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How To Build Thriving Digital Reputation For Medical Practice

How To Build A Thriving Digital Reputation For Your Medical Practice | Digital Marketing Company in Malaysia - MYSense

Why digital reputation is so important to healthcare brands and how your marketing team can begin building a strong, lasting digital presence that drives patient acquisition.

Many people today rate healthcare providers based on what they find online. They visit vendor websites and read online reviews.
In addition, more than 60% of patients have excluded a doctor or provider because of negative comments online. Overall, the study found that 34% of patients considered online reputation to be fairly important in their decision-making process.

How to Build a Thriving Digital Reputation

A common mistake made by brands across all industries is to rest on their laurels. They spend all their marketing capital on advertising and communication campaigns abroad while neglecting their online reputation. 

 

While a number of reviews and interactions occur organically, depending on the strength of your brand, it may take a long time to see significant gains. If you don’t take steps to encourage positive reviews, you could end up with more negative reviews circulating online. Without control, this type of negative emotion can become a pervasive part of your digital presence. 

 

Instead, here are the three basic parts of a basic digital reputation program. It’s the framework we use with our clients to generate more patient reviews, strengthen our digital reputation across all channels, and ensure that poor – or no – reviews don’t drive new patients away.

1. Monitor and Manage Your Digital Profiles

Like so many digital marketing strategies, reputation management often begins with the inventory. What digital profiles, websites, channels, and lists do you currently have (whether you manage them or not)? Where do your healthcare consumers go to read and leave reviews about your brand? Typically, this list includes the following channels, in one form or another:

 
  • General healthcare review websites (ZocDoc, RateMD, Vitals, Healthgrades)
  • Specialization-specific review sites (dentistry, plastic surgery, etc.)
  • Provider listings on healthcare networks, medical groups, and insurance groups
  • Google Maps, Bing Maps, and Google Search listings
  • Google My Business, Yelp, and Facebook business
  • Embedded reviews and testimonials on your website
  • Social media profiles, such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube

testimonials-on-medical-practice-websites-for-digitalreputation

Including testimonials on your medical practice’s website strengthens your reputation and shows potential patients the level of trust other patients have in your practice.

After you take an inventory of what comprises your digital presence, devise a strategy to address any issues, prioritize what needs to be updated and formulate a review response plan. Be sure to provide specific guidance that can be formalized and disseminated throughout your organization, including:

  • Creating and maintaining listings across all relevant channels
  • Who is in charge of monitoring and responding to reviews
  • How to handle negative reviews
  • Need to respond to positive reviews
  • To incorporate positive reviews and testimonials into your broader digital strategy
  • Add approved testimonials and reviews your website and social media channels.
  • Solicit reviews from patients

If nothing else, be sure to set up your Google My Business (GMB) listing. For multi-location healthcare practices, do the same for each location! Along with location-specific sites, this is an important part of reputation management and local search strategy! To set your GMB:

  • Register for Google My Business.
  • Complete the location verification process.
  • Optimize your GMB listing by adding accurate NAP information, relevant business categories, and photos.
Beyond GMB, check out RealPatientRatings, RealSelf, and other healthcare-specific review databases and make sure your listings are regularly checked and updated.

2. Develop A Review Solicitation Strategy

Conventional wisdom is that the number of ongoing reviews, generated over time, is greater than the number of reviews. This means anyone can go out and create a bunch of reviews once and then move on. You get more “juice” from a regular influx because people want to see recent reviews, not a series from 2 years ago.

 

That’s not to say your total rating isn’t important. According to the same NRC health study mentioned above, “74.7% of patients wanted to see at least seven reviews before trusting them. 77.6% need to see seven comments saying the same thing before they believe there is a trend. ”

 

Building a large volume of continuous exams often requires a more formalized and organized process for soliciting exams on a regular basis. Here are some of the fundamentals of a successful review acquisition strategy:

  • Map review requests to key points in the patient journey. These might be the transactional emails and automated messages you send after an appointment or procedure. Maybe you solicit reviews through a mobile app, or over the phone. Ask yourself which points in the journey will give you a consumer warm to the idea of leaving a review.
  • Train staff to ask for reviews. Give your staff members the script for when, where, and how to solicit reviews.
  • Share your review form widely. Consider including a link to your review form in your automated email messages, SMS text communications, and popular web pages to encourage more customers to review your business.

3. Strengthen Your Website Presence

A healthcare brand’s reputation extends beyond business listings and online reviews. As we said elsewhere, there are multiple links to your website. Whether they visit your site directly or indirectly, patients expect to find information and content that supports their friend’s decision.

 
Start with your About page

We see a lot of dull About Us pages in the healthcare industry. This is a missed opportunity! Your About page is an opportunity to introduce patients to your team – to give them a taste of your experience, background, and reputation. This is the opportunity to name and deploy a bit of storytelling to describe how your operation came about and all that goes with it. 

 

We like this from Pratik Dholakiya’s writing for Business.com: “They want to know your story and assess if you understand them and their problem. They want to understand why you are doing what you are doing. Therefore, if you create a personalized, relevant, and trustworthy About page, your potential customers are more likely to feel comfortable buying from you.

Write patient-first mission and value statements

The same goes for your mission and value statements. Instead of writing generic statements that you find on every other healthcare provider website, why not write mission and value statements based on the needs of your patients.

 

Consider working with a third-party agency to bring your mission, values, and other core “brand” statements to life on your website. The creativity exercise alone can uncover interesting approaches to writing and presenting this information across your various marketing channels

 
Showcase your positive reviews

Don’t you want potential customers to know that people like them love you? Whether you stream them on your website or post them on a dedicated “patient reviews” or testimonials page, it is important to incorporate your reviews in your website. Visitors to your website want to see reviews, testimonials, and patient stories so they get a feel for your reputation as a provider.

 

In addition to integrating reviews from Google, Facebook Business, and other review sites, create a library of approved customer quotes (including photos and names) that can be used across different websites. Many healthcare brands are now investing in testimonial videos, such as post-surgery conversations, as well as longer patient stories and case studies.

Taking Tangible Steps to Build the Intangibles of Your Digital Reputation

We’ve expounded here at length about the practical steps you can take to improve your digital reputation. To recap:

 

  • Shore up your digital listings
  • Solicit reviews on an ongoing basis
  • Bring your website up to speed

However, let’s not forget the more intangible aspects of a brand’s reputation, be it that of a healthcare organization, a business leader or others. Patients are especially drawn to brands that demonstrate transparency and authority. They are looking for people who actively communicate and build credibility. They love brands that add value to their patient journeys who define them by their specific experiences. Many patients prefer to see an active health care provider in their local community. 

 

At the end of the day, reputation and management, healthcare marketing, and patient engagement all become a personal experience for all of us. From whom we choose to perform our elective surgeries, to whom we entrust our family’s dental care, we often seek a long-term relationship of trust. Increasingly, the online reputation of a healthcare brand is the first step on this journey.

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