On one hand, marketing a dermatology practice is tricky. Since it can concern serious medical issues, this isn’t the best time for aggressive, hard-sell marketing.
On the other hand? More and more people are taking charge of their own skincare and looking for information on dermatology — and treatment options. So marketers who focus on dermatology practices and skin care issues have a ready-made audience.
How do you walk that tightrope? We’ve got some solid advice from experts in the dermatology healthcare marketing industry.
Think of Your Organization in B2C Terms
Not long ago, a patient who needed dermatology care would either receive a referral from their doctor or simply look up a practice in the yellow pages. Or they might ask friends and family members for recommendations.
With our increased reliance on digital advertisements and online reviews, however, came competition — and as you’re already aware, that competition can be fierce.
These days, your dermatology practice is likely one of many from which potential patients can choose. From a marketing standpoint, therefore, it may make more sense to think of your practice like a shoe store or a burger chain or a salon.
So with that in mind, do you know what your competitors are doing?
Embrace New Methods for Healthcare Marketing
Social media marketing can be an important component of dermatology healthcare marketing. Your potential patients are using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube to connect with their friends, sure, but also to connect with brands and services. Like yours.
If you haven’t established accounts on the major social media platforms, it’s time to do so. While your profiles should alway remain professional, it’s not a bad idea to show a little of your personality, as well. After all, that’s one of the things that helps you stand out from your competitors.
Engaging and interaction with followers on these platforms can be a way to really demonstrate the personal touch that your practice provides.
Patients are looking for Dermatologists who not only know their field inside and out but who also have a good bedside manner and a compassionate approach to patient care.
These can be hard to truly convey through conventional advertising and marketing channels, but social media is perfect for showing who you are as a dermatologist.
You don’t have to handle social media all by yourself. There are healthcare marketing agencies that can do it for you.
It’s likely that they’re more well-versed in the intricacies of the industry. The know about the best time to post, how to bolster engagement, and how to use analytics to improve your social media marketing efforts.
These pros can collaborate with you, or they can advise you on your social media strategy. This way, you get the best of both worlds: their expertise and your personality shining through.
But Don’t Abandon the Tried and True
Think direct mail marketing is dead? Think again. While there’s a popular conception that digital marketing is overtaking traditional forms, some 42% of recipients either read or scan the direct mail pieces they receive.
It makes sense, too. Online ads can be bypassed altogether using ad blockers. Consumers have to at least glance at a direct mail flyer or postcard, to determine what it is before they can decide whether to read it more thoroughly or to recycle it.
Offering new-patient promotions or specials — such as a free skincare product with an initial consultation — through direct mail marketing can help bring new faces through your door.
Moreover, even if potential patients don’t use the coupons you send, you’ve at least boosted your brand recognition through this avenue of healthcare marketing.
Reviews and Testimonials
According to some studies, a whopping 88% of customers trust online reviews as much as they trust the opinions of friends, family, and coworkers.
Savvy consumers have learned how to read reviews, too. They can spot the shills and, on the other side of the spectrum, the serial complainers. Therefore, they understand that’s it necessary to look not at these outliers, but at the mid-range reviews, those that offer both positives and negatives.
Make sure to claim your local listings on Yelp, Angie’s List, and Google. Monitor the reviews you get on these services as well as on Facebook, and when applicable, share them with your social media followers. You can even integrate them into a testimonial page on your Dermatology website.
It’s fine to ask existing patients if they would be willing to review your practice. However, resist the urge to even suggest a quid pro quo setup.
Lastly, respond to reviews, whether they are raves or rants. If a patient is dissatisfied with his or her treatment, address that openly and with respect. Don’t argue or be defensive. Instead, offer to do what you can to make the situation right.
Patients are looking to reviews not only to see what others think of your practice but also to see how you respond to complaints as well as compliments.
Provide Information As Well As Treatment
An important aspect of your dermatology marketing plan is establishing yourself as a trusted source of valuable information.
You can do this easily by blogging. Blogs are an inexpensive, effective way of communicating both with your patients and with Google. Keep in mind that Google takes the amount and the quality of new content into account when ranking your site.
Updating your blog with regular content is therefore important to both your search engine optimization efforts. It also bolsters your leadership within your industry.
Approximately three-quarters of people perform an internet search before booking a healthcare appointment. When they see that you are publishing high-quality, informative content — about the most recent advances in dermatology, or about tips for protecting and taking care of your skin — they form a better impression of your practice.
Again, blogging is something that you or a staff member can do, or it can be outsourced. Either way, keep the content fresh and remember to promote it on your social media channels.
Healthcare marketing might seem daunting in the digital age. But using online tools like blogs, customer reviews, social media management and search engine optimization helps your dermatology practice grow and succeed.
Contact us today if you’d like to learn more about our marketing services.