How To Market a Private Medical Practice.
As a healthcare provider, your mission is to ensure that your patients are receiving high-quality medical care. When it comes to building a patient base, marketing efforts for private medical practices cannot be overlooked. Having multiple marketing strategies in place will put your private medical practice on the map, enticing prospective patients to seek out your care and expertise.
There are many ways to set your private practice up for success. Below, we offer some of the best strategies for ensuring that your private medical practice receives the attention it deserves.
How do I market myself as a doctor?
As a doctor, you need to remember that you are an advocate for your patients and must be sure to make this clear to them from the start. This should be your main message. Making sure your patient base understands who you are and what your values are is an important part of marketing yourself as a doctor they can turn to in times of need. Which can lead to more patient referrals.
30 of the best marketing strategies for medical practices
Build a website
When a patient wants to learn more about you, the first thing they are likely to do is head to good ol’ Google. Give them something meaningful to look at when they find you; invest in a site that is professional, aesthetically pleasing, and easy to navigate.
Gathering testimonials from current or past patients that highlight their positive experiences with your private medical practice is one of the best ways to build a trustworthy reputation. Studies have shown that half of patients think it is important for their doctor to be well liked by others, and 77% ranked trustworthiness as the most important trait their doctor needs to have.
Best of all, collecting testimonials is a relatively straightforward process. Keep up your excellent care and bedside manner. Then ask your patients to review your medical practice and attest to your high level of care.
However, always maintain HIPAA compliance. Only use testimonials or reviews with the patient’s expressed SIGNED consent. Don’t assume that if you get a review online you can respond any way you want or post it on another site, never reveal any personal identifiable information.
Social media presence
Social media is the ultimate modern marketing tool. Billions of users flood social media platforms daily for information, entertainment, and so much more. So, how can you take advantage of it? Create social media accounts on major platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, of course.
Before establishing your presence on any of these sites, however, it is important to research what platforms you are most likely to find your patients on. For example, Facebook is the go-to social media platform for many older people. If you see mostly adults who are 60 or older, then, it only makes sense to work hard to establish yourself on Facebook above any other platform. Here is a helpful breakdown of social platforms by age group as well as income levels.
Give back to the community
As a doctor, you are a valued member of your community. Your private medical practice is also part of that community. Therefore, taking the time to invest in your community shows others that you are not just in it for the money but you genuinely want to help people. Examples of community outreach include attending charity events or volunteering medical supplies or services several times a year.
These are not only excellent ways to show the community that you care but also a great opportunity to make your practice locally known.
Use SEO best practices
SEO stands for search engine optimization. Using SEO best practices ensures that your website ranks high when prospective patients search for you. Good SEO strategy takes into account quality content, word choice, and local listings. You can hire an SEO company to help you with this or read up on these best practices yourself here.
Claim local listings
Local listings display information about your practice like address, website, and contact number. All of this information makes it easier for patients to find you. Make sure to claim and verify these so that search engines can easily pull up your information. Search engines like Google are such an integral part of our everyday life—it would be a detriment not to effectively utilize this form of advertising!
Blogging is a great tool for connecting with your audience and building your reputation. Information shared on your medical practice’s blog not only helps you build credibility as a doctor but also gives your patients insight into your business. Offer health tips, post information on health conditions, or touch on other topics your readers would be interested in.
When used correctly it can support your SEO strategy.
After establishing a website, it can be easy to think that your work has been done. However, it is not quite that simple. Make sure that you are taking the time to update your website on a regular basis.
You do not want patients or potential patients coming across a site with outdated information or old technological functionality. These issues can create distrust or frustration among your patients or leave you open to a hack.
Engage your audience
Show your patients that you care by actively engaging with them. Utilize social media platforms to share information and keep in touch with your patients. Also make sure you are replying to all comments or messages, not just the positive ones. This shows that your practice’s first concern is ensuring patients are taken care of and that their concerns are not being ignored.
Important to note that when replying to comments that are available publicly do not include any personally identifying information. It is best to direct feedback related comments or questions to a pre approved list of canned HIPAA compliant responses that move those conversations offline or to a more secure environment.
Implement direct marketing techniques
Direct marketing strategies include sending out newsletters, birthday cards, “welcome to the family” greetings for new patients, and even friendly reminders for upcoming appointments. Patients want to feel valued and seen. Direct marketing can be impactful because it creates personalized experiences that make patients feel welcome and more than just another number in your records.
As a doctor, you have knowledge and experience that can benefit your entire community. Use your expertise to educate your community on staying healthy; hold seminars at local events to offer patients tips on a variety of health-related topics. You might even visit schools, nursing homes, and other institutions to educate others. In any case, showing your willingness to help others builds trust.
Ensure top quality care
The best way to win over your patients and ensure that they want to come back? Simply provide them with top-notch care. Maintain quality care, and the good reviews will follow. This method depends upon building a loyal patient base by promoting your practice via word-of-mouth. It may take time to pay off; however, if you are persistent and passionate about everything you do, it will be worth it.
Create a powerful brand
Branding plays a key role in marketing and is a dynamic way for patients to recognize you in the community. Make sure to create a cohesive logo, website, and practice “look” so that your practice is easily identifiable. Focus on creating a memorable experience for your patients. There are great resources on building and defining brands online that can help you with this.
Make visiting your practice seem more enticing than ever. Discounts may come in the form of free screenings or referral discounts for patients who are introduced to your practice by a current patient. Moreover, discounts can give patients the opportunity to test out your care or explore new services.
Like blogs, webinars are great for building trust and showing off your expertise. These online speaking events inform your patients on topics they may be interested in while also giving them a chance to engage back. Webinars usually incorporate question and answer sessions or discussions, which can help you connect with the community your medical practice serves.
Let potential and current patients know that you have time in your schedule by emailing, posting online, or putting up signs that state that you are “Accepting New Patients”. This will signal to people that you want to prioritize them.
Personalize pens, notepads, magnets or other free items with your medical practice’s brand and contact information. Then, pass these out to your patients or at various events throughout the community. These little items keep your patients and strangers alike excited. After all, who doesn’t like receiving free things? Not to mention, even a little pen with your name and practice plastered on it is a great way to advertise yourself.
Build professional relationships
Become familiar with other professionals in the area and in your field. They can become critical supporters of your medical practice, and you can even help them build their client bases. They will do the same by referring patients to you.
Paid search campaigns
Paid search campaigns can easily drive your target audience to your social media and website while also targeting patients interested in your private practice’s specific services. Pay-per-click advertising buys you advertising space on search engine results pages–for example, Google, Bing, or Yahoo. The best part is that you only pay if your paid ad is clicked on and you can get in front of higher competitive searches your SEO and content marketing campaigns may have trouble ranking for in the search results when you are new.
As your private medical practice continues to grow, consider adding additional staff and services to your practice. This not only attracts new business but creates more loyalty within your patient base, because they may visit your office for multiple services instead of just one. For example, if you are a pediatric orthodontist, you may team up with a general pediatric dentist to offer more services in one office.
While digital marketing has grown significantly in the last decade, you shouldn’t overlook the benefits of traditional marketing to attract new patients. In fact, traditional advertising strategies like TV ads are still the most effective based on indicators such as sales and new accounts. Reach out to local radio, newspapers, and TV stations for some of your practice marketing needs. Just remember to target advertising towards your desired audience.
Partner with journalists
Offer to be a medical reference for news articles relating to medicine. This is a great way to gain exposure while establishing your expertise in the medical world. Being cited in a news article as a medical source or as the health column expert helps you foster trust among your current/prospective patients. While also improving your local SEO and reach.
Connect with your local chamber of commerce
A chamber of commerce is a business network that works to further the goals and interests of businesses. If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to community outreach, you can get in contact with your local chamber of commerce to get involved. This network can help you identify areas where you are needed and is also a great way to build relationships with other businesses in the area.
Host an open house
Open houses are a great way to welcome the community to your private practice and help you establish important relationships. Show off your facility and your services to the community by inviting the public to an open house. These events give potential patients a chance to meet your staff and see what your office looks like.
Attend health fairs
Health fairs help you build brand awareness and can help you advertise your services to people who may otherwise have been unaware about you or your practice. Use these events to give back to your community while also speaking to them about the services you offer. They can also be an effective way to build professional relationships with other providers who can become a great source of referrals.
Publish in journals
Contribute to medical journals or publications to show your knowledge on particular topics. You can build your reputation and credibility by referencing studies and research that your doctors have participated in. These can help assure your patients of your expertise. White papers also can help in a SEO strategy for building up your brand mentions and backlinks.
3.5 billion people in the world own smartphones. Tap into this market by making sure your website is mobile friendly. For example, you might make it so that your patients can call your office simply by tapping a button on your website.
Pamphlets and brochures
Create materials for distribution and information to hand out to your patients when they visit your office. Pamphlets and brochures not only teach a patient about your services and the values and mission of your medical practice, but they are also easy to pass along to others. In addition, you can hand these out at any events you attend.
Stay in touch with your patients and keep the lines of communication strong with email. Emails can include appointment reminders, links to your blog or newsletter, and updates on upcoming events or promotions your practice is holding. This strategy allows you to keep in touch with patients outside of regular office visits.
Don’t forget the patient release documentation to allow you to market to them.
Thank your patients
Let your new and long-time patients know that you appreciate them with handwritten letters. Personalized touches like this remind your patients that you care about their business and will help your practice stand out.
Bonus: Affordable ways to market
There are plenty of marketing ideas out there both for new and established medical practices. For those looking to keep costs down, focus on marketing strategies that you can personally carry out. Learn how to build great social media and other marketing courses in Udemy. However, don’t forget about HIPAA when engaging in social media.
Design apps like Canva offer free basic graphic creating tools while a basic internet search can teach you how to put out helpful content. If spending money on advertisements is too costly, focus on word-of-mouth marketing and building a loyal patient list and find some networking groups to gain professional relationships that will help promote your business through referrals.
The world of marketing is expansive. Take time to test different strategies and find what works best for your medical practice.
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