Marketing a Medical Practice
Improve your connections with patients and grow by implementing these strategies for marketing your medical practice
You've started growing your medical practice, and it hasn't been easy. Just as you had to work hard to get your practice set up, you now have to put just as much effort into ensuring the community around you knows you exist and what makes you different from the other clinics in your local area.
With an abundance of GP clinics in the city people have options — you want to be sure they have a good reason to choose you. But, for that to happen they need to know about you. That is where effective marketing comes in. You can take a chance that your existing patients will spread the good news by word of mouth, or you can implement a strategy that ensures people know who you are and where to find you.
This post provides you with everything you need for effectively marketing a medical practice.
Define Your Market
Since your practice is physically established, you already know the services you provide and the types of patients you would like to enter the doors of your practice. However, it’s important that you’re able to share that information and use it in your marketing strategy.
When it comes to your services, it’s best to distinguish between your core services and value-added services. Your core services are going to be the services that patients know you best for. That will be identified by the type of practice you have. Value-added services are those services that you don’t have to offer, but you do them anyway. Core services may be those services that keep your practice profitable, while value-added services may not. For instance, you may offer weekend hours to accommodate those working full-time hours and overtime during the week.
Your value-added services may be what makes you different from your competition. Your value-added services may make it possible for your target audience to be a bit broader, thus, helping to define your market.
Define a market for each service you offer, and make sure to include that in your marketing efforts.
Ensure You’re in Local Listings
Make sure your patients can find you. Nowadays, all anyone has to do is put a business name in a google search, and everything they need to know pops up. You want to be one of those businesses. Search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo can display your business in local listings, but you need to claim and verify your information. It’s also a negative connotation when a person can’t find you in the local listings. That usually implies that you’re not a reputable business. Be a reputable business and claim, verify and optimise your presence by adding photos, business hours, what your unique experience is, etc. You want your profile to appear higher in the maps listings and be more informative for existing and future patients. LocalMD can ensure your business is optimised in Google My Business
Optimise Your Online Presence
When marketing a medical practice, it always pays to have an online presence. People will be looking for someone with your services in various ways. According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, almost 73% of Australians have used the internet to research a health issue. Here are some ways to grow your online presence:
Optimise Your Google My Business
You may have set up your Google My Business profile, but have you optimised it? There’s a right way and a wrong way to do it. Setting up your profile in Google My Business is more like window dressing. You want to entice customers and potential clients to come inside and take a look at your business. When they google a doctor in your local area or for your area of expertise, a lot of options will pop up. Having an optimised profile will make your business stand out, making it more likely customers will click on your listing and take a look at your offerings. LocalMD can help transform your Google My Business profile from a listing that gets passed by to an enticing resource that attracts more people to your online presence.
Build a Website
You can never go wrong with a website. For one thing, when people find out that you exist, they want to learn more about your practice. That is true, even after they find you in the local listings. It’s called research. Be an open book for your potential patients and existing patients so they know more about your practice. Your website is a good way to build rapport with your patients. LocalMD can help you design a website and improve it.
Implement SEO Strategy
Now that you have a website, you want to ensure your website and any other content you put out there is optimised to show up in the top rankings when people search online in your local area or your area of expertise. Search engines are always changing, and in order to be at the top of the search results, you need to follow the best practices for search engine optimisation (SEO). If you don’t, you’ll miss out on hundreds, if not thousands of patients from your local area. LocalMD can help you improve your SEO so more patients can find you.
Start a Blog or Write for One
Quality content should be a part of your SEO plan, and writing blogs is one way to do that. Blogs are a great way to share helpful information and tips, medical innovations, injury prevention tips, etc, with your patients. It can help you be seen as a true expert in your field. People are always looking for medical information, and your blogs can show them you know everything they’re trying to find out.
You could also leverage your knowledge and expertise by contributing to industry publications. That will enhance your profile among fellow medical professionals.
Connect on Social Media Channels
Everyone else is on social media, and you should be too. It’s a great way to connect with your patients and potential patients. Engagement on social media gives you the opportunity to establish your brand and build trust.
Some of the most popular platforms are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, and LinkedIn. You don’t have to be on all of them, but establish an online presence on one or two that works best for you. You can share your blog posts, post announcements and events, and news related to your practice or the medical field.
It’s not enough to just have an account on social media, you want to ensure you are engaging regularly and posting meaningful, quality content.
Start Email Campaigns
Email campaigns are a great way to stay connected with the people who are thinking about your services. You can do this by developing content that captures email addresses so you can regularly reach out to them. You can regularly know who’s interested in your services by capturing who’s clicking on your links. MailChimp or Active Campaign are popular email platforms that allow you to follow up with patients.
Give Out Freebies
Even though an online presence helps get people to your business, it’s how they feel once they’re there that keeps them coming back. Everybody likes freebies, and items like pens, stress balls, magnets, water bottles, etc, with your business logo, name, and contact info on it, will not only be a special gift to them. It will benefit you because they will have your contact information close by at all times. These little extra efforts could get you some patient referrals when they’re asked about their freebies or a social media post. People like to post pictures of free items on social media.
Word of Mouth
Word of mouth can be one of the best ways to grow your business. It’s not complicated to find out how your patients feel about you. For one thing, if they keep coming back, they must feel good about the service and your experience as a medical professional. But you can find out for sure how they feel by first asking them why they chose to come to you. Learn how they found out about you. If it’s obvious they appreciate the patient experience your practice offers, encourage them to tell their friends, family, and anyone else they know. You’d be surprised the difference just hearing about it through the grapevine can make.
Get Patient Reviews
Your current patients and referring doctors are a great source of marketing. If your patient has a great patient experience, they won’t mind sharing it wherever they go. So make sure you don’t miss out on opportunities to get Google reviews. Ask your patients for reviews and feedback with a feedback form or online survey after the visit, this can be automated via a tool like HotDoc.
When you’re ready to expand your online presence with content marketing, LocalMD will be here to help. Book a call with us today.
Download the Marketing Guide for Healthcare Practice
The secret to attracting new patients, increasing retention of existing patients and enjoying a steady flow of appointments comes down to a mix of online and offline marketing