10 Steps to Creating a Dynamic Dermatology Marketing Plan
The healthcare industry continues to move toward using digital marketing techniques to attract new patients.
But a great deal of potential for effective marketing remains untapped by medical professionals. A relatively small number of the more than 10,000 dermatologists currently practicing today take full advantage of online options.
Dermatologists who do venture into digital marketing have a decided advantage over those whose presence online is virtually invisible or nonexistent.
If you’d like to place your practice in the forefront, appealing to new patients seeking care while updating current patients with practice news, there are some key principles that can help you make the most of the time invested.
Digital marketing can benefit small, medium and large practices that are longtime, established practices or newly opened medical offices. With the continued popularity of social media, digital marketing has become an essential part of patient communications. As consumer behavior changes, marketplace providers need to shift strategy as well. A good digital marketing plan can expand the scope and reach of your practice’s advertising efforts at a modest cost.
We can help you navigate the development and launch of a digital marketing campaign or help you improve and enhance your current marketing plan.
Marketing Plan for your Dermatology Practice
Here are 10 Steps to an Effective Dermatology Digital Marketing Plan
# 1: Decide On In-House Or Outsourced Assistance
Before you dive into the details, you need to decide whether to create your plan on your own and come up with an in-house strategy or whether you would prefer to let marketing professionals take the lead.
Both options have their upsides and downsides. Creating an in-house plan will be less expensive. If you decide to outsource your plan to a professional team of marketing experts, there will be additional cost but also additional benefit. Marketing professionals have the experience and expertise to guide your plan to success.
Before making this key decision, there are a few things to consider:
Will your plan include a website, a search engine optimization strategy, paid online advertising, reputation management and social media marketing?
Do you have a team on your staff ready to create and carry out these marketing initiatives? Or would you be better off enlisting the help of professionals to handle these responsibilities?
If you decide to go with a digital marketing company, you need to find an appropriate fit. We can help you with all the aforementioned strategies and more. Contact us to discuss how Officite.com can help you craft a marketing plan that works for your unique practice.
# 2: Define Your Plan
Before deciding on specific strategies, it is imperative to clearly identify the goals of your digital marketing plan. Marketing goals can include raising brand awareness, generating high-quality leads, growing thought leadership, increasing value for your patients and empowering practice partners to become brand ambassadors.
Decide which goals are short-term and long-term. Once you have identified your objectives, it’s time to begin developing a detailed plan. Determine which communication channels will best serve your brand. And figure out which metrics to use to track your progress and effectiveness. This will help you establish benchmarks which will guide your efforts during future marketing campaigns.
Some tips to help you get started:
- Define what makes your practice unique / identify your unique selling point
- Who is your target market in this marketing effort?
- What are some of the benefits and services you offer patients?
- How will you promote your services?
- What methods and channels will you use?
- How much are you willing to invest?
# 3: Set Up Your Website
A dermatology practice website is the basic foundation for your online marketing efforts. Your website is the online version of your clinic. This platform sets the tone for your practice, communicates a first impression for new patients and gives established patients a reliable source of new information. It can also provide patients with a convenient option for bill payment or provide a quick, easy way to schedule appointments.
# 4: Maximize Social Media Reach
Much of your target audience is likely very actively engaged with social media. Different social media platforms are favored by different demographic groups. Determine which channels are most used by your audience and create a robust presence on the channels most likely to reach your target audience. Offer relatable content and include calls to action. Social media management requires consistent time and attention. The best way to keep your social media posts relevant and engaging is to have dedicated social media managers keeping your posts and interactions fresh. Though social media accounts are free, keeping them interesting enough to draw frequent attention has a cost that is often a worthwhile investment.
# 5: Make Public Relations Pay Off
Public relations tactics allow you to promote your practice through platforms and people who are trusted sources of information and opinion. By getting the seal of approval from arbiters of public opinion, you lend your practice increased credibility. High profile media outlets, from the internet to print, radio and TV, can reinforce positive images of your practice.
Social media influencers and key opinion leaders can enhance your practice’s reputation and public persona through online conversations and reviews that are often shared and spread exponentially to a broader audience.
# 6: Raise Your Profile Outside Of Your Area
To widen your reach beyond your local area, a strategy that bolsters reputation, social media is key as a cost-effective way to increase visibility. Traditional methods also work. Consider seeking attention through professional associations and journals and their online counterparts. And participation in panel discussions and university-sponsored roundtables is also recommended.
# 7: Embrace Mobile-Friendly Technology
Nearly everyone carries a smartphone these days. Making your ventures into digital technology compatible with smartphones and tablets is one way to make information about your practice hassle-free and easy to find. Your patients will appreciate the convenience and ease of booking appointments, finding answers to their dermatological questions, reviewing their medical records or paying their bill on their phone or tablet. Look into making your electronic presence mobile-friendly.
# 8: Leverage Search Engine Optimization
Use keywords and other techniques to make your practice’s website pop up at or close to the top of search results on search engines such as Google or Bing. When you have a prominent presence via organic searches, you’ll get more page visits, more interest in your practice and more patients following through with calls and appointments.
# 9: Use Targeted Ads
Paid targeted ads from Google and Facebook are also effective advertising strategies. The inclusion of paid online ads is highly recommended for dermatology marketing plans.
# 10: Develop A Custom Strategy For Your Practice
While some good marketing principles work universally for nearly every dermatology practice, your marketing plan should be custom-tailored to fit the specific needs of your patients and potential patients. There is no “one size fits all” model for a surefire marketing plan. Each practice has unique qualities, specializations and philosophies that must be taken into account when designing a marketing strategy. Every patient population is also distinctly different. To get optimal results, define your brand, listen to your patients and use a mix of online and traditional media to create a successful, recognizable and respected brand.