If your organization has not experienced an influx of new patients, it’s not alone. According to a recent survey by the Robert Wood Foundation and athenaResearch, there has been no sizable increase in new patient visits to medical practices since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) took effect. So what can you do to attract new patients to your health system, hospital, or clinic?
Know Your Audience: Develop patient personas for the people most likely to use your services by doing research on your existing patient base. There may be several different patient types, so create personas for each service line and identify specific demographics such as health and marital status, education, income level, age, and gender.
Determine Pain Points: Once the personas have been created, determine the pain points and identify the biggest problems they need solved. Research what type of information they are typically searching for on your organization’s website, how they search for this information, and identify their preferred healthcare content delivery format. Use this information to develop content for your audience.
Develop Content: Create compelling, unique content that attracts patients to your organization’s website. Focus on differentiating aspects of your service lines, specialties, and healthcare providers from those of other organizations. Write well-researched, in-depth blog posts that focus on a specific area of expertise to attract targeted traffic and new patient leads from organic search. By showcasing your organization’s expertise, you can position your organization as a trusted source of reliable information, build consumer confidence, and convert your website’s readers into new patients.
Use Facebook and Google+ Local: Share blog posts, press releases, infographics, and other content on your social media pages. Posting high-quality content that links back to your website is an excellent way to organically build high-quality inbound links to your website that help your search rating.
Sell Results: You are in the business of helping people. People care more about how their lives can be improved than the latest technology. Think about the results your patients want, and build your marketing campaigns and messaging around meeting those needs.
Collect Patient Testimonials: Positive patient experiences tend to be one of the most valued measures of quality of care. Video testimonials are a powerful means of connecting with potential patients and are more effective than just the written word. Whether you use video or written testimonials, be sure they are colorful in conversation, highlight what makes your organization unique, and effectively communicate the patients’ satisfaction.
Increase Community Involvement: Participate in community events like health and wellness fairs so your name stays prominent in your current and prospective patients’ minds. Offer classes and seminars that focus on different specialties or service lines, ranging from women’s health classes and expectant mother programs to eye safety and support groups.
These and many other strategies can help you achieve your patient targeting and engagement goals. By applying these insights, you can attract the right consumers for the right services in the right ways, resulting in more effective marketing campaigns.