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When most people think of marketing, they envision traditional outbound marketing consisting of direct mail, television, radio, cold-calls, and print advertising.  Outbound marketing’s main focus is finding new patients. Depending on the medical specialty and demographic, this may be a dying way to obtain new patients. The average person receives 2000 outbound marketing messages each day. Because of this, many people avoid these messages by screening their calls, listening to satellite radio and throwing away unwanted mail. So how does a medical practice attract new patients when there is so much resistance?  They do it with the Internet.

Why reach out to people that do not want to buy what you are selling? Consumers (and patients) scour the Internet daily. What do you do when you need information on something? Most often, you run a search on the Internet. Your patients are doing the same thing when it comes to their healthcare. Wouldn’t you like your website or social site to come up in that search? That is what Internet marketing is all about – reaching consumers when they are ready for you.

The main objective in Internet marketing is to reach consumers on their terms. You can accomplish this with your website, medical blog and through social media. When patients are researching a topic, they will find videos produced by the medical practice. They will also find medical blogs, written to provide accurate medical information to the masses. They do this to whet the appetite of the reader so they are induced to learn more by contacting the practice. Marketing in such a fashion also positions the practice as thought leaders within their specialty.

Most people do not realize the time investment needed to create an effective Internet marketing campaign. The cornerstone of any Internet marketing campaign is content. This is how patients find your practice in their search. Creating new, relevant content is no small task. Medical practices must have a strategy in place to ensure new content is developed regularly to help with search engine ranking.

Any new content must be optimized so that it can be found by patients. By optimizing your content you create links of targeted keywords that link back to your website. For example, if your blog is about how to care for your child’s teeth, you should include keywords throughout the copy that link back to specific pages on your website. Did you see how I slipped a keyword in there?

Once your content is optimized, it should be distributed online. This is best accomplished with social media. Sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn provide your content with the authority it needs to reach your prospective patient.

Internet marketing works and costs less. In fact, Internet marketing costs 60% less per patient than than outbound marketing. The time investment is what is most surprising when first starting down this path. It is important that before implementing any aspect of Internet marketing, you determine how you are going to manage it successfully for the long term. If you find you need help, consider MindStream Creative for your Internet marketing needs.