So many people believe that attracting new patients for a medical practice must be easy. The way these people see it, medical practices have sufficient funds, a high-flying medical degree and the expertise to flourish without much effort. But we have seen enough medical practices struggle with attracting new patients and retaining existing ones.
The majority of healthcare marketers feel that the biggest and the most popular marketing channels are oversaturated with online healthcare content. In fact, we have heard stories about smaller medical practices trying to out-publish the larger competitors. Needless to say, most smaller practices end up with a bigger hole in their marketing budgets. The thing is, social media, online content, and SEO are some of the best ways to find new patients. Here are some of our all-time favorite strategies for helping new patients find your practice and educating them about your offerings.
Word-of-mouth marketing always works
The oldest form of marketing, word-of-mouth has been used by businesses for ages. While the results may be slower compared to other forms of marketing, it still works very well. One of the biggest reasons why word-of-mouth marketing continues to be one of the most trusted forms of marketing is that people have become increasingly suspicious of the paid forms of marketing. When an existing patient is happy with your services, he or she is more likely to recommend your practice to family and friends. Word-of-mouth marketing is so effective that many successful medical practices rely on this technique to market their brand.
Do not underestimate your website
Keep your website updated and functional, as this is your patients? first touch point with your brand. The goal of your website is to provide information to your existing and potential patients and to help them better understand your brand and services. Most of your patients might be using their smartphones to access your website. So if your website is not mobile-friendly, you either need to upgrade it or build a new website. Make sure your website displays all of the services you offer. When potential patients search for those services in Google, your website must show up.
Keep your business listings updated
Business listings such as Google My Business allow you to create or modify an online business listing for your medical practice. You can add images, include business-related details and update contact information for your practice. Through this listing, your practice will also be displayed on Google Maps, which can assist new patients who are using it to find your office location. Submitting your business listing on various online directories will increase your chances of being found online.
Convey your message through blog posts
A healthcare blog can be a useful digital marketing tool as it will offer insight into your medical practice and make your patients feel more loyal to your brand. Blogging can also provide a trusted platform for patients comments, helping them feel engaged. Blogging can also help improve your search engine ranking, and improved rankings will attract qualified leads and potential patients.
Be present on social networking sites
Social networking sites are an excellent way to engage with your existing patients as well as raise brand awareness among new patients at a low cost. Set realistic goals and make conscious efforts to engage your followers. Online contests, healthcare tips and seasonal discounts are some of the proven ways to encourage followers to interact with your practice on social networking sites. You can choose to expand your reach through paid advertising on social platforms that are the most relevant to your area or specialty.
Take advantage of email marketing
Emails continue to be one of the most reliable and cost-effective healthcare marketing channels. Depending on your target audience and area of expertise or specialty, you can consider sending a monthly or weekly newsletter with the latest posts from your blogs, or send other useful information to your target audience.
Consult a healthcare marketing agency
Running your medical practice for a long period can narrow your vision and make you implement the same ideas all the time. Your marketing campaigns may start to look alike, and you may continue using the same tone and words to describe your practice and services. A healthcare marketing agency can assist you in implementing fresh ideas and reviving your marketing campaigns. New patients will be able to look at your medical practice from a different perspective.
For most medical practices, it is not enough to just set up an office and hope that patients will walk through the door. You will have to make efforts to attract them and spread the word about your practice. Having a robust online presence for your practice is important no matter what specialty you are in, and with a little time and effort, you will be able to set yourself apart from competitors. By making sure your practice is found online, you will be able to expand your patient base and improve your bottom line.