Building a steady stream of patient leads for healthcare providers seems like a pretty easy task. Everyone needs healthcare, right?
But in reality – especially when you’re launching a new clinic – it’s a lot harder than it looks.
When you consider the competition, the rise in virtual care, and the colossal amount of health-related information on the web – scaling lead generation and patient inquiries is tough!
Brew Interactive has been helping medical clinics generate leads for more than a decade, and in that time we’ve discovered ten foolproof ways to generate a steady stream of leads and patients in the healthcare industry:
- Provide Unmatched End-to-End Patient Service
- Take Full Advantage of Subsidies
- Answer Common Patient Questions with Helpful Content
- Encourage Patients to Leave Online Reviews
- Utilise Health-Related Quizzes and Surveys
- Use a Chatbot to Assist Site Visitors
- Make Scheduling an Appointment as Easy as Possible
- Run Highly Targeted Ads on Social Media
- Improve Your Local Google Rankings
- Publish a Steady Stream of Educational Content to TikTok
1. Provide Unmatched, End-to-End Patient Service
This isn’t exactly a digital marketing lead gen idea – but without it, your digital marketing efforts will fall flat.
It doesn’t matter how well you rank on Google, how beautiful your website is, or how well-targeted your Facebook Ads are. If you don’t provide high quality service, patients won’t return to your clinic, they won’t refer friends, and your online reputation will dissipate.
Good service that stands out from your competitors and delights patients must be the foundation of any marketing.
But not only is it the foundation, it can also be a lead generation catalyst in and of itself. Check this out:
According to Texas Tech University in the US, 83% of consumers are willing to refer a friend after a positive experience. And 84% of customers trust recommendations from people they know – more than any other form of advertising (Nielsen).
So before you even start thinking about lead generation campaigns for your medical clinic, ensure you’re offering standout service. It will both set the foundation for your marketing and it will bring leads in on its own.
Pro Tip: Keep in mind that great service doesn’t just mean great service from the doctor or surgeon. If you have a decent sized clinic, your office staff, schedulers, nurses, and anyone else involved in their visit play a role.
A great exercise is to analyze the customer experience from the first touch point all the way through them walking out the door of their visit. Break down each stage of their journey and evaluate their experience. Consider ways to improve service at each stage.
2. Take Full Advantage of Subsidies and Schemes
There are a handful of schemes and subsidies available for healthcare payments – not only in Singapore, but around the world. A great way to get new leads is to make people aware of the subsidies they may be eligible to receive through your clinic.
For example, Q&M dental was accredited with the Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS) which enables all Singapore Citizens to receive subsidies for medical and/or dental care across Q & M clinics.
One of the subsidies under CHAS is the Pioneer Generation Package. In this case, “pioneer” refers to senior citizens. We thought it was important for Q & M to promote this package and let people know that they are offering government-subsidised dental procedures to those who are eligible.
We ran ads to the page targeting people who were 65+ as well as those who were likely to have parents over 65.
Capitalising on the available subsidy led to a 37% increase in conversion rate and a 73% decrease in cost per lead – compared to their efforts prior to our campaign.
Pro Tip: You’re probably already familiar with available subsidies and schemes in your sector, but just in case you’re not, the Ministry of Health keeps a list on their site.
Pay close attention to news about relevant subsidies, as being the first provider in your area to promote them could make all the difference.
3. Answer Common Patient Questions with Helpful Content
Healthcare and medical questions are some of the most frequently searched questions online. Just look at a few of these popular searches:
Volume indicates how many times per month the term is searched
There’s no doubt about it: your prospective patients have hundreds of questions. They want to know:
- Is my issue serious?
- What’s the cause of my symptoms?
- How much will it cost to receive medical help for this?
- What does the process look like?
- Is surgery required? Will it hurt?
- How long will I have to wait to be seen by a specialist?
- Will my insurance cover it?
And those are just a few… There are countless benefits to answering these questions for your prospects.
At the top of the funnel, answering questions like this on your site can improve your chances of ranking on Google and introducing your brand to new people.
At the middle land bottom of the funnel, answering questions like these can improve a prospect’s confidence in your practice, thus increasing the likelihood they schedule an appointment with you.
We recently did a website redesign for Orion Orthopaedic Surgery and committed to building out a blog full of helpful resources. We used keyword research tools like Ahrefs to find out what questions were being asked in Singapore, and we also consulted their office staff to learn what questions were frequently asked while preparing for appointments.
Thanks to a site full of helpful content, they are getting loads of traffic from search engines.
And on top of the traffic, they’ve seen a 35% increase in prospective clients.
Pro Tip: Keyword research tools for SEO are really helpful when planning content, but we also recommend talking to your patients. Here are a few tips for developing content ideas that will be super relevant to your client base:
- Have your office staff of receptionist keep track of questions they get asked
- Keep a log yourself of questions patients ask prior to or after treatment
- Consider asking patients what kinds of questions they had before choosing your clinic
Pro Tip #2: These informational pages don’t have to only be content-focused! Use CTAs throughout the content and at the bottom of the page to persuade readers to go ahead and book an appointment.
4. Encourage Patients to Leave Online Reviews
In the medical space, online reviews are everything. Online reviews fall under the umbrella of referrals and recommendations, and as we discussed in the first tip, these are massive. There are two big benefits to gaining online reviews:
- The majority of prospective patients rely on online reviews when making their decision. Nearly ¾ of people strongly consider reviews and word-of-mouth when choosing a provider.
- More reviews = higher rankings on the site (whether Google, Yelp, or another). Most sites that rank businesses consider customer reviews as one of the strongest factors in how high they rank on the site.
Take a look at the Google search “dentists in singapore.” All three of the top ranking businesses in the local pack (the map at the top of local search results that shows 3-4 businesses) have loads of reviews.
The other great thing about collecting online reviews is it’s extremely low effort. It doesn’t cost any money and you don’t have to outsource it. The ROI is insane. You just need to ask.
Pro Tip #1: Automate the review request. If you don’t like asking for reviews in-person or you always forget – find a way to work it into your booking or follow-up workflow. If you send automated emails or texts, consider adding a link to leave you a review in the follow-up communication.
Another option would be to use a QR code that takes the scanner directly to the site you’d like to receive a review!
Pro Tip #2: Make sure you’re getting reviews in the right places. If your clinic has a profile on a random site that no one visits – it’s probably not the best place to get reviews. Google and Facebook are no-brainer, but another way to find out if there are other sites you should be getting reviews from is to search Google for “[your industry] in [your location]”.
See if there are other directory or listing sites on the first page. If so, these are good places to be listed and earning reviews.
5. Utilise Health-Related Quizzes
Depending on your healthcare sector, many people aren’t sure whether or not they need your services. Tons of your prospective patients are stuck in the awareness phase.
For example, someone might think their eyesight is becoming an issue, but they really aren’t sure. And they don’t want to take the time to visit your clinic to find out.
Or perhaps someone has been struggling with shoulder pain for awhile, but it’s not bad enough to schedule an appointment, and they don’t realise the long-term issues that could be brewing.
Quizzes are an incredible way to move these patients from awareness to consideration all the while promoting your practice.
Parker Eye Care worked with a local radio station to promote a quiz of theirs that helped those who took it realise how important eye care was. This led to a boatload of highly qualified leads for their clinic.
Just creating the quiz is the first step, you also need a plan for distribution. Consider partnering with a larger brand to distribute the quiz, running ads to the quiz, and offering entry into a drawing for a reward to entice people to take it.
Pro Tip: Collect data from your quizzes and repurpose it in blogs and social media posts. For example, if you created a quiz that helped people diagnose their joint aches and pains, you could pull the data and write a blog post like, “58% of Women in Singapore Who Struggle with Joint Pain Leave it Untreated.”
Keep in mind though that you’ll need a significant number of responses in order to claim data like that.
6. Use a Chatbot to Assist Site Visitors
There’s a good chance visitors on your site have questions about their condition or scheduling an appointment with you. Having helpful content is great – but some of your visitors will be antsy and want answers right away.
A chatbot is a great way to meet their needs and convert them into leads.
We recently worked with Orion Orthopaedic to configure a HubSpot chatbot on their site. We took the time to work with the Orion team to ensure we knew the most frequently asked questions, situations, and scenarios.
We then configured these into the Chatbot and deployed it! Plenty of their site visitors use it to schedule a consultation, and some reference it for information as well.
Pro Tip: Deploying a chatbot is only the beginning. Make sure you’re reviewing the logs and conversations regularly to ensure the chatbot is actually helping visitors. Consider testing different responses and optimising it to give your site visitors as much help as possible.
7. Make Scheduling an Appointment as Easy as Possible
The primary goal for most clinics is to get more appointments or consultations. If this is true for you – make the process as easy as possible.
Some people will still prefer to call the office or stop by in-person (and it might depend on the average age of your patients), but most want to schedule an appointment quickly and easily online. Thanks to the likes of Amazon, Apple, and other leading tech companies, your prospective patients are used to streamlined processes that make tasks super simple.
And they expect the same from your scheduling process.
Not long ago, we worked with dental centre Q & M to improve their lead generation efforts. Part of our work involved streamlining the appointment process, which was previously time consuming and very manual.
Patients filled out a super simple form to start the process.
The patients were then taken to a next step to confirm a time. Those who did confirm were all set! Those who didn’t were sent follow-up reminder emails.
Pro Tip: Test your scheduling process thoroughly. Walk through it yourself and take notes on how easy it is. You can also pay others to conduct research for you. Have them highlight any portion that provides friction. Once you have feedback, work with your team or agency to make the process simpler.
Pro Tip #2: Ensure you set up CAPTCHA on any contact forms you use to book appointments. Without something to catch spam submissions, you’ll waste a lot of time deleting emails out of your inbox!
8. Run Highly Targeted Ads to Prospective Patients
Unless you’re a general practitioner, you probably have a very specific demographic of people you work with. When you have a well-defined audience, social media ads are one of the best ways to reach them.
Facebook and Instagram Ads allow you to target users based on age, gender, location, interests, and more.
We recently worked with Polaris Plastic Surgery to get them more patients as they launched their clinic. We designed some Facebook Ads using informative videos. But we didn’t target everyone in Singapore.
We segmented the ads based on type of surgery and we worked closely with our client to identify the typical demographic for each. We even implemented some interests that many of his patients seemed to share.
The age and gender breakdown for two different services we promoted
Polaris has been enjoying 500% more patient enquiries attributed to these ads.
Pro Tip: Targeting is only half the battle. Your message, copy, and creative need to be excellent. People see so many ads on Facebook and Instagram these days. “Hey schedule an appointment with us,” is not going to cut it. Make sure you’re offering something of value. If you’re not sure – pay a few current patients to review your ads prior to running them.
Pro Tip #2: No clue how to navigate the difficult waters of Facebook Ads? Consider working with a Facebook advertising agency who knows what they’re doing.
9. Improve Your Local Google Rankings
As we mentioned in tip #4, loads of people search Google for local medical providers. And when you perform a search that Google deems “local,” you will usually see a local map pack at the top of the page.
The businesses in these map packs get a lot of traffic and leads. Ranking organically below the map is helpful as well, but the local pack provides incredibly valuable real estate for medical clinics.
So how do you get into this local map pack? It involves a lot of the same tactics and strategies required for ranking in general, but there are a few factors that carry more weight:
- Having a completed Google Business Profile
- Google Reviews
- Citations (listings on other sites such as Apple Maps or YellowPages)
Pro Tip: A lot of people wonder, “how many Google reviews do I need?” One way to check is to search for your desired keyword (like “eye doctor singapore”), and see how many the top ranking businesses have. This is a good benchmark goal for you.
10. Publish a Steady Stream of Educational Content to TikTok
Have you written off TikTok marketing for your healthcare clinic as a channel only for teenagers and irrelevant to your client base? Think again. TikTok has an extraordinarily high penetration rate in Singapore and throughout Southeast Asia.
77% of users are between the ages of 25 and 54.
So how can you use TikTok? What’s the best way to reach this audience? Educational content.
People love learning new things – and everyone is interested in their health these days. You might consider posting about:
- Health Tips
- Debunking Medical Myths
- Sharing Medical News
Pro Tip: Be consistent. If you don’t feel you can at least post once or twice a week for an extended period of time, it might not be worth it. Consistent posting helps grow your audience and the additional engagement increases your chances of having clips go viral. If you don’t have the time to invest in it, consider TikTok ads.