10-Tips to Ignite Your Medical Practice’s Marketing
Physicians today navigate an ever-evolving world in many aspects of medicine, but this is especially true when it comes to attracting and retaining patients. Additionally, the fast-changing online landscape often makes implementing effective marketing strategies for medical practices feel like shooting a moving target.
But however difficult it may be, marketing is a must for doctors. Those who invest in marketing themselves thrive, while others who resist tend to fall behind.
Luckily, a few simple tactics can quickly boost your medical practice’s online and offline presence, making it easier for patients to find you.
Before we dive in, there a few key things to remember as you plan your marketing strategy:
- Marketing is not advertising, though advertising can play a part in your marketing strategy. Marketing involves public relations, media planning, client support, market research, and community involvement—as well as advertising (and especially online ads!).
- Marketing is an ongoing process. Your strategy will adapt to changes in the industry and the world around you. Invest in a long-term strategy to grow your business over time rather than trying a “set-it-and-forget-it” scheme that will likely fall short.
- Marketing is an investment. You should not only plan to spend time and money on your marketing strategy, but you should also track results to determine your return on investment to ensure you’re on track towards success.
- Marketing is a conversation between you and your patients. As such, you should focus on what your target audiences—whether patients, other doctors, or a combination of both—wants and needs from their doctor, (i.e., you).
- Marketing is useless if you cannot back up your claims. Your practice will grow from your clinical excellence—unmatched patient care, expertise in your field of medicine, and successful outcomes. Focusing your efforts on improving your practice will ultimately be the most effective marketing strategy.
Here are the best marketing strategies for doctors and medical practices:
1. Create and maintain a blog
A regularly updated blog connected to your medical practice website provides many opportunities to address the needs and interests of your audience. This is also the place for content marketing, a type of writing that helps build your personal brand and show who you are. Essentially, this is where you can “show, don’t tell” that you are a leader in your field or local market. Topics for blog posts will vary, of course, but you should focus on your ideal patients and what they are interested in learning about.
2. Provide content on Facebook
There are more than 1.94 billion monthly active Facebook users worldwide. And as the social network’s tagline makes clear, the site is all about connection. A professional Facebook page for your medical practice (separate from your personal page) allows you to frequently contact your audience and remind them of your presence. Posting tips, news, and other noteworthy items will help ensure followers and fans keep you in mind when they’re in need of medical services. It’s also an ideal forum for promoting your blog posts—useful and interesting links you post on Facebook can be shared and passed around, providing virtual word-of-mouth about you.
3. Connect on Twitter and Instagram
Twitter, Instagram, and other social networks like LinkedIn provide additional opportunities to connect and share with your audience. The key to maintaining a successful online presence is frequent and consistent posting—try posting to your Twitter and/or Instagram accounts several times a day, if possible.
4. Send an email newsletter
Capturing email addresses and regularly emailing your list of contacts drives traffic to your website, blog, and social network pages, which in turn, drives additional appointment requests and referrals. Start by collecting subscribers from your existing client and referral base as well as from your social media followers. Then provide them with a regular newsletter that highlights interesting information on the topics they care about, along with news and updates about your practice. Even better, this gives you a great opportunity to utilize links back to your website and blog posts.
5. Build an online profile
As with so many things in today’s digital world, like choosing where to eat and which babysitter to hire, people expect to be able to search and find doctors online. Building a profile on online industry marketplaces, like Zocdoc, will enable you to verify your information as well as add a link to your website, upload photos, and display patient reviews. Of course, it’s important that your information is consistent across all listing websites. If there are discrepancies, it can have a negative effect on how your website performs in search engine rankings. This is a major reason our agency devotes time to verifying local listings for our clients on a monthly basis.
6. Leverage patient reviews
Your current patients and referring doctors are actually also your best marketing partners. Harness the power of happy clients to help spread your name to potential patients by requesting referrals. Asking for reviews not only gives you the best kind of marketing fodder—what other people say about you—but they also give you a chance to see yourself as they see you, which is an invaluable resource. Patient reviews are a mirror for your practice’s health, so embrace the valuable feedback people are giving you instead of arguing or denying it.
7. Start a patient referral program
A record of top-notch care and genuine concern for your patients will go a long way towards encouraging positive word-of-mouth and referrals to friends and family. But there’s nothing wrong with a little reminder. Print referral cards with a simple message like “Share the gift of good health” and your office information, then be organized about handing them out, perhaps as part of your care packages. When you do get a referral, be sure to follow up to let your referring patients know how much you appreciate them with a handwritten note, phone call, or small gift.
8. Improve your SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO), improving the likelihood you can be found via online search, can help drive targeted leads (i.e., patients and referring doctors) to your website. You can improve your SEO with localization, such as by adding your practice’s address on your web pages. Creating original content for your website and blog also help, as does encouraging linking to your pages from other sites. You can also comment on social network posts to direct more traffic to your own site.
9. Keep your website fresh
Earlier, we talked about how maintaining a blog is an essential element for igniting your medical practice marketing. Another consideration for your practice’s online face is this—make sure you keep your website up to date. Basically, if it’s been a couple of years since your site was built (or last updated), it’s probably high time for a makeover. More than aesthetic upgrades, though, you need to make sure your site utilizes best current practices and is optimized for how users will view it. For example, while as recently as three years ago most people were still relying on laptops and PCs to access the internet, that has changed drastically as mobile is now the platform of choice for an increasing majority of users.
Ignite Your Medical Practice’s Marketing Today!
Individually, any of these tactics can help grow your medical practice, but these marketing strategies are ideally employed in tandem in a coordinated, sustained manner. They will support and enhance each other, producing much better results than any one strategy alone.
For that reason, we place tremendous emphasis on developing custom marketing strategies for each of our clients. No two practices are in the exact same situation, so they don’t need the exact same solutions and approaches!
Find out for yourself what kind of difference that can make for you and your practice—contact VMD Services today for more information by either calling (833) 823-3335 or taking advantage of our convenient contact form!
Fill your waiting room with the kinds of patients you want to treat.