Medical Practice Marketing – The Basics
The first & most important phase of growing your medical practice is all about capturing the attention of your market.
If you desire to get more new patients, you need to be able to relevantly get in front of the right audience. What worked 10 years ago, doesn’t work as effectively today.
The path to treatment has fundamentally changed and patients are now going online to seek out information about you, compare all of the options, and make their own decisions about their health.
A highly-converting Website
Every medical practice needs a high-quality website – reflecting the image you want your brand to convey. After all, that’s where all the traffic will go to.
Think about it… would you rather stay in a fancy, clean, 5-star hotel? Or a rickety, dirty motel…, yup, that’s what I thought too.
You need to invest in a 5-star, premium-grade mobile-responsive website so your brand conveys your authority, image and expertise… and your patients trust you before ever speaking with you or calling your practice.
Reviews & Referrals
There is a reason why word-of-mouth is the most effective strategy for patient acquisition. Patients will trust the word of another patient much more than they trust a marketer. This is even more important for a sensitive service like dental surgery or chiropractic.
People rarely choose to go to a medical practice without getting feedback from other people who have patronized the same clinic; either in person or virtually through reading reviews.
So how do you incorporate word-of-mouth marketing to your practice? You do it by using online reviews which are almost as good as in-person recommendations.
For this to work, you have to do more than simply hoping and praying that your patients will recommend you. Take a more proactive approach by knowing exactly what kind of patient you want visiting your clinic and then strategizing on it. You might want to attract people who are looking for a specific type of procedure, or you might want to specialize in dental check ups, or in treating children.
It is now time to build a simple referral system around this service. The referral system has to be as simple as possible for patients to understand exactly what they need to do and exactly what reward they stand to gain for a successful referral.
Referrers can receive discounts, or gift cards towards their next procedure or visit. You can have several prizes available, depending on how many patients your client refers to you.
It is important for your staff to understand the entire process in detail and how to implement it. The better they understand it, the better they will be at on-boarding newly-referred patinets.
You cannot effectively gauge the effectiveness of a referral program without measuring and keeping track of the results.
Referring patients should not be the only thing that attracts rewards. Consider rewarding long term patients or patients who bring you more revenue. The purpose of the reward is to show appreciation and nurture loyalty.
With a reward system, you give up something small in exchange for extending the lifetime value of the patient.
Consider offering patients free exams, discounts on procedures, miscellaneous prizes, a free treatment after a certain number of visits, or access to a membership program with rewards.
The reward program can be determined by different matrices like how long your practitioner-patient relationship has been, how many visits they make, the kinds of treatments they have paid for, the number of referrals they have brought, or a certain kind of desired behavior.
You can call these loyalty programs.
New Patient Specials
Think about a discount on a special treatment. (Choose something popular, like Invisalign), offer multiple services in one bouquet and make it slightly cheaper, or add a free teeth whitening to new patients who pay for certain procedures.
Provide and Promote Valuable Content
You cannot ignore the fact that we are in the age of the internet. People are searching for information and services online.
People consume a lot of digital content. Content that is useful, informative, and entertaining will be found by search engines like Google and shared by people on social media.
When you consistently create and promote valuable, relevant, and entertaining content, you will be able to attract your ideal patient and drive them to convert into your customers.
Increasingly, businesses are putting good content in the hands of their target market in an effort to be considered a leader in their fields.
Not only is content marketing more effective in the long run, but it is also immensely cheaper compared to other forms of marketing – because it works by creating content that the customer wants to consume as opposed to pushing sales messages.
There are different kinds of content. You can create blog posts and articles. They need to be interesting as well as informative. Videos are increasingly popular, thanks to platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook Watch. When you are trying to present complex information, try to present the data in form of infographics. This is numerical data presented in visual format.
Having both articles, videos, and infographics on your website is important. This is because having multimedia content makes it much more likely that your website will appear prominently on a Google search result.
Traditionally, blog and article content alone was enough to rank well on Google, but now it has to be complemented by videos and images.
To do this, try including a blog on your practice’ website, and embedding videos on YouTube. You don’t need to do tons of videos. A few highly relevant videos are enough. Embed them on YouTube so that they don’t slow down your website and apply the right tags. Visitors to your blog can comment on your posts and share it.
When you have a consistent presence online, you gain authority. This means that people see you as someone whose knowledge and expertise can be trusted, and they are more likely to pay a higher price for your services.
Offer a First Class Patient Experience
An essential part of marketing is to look at the entire patient experience as a whole from start to finish.
When every aspect of the patient experience is well-thought-out to the last detail, it becomes your strongest form of marketing. Patients will have an easier time referring their friends and family to your clinic because they will be genuinely enthusiastic.
If there is one thing that smaller practices can do better than larger corporate-type dental practices, it is customer services. This gives you an advantage that you should not waste. You have the potential to give your patients more individualized attention.
Go one step further than your competitors. Ask your patients what they like, what they don’t like, and what they want to see. Small things can make a world of difference.
Reading your patients reviews on websites like Yelp & Google My Business can be a big help.
Use Facebook Ads to Drive People to your Website
Few local businesses are effectively harnessing the power of Facebook Ads. This means that you can easily have an advantage over your competition if you do.
With Facebook Ads you can easily stand out among the competition and capture the attention of the market.
Local facebook ads target a local area. There are more people on Facebook than on any other social media platform, and with Facebook, advertisers help you to target your preferred audience more precisely than any other platform.
You can reach out to your preferred clientele based on their place of residence, income, education, family situation, age, and a host of other characteristics.
Facebook also allows you to limit your daily advertising spending and only to increase it after you have figured out what gives you the best Return on Ad Investment.
Decide who exactly you want to reach with your ads. Present them with a great offer. Facebook makes it easy to do this. Craft your message, starting with engagement ads and gradually working your way up to conversion ads. For example, you can start by promoting an article on how to choose the best toothbrush or how much dental implants cost.
Leverage Local SEO
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. You want to make sure that people who are searching for your medical practice and the services your provide in your area will find your website on the first page of their Google Search results.
Imagine someone making a Google search for ‘dentists in Houston,’ or ‘best dentists in Houston.’ Would they find your practice on the first page their Google search results?
One of the ways to rank well in local SEO is to list your business in all the business listings whereby Google will know where you are and what you offer.
When you make it easier for people in your local city to find you via Google search, you are able to get patients to come to you without having to actively market yourself. After all, people rarely bother with page 2.
To make this process easier and more effective, work with an SEO company that can do it all for you.
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