all about. The goal of this is to ultimately have patients decide to schedule an appointment and take action to make it happen.
Website User Experience (UX)
How easy is it for a client to navigate your website? How fast does it load? The answers to these questions could impact your website conversion rates. Ensure your website enables patients to schedule appointments quickly and easily. The whole process should be intuitive.
Also, include all other methods patients could use to contact you. For some, calling could be the better, easier option for them, so provide flexible scheduling options.
Is your office manager kind and does he/she provide excellent customer service? Your administrative workers will provide the first impression of your health clinic when answering the phone and communicating with new patients. Invest in training them well.
Provide Scheduling That Meets Patient Needs
Why pay for marketing if you have no time for new patients? Make sure you have hours that meet the needs of your new patients. Consider keeping a few appointment slots open for them. Depending on the expertise of your health clinic, new patients sometimes have pressing needs. Being able to see them in a timely manner will improve their experience and even generate more word of mouth.
Loyalty/Retention: Patients Schedule Follow-Up Appointments
If you’ve reached this stage, congratulations. The patient has journeyed from being unaware of your health clinic to be a loyal patient of your practice. To help clients get to this stage, it’s important to focus on their overall experience.
How long did the patient wait for his/her appointment? Was the office staff friendly and did they acknowledge his/her presence? The little things make a huge impact on the patient experience.
After waiting, the patient will also expect a knowledgeable doctor or nurse with a great bedside manner. Even if you feel busy and flustered during the day, make sure you recollect yourself before meeting with the patient. This stage of the process is critical. Make sure you’re answering all their questions and concerns, and they feel heard and taken care of.
Offer Follow-Up Appointment Scheduling
Make sure the appointment ends in a process of scheduling the next appointment. Always provide the option if another appointment is needed or expected for this particular health situation. Having an appointment already on the calendar will increase the chance of the patient returning.
Ongoing Patient Communication
Once you have the patient’s email address or cell phone number, you can send them regular communication to keep in touch. This could be in the form of a digital newsletter or even simply sending messages around the holidays or as appointment reminders. This will help them feel remembered and cared about by your office staff.
Refining the Patient Journey with Caledon Virtual
What area of your marketing funnel could use some improvement? Does your health clinic know how to serve current patients, but struggle with attracting new ones.