Word of mouth has always been an effective marketing tool but in the age of social media and online marketing does it still work? Absolutely! Word of mouth is a major catalyst for driving traffic to a website, attracting the attention of potential patients, and building your medical practice’s brand. It is now more important than ever to utilize word of mouth when it comes to medical marketing.
How Word of Mouth Used to Work
Marketing via word of mouth used to leave doctors with relatively little control once their primary work was complete. Patients received treatment and took their experience out into the world. If they chose to share a positive experience with others, the practice would benefit from word of mouth.
If the patient kept their experience to themselves or chose not to act as an ambassador for the practice, the marketing opportunity fizzled. A doctor could encourage his or her patients to share experiences, but there were no guarantees. Aside from giving the best possible service and best possible care, doctors lost control once a patient left the office.
Modern Medical Marketing
Nowadays, doctors have more control than ever before over word of mouth marketing. The key to building a successful brand through word of mouth is to blend social media with word of mouth marketing. People (and patients) are more vocal now about experiences because they have social media platforms allowing them to speak their minds. In the past, patients shared their experience with fewer than a dozen friends and family members. Now, they can post their opinions online and reach thousands of people.
How You Can Use Word of Mouth Medical Marketing to Your Advantage
As a physician wanting to market a medical practice, your goal is to encourage your patients to act as online ambassadors of your practice. This is similar to encouraging patients to share their opinions the old-fashioned way, but it has a much bigger impact. If you are able to get just one or two patients to utilize social media for word of mouth marketing, you are able to reach massive numbers of potential patients. Imagine if you could get just 20% of your patients to take to the Internet and share their positive experience. That has the potential to be 80 patients per month marketing your services and medical practice.
The best way to encourage patients to share their opinions is to provide them with as many opportunities as possible. Different people are comfortable with different forms of online communication, so make sure everyone has a chance to share their opinion. Establish a strong presence online and use as many different platforms as possible.
If you think a particular platform is not a great fit, find creative ways to get involved. Using sites such as Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest make it possible to establish a presence online and build a strong brand. Each of these sites drives traffic to your website and gets people talking about your practice. You can speak with a project manager at Physician Designs to learn more about each social media profile and how it can benefit your medical practice and marketing needs.
The world of medical marketing it constantly changing and it is easy to feel overwhelmed and unsure of what the future holds. Tried and true methods of marketing may no longer produce the same results, but that does not mean you should give up on them completely. Word of mouth is just as valuable today as it was 10+ years ago, but it is being used in a new way that can actually spread information faster. You can use it to generate new patients for a medical practice and build a thriving practice in this modern age of medical marketing.