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The era of conventional advertising is coming to an end. Businesses are purchasing fewer print ads, preferring instead to invest in digital marketing. How should healthcare providers attract new patients in today’s digital age?
Today, most patients (85%) use the Internet to find a healthcare provider. That’s not to say that other types of healthcare marketing aren’t useful. But if you are not marketing yourself effectively online, you’re effectively leaving 85% of new business leads on the table. Many of the patients you would have served in the past are now finding other practitioners.
Facebook marketing, including building and marketing your own Facebook page, boosting (advertising) your posts or running Facebook Ads can be a powerful tool for attracting patients. But, as with most tools, you have to know how to use it effectively. Here are a few tips that explain how to build patient interest using Facebook.
1. Be specific.
Don’t try to reach everyone. Facebook ads are extremely specific in their targeting and you should be specific too. You have to know the characteristics of your market: age, gender, location, social class, education, profession, interests, etc.
2. Set goals.
What do you exactly want the ad, post, or page to do? Is it promoting your clinic’s specialty? Do you want to get local (or international) doctors to attend your workshop or seminar? Are you announcing a special on a treatment or vaccinations targeting parents with children?
To put it bluntly, text alone is boring and only the most patient patients will read a post that consists purely of text. Always include images that are pleasing and preferably show the demographic you’re aiming at and the benefits of your specific procedures. Avoid pictures that, while technically relevant, are not pleasing to look at.
4. Say what you want.
Don’t be ambiguous. State explicitly what you want the reader to do (call to action): liking your page, sharing a post, calling your health center, signing up for a workshop, etc. Try to limit yourself to one request.
5. Know your audience.
As you gain experience and use Facebook’s tools, you’ll discover if your posts are effective or not. Are your posts or ads too broad and being seen by too many who aren’t responding or are they so narrow that you have no audience? Ease or restrict your limits depending on what your goals are.
6. Destinations matter.
The link that your ad or post takes the user to should make it extremely easy for the user to do what you want him or her to do. For example, if you want a user to sign up for your newsletter, the “landing page” should prominently feature a “sign up” link or button.
7. Evaluate and adjust.
Marketing on Facebook is not a fixed process. Just because you get more views doesn’t always mean you’re getting the results you want. Every action or variable you change will have to be reviewed and analyzed later to discover whether it worked or not and why. That way, you can reproduce your successes and avoid failures.