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DOING BUSINESS


Put Digital Marketing to Work for Your ASC Content, SEO and careful monitoring are key BY NADER ASHWAY


If you are considering a marketing program for your ASC, the amount of detail involved could eas- ily become overwhelm-


ing. Especially when it comes to digi- tal marketing, the technical jargon that you hear from consultants and agen- cies could be confusing. Keeping a few basic concepts in mind, you can develop a successful program that will help you reach an ever-expanding audience with good news about your ASC.


Understanding Healthcare Consumers The first and most important principle of ASC marketing: We must understand patients and how they “shop.” Numerous studies have shown that most patients turn to the internet first before ever picking up a phone or making a random visit to an ASC. Their online search is typically split into two parts. First, they seek general information about their disease state, and/or about procedures they are considering. Since ASCs are performing surgical proce- dures, it is likely that these consum- ers are seeking as much information as possible on what a “typical” surgery looks like.


The second part is most often cen- tered on selecting a specific doctor or facility, and your ASC can have an important influence in this process. According to a large-scale sur-


vey of US healthcare consumers pub- lished by Deloitte in 2018, 50 percent of all healthcare consumers’ first con- cern is finding out whether or not a facility or a particular physician is in network for their health insurance. Other elements that surveyed con- sumers considered most important:


■■ ■■ ■■


46 percent—Is the facility conve- niently located?


39 percent—What is the reputation of the facility and/or its physicians?


32 percent—Are there convenient hours?


■■ 31 percent—What will I have to pay?


These are all informational ele- ments that you can help healthcare consumers find easily on your website.


Build a Strong Website


The first and most important element of any digital marketing program will be the quality and usability of your ASC’s website. It is your first and best opportu- nity to make your first and best impres- sion on potential surgical patients in your area, and also your best chance to tackle the really important aspect of marketing: showing how you are differ- ent from any other facility. A quick checklist for your ASC website should include easy-to-find answers on almost every aspect of your facility and certain technical details:


34 ASC FOCUS OCTOBER 2019 | ascfocus.org


For the consumer: 1. location(s), hours, contact infor- mation;


2. the types of procedures your ASC performs;


3. the staff, including bios of each physician;


4. insurance and payment information; 5. “self-serve” options, such as book- ing consultations online or chatting with a practice administrator; and


6. lots of marketing material on the procedures and medical condi- tions you address, such as bro- chures, charts, images, infograph- ics and videos.


For online efficiency the site: 1. should be optimized for all de- vices: mobile phones, tablets and laptop and desktop computers;


2. should have a strong search en- gine optimization (SEO) strategy (more on that later); and


3. should have Google Analytics at- tached so you or an agency partner can measure campaign effective- ness and referral sources.


The advice and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not represent official Ambulatory Surgery Center Association policy or opinion.


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