Marketing your healthcare practice is essential in attracting new patients and keeping your business “in the black”. Yet, putting together the right strategies, plan and technology to keep a busy practice growing can be challenging. Here’s a quick, actionable guide that will have you generating a steady stream of patients over time. Working on your marketing challenges will help you focus on delivering top quality patient care.
Invest in consistent branding.
All too often, it’s not clear from a medical practice’s name or branding what they do. You can make it easy for prospective customers to recognize you. Choose a name, logo and visual presence that immediately make your brand clear. Then, strive to deliver consistent branding across channels.
Consistent branding helps patients understand what value you offer. It helps them recognize your brand whenever its advertised. Pay attention to synchronizing your printed materials, advertising, social channels, website and other marketing.
Add self-service features to your digital experience.
Frequently, practice managers and healthcare professionals assume that marketing your healthcare practice ends with creating a website. Increasingly, customers want access to self-service features. When you remove friction from your patient experience, you create a winning customer experience that keeps patients coming back.
Also, convenience is a powerful message in your ads. Whether you’re enabling patients to make a payment online, automating appointment and test confirmations, or simplifying scheduling, today’s busy patients will be excited to be part of a modern practice. It’s important to optimize your website and app (if you have one) for mobile devices to eliminate friction from the digital patient experience.
Create knowledge resources.
Every unique discipline within medicine and healthcare has answers that patients need. There are strict guidelines on what information is shareable. But, developing compliant content marketing is a smart way to help patients get to know you. Trust and a sense of compatibility is important in the way patients choose doctors.
Be active on social media when appropriate. Consider starting a blog. Send a regular newsletter. For example, a dietician might offer strategies on avoiding overexertion during the holidays, jumpstarting a New Year’s diet or getting kids to love healthy snacks. Think about the most common questions you get from patients and find a way to share those insights.
Experiment with social media advertising.
Social media can be a great way to connect with patients, share promotions or schedule changes, and promote the content you create. Increasingly, social media platforms are becoming “pay to play” — and investing a bit in social media advertising can increase your reach.
Choose the network where you’re seeing the most engagement or return. Experiment with ads. Depending on the platform, you can boost your posts to maximize visibility or even promote your account to prospective patients based on location, age or interests.
Get out into the community and talk.
Unless you’re seeking telemedicine patients, most healthcare practices serve local patient bases. Look for opportunities to get out there and talk about what you do. Whether it’s speaking at a local business association meeting or giving a talk at a health fair, in-person events are a great way to build your brand.
This type of outreach not only gives you the platform to showcase your approach and knowledge, this form of marketing lets you get your practice in front of new patients. You’re likely to cross paths with individuals who might not have heard about you in other ways and foster those connections.
Sponsor events and open houses.
Inviting people to an open house at your practice can be a great strategy for raising awareness. During an open house, people interested in becoming patients can come and ask questions. They’ll learn more about what you do, too.
Many practices find that pairing an open house with an event or talk can generate more interest. For example, a chiropractor might offer a talk on how to combat bad posture from working at a desk job or avoiding the dreaded “tech neck” so many people complain about due to mobile devices. After the talk, the chiropractor and their staff can stick around to answer questions and sign patients up for an initial visit.
Give away branded swag.
When marketing your practice, one way to help build buzz is getting your name and brand in front of new people. Branded items such as pens, coffee mugs, bags or mousepads that have clever sayings or healthy tips can be fun giveaways.
Encourage patients to use your branded items. They might be asked by others for information about your practice or services. Word of mouth is one of the most valuable ways to spread awareness of your practice. Branded items can help you organically foster opportunities for patients to talk about what you do.
Marketing your healthcare practice requires some planning. With the right strategies, tools and productivity tips, you’ll find creative ways to keep it growing. By balancing efforts to attract new patients with different approaches to engaging current patients, you’ll pave the way for long-term growth for your independent healthcare practice.