Congratulations! You’ve found the ultimate resource for mastering effective marketing strategies for your podiatry practice. If you’re here, you understand the critical role that marketing plays in your future success.
For those who may not be fully convinced, consider this: Digital marketing encompasses the most powerful techniques to reach new patients. The goal is to convert website visitors into patients and foster strong connections with your existing patients.
Whether you aim to grow your practice or simply prevent a decline in patient numbers, proper marketing is paramount. That’s why our digital marketing agency is thrilled to share invaluable tips that we not only recommend but also implement (backed by our extensive experience) to catapult our clients’ practices to unprecedented heights year after year.
We understand that this wealth of content can be overwhelming, so let’s dive right in, starting with one of the most crucial steps:
1. Align Business and Marketing Goals for Success
To achieve your business goals, it’s essential to establish corresponding marketing goals. Think about how your marketing plan can contribute to your overall objectives. Ensure that your marketing goals are SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound).
For instance, if your business goal is to attract more patients for a high-revenue service, consider rewriting poor-performing content and then run a targeted digital ad campaign. This will make sure your marketing goals include generating a specific number of leads for the service within a set timeframe, improving your Google search ranking for relevant keywords, or increasing website traffic from social media.
Remember, SMART goals are crucial. Avoid vague objectives like “I want more leads” and instead utilize your business goals. Determine the exact number of leads required to meet your targets, such as seeing 20 more patients per week or increasing annual revenue by $100,000.
Stay focused and achieve remarkable results by aligning your business and marketing goals.
2. Mastering the Buyer’s Journey & Defining Your Ideal Patient
Decode the Buyer’s Journey:
Even in healthcare, people go through a similar process known as the buyer’s journey. They become aware of a problem, consider solutions, and make a decision. Understanding this is vital for effective marketing in your medical practice.
Identify Your Ideal Patient:
While you wouldn’t turn away any patient in need, not all patients contribute equally to your practice’s profitability. To thrive, focus your marketing on attracting the best-fit patients—your “ideal patient” demographic.
Target Profitable Groups:
Invest time in identifying the target group(s) that align with your practice’s profitability. It could be heel pain sufferers, diabetic foot conditions, mothers seeking makeovers, teenagers needing braces, or eye care patients seeking glasses. The key is to target those who bring the most value to your practice.
With your ideal patient defined, tailor your marketing strategy to reach them effectively. Utilize online ads to target your perfect patient demographic with precision.
Maximize your marketing impact by understanding the buyer’s journey and focusing on your ideal patients.
3. Unleash Your Practice’s Potential: SWOT Analysis & Competitive Insight
Explore your practice’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats—a crucial step in a successful medical marketing plan.
- Strengths: Identify what sets you apart from competitors, such as exceptional staff, advanced treatments, an inviting office environment, or a user-friendly website.
- Weaknesses: Pinpoint areas for improvement, like budget constraints, outdated marketing strategies, or patient feedback on areas that need attention.
- Opportunities: Look for external factors that can contribute to success, such as a growing or aging community, potential partnerships, or increased demand for podiatry services.
- Threats: Identify external factors that may pose risks, such as regulatory changes, emerging competition, or shifts in insurance coverage.
Use Team Collaboration:
Involve trusted team members in the analysis to gather diverse perspectives and generate a comprehensive list of bullet points. Prioritize them and develop action plans to leverage strengths, address weaknesses, seize opportunities, and mitigate threats.
Understand Your Competition:
Don’t stop at analyzing your practice. Invest time in researching and understanding your competition. Explore their websites, social media presence, and strategies, including keywords and online ads.
By knowing your competitors’ weaknesses and threats, you can identify key opportunities to differentiate your practice and market it effectively.
Unleash your practice’s potential by conducting a comprehensive SWOT analysis, collaborating with your team, and gaining insights into your competition. Maximize your marketing success through a strategic approach.
4. Identify Your Key Differentiators
A common mistake in marketing a medical practice is this: Forgetting that your practice is a business.
And because your practice is a business, you need to market it accordingly. A big part of that is identifying your key differentiators.
Okay, so what are those, and how do you identify them?
Basically, key differentiators are those things that make you different from your competition.
Sure, either you or the doctor across town can probably put together an effective treatment plan to help someone overcome heel pain—but if you offer patients coffee while they wait (and your competition doesn’t), that’s a key differentiator.
(See how this goes back to the importance of understanding your competition?)
5. Stand Out From Your Competition! Do You Know Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)?
Once you’ve identified your key differentiators, then you can use them to create your practice’s USP.
Now, the “selling” part might sound as though it would apply more to a retailer than a medical practice, but think of it this way:
- You must sell potential patients on the fact that you’re the right choice for the professional medical care they need.
- Something that can help you create your USP is to make sure it includes specific qualities, features, or benefits that make a product or service unique and valuable to customers.
- That means it needs to be short—like 20-30 seconds and cover the truly important information … which should include your strongest key differentiator(s).
6. Master Your Practice’s Brand: Unleash Trust and Recognition
Recognize Your Brand:
Don’t overlook the fact that your medical practice has a brand—failing to realize this can lead to a lack of control over it, which is a significant issue. Take the time to determine and shape your practice’s brand identity.
The Power of Branding:
Effective branding builds trust and facilitates easy recognition by your patients. By creating a strong brand, you make it easier for people to associate positive feelings with your practice. Branding goes beyond logos and colors; it encompasses memorable impressions, credibility, and aligning with your values.
Establish Your Professional Image:
If your branding lacks consistency or a professional appearance, it’s time to consider a refresh. A well-crafted brand not only leaves a lasting impact but also communicates a sense of trust and credibility to your patients.
Discover the potential of your practice’s brand and unlock trust, recognition, and success.
7. Audit Existing Marketing Efforts
If you are already using email and social media (etc.) to market your practice, you should audit them to see how well they are working (if at all…). There are two ways of doing this:
- Audit your digital marketing when creating a new strategy. This is quite beneficial for helping you determine your plan’s goals.
- Audit your digital marketing after your strategy has already been implemented. This practice will allow you to see if you’re hitting your marks (or are at least heading in the right direction) and provide guidance for making any corrections or adjustments.
Either way, you should conduct audits in all facets of your marketing plan for optimal value and results.
8. Craft a Winning Marketing Strategy: Connect, Influence, and Excel
By now, you’ve likely realized the importance of a well-defined strategy to achieve effective medical marketing. To assist you in creating the perfect marketing plan, we offer this handy guide.
Start by envisioning your ideal patients and devising ways to reach them. Consider listing the various marketing elements you wish to utilize, such as email, social media, blogging, online ads, and more.
Once you have your list, think about how these elements will interconnect and the actions you want them to inspire.
You can create compelling social media posts that drive traffic to a dedicated landing page on your website, where visitors can access a valuable offer. In exchange, collect their email addresses, which become a valuable database for future email marketing endeavors.
Witness the power of connection? That’s why strategic planning and foresight are essential. Carefully map out every step to ensure your marketing efforts are cohesive, impactful, and yield exceptional results.
Unlock your practice’s potential by crafting a comprehensive marketing strategy. Ready to take the leap?
9. Critique Your Website
You should also assess the performance of your website regularly.
Remember, your website is the keystone of your marketing. The goal for your entire digital marketing plan is to bring people to your site and then ultimately convert them into patients.
If you want that to happen—and you absolutely should—your website needs to be on point. That means it needs to both look and perform amazingly well.
(We happen to know a thing or two about websites that both look and perform amazingly well!)
10. Understand Best Practices for Calls-to-Action (CTAs)
There’s no point in marketing if it’s not going to generate results. And for you to get the best results when marketing your practice, you need to use effective calls-to-actions (CTAs).
A CTA is simply the messaging you use so your target market knows what to do next. You are probably more familiar with these than you think. (The “call now” bit at the end of an infomercial is a classic example.)
Here’s something important to keep in mind regarding CTAs:
- Although they don’t only have to come at the very end, you also don’t want to use them too early in the “conversation” you’re establishing with a site visitor, email recipient, etc.
- Think of it this way—you don’t ask someone to marry you five minutes into a first date, right? (Well, you can, but the success rate is bound to be extremely low.)
If you want your marketing to work, you need to follow best practices like making sure they arise at the appropriate time.
11. Claim Local Listings
Whether you’re aware of it or not, your practice can be found online, in tons of different locations. Even if you don’t have a website—which is something you really should take care of ASAP—people can find information about your practice through a variety of sources.
Most of those sources are what we call “listing sites.”
- Google My Business (which is the box with map, images, and NAP info that probably comes up on the side of the screen when you search for your practice name)
- Many more options are also available (Instagram, Twitter, etc.)
As you’ll see in just a moment, there’s a second facet here—but let’s start with this: If you aren’t already on important listing sites, you need to claim your listings NOW.
In doing so, you give Google and other search engines reference points to determine that your practice is legit and know where you’re based, which in turn will help you show up better in local search results.
It also allows you to take control over updating the information on the listing site, including adding or updating your hours, address, office photos, and description. You can even respond to reviews. This, again, helps you in search—but also makes your listing more appealing to a prospective patient, who is then more likely to call or schedule.
Claiming a listing may require a multi-step process, such as responding to a postcard or call from the listing site. While it can be a minor inconvenience, these steps are well worth taking, especially for the big listing sites like Google, Yelp, Facebook, and Bing—and for the podiatry industry, sites like Healthgrades and RateMDs, too.
12. Verify Accuracy in Existing Listings
Claiming your local listings is the first step. It’s not the last, however.
As noted, your information can probably already be found on various listing sites. That might sound like a good thing—and it certainly can be—but here’s the thing:
If those listings contain errant or false information, it can have a negative effect on your site’s performance in local searches.
With that being the situation, you also need to verify your listings. This entails knowing where your site is listed, checking to make sure all NAP (name, address, phone number) information and office hours are correct, and then taking action to correct anything that isn’t right.
Claiming and verifying listings are important elements of SEO…but they aren’t the only ones!
13. Collaborate with Other Healthcare Professionals
Build relationships with physicians, chiropractors, physical therapists, and other professionals who can refer patients to you. Collaborating with other healthcare professionals not only benefits patient care but also presents valuable marketing opportunities.
By working together, healthcare practitioners can tap into their existing patient networks, expanding their reach and visibility. Through joint marketing efforts, professionals can amplify their brand presence and showcase their expertise to a broader audience with:
- Shared educational Events
- Collaborative Content Creation
This strategic collaboration not only enhances credibility but also fosters a sense of trust among potential patients, who are more likely to seek out services recommended by trusted healthcare providers.
By leveraging these collaborative marketing efforts, healthcare professionals can strengthen their professional network, increase their patient base, and ultimately achieve sustainable growth in their practice.
This also will give each party involved the potential to gain backlinks! Backlinks are links from other websites to your site! This is something that search engines look for in order to build more authority for your website which in turn means higher ranking in the search engine results. The bottom line is that your website is easier to find!
14. Partner with Complementary Businesses
Partner with gyms, fitness centers, or wellness spas to offer joint promotions or cross-referrals. Collaborating with complementary businesses presents a powerful marketing opportunity for healthcare professionals.
By forming partnerships with businesses that align with their target audience and values, practitioners can tap into new customer segments and expand their brand reach.
A nutritionist could collaborate with a local gym or fitness center to offer joint promotions or educational workshops on healthy eating and exercise.
Healthcare professionals and local businesses have the potential to benefit from one another by:
- Combining Resources
- Sharing Customer Databases
- Co-creating Content
- Accessing a Wider Pool of Potential Clients
- Providing Added Value to Existing Customers.
Such collaborations not only enhance visibility and credibility but also foster a sense of community and trust, ultimately leading to increased brand awareness, customer loyalty, and business growth.
Additionally, this can be beneficial because… backlinks!!! The more quality backlinks a website has, the higher the ranking in the search engine results!
15. Be Consistent in Your Branding
When we talked earlier about determining your practice’s brand, we noted that branding can create trust and heighten name recognition. As you might imagine, this only happens if you are consistent.
Invest time on the front end of your marketing strategy to determine the colors you use, how your logo appears, what kind of voice you will use in your content, etc.
Once you have all of that in place, adhere to it with everything you do. Always use the same fonts in your emails and, even better, make them match those found on your website. Don’t vary in shades of colors—pick what you want and stick to them.
Every little detail can make a difference here, but the importance of consistency cannot be overstated.
Making your branding consistent is a huge plus to your local SEO efforts as well as making sure that your brand is easily identifiable to all people.
16. Determine Offers
By now, you’re probably seeing how intertwined everything can be in a comprehensive medical marketing plan. And we say that because “offers” is a bit of a callback to the example we used about planning your marketing strategy.
If you’ll recall, we mentioned that you might want to direct people to a landing page where they can claim an offer in exchange for their email addresses. So, what constitutes an offer?
Well, there is a fair amount of variance here. Perhaps you want to give them the information they’ll find useful and valuable—such as in an eBook or guide—or a discount on services or products you sell in your office.
No matter what kinds of offers you plan, the basic concept is that you must give something if you want people to give you their contact info (so you can stay in touch and be their first choice when they need medical care).
For additional insight into why this works, check out Robert Cialdini’s Principle of Reciprocity.
17. Create a Content Calendar
Given that successful medical marketing plans consist of many moving parts and are intricately planned, you need tools for tracking everything. In this case, one of your best tools will be a content calendar.
A content calendar is simply a written schedule of what types of content (blogs, webpage, videos, social media promotions, etc.) you plan to produce, and when they’ll be posted. Depending on the complexity of your digital marketing strategy, this could be in a simple document or a spreadsheet—it just must be clear and organized.
In addition to helping, you track your content throughout the year, this is also an invaluable tool for planning it all on the front end. You can use your calendar to ensure content is structured in a logical manner.
18. Reboot Your Blog
Blogging serves a couple of different functions for a medical marketing strategy. When done correctly, it will:
- Establish your authority. Sure, you know you have the experience, knowledge, and skill to solve their healthcare needs, but your blog is where you can show them all of this.
- Improve your site’s performance in search engine ranking pages (SERPs). To this point, you need to stay on top of changes to the algorithms Google (and other search engines) uses to rank web pages in search results.
- Increase site visitor engagement. Providing interesting and/or entertaining content will keep your potential market engaged—which means you’ll be “top of mind” when they need medical care.
There are other benefits as well, but keep in mind that part of the “done correctly” bit is making sure you post new content to your blog regularly.
19. Follow Best Current Practices for Content Marketing
Regardless of whether we’re talking about blog posts, webpages, or any other type of content, your practice benefits when you follow best content marketing practices.
That might seem obvious—after all, you need to use best practices to achieve optimal results—but let’s dig a little deeper.
There are two elements you need to be mindful of regarding best practices for content marketing:
- Those which are ever-changing. Search engines are constantly updating the algorithms they use to determine how to rank websites and pages in search results. And one particular area that seems to change often is the realm of content.
At various times, content that was shorter and posted more frequently was deemed to be best practice. At other times, including the present, search engines give greater weight to longer content (that is of high quality!).
- Those which never change. While search engines are always changing their minds when it comes to how they rank content, writing is static. This means you always benefit from using good storytelling techniques, presenting information in the proper order, understanding basic psychology, etc.
If you want the best results from your marketing content, these are both essential considerations.
20. What You Must Do to Make Sure Your Content is the Absolute Best it can be
Clearly define your content marketing goals, whether it’s to increase brand awareness, drive website traffic, generate leads, or establish thought leadership. Align your content strategy with the goals below.
- Create high-quality content: Focus on creating valuable, informative, and engaging content that addresses your audience’s needs. Use a mix of formats such as articles, videos, infographics, videos, and podcasts to cater to different preferences.
- Optimize for search engines: Conduct keyword research and optimize your content for search engines to improve its visibility. Use relevant keywords in titles, headings, and throughout the content, and incorporate SEO best practices.
- Promote your content: Don’t just rely on organic reach. Actively promote your content through social media, email marketing, influencer partnerships, and other distribution channels. Leverage paid advertising to amplify your reach.
- Encourage audience engagement: Prompt your audience to engage with your content through comments, social shares, and feedback. Respond to comments and foster conversations to build a community around your content.
- Measure and analyze results: Track key metrics like website traffic, engagement, conversions, and ROI to evaluate the effectiveness of your content marketing efforts. Use analytics tools to gain insights and make data-driven improvements.
- Adapt and iterate: Continuously monitor and assess the performance of your content. Based on insights and feedback, refine your content strategy, experiment with different formats or topics, and adapt to evolving audience preferences.
- Stay updated and relevant: Keep up with industry trends, changes in your target audience’s behavior, and emerging content formats. Regularly refresh your content strategy to stay relevant and maintain a competitive edge.
- Remember: consistency, quality, and relevance are key to successful content marketing. By delivering valuable content that addresses your audience’s needs, you can build trust, establish authority, and drive meaningful results for your business.
21. Consider Your Audience
This can qualify as one of those never-changing elements from our previous point—it is always best practice to understand your audience and keep them in mind when writing.
To identify your perfect patient, there are a variety of things to consider like:
- Who they are?
- How you will reach them
- Where do they spend their time?
Runners are at 5k, 10k, and 20k races. So you need to be where your perfect patients are.
- What kinds of problems do they experience?
- What solutions do you offer (to help them overcome those problems)?
A buyer persona map can be quite helpful for that. Neil Patel breaks it down for you here.
Once you have this information established, use it to develop content that truly “speaks” to your audience. Don’t make the mistake of just writing what YOU want to say. Sure, that is important, but you need to frame the conversation more through the lens of. what THEY want to hear.
If you do that, you will create content that resonates, makes your potential patients feel valued, and will ultimately lead to them choosing your practice (and not your competition’s).
22. Provide Valuable Information in Your Posts
Tying in with our previous tip for medical practice marketing that works, your blog posts must contain genuinely valuable information.
Even if you have a post that is compelling and beautifully written, it needs to be worthy of your audience’s time. Otherwise, they will feel cheated and, most likely, misappropriate negative feelings towards your practice and the brand you’re working so hard to cultivate.
That is a huge mistake.
Fortunately, it’s one you can avoid by giving the reader information they can use—and this connects with the importance of being strategic and creating a content calendar (so you can easily look at the big picture).
23. Create Original, Unique Content
As tempting as it may be, do NOT just copy other people’s posts.
First, this is simply an ethical issue. Plagiarism is intellectual theft. You are better than that. Create your own content!
Beyond the ethics involved with this, another reason for creating unique content to market your practice is that Google penalizes duplicate copies. You want your website to rank as highly as possible—and that means you need original web pages and blog posts.
Finally, keep your audience and branding in mind. They don’t want to read content that can be found on other sites. Plus, your voice is an integral component of your practice’s brand. If you’re copying other people’s words, you aren’t staying true to your branding.
24. Make Sure There are no Errors In Your Content
All your marketing and branding add up to what can be described as “the online face” of your medical practice.
Since this is how people come to know and identify your brand, you must convey the right amount of professionalism. Sure, people need to know you are an authority in your field, but your brand also should have a certain degree of personality.
No matter what this mix looks like for your practice, here’s the deal:
Yes, when people rant about politics or whatever in online forms and social media posts and comments, they often butcher the English language. And it’s considered rather pedantic (and generally pointless…) to bring this to their attention.
But your professional branding is different:
You need to portray yourself—and (by default) your practice—with professionalism. Fair or not, people WILL judge you negatively if your website and social media accounts (etc.) are rife with grammatical errors.
25. Show Some Personality
Being perceived as an expert in your field is essential. Even better is having a brand that is likable and people can relate to—and this is where personality enters the picture.
If you are familiar with acclaimed author and speaker Simon Sinek’s classic book Start with Why, you know that people make decisions with the emotional parts of their brains. Sure, logic is factored into the equation, but emotion drives action.
No time to read Sinek’s book? Check out this popular video of his TED Talk!
That is also true of choosing which medical practice to visit when in need of professional treatment.
For that reason, it is critical that you show your brand’s personality throughout your content. Therefore, you should highlight office events on social media and write in a conversational voice.
At the end of the day, there’s no way around this. People do business—including scheduling appointments—with brands they like, trust, and find to be credible. So, your office should be a trusted, credible, likable authority!
26. Establish Authority
Diving a bit deeper into something from that previous tip, you need to use your marketing plan to establish authority.
When people are researching doctors in your field, reviewing your website, and/or checking out your practice’s social media accounts, they need to see that you are an expert and will be able to help them overcome their healthcare needs.
To do so, your web pages and blog posts must be full of accurate, useful information—which, in turn, needs to be presented in a way that a reader can understand and make sense of it all.
Think back to the “consider your audience” tip.
In all likelihood, you aren’t marketing to fellow doctors, right? Rather, your target market:
A) Doesn’t have the extensive education and knowledge you do and
B) Doesn’t need to know every technical detail or name. They just need to know enough to understand that you can help them with their problem!
So be the expert who can put things in a way the average person will understand.
27. Make Your Content Last Longer
Local interests and seasonal topics can make for content that is interesting and engaging. Unfortunately, however, they can also make for blog posts that become outdated quickly.
When you plan content for your website, you ideally will outline subjects and titles that are relevant year-round, or even ones that still apply in the same season for future years.
Here’s an example:
As a doctor, there’s a decent chance you’d like to connect with and write for local running groups. After all, the running community is a demographic that often needs professional treatment for all sorts of injuries
With that being the case, here are two possible blog posts you might write:
- “What to Do If Your Heels Hurt After the Upcoming Jingle Bells 5K”
- “What to Do If Your Heels Hurt After Running a 5K”
In the first example, you’d probably want to include information about the actual event itself—and those details might change yearly. (So someone reading about the 2019 race in 2021 might be presented with things they don’t need/want to know about.)
The second example, though, is “evergreen.” It is relevant no matter if the reader is running the Jingle Bells 5K, the Turkey Trot, Cheers to New Year, the Easter Egg 5K, or the Five on the 4th (of July).
Now, promoting time-bound events and holidays is useful—just keep it to your social media and email marketing strategies. In fact, a social media post that would work quite well is something along the lines of:
“The Jingle Bells 5K is right around the corner. What should you do if your heels hurt after the race? We have the answers you need!” (Linking to your blog post, of course!)
28. Post Consistently
From both social media and blogging perspectives, one thing you can do to boost your marketing is to post content regularly.
Regarding social media, this is something you want to do to have better engagement and more likes and followers.
For your blogging, being consistent helps you build up the volume of content you can share in social media and email marketing. And if your content is consistent and consistently good, it can help boost your site’s performance in search engine ranking pages.
Don’t gloss over the “consistently good” part! In an earlier era of the internet, the name of the game was pumping out as many short blog posts as possible quantity over quality. That’s no longer the case—in fact, short blogs that provide little value to readers can hurt your web performance.
Try to keep a pace where you can sustain quantity and quality. For many practices, this might look like one to three high-quality blogs per month.
This may seem as though it’d be a lot to track—and that’s because it is. Of course, the interconnected nature of an effective marketing plan highlights the importance of having a carefully planned content calendar.
29. Repurpose Old/Out-of-Date Content
You don’t want to post the same thing over and over on your medical practice blog, but you can take blog posts, webpages, and other forms of content and utilize them in different ways.
You might want to take a couple of pieces of a popular blog post and turn them into an engaging email—one that drives action.
That is just one example of how to maximize your content marketing (and there are plenty more).
This doesn’t only apply to copy (written word), however!
In fact, a form of content that is especially awesome for repurposing is video. So, use your marketing and testimonial videos on blog posts and web pages. Share them on social media platforms. Include the videos in emails. You get the idea.
30. Audit and Update Your Content Regularly
If you’ve been blogging for a while, and you’ve started to amass a fairly large number of pages on your website, it’s almost inevitable you will start to notice at least some of the following problems, among others:
- Some pages will become obsolete or incorrect if you add (or remove) a new medical service, change locations, add physicians, etc., potentially confusing your site visitors.
- Some of your pages, even if well written and still accurate, may have very low traffic stats—and too many badly performing pages can penalize your entire site in terms of Google ranking.
- Some older pages might still perform well but lack links to new pages that would be relevant to readers—simply because those pages hadn’t been written yet when you last edited your order page!
- Some pages simply become redundant (because you later wrote a better page on the same topic that took its place)—and redundant pages will often cannibalize each other’s ranking potential instead of guiding traffic to the page you want people to see.
It’s important to review all the content on your website on a regular basis—at least yearly, or sometimes quarterly. If pages are out of date, update them. And if they’re performing poorly in analytics, consider rewriting, improving, or in some cases deleting and redirecting those poor performers. Pruning and tending your existing content can often be more valuable than simply writing brand-new posts.
31. Get Testimonials to Feature on Your Website
The single most effective kind of marketing is referral marketing—which is when a friend or family member tells you about a product, service, or brand they like or shares about an exceptional experience they had.
Either way, the personal connection is huge.
The fact of the matter, though, is that an endorsement doesn’t need to be personal to work. After all, most people don’t personally know celebrity endorsers.
Here’s the thing:
Endorsements can still work even if it’s not a celebrity. For an example of this, you don’t have to look much further than the reviews people leave on Amazon. People trust those reviews all the time, without knowing the reviewer personally, or who they are.
This is a key reason you need to make sure you use testimonials in your marketing plan. It’s the same general concept—and it’s one that works.
Want to see this tip put into practice? Check out this testimonial video and then see if you can find it on our website.
32. Ask Patients for Reviews
Testimonials are important. Online reviews, however, are even more so.
Yes, they absolutely act as endorsements of your medical practice—just as with testimonials—but the key distinction is that online reviews can also affect how your website performs in search engine rankings.
As you might expect, Google tends to give more weight to businesses (including medical practices) that have better reviews.
Now, about that:
Reviews don’t just magically appear. (At least positive reviews typically don’t. Negative ones are more likely to crop up, seemingly out of the blue.)
Obviously, you prefer to see more 4- and 5-star reviews.
But for that to happen consistently, the simple fact is that you’ll need to ask for them. (To be clear, you aren’t asking “Hey, would you give us a 5-star review,” but rather, “Would you be willing to share your story by leaving a review for us on Google?”)
Some of our awesome clients have been happy to share their stories with others!
And if you want to generate reviews easily, take a look at our Integrated Local Solution Platform.
33. Keep an Eye Out for New Reviews
Your online reputation matters—especially when anyone interested in your practice goes online to learn about you and see what others are saying!
With that being the case, you need to stay vigilant and know what people have to say about your practice. Doing so will allow you to know if you are getting enough positive reviews or need to start asking more patients—preferably happy ones—for them.
At the same time, this also enables you to see if people are leaving negative reviews.
Here are two reasons that are so important:
- You may be able to gain insight into opportunities for improvement. Some negative reviews are, sadly, completely unfounded (and you will want to flag them with Google or wherever they appear). But there are also ones that contain valuable feedback you can use to improve your practice.
- You might need to share your side of the story. This leads us to…
34. Respond to All Reviews (Good and Bad)
Between the two scenarios—replying to a good review vs. a bad one—it might seem more obvious to respond to the bad review. That certainly makes sense. After all, you need to make your case for why the reviewer is wrong, right?
Eh, not quite.
As you can see, we’re encouraging you to respond to ALL reviews—and that does include the not-quite-positive ones. But it’s important to know how to formulate an appropriate response.
While responding to a negative review requires a fair amount of diplomacy and tact, replying to a glowing review is much easier. In this case, you can simply acknowledge the kind words by expressing gratitude.
This is an essential part of managing your online reputation—something that’s becoming increasingly important even for SEO!
The one caveat we cannot overemphasize here is that, since you are in the medical field, you absolutely must ensure that your response does not violate HIPPA regulations. (Regardless of the nature of the review you’re responding to…)
35. DO NOT Hide Bad (Less Than 5 Stars) Reviews
This one seems a bit like an oxymoron, right? Why would you want to leave a bad review up for people to see? Won’t it give prospective patients a bad image of you?
Less than 5-star reviews tell Google that your office is not paying for positive reviews and helps validate all the 5-star reviews you do have. Plus, as a bonus responding to less than 5-star reviews allow you to show off your personality and your ability to take on criticism and address any issues that arise.
Tips for Social Media Marketing:
36. Use Your Social Media Accounts to Promote Other Content
At this point, you surely understand the importance of having a comprehensive marketing plan in place for your practice. Furthermore, you likely can see how all the various elements connect and work with each other.
In that spirit, one of the best ways to direct traffic to your website—your practice’s ultimate marketing tool—is through your social media accounts.
If you’ll recall from when we talked about evergreen content, we mentioned that instead of writing a blog post about an upcoming 5K, you write about heel pain after running—and then link to it with a social media post about the local fun run.
That is merely a single example of many approaches you can take. Beyond your blog, perhaps you’ll use social media to bring traffic to landing pages or encourage people to sign up for your monthly newsletter. The potential options at your disposal are numerous.
See how we use social media by following our Facebook page!
37. Use Your Social Media Accounts to Show Your Personality
Remember when we said earlier that you want your practice’s brand to be liked, trusted, and found to be credible? Well, conveying personality throughout your marketing efforts can go a long way toward establishing, maintaining, and even improving likability.
And that provides the rationale for showcasing personality through social media channels.
Let’s take a second to address the proverbial elephant in the room:
There’s a chance you’re not a fan of social media.
Look, we get it. There are certainly people out there for whom social media isn’t their cup of tea. That’s cool. Social media marketing is still important, however, because:
A) it is quite popular and
B) it’s not going away anytime soon.
With that being the case, you need to take advantage of it—especially because this form of marketing gives you the opportunity to show your practice’s personality.
So, post videos, share pics of office events, and keep people updated on your office’s food drive. Things like these give you a social media presence and make your practice relatable.
38. Engage with Social Media Followers
The whole point of social media is – surprise! – to be social. And for marketing in a world where people essentially demand opportunities for engagement, this is a good thing.
Your practice’s social media accounts allow people to engage and feel connected. When your posts are fun and/or provide valuable information, it gives them the opportunities they want.
But make sure this isn’t a one-and-done kind of deal. When someone posts a comment, either comment back or (at the very least) “like” it.
Done correctly, your social media marketing can increase conversions!
39. Like and Follow Social Media Accounts and Posts for Local Organizations
Based on those previous tips, you’re hopefully picking up the theme that you need to be active on social media if you want to reach and connect with patients—present AND future.
An intelligent way for your practice to connect is by following social media accounts for local organizations. This will allow you to stay in the loop about what’s happening and establish your presence in the community. You will also be able to learn about and recognize opportunities for you to promote your practice in a way that makes sense.
To best do this, take into consideration the nature of what you do, and think about how it relates to various groups/organizations/etc. within your community.
A podiatrist might get a lot of value out of following the Facebook page for local running groups. An example of an optometrist could be following social media accounts for local schools and colleges. When they post information about back-to-school (and they will!), you can comment on those posts and encourage scheduling eye appointments before the school year gets started.
Why that’s important:
This provides valuable exposure for your practice.
If you think about it, this is even better than paying to have a banner hanging at a fieldhouse/stadium/aquatic center/etc. (because it doesn’t cost a dime).
Tips for Email Marketing:
40. Utilize Email Marketing!
The simple truth about our modern lives is this:
We are all more highly connected than at any other time in history.
Technology is the leading factor in this situation—including the powerful, tiny computers we carry in our pockets as we walk around every day. (We might call them “phones,” but that’s what they are.)
If you want to market your practice successfully, you need to stay connected with your current patients. Given that an overwhelming majority of people receive and read emails on their phones, email marketing is a great way to do exactly that.
Our next couple of tips will give you some things to consider for optimal results.
41. Create a Monthly Newsletter
Creating a strategy for your practice’s email marketing is an outstanding idea. But what, exactly, are you going to send out to your segmented email lists?
Well, something you might want to consider is developing and designing a monthly newsletter.
As we’re going to discuss further in just a second here, your emails need to provide value. If they don’t, they’re just junk and will be treated as such.
A newsletter is an outstanding way to provide your patients—both current and future—with valuable content.
They can help you solidify your branding by showcasing personality, speaking in your brand’s voice, and displaying colors and custom graphics your target market will easily recognize.
On top of that, this is a great way to share information people find useful and/or entertaining (depending on your brand, of course).
42. Develop Custom Email Campaigns
While email blasts are fine for sharing general practice news that would be relevant to all your patients, some patients need a targeted approach based on their specific needs. Custom campaigns are a great way to do this—and your updated patient list is your secret weapon because it enables you to send out highly effective, engaging emails automatically.
Some quick examples:
- Campaign to request feedback and/or online reviews from patients.
- Campaign to remind patients when they’re due for a check-up appointment.
- Campaign to send patients helpful tips and reminders (stretching instructions, warning signs to watch out for, discount offers on subsequent treatment sessions, etc.) that are specific to their condition or service and are automated to go out at the exact right time they need the information.
A successful email campaign not only keeps you at the front of your patients’ minds but helps you build trust. Good campaigns can quite often lead to better patient compliance and health outcomes.
43. Use Email Blasts to Share News
Are you opening a new office? Changing locations? Did you bring on a new doctor recently?
If so—or if you have any other important practice news—email blasts are a great way to get the word out to the masses.
Now, this brings up the difference between an email blast and a customized campaign.
While blasts can be shared with everyone, if you have information that is planned on time and relevant more to a particular demographic, we’re talking about a campaign.
(Custom campaigns are also an integral element of a comprehensive marketing strategy for a medical practice like yours.)
44. Write Subject Lines that Increase Open Rates
There’s no point in sending out emails that don’t get opened. So, if that’s the case, you need to determine why people aren’t opening them.
This might not always be the case, but here’s a common explanation for this situation:
Your emails have subject lines that aren’t inspiring people to click on them. If you’ve come to that conclusion and are looking to make a change, it might be tempting to start using subject lines that can be described as “clickbait.” Even if you don’t explicitly know what that means, you probably can recognize it more easily than you’d guess.
Something along the lines of “25 Amazing Ways to Avoid Heel Pain (You Won’t Believe #17)!!”
Seems like that approach would work, right? It creates intrigue and capitalizes on “knowledge gaps,” so why avoid it? Well, in that example, your email isn’t going to contain a list of twenty-five things. More likely, it would then direct people to a blog post with that title. But that’s not what the recipients were expecting!
See, clickbait subject lines can destroy trust. And, as was noted earlier, people do business/make appointments with brands they trust. Your subject line offers a promise—make sure you stay trusted by fulfilling it.
45. Keep Emails Short
Yes, email works well because virtually everyone is walking around with devices that—amongst other things—receive emails and make it easy to read them while on the go. In fact, by now most emails are read on phones, and the proportion is only increasing.
Of course, phone screens are significantly smaller than the ones you find on tablets, laptops, and desktops (for those who still use them at home or in the office). And that’s an important consideration when you write your emails.
When you combine screen size with dwindling attention spans in the general population, it only stands to reason that you benefit from keeping down the word count in your emails. At the same time, you need to be mindful of those who receive your emails and their state of awareness. (The reason we note this is because people in lower states of awareness typically need more to the story—which necessitates additional words—than those in higher states.)
46. No Spam!!
Email marketing isn’t a matter of filling up inboxes for the sake of just sending out emails. Sure, that can get you noticed—it’s just that it’ll get you noticed in the same way that a mosquito buzzing around your head draws attention.
And in the same way that you’ll swat (and hopefully squish) the pesky mosquito, those on your email list will be quick to click “unsubscribe” if you are just annoying them.
(On a related note, the #1 cause for unsubscribing to email lists is getting too many emails.)
Instead, what you need to do is create strategic email campaigns and write emails that provide value to the recipients.
Even if you are trying to promote something like an office opening or a great new blog post, make sure you focus on the benefit for the reader. Otherwise, you’re being a mosquito.
Don’t be a mosquito—follow email marketing practices that work.
47. Update Email Lists Frequently
When we advise you to keep your email marketing lists updated, there are two specific reasons:
- So, your emails aren’t going to the wrong people.
- So, your emails go to all the right people.
To the first point, it is incredibly embarrassing and unprofessional to send a “your heel pain should be going away at this point” email to someone who came in to see you for a case of fungal toenails. Or you might send a happy birthday email … five months after their birthday.
It’s rather obvious as to why you want to avoid that kind of situation. Perhaps less obvious is if you don’t update your email lists and you miss out on the opportunity to reach—and stay connected to—existing patients.
You can reduce your risk of tarnishing your practice’s brand or missing out on valuable connection opportunities by regularly updating your email lists.
48. Use Videos on all Platforms
Out of all the various marketing tools you should be using to promote your practice and establish your brand, videos have one of the highest returns on investment (ROI).
Alright, so why do they offer an incredible amount of value?
Put simply because they get results. Videos are remarkably effective at getting people to act. You can easily find numerous statistics to back that up, including this particularly impressive gem:
People are 85% more likely to act after watching a video.
That’s especially interesting if you want people to do something—like, let’s say, request an appointment with your office.
49. Make Sure Your Videos Look and Sound Good
When it comes to videos, keep this in mind: Quality matters.
While you don’t have to be the next Spielberg or Scorsese to film marketing videos for your practice, you also need to have a better final product than the average five-year-old can produce.
(With technology being what it is nowadays, that’s probably at least somewhat better than you’d imagine…)
And when we talk about quality, we mean both visual and auditory elements. So, in other words, your videos need to look and sound good. At least if you want to convey professionalism (even if you intend to take a more playful or humorous approach).
50. Think About Utilizing an App
Apps are something we are all familiar with, but did you know having a dedicated app for your practice can boost your visibility and keep you at the forefront of your patients’ minds?
It’s true and with your app on their device, they can catch up on all the latest news, and monthly newsletters, schedule appointments (and get reminders of upcoming appointments) and so much more.
Tips For Monitoring Progress:
51. Determine Appropriate Metrics to Track
We’ve delved heavily into things you should be doing if you want to successfully market a medical practice. Now we’re going to switch gears a bit.
The whole point of almost every endeavor is to achieve something, right? Well, marketing is no exception. You are doing all of this for a reason—to bring new patients into your practice.
When working toward a goal, it’s wise to keep a pulse on your progress. Medical marketing is no exception.
In this case, you need to spend some time determining the essential metrics to track. This will help ensure you’re on pace to meet your objectives. As you determine the metrics you’ll be tracking, it’s very important you keep this in mind:
Remember, the “R” in SMART goals is relevant, so make sure you are choosing metrics that matter!
There are loads of things you can track in a marketing plan—but not all of them are relevant. To identify which ones are worth tracking, you need to think about your endgame here. Your overall marketing plan is created so you can bring new patients into your practice and keep a steady (and increasing) revenue stream.
With that being the case, it might be tempting to think that you just need to track how many “new patients” visits your practice is seeing. That’s undoubtedly important, but we’ve been talking exclusively about your digital marketing. So, success in this regard relates more to the traffic visiting your website, what they are doing when they get there, and if you are getting more calls from these visits (etc.).
Why that’s the case:
Digital marketing converts strangers into patient leads—but those leads don’t become actual patients if they have a poor experience when they call your office (That’s merely a single example.).
Accordingly, you need to track the metrics that are most relevant to your digital marketing efforts.
PLEASE NOTE: This really should be done on the front end (when you develop the marketing strategy for your practice). We are only covering it now because of how it relates to the subsequent tips.
52. Review Your Analytics Regularly
When you lay out the schedule for your practice’s marketing strategy, you should also schedule various points to collect data. As we just noted, you will then use it to see if you’re on track for achieving your goals.
The frequency with which you compile this information may vary (depending on an array of factors), but a general guideline is that it’s good to do this on at least a monthly basis.
As you might imagine, it is especially helpful to create a document or spreadsheet—whichever you prefer (what you record is considerably more important than how you do it)—to record this information.
By keeping a historical record on hand, it’s easier to assess how things are going.
53. Modify Your Strategy if Analytics isn’t Showing What You Want to See
If you crunch the numbers and don’t find the progress you should expect to see, it’s time to make some modifications to your marketing strategy.
Before we go further, something to tuck away:
If that’s your situation, don’t take it personally or feel like a failure. Remember, almost every success comes on the heels of failed efforts. After all, that’s how we, as humans, learn and improve.
Keep that mindset as you determine what hasn’t been working for you and what you can do differently as you go forward. Yes, your practice’s marketing strategy absolutely must be carefully prepared.
At the same time, even the best-laid plans of mice and men (and doctors) go awry. So, you need to be flexible and willing to modify your strategy (when needed).
That doesn’t necessarily mean, however, that you need to completely scrap everything and start all over. You will almost certainly see things that are working for you.
Similarly, to what you do following your SWOT analysis, capitalize on your strengths and shore up your weaknesses—then move ahead, wiser, and more experienced in how to successfully market your medical practice.
54. Get Your Staff Involved
By now, you should have a pretty good sense that effectively marketing a medical practice takes a tremendous amount of time and effort. Accordingly, you can’t do it all on your own.
(Technically, you can—but that’s not best practice if you want optimal results. Or time to sleep.)
When it comes to getting your staff involved, there are two ways of looking at this:
- Depending on their respective skill sets, you might want them to do some of your marketing work (such as writing blog posts or managing your social media accounts, etc.).
- Even if you don’t assign them specific marketing tasks, you should have them follow your practice’s social media accounts, participate in office events, take pictures you can use for blog and social media posts, as well as other things along those lines.
Again, you are a doctor, not a full-time marketer. You cannot do everything necessary to successfully market your practice by yourself. You need help—and your staff is one possible option.
Here’s a great way to get your staff involved—your practice’s Instagram account!
Don’t Want to Go at it All Alone? Let’s Chat!
55. Have Someone Else Do it All for You
As you can see, it takes a ton of work to market your practice and generate results. There are many important things to keep in mind.
And, in some ways, we’ve barely scratched the surface…
If you want to try handling it all on your own, that’s your choice and we sincerely wish you the best of luck (because our agency truly wants your practice to succeed).
At the same time, you do have another option: Farm it out to a marketing agency like ours—one that has an entire team of specialists who can do it all for you.
In all likelihood, you don’t have resources like that in your office—but that’s why we’re here for you.
BONUS TIP: Work WITH Your Marketing Team
No matter if you enlist the help of your staff, hire an outside agency, or choose to partner with us, you will see better results by working with those doing the work (than you would by taking a completely “hands-off” approach).
But fear not—this doesn’t mean you need to spend a lot of time or effort! Since you do have a team doing the heavy lifting, you will need minimal involvement. That said, minimal involvement is still extremely important.
Whenever you decide it’s time to ask for help with marketing your practice, we’re here for you. Just give us a call or send us a message online and we can get started on your custom marketing strategy!