There are tried-and-true digital strategies for acquiring and maintaining patients. Patients used to rely almost solely on word of mouth or a medical referral to find an ENT/Otolaryngology specialist. That method of searching has evolved tremendously. Consumers nowadays spend the majority of their time online, using Google and other search engines to find health-related information and recommendations for ENT/Otolaryngology professionals.
Healthcare consumers use the internet to find solutions to their ENT-related health questions and concerns, which range from allergies to vertigo, ear tubes to sinus surgery, and head and neck cancers. As a result, otolaryngologists and ENT specialists must have a strong digital presence if they want to compete for new patients.
Your ENT Marketing vs Competitors
Customers spend hours online each day looking for solutions to common health problems. Most people use Google to conduct research and make healthcare decisions, whether they are parents looking for information on their child’s recurring ear infections or individuals seeking relief from chronic sinus problems. In today’s modern marketing environment, ENT doctors must have a strong internet presence, an excellent online reputation, and a positive patient experience at every step of their journey. ENT doctors should think about emulating Jeff Bezos’s strategy of giving speed, transparency, and ease.
Traditional channels or referral marketing tactics are no longer sufficient to achieve the ENT office’s growth objectives in the same way that digital marketing and advertising strategies are. Because digital-first marketing methods provide unparalleled flexibility and ROI, ENT doctors who use them can attract more new patients than those who do not. Here are just a few of the various benefits of digital marketing:
Higher Return on Investment
Digital marketing costs less per impression and conversion than traditional marketing. More crucially, methods enable a more precise evaluation of the effectiveness of online operations. By documenting each click, measuring each conversion, and amassing data about prospective patients’ online activities, you can easily identify your digital marketing success and growth. This allows your ENT practice to focus its marketing efforts on obtaining new patients, giving you more bang for your buck.
The versatility of digital marketing is one of its most appealing features. ENT practice managers can grab the wheel and make necessary adjustments to plans. Otolaryngologists may quickly build and modify budgets, determine who to target (based on geography, age, demographics, gender, and interests), select and switch marketing channels, and make creative changes utilizing digital marketing methods.
Traditional marketing tactics, such as print and television advertising, limit the audience that may be addressed. ENT practices can employ digital marketing to reach out to patients who require enhanced capabilities that are not available through traditional ways. Your otolaryngology digital initiatives reach the appropriate people at the right time, resulting in better outcomes and more new patient conversions. Furthermore, your web audience is nearly limitless, which benefits the promotion of your ENT services and practice. Your ENT clinic can use digital marketing and advertising to create a consistent branding plan that will help you obtain community recognition. This means creating a strong visual identity that includes your logo, complementary colors, and consistent imagery, all of which help viewers recognize your company instantly.
Important Aspects of a Comprehensive Digital Strategy
Choosing the correct marketing mix for ENT clinics can be difficult with so many digital marketing tactics to select from. Fortunately, several tried-and-true tactics can help ENT and otolaryngology practitioners connect with new patients online and build their practices over time. To begin, consider the design and strategy of your website as the cornerstone of your online presence. Your website not only gives prospective patients their first impression of your ENT clinic but also tells search engines what your practice performs and what kind of care you provide. Sharing this information with search engines effectively over time will help you connect with more patients.
This is crucial for your search engine optimization (SEO), which is an important part of any digital marketing strategy. After all, if your website is difficult to locate or doesn’t appear near the top of search results, it won’t attract new patients. Digital advertising campaigns can extend the reach of your organic marketing efforts as your budget allows. Paid advertising techniques like cost-per-click (CPC) campaigns, digital display ads, and sponsored social media campaigns can help you be noticed online faster and interact with people who may need ENT or otolaryngology services.
Your internet presence is further enhanced through the usage of social media and blog material. Both contribute to increased awareness of your ENT office and providers, as well as increased website traffic, which is critical for long-term practice growth. Finally, to stimulate patient interaction and keep them coming back for care, digital marketing must incorporate a patient retention strategy. You’re supporting a practice growth plan that may produce actual results by concentrating on proven strategies that enhance patient satisfaction and by keeping patients informed and involved in-between visits.
Search Engine Optimization and Local Search Marketing
Search engine optimization (SEO) and local search marketing techniques are essential for getting the most out of your website and online presence. Your ENT/head & neck surgery clinic can profit from top search result ranks with the appropriate approach to search, which is crucial to recruiting new patients today. While search engines’ algorithms change regularly, several tried-and-true tactics can help your ENT practice get found more frequently in your region and engage with local healthcare customers. Here are five key strategies for boosting your ENT practice’s chances of earning a coveted top-of-page 1 spot:
Concentrate on the content of your website and blog: When it comes to SEO, the more content you provide for search engines to crawl, the better. To begin, make sure that each ENT-related ailment you treat and each service you offer has its page on your website. Then, by adding a blog, you’ll have a lot more opportunities to offer useful content that answers the most often asked ENT topics online. These could be due to specific procedures (such as balloon sinuplasty or tympanostomy) or symptoms and diseases (e.g. dizziness, hearing loss, allergies).
Take a look outside of your website.
The website for your practice is only one part of your SEO strategy. The different components that verify your ENT practice’s relevance and legitimacy, both online and offline, are included in search engine optimization (SEO). Google and other search engines want to know that your ENT practice’s brand and skills extend beyond your website. Claim your profile on prominent directory sites like Google My Business, Yelp, Vitals, Healthgrades, and local business sites, as well as anywhere else that can help you increase your practice’s visibility online. Ensure that all data is current, consistent, and as specific as feasible. Because of this consistency, Google is confident in surfacing your content in response to local ENT-related patient searches.
Use relevant keywords.
While the term “keywords” may appear complex, it simply refers to the words or phrases that a potential patient would type into an online search. ENT, otolaryngology, allergies, head and neck surgery, and sinusitis is all frequent ENT keywords. By incorporating these keywords into the material on your website, blog, and online directory profiles, you’ll boost your chances of interacting with potential patients who are searching for those phrases online.
Establish a presence on social media.
Posting relevant medical content on social media can assist generate visitors to your website and improve your entire internet presence – it tells Google that your ENT office is a relevant, trustworthy business and information source. On social media, consistency is crucial, so only prepare for the number of channels (you can choose from Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter) that you can properly handle. You should pay special attention to YouTube, which is more than just a social networking platform; it’s also the second most popular search engine online. As a result, publishing video material on this popular platform has a high search value, especially for niche services that your competitors may not provide.
Improve your ENT practice’s internet reputation.
Your ENT practice’s online reputation is equally vital for search engine optimization (SEO). Google considers that ENT practices with a higher number and frequency of reviews are more relevant in the community, and rewards them with a chance to rank higher in searches. Furthermore, Google’s average star ratings have an impact on search results. In searches for local ENT doctors and practices that include the phrase ‘best,’ such as ‘best ENT provider near me,’ practices with an average rating of 4.0 or above will appear. More visibility for those ‘best’ searches means more potential patients will visit your website.
Complement your SEO and local search strategy with content marketing for even greater online results.
Content marketing serves a variety of purposes, including acquiring new patients, engaging current patients, and boosting your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. As previously said, the more relevant content your ENT practice produces online, the more information search engines will be able to locate and index. At the most basic level, this tells Google and other search engines what ENT services your office provides, allowing you to improve your search result ranks for those services.
Blogging, social media, and email marketing campaigns are all examples of content marketing techniques that provide your relevant ENT content to the public. Content marketing is a strong tool for establishing meaningful connections with current and prospective patients. It also allows you to display and reinforce your expertise, whether through an educational film or a comprehensive blog post that allows your ENT experts and otolaryngologists to demonstrate their knowledge and skills. Here are some ENT-specific content marketing ideas to get you started:
- A blog entry describing the symptoms and signs of sinusitis. Include what to check for as well as some common treatments and remedies to think about.
- A video of an otolaryngologist explaining the operation of balloon sinuplasty. Explain how it’s done and what a patient should expect before, during, and after the procedure.
- An email campaign aimed at allergy sufferers, including advice on how to deal with the forthcoming allergy season.
- A lighthearted social media campaign that offers advice and treatment choices to women whose husbands snore.
- A Twitter tweet pointing to a recent otolaryngology research paper.
- A discussion with one of your ENT specialists about Meniere’s illness. • A Facebook post with a favorable patient testimonial or review.
Otolaryngologist’s Guide to Patient Retention and Reputation Management
Customer happiness is an important part of every company’s long-term growth plan. Patient satisfaction has an impact on both patient retention and patient acquisition for ENT practitioners, two aspects of the company that are equally important for long-term practice growth. Your online reputation cannot be neglected as a leading indicator of your ENT practice’s patient happiness. When analyzing and selecting a new doctor, today’s healthcare customers are increasingly turning to internet patient evaluations. When it comes to choosing a provider, 74% of patients believe excellent ratings to be very or extremely significant. As a result, ENT offices with a positive internet reputation are more likely to attract new patients.
Many ENTs have the mistaken belief that they have little influence over their online reputation. They do, however. There are several tried-and-true tactics that any ENT office can use to improve patient satisfaction and increase online patient reviews.
Give Patients What They Want: A Patient Listener
A majority of patients in a Patient Pop 2021 study said having “a good listener” was their top priority when asked what they look for in a healthcare practitioner. It was, in fact, the most popular option, with 67.1 percent of patients opting for it. Of course, the most important thing is to give patients your entire attention during their consultation. Consider wrapping up your visits with a statement like, ‘Have I answered all of your questions today?’ This might serve as a reminder to each patient that you’ve been listening and that your goal is for them to feel heard and understood when they leave the exam room.
Asking patients for feedback, usually via computerized patient satisfaction surveys delivered after each ENT treatment, is another method to show that you’re paying attention. This allows your patients to express themselves and provide valuable input, which can then be used to assist you to make modifications that boost patient satisfaction and loyalty. Even more importantly, according to our survey findings, patients who are solicited for input by a provider or practice are 2.3x more likely to leave a review online. The more positive and neutral internet reviews your practice receives, the less impact a single bad or neutral review will have on your total ranking and reputation. ENT physicians should seek to enhance the amount and frequency of their online reviews for maximum positive impact.
The relationship between the clinician and the patient is the most important factor in patient loyalty and retention. Building on that relationship can assist drive long-term engagement and keep patients satisfied and returning. If your ENT clinic doesn’t have a patient engagement strategy in place, you may be missing out on opportunities to interact with patients and maximize the lifetime value of each relationship.
The use of timely, targeted email campaigns is one strategy that ENT offices can utilize to assist drive patient involvement. Even though many businesses use email marketing excessively, some experts claim that healthcare clinics do not use it sufficiently. Take advantage of the chance to share your knowledge with patients all year long, keeping them informed and reminding them of your practice in between appointments. Your ENT clinic can use email marketing to give essential health information to patients throughout the year, whether it’s a seasonal campaign relating to allergy season, frequent updates during the COVID- 19 pandemic, or regular suggestions for sleep apnea sufferers.
Consider email marketing to be a type of content marketing, similar to blogging and social media, in that it allows your ENT office to communicate useful information with patients while also creating trust and enhancing the patient-provider relationship. Finally, make it simple for patients to maintain their relationship with your office by providing a range of communication and access tools. Allow patients to reach out to your clinic and physicians by phone, email, and text messaging. Allowing patients to select their preferred approach can improve patient satisfaction.
Modern Patient Experience
We all know how difficult it is for busy patients to find time for healthcare. The importance of convenience cannot be overstated. That’s why ENT offices that make the patient experience as simple as possible — from arranging an appointment to paying a bill — can retain and satisfy more patients. The more digital choices your ENT office can provide, the more likely a patient will be satisfied. Online scheduling, automated appointment confirmations and reminders, digital registration and intake forms, telemedicine, and online payment are all examples of this. Each one demonstrates that you value your patients’ convenience, which leads to increased engagement, contentment, and positive online reviews.
The majority of patients said they prefer a digital experience for five important contacts with practitioners in the PatientPop 2021 annual patient perspective survey:
- Making a meeting appointment
- Completing registration and other paperwork
- Obtaining access to medical records
- Posing a question to the provider
- Taking care of their bills
Furthermore, automating these procedures might relieve employees of laborious administrative responsibilities. Instead, your front-desk staff may concentrate on answering phones and welcoming patients pleasantly, improving the in-person experience at your ENT practice.
Respond to Patients ASAP
Every customer, especially in the healthcare industry, wants to be heard. Patients who make suggestions for their doctors will not (and should not) be dismissed. It’s vital to respond appropriately to your ENT patients’ input, whether they call, email, send a secure message via your patient portal, complete a patient satisfaction survey, or leave an online review. In our annual study, over half of the patients said the most important thing they want from a healthcare practitioner is a quick response to their queries and concerns.
When you receive negative or critical feedback or evaluations, responding is crucial for your company’s success. When a patient does not receive a response to a poor review, he or she is nearly always left disappointed. By disregarding negative comments, you not only alienate present patients, but you also risk alienating future patients who discover that an online complaint has gone unanswered by the doctor or office. When a practitioner does respond, however, the increase in patient satisfaction from under three percent to more than 80 percent is astonishing.
You must track all areas of practice growth to see how well your digital marketing and advertising initiatives are doing. While the patient acquisition is a crucial aspect of any growth strategy, patient engagement and practice efficiency are equally important. Both of these factors can have a big impact on your overall revenue and growth. An all-in-one practice growth platform may track your practice’s key performance indicators (KPIs) while also automating certain manual activities for increased efficiency, allowing you to keep a close eye on all of these growth elements.
For Effective ENT Marketing, Mach 1 Can Help
If you’re ready to get started, consider Mach 1 for efficient ENT marketing for your company. Please contact us at [email protected] or 318-349-4998 with any questions you may have about creating a website for your small business.