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Having an effective website is not only important to increase the quality of service for your current patients, it can also attract new patients into setting appointments.  It is critical to have a user-friendly interface and a good design for your website for patients to want to use your services.

Website layouts should not be an afterthought.  The usability of the website can drastically change the likelihood for a new patient to schedule an appointment or to come back when they are ready.  Below are a list of techniques to achieve a more usable website.

  1. Put information where the most eyes are.  Statistics have show people read the first half of the page and the left pane the most.
  2. Maximize how web visitors “read” pages.  Have navigation bars and list headlines horizontally.
  3. Have a quick load time for your website.  If a competitor site is faster, the customer will most likely use that over yours.
  4. Provide a large enough search box.
  5. Use the same page layout for all your pages.
  6. Use 4 or less colors for text. Keep different fonts to a minimum.
  7. Links should be easy to spot and change color after clicking.

To learn more and to see the infographic please visit: http://www.dentistryiq.com/articles/2014/09/want-more-of-your-website-visitors-to-schedule-appointments.html

Healthcare is now shifting from provider power to consumer power.  In the past, providers had all the information and patients had little idea on statistics of said provider or reviews of their services.

Many providers are being reimbursed on calculations partly based on patient satisfaction.  Providers can ensure patient satisfaction and full reimbursement by following the RATER model (Reliability, Assurance, Tangibles, Empathy, and Responsiveness).

 

Reliability

Patients want their health care provider to be reliable. Provide continuous employee training on how to provide reliable care and attention to detail.

Assurance

Patients want to feel confident that they’re getting the right service. Provide the big picture issue and discuss specifics. Most important, ask questions and encourage a back-and-forth exchange with the patient.

Tangibles

Patients benefit from something tangible after their treatment, like instructions for home care or tips to stay healthy.

Empathy

Patients like to be heard, and that they have a say in their course of treatment.

Responsiveness

Do not overpromise timely services but keep patients informed of the timing of their care.

To learn more about each one of these topics please visit: http://www.forbes.com/sites/onmarketing/2014/09/15/what-marketing-can-do-for-hospitals/

Many medical offices are small businesses.  If you run a small healthcare organization or practice, you can also use tactics used by small businesses outside of the medical field.  Listed below are a 5 of the 10 content marketing tips that when utilized can draw in more patients or customers.

  1. Make A Schedule

Create an outline of each month and be sure to include networking and industry events.  Assign time each week to brainstorm, develop strategy, research and actually create your content.

  1. Research

Do some research and look at other small business websites and social media channels. Don’t limit your research to just small businesses; you can look at well-known organizations to inspire and drive your marketing strategies.

  1. Survey

Survey your consumers to see what they really want and need. The information from surveys can help to improve your website and your services. Small incentives (gift cards, money, prize) work great to achieve a more genuine response.

  1. Understand Current Trends

Research social media sites to see what is trending and use those items to create popular content.

  1. Use Video

Videos are a great way to get your content out and for consumers to connect with information and share it. You don’t even need fancy equipment, you can use a smart phone and use apps like Instagram, YouTube, and Vine to post your content.

To learn about the other 5 tactics please visit: http://www.business2community.com/content-marketing/10-awesome-content-marketing-tips-small-business-01002755#!bSf6st

By now everyone has heard of the “ALS ice bucket challenge”, where chosen participants had to dump ice water on their head and donate to the ALS association.  In less than a month, donations from the ice bucket challenge totaled $94.3 million.  This was very different than the previous year during the same time, the ALS foundation only raised $2.7 million in comparison. Not only did this viral sensation raise awareness about the cause, it also secured a great deal of money for research.

Medical marketers can learn from the ALS ice bucket challenge and use the same tactics.  Follow these guidelines below to increase awareness on your next marketing campaign.

Keep it simple. The ice bucket challenge asks people to dump ice water on their heads and donate $10 to the ALS Foundation or donate $100 to the charity. The objective was clear and easy to understand.

Add immediacy to your message. The campaign worked so well because the challenge requires people to act within 24 hours. By giving your audience a deadline, the initiative will become a greater priority.

Make it an obligation. The campaign worked because it trapped the person nominated. If you didn’t join in, you faced a penalty. Your friends were waiting for your video so you didn’t want to disappoint them.

Educate your audience. The viral campaign drove awareness about ALS but the videos didn’t necessarily educate and inform people about the horrific disease.

Use video in your marketing strategy. The challenge demonstrates the power of video, especially now that smartphones make it easy to create and share videos.

To learn more these tactics please visit: http://www.fiercehealthcare.com/story/5-healthcare-marketing-lessons-als-ice-bucket-challenge/2014-08-28

Every business needs marketing of some kind, even if it is as simple as signage and your information listed in a directory. This is especially important for medical private practices. Without marketing it can make it difficult for potential and current patients to access you.
Looking to market more but have a tight budget? Listed below are some easy ways to market without spending extra money.
– When you are in a conversation where you are discussing what you do, show passion. Showing genuine interest in your practice and conveying to others that you love what you do will make them want to talk about you to others and market for you.
– Don’t just network with fellow doctors and known healthcare leaders. You never know the connections others have. Perhaps build relationships with your morning barista, your local grocery staff, church attendees, etc.
-Be a guest writer on medical blogs or start your own blog that drives readers to your website.
Use marketing avenues you feel comfortable with. If you are good at writing-write articles. If you are better with words, use your speech to persuade others and perhaps speak at your yearly medical convention

To learn more about how to market using your strengths please visit: http://pro.psychcentral.com/kickstart/2014/09/easy-marketing-for-your-private-practice/

Admissions for hospitals and health systems are falling as higher insurance rates prompt patients to seek more affordable care elsewhere.  Hospitals, clinics and medical centers spent $1.8 billion last year on media trying to attract patients.

Many organizations are turning to mobile and social marketing that reaches the growing number of consumers who look online for healthcare information- the internet is helping patients make more informed healthcare choices.

Search is key 
Marketers used to utilize TV, radio, print and out-of-home ads to build brand awareness, but search-engine marketing is becoming a more significant part of plans.

Mobile 
Health-care marketers should build responsive sites that emphasize the mobile experience as consumers look for quick and easy access to wellness advice.

Smartphones with advanced video capabilities, like high-definition cameras, make it increasingly possible for patients to connect with quality doctors outside of their region and receive diagnoses. Telemedicine, in which patients receive treatment via Skype/phone also cuts costs for hospitals and patients, which is why more health-care companies are offering this type of support.

Social
 The power of the testimonial is key in health care, as patients and families researching diagnoses often turn to patients with similar experiences. Social media gives hospitals and clinics the chance to share patient stories and connect consumers.

To learn more about digital marketing please visit: http://adage.com/article/digital/digital-health-care-industry-s-rx-revenue/294940/

Marketing correcting is very important in any organization. It is no different in healthcare. With the help from the right agency you care certainly craft an effective marketing strategy.

1. Know your organization- Know what you are good at and focus on these points.

2. How are YOU different- Make sure to point out what separates you from everyone else. What make you better than your competitor?

3. Understand your consumers- find out what your consumers are looking for in an organization and try to cater to these needs. More specifically find out what other organizations aren’t giving them and try to achieve it in your facility.

The right agency can help you find a way to develop the best marketing plan for you. For the remaining 11 tips please visit: http://www.arkansasmedicalnews.com/14-tips-to-crafting-effective-healthcare-marketing-with-an-agency-cms-726