Is Communication in Healthcare possible for gastroenterologists? And how. The Marketing Health for medical practices and GI (gastrointestinal) is essential to find, attract, engage and convert potential GI patients through digital channels. These channels include search engines, social media, review sites, emails, etc.
Today, when most GI patients are considering the Internet to research their health conditions, evaluate available treatment options, find and receive care, gastroenterology providers cannot miss the opportunity to exploit these online channels for opportunities for acquiring new patients. You will need to create a more reliable and authoritative presence on all these online channels so that potential online research patients do not have to think twice before choosing you as their sole provider.
Because gastroenterologists have to market their practice online
Gastroenterology providers need Digital Healthcare Marketing like never before mainly for the following two reasons:
- The continued decline in reimbursements to GI providers that increase the need to acquire new patients to bridge the revenue gap. There has been a general decline in reimbursement for gastrointestinal (GI) care services in the light of ever-changing health policies, reforms, and regulations. Revenue cuts do not only occur on professional fronts but also on external revenue fronts, such as income from outsourced pathology laboratories. In this scenario, GI providers are looking for ways to improve patient acquisition to maximize sources of income for their survival. As a result, competition for increased market share has also increased.
- The growing percentage of tech-savvy patients who rely heavily on online platforms such as search engines, review sites, social media, etc. To gather information and find a supplier. According to the journal CGH (Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology), almost 50% of Americans search for health information online before consulting a doctor. 7 out of 10 of these people also use some form of social media to access health information and find a care provider.
Other studies suggest that a significant percentage of the population (around 82% ) uses online reviews to evaluate a doctor before selecting it as a supplier.
All this indicates the need for a solid Communication in Healthcare for gastroenterologists. Let’s talk about the different Digital Marketing tools and tactics that can increase patient acquisition opportunities.
The 5 W of Health Communication for gastroenterologists
The different techniques of Healthcare Marketing of gastroenterology:
- Gastroenterology SEO: The tendency to search for an online gastroenterologist has increased in recent times. Google records keywords like “gastroenterologists near me”, “GI doctors near me”, “stomach doctors”, “pediatric gastroenterologist near me” and “the best gastroenterologists near me” by the thousands every month. See the screenshot below.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the organic and unpaid method of inviting more local search traffic to your website. The SEO process starts with the identification of all the highly profitable local-themed keywords that potential patients use during their searches and optimizing their website for them. This involves keyword planning, carefully written content creation, link creation, networking with market influencers, etc.
All these efforts ensure that whenever a potential patient in your locality searches for a gastroenterology provider with related keywords, your website will position itself at the top of organic search results. More traffic on the website means creating engagement with more phone calls and more online appointments.
- Online advertising for gastroenterologists
Although it is essential to rank for important keywords on Google or get tons of likes, comments and/or shares on each post on Facebook, it is not always guaranteed that these organic methods will deliver the expected results, especially in the case of high competition. In this case, online advertising channels like PPC (online paid ads), remarketing and Facebook Ads are the ways to direct the right potential customers at the right time.
GI doctors and surgeons take advantage of these online advertising techniques to immediately reach potential patients by bypassing the organic competition. We learn more about the different methods of online advertising for gastroenterology.
- Gastroenterological PPC
If there is a lot of competition for a particular keyword, it may take some time before your website is ranked through your SEO efforts. With PPC of Gastroenterology, you can bid on relevant keywords to reach the top of the search engine results pages ( SERPs ), even beyond Google’s local organic results (see the screenshot below). The best part about PPC is that you can choose to pay only when a potential patient clicks on your ads.
PPC ( Pay-Per-Click ) is Google’s online advertising channel that lets you post search ads and display ads . You can choose to be billed only when a user clicks on those ads (that’s why it’s called pay-per-click). PPC ads allow you to be highly specific about targeting the right audience. You can choose the desired geographical location, the preferred patient demographics and the time of day for targeting. Your advertising campaigns are run based on a daily budget that allows them to be cost-effective and result-oriented.
Facebook ad manager
Like Google, Facebook also lets you show your ads to a target audience selected through the Ads Manager platform. The targeting options on Facebook are incredibly profound. It allows you to limit the patient audience by age group, gender, position, income level or even interests and habits on Facebook and Instagram.
Online reputation management for gastroenterologists
Gastroenterology is a highly competitive segment. This means that many service providers are fighting to get more market share. In this scenario, suppliers who do not have a respectable presence will lose the battle for their competitors in terms of the volume of patients acquired. In today’s online world, a respectable presence means many 5-star ratings and positive patient reviews on all popular review platforms (such as Google, Yelp, Facebook, HealthGrades, Vitali, RateMDs, etc.). Most of the patients (as already said as much as 82%, according to data from the Pew Research Center) uses these review platforms to evaluate the healthcare professionals they are considering.
GI Care’s social network and community building
Today at least 70% of GI patients use some form of social media, such as blogs, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn for information and research related to healthcare. They use these platforms to search for information on diseases and treatments, identify suppliers and express or assess their satisfaction with suppliers, clinics or health systems. As a gastroenterology expert, it is your chance to build a Communication in Healthcare that aims to be present on these platforms to promote greater brand exposure.
A misconception that needs to be clarified here is that social media marketing (SMM) is not closely linked to guide more patients to your door. Patients who need a gastro-doctor or a surgeon immediately go directly to Google and not on social media. SMM is more concerned with networking and community building and management with ongoing patient engagement efforts, such as sharing clinical news, answering common questions from the online community, etc. Basically, it’s reaching people, getting yourself known as an expert in the field and building solid bonds.
The Journal CGH ( Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology ) also discusses the value of social media marketing for GI providers. According to them, if used correctly, “social media can amplify your professional image, amplify your voice and extend your reach and influence much faster than other methods”.
So these are the various Health Communication techniques that can help your gastroenterology practice to acquire more new patients consistently, Contact us today.