It should come as no surprise that marketing should be of primary importance to any healthcare provider. Whether you're looking to attract new patients or retain existing patients, a strong marketing plan is essential.
Having a sound medical practice marketing strategy is essential for any healthcare provider that is serious about thriving in a competitive landscape and achieving growth. In fact, the importance of healthcare marketing cannot be understated. Nonetheless, there's no need to stress – and it's best to keep things simple by adopting tried and true methods to accelerate practice growth.
Looking for ways to improve your medical practice? You'll find the following eight tips helpful and remarkably simple to incorporate into your current medical practice marketing strategy. Let's dive in.
1. Build Your Online Presence to Attract Your Ideal Patients
These days patients go to the Internet first to research and choose health care providers. Having a well-crafted website that is user-friendly and mobile-friendly has become a necessity. Be sure the site is easy to navigate and full of information that makes your practice stand out from other practices.
A robust online presence is essential today to make sure you are seen and found by patients – both current and new, A remarkable online presence makes your practice stand out, build authority, develop trust with existing and potential patients alike.
It's essential to make sure ALL of your online profiles are up to snuff: Google, Bing, Yelp, Yellow Pages, to name a few, as well as Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social profiles where you have a presence. Make sure that the information throughout all is correct and consistently expresses your desired voice. Don't forget to continually monitor and adjust profiles as necessary.
2. A Referral Marketing Strategy is Essential to Practice Growth
Are you taking the time to nurture your referral network?
Without a referral marketing strategy in place, you will lose opportunities unnecessarily. It's common knowledge that new business (aka patients) are the lifeblood of any profitable practice. Consider the flow of new patients like a water faucet, they can trickle in, or you can turn up the flow by expertly nurturing your referral resources. To increase the flow, you'll need to take measures to leverage your referral relationships. Your referral relationships are like treasured gems – priceless.
- Physician Referral Network – As with any significant relationship, marketing to physicians for referrals requires time, effort, and consistent follow-up. It's critical to follow up with your physician referral network regularly to keep the connections strong.
- Develop a Patient Referral Program – Happy patients are a treasure trove and a largely untapped resource. Create a patient referral program, which could be as simple as informing patients as they leave a visit about your program. Give a postcard that describes the program and the reward for referring.
Did you know that a patient referral of friends or family is one of the highest compliments a practice can receive?
Don't miss the opportunity to express your thanks and how much you appreciate patient referrals. Calculate the monetary value of a referral, then decide on a minor financial gift; for example, consider offering a $10 to $25 Visa gift card for each patient referral or a discount off of their next treatment or service.
3. Collect and Leverage Positive Feedback (While Honoring HIPAA compliance)
Did you know up to 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal reference?
With that in mind, encourage happy patients to submit online reviews (Google and Facebook) and be aware that many patients are also willing to share video testimonials of their favorable experiences in your practice.
Develop a system of encouraging and collecting positive reviews and then share them on social or on your website, or both. Asking patients for reviews is easier than you may imagine. Take a proactive approach to bettering your practice.
4. Stay Active on Your Chosen Social Media Channels and Master the Art of Social Listening
Keep your followers on social media informed about what's happening in your office:
- New team members and medical specialists
- New medical technology that expands your services
- Your partnership with and support local charities
- Your addition of any new locations or a change in office hours
You'll learn all you need to know directly from followers; folks do not hold back. Have someone on your team master the art of social listening: respond to all feedback and commentary; the good, the bad, and the ugly. You'll find out more about patient expectations and how patients feel about your practice. You may discover patients are looking for a particular treatment you don't yet offer. This allows you to better understand patients' wants and needs and act and make changes internally when necessary.
Social monitoring and response plans are a dynamic way to improve your practice -- so tune in and pay attention. And be sure to always respond to feedback personally, professionally, and mindfully. For more on the ins and outs of social media in healthcare, dive into this blog.
5. Incorporate Old School Marketing and Invest in Promotional Items
Old-school marketing still works! In your office, display relevant brochures and takeaways for patients. Make them aware of the different treatment approaches that you offer.
Invest in promotional items: pens, lanyards, mugs, travel mugs, sticky notes, etc. Everyone loves freebies, so be sure to offer giveaways to both patients and referring practices.
6. Become a Thought Leader – Contribute to Professional Publications
Elevate your visibility by creating a habit of writing and contributing to professional publications which are searchable online. Search engines can then link all your written and video contributions back to your website.
Thought leadership positions you as 'the expert,' which optimizes your appearance in google search and builds credibility for you and your practice. A strong reputation and image facilitate the attraction of your ideal patient.
7. Stay Connected with Digital Marketing — Begin a Blog, Start a Newsletter
Because touchpoints matter, it's encouraged to have a practice blog on your website. Blogs allow you to educate patients and stay connected with them. For starters, blog about topics relevant to your patients or those you wish to attract; lengthwise, 500+ words is ideal. Once a blog is published to your site, share the link on social media to drive traffic to the blog. Two blogs per month is optimal.
Email newsletters are another excellent way to stay connected. In the monthly newsletter, provide links to the blogs that have been published that month, plus any other newsworthy tidbits: practice happenings and events, staff stories, patient success stories, medical news, etc.
Blogs and newsletters are valuable marketing tools to keep you connected with patients and build your reputation.
8. Deliver Best in Class Patient Care CONSISTENTLY
Putting patients first is the hallmark of outstanding medical practices. When you get right down to it: without patients, there is no practice.
From the moment a patient walks in, you want to create a positive, welcoming, professional environment. Each patient interaction is an opportunity to build trust in the provider, seize this opportunity every time.
Offer the best treatment options currently available and stay abreast of medical practice trends. Do you offer the latest medical technologies? Do you need to upgrade your services? How's your waiting room looking and functioning?
Give patients the time they deserve during appointments. Treat them professionally from arrival until they depart the office. Dedication to exemplary patient care is a critical factor in practice improvement. Stay in touch through email communications, newsletters, and social posts.
There is no need to incorporate all these sure-fire tips in a day, a week, or even a month. The important thing is to begin implementing the recommendations you feel will be the most advantageous for your practice. Test, start, monitor results, fine-tune, then move on to the next best step for your practice.
Always be marketing: medical practice marketing is an ongoing necessity. The fact is: it's not about one and done but more a case of always and forever. Practice improvement is invariably a continuing effort to advance consistently over the life of your practice in pursuit of excellence.
So, roll up your sleeves and get comfortable putting your best foot forward through dedicated strategic marketing efforts. To your success!
Is it time to add EPAT, ESWT or EMTT to your continuum of care and to promote the new services as part of your medical marketing plan?
Offering the right new technology, like shock wave, is among the ways to improve your medical practice. Such an investment can accelerate your practice growth and increase your patient base efficiently. Featuring new technology can be an excellent fit with your overall medical practice marketing plan and would be well suited for an impactful social media post. Let's start a conversation.