We’ll talk through your marketing goals, and determine if we’re a great fit.
While in school, business and marketing was not a focal point of coursework. Unfortunately for you, that means you have to learn about business from the school of hard knocks.
Just because you opened your medical practice doesn’t mean your calendar will be overflowing with new patients. You need a game plan to help you grow regardless of how big or small your practice is.
If you are here you need help.
From our experience from successfully marketing practices,
We compiled our list of the 30 best marketing tactics for private practices to help you build and grow a healthy sustainable practice.
While helping you remain HIPAA Compliant in your marketing efforts.
First you may be asking,
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
There are often debates in the marketing world about whether SEO, content marketing, or paid ads are the best solution for a business.
In any marketing groups, forums, and blogs there are hundreds of posts riddled with arguments over which type of digital marketing makes the most effective strategy.
More often than not, when one of these three strategies has not worked for a business, it is not because it is ineffective, but rather that it was used in the wrong way.
The truth is, in order to see the best results from your digital marketing campaigns in 2019, businesses need to combine PPC, SEO, and content marketing effectively.
In this article, you will learn:
Let’s get started.
You have probably heard the term SEO, organic search optimization, or search engine optimization thrown around a lot, and might have mixed feelings about it. So let’s take a second to quickly answer the question,
Search Engine Optimization is the process of improving your website’s visibility and rankings on search engines or search based platform. There are multiple types of SEO (Amazon, different search platforms, etc.), and hundreds of different methods to improve the visibility and rankings of your website.
*For the purpose of this post we will focus on SEO as it relates to (the major search engines) Google, Bing, Yahoo, and their respective maps.
The way this works is through the organic search results. For instance, when someone types in a query into a search engine, the results they are shown are based off relevance and the ability to best satisfy search intent but are not paid to show up. The organic results are the sections that are not the paid advertising. The paid results are currently up to the top 4 and bottom 3 results (With a map result depending on the local term). They also have a little “ad” notation before the URL.
Results that are higher up in the search achieve these spots based on a multitude of factors:
The list goes on. There are literally hundreds of ranking factors that determine position on Google’s search engines and more that are not publicly available. The great thing is as an experienced SEO agency we are not fully guessing what Google and the other search engines want. We have years of data and a larger SEO community that help us make informed decisions. (Don’t just take our word for it 200 ranking factors)
Essentially, the mission of search engines is to provide the user with the best result for what they have asked. This means providing them with a user friendly website design and content that will help your audience to:
The only goal of SEO is to get people to come to your site organically. This means that you are not paying directly for them to show up on your site, as you are with paid advertisements such as Google Ads or Facebook ads campaigns.
Without a strategy that properly addresses how your website is ranked for searches on search engines, it will be difficult to succeed online.
Put simply, if you want to generate organic search traffic to your site, search engine optimization is a must.
The reason that focusing on organic search traffic matters is that you want to be building your brand while generating revenue. Paid ads are highly effective, but organic leads can be higher quality and quantity if targeted correctly. Best of all they are free!
Even more important is the fact that 51% of traffic comes from organic search results.
Ideally, you might want to consider working with a marketing agency or to at least get a SEO audit of your site. This will at least help you get started in the right direction. They can also help with implementing more complex strategies.
From there, if you are determined to handle SEO for yourself, you will want to at least focus on:
Optimizing each one of these will lead to your website having a very strong organic search presence. Over time, this will boost rankings, and increase the amount of impressions and visitors your website gets.
But, as I said in the introduction, search optimization is not as effective without content marketing, or paid.
So why is content marketing so important? And how exactly does it help to work with search engine optimization in order to make an effective online marketing strategy? Let’s take a look.
Content marketing is a strategy which revolves around the production of high-quality, custom content targeted towards your various audience segments.
This content can come in a wide array of formats, such as:
The goal of content marketing is to provide for the informational needs of your target audience. But It help answer a question or questions your customer had or didn’t know they had with content tailored to them. It is a guided entry point to services and not necessarily always the end point. Consider it a first date, with some follow up dates, but one night stands happen too (Hey, some content is more forward than others.)
By making this the primary goal of your content marketing campaigns informational, you will be much more effective.
In fact, content marketing has been shown to generate 3x as many leads as paid advertising campaigns, at just 62% of the cost.
The reason why it’s so effective? People want content. The average person consumes over 11 pieces of content before making a purchasing decision. (Remember the date analogy?)
Not to mention, producing high-quality content for your website allows you to drastically improve your search rankings.
For example: if you want to rank for “Minneapolis Web Design“, you will never be able to do this organically without content. Or creating amazing website designs (because let’s be honest if your websites looks horrible why would you want to rank for web site design.) Our responsive websites look awesome by the way. But we digress… we were talking about content and ranking.
Well for starters, the average number one search result on Google has 1,890 words. The 2nd place search result has just around 2,000 on average.
That means that if you simply have a web page where you have some content about Web Design in Minneapolis, that isn’t enough. You need supporting content. You would need to have information about, what makes web design tailored to Minneapolis different than New York, or information about your web design that makes it relevant to the Minneapolis market. Maybe even local signals that showed you were relevant to a Minneapolis based searcher. See the point here is that it takes more than just a keyword on a landing page to rank for it. It takes content.
When people search online, they generally search with a question. You can read about the latest SEO Trends which include the rise of question based voice search. Content marketing aims to provide value to your customers by giving them vital information which helps them answer their questions, and make the right decisions moving forward.
By answering your audience’s questions, and providing value you are achieving a few things:
Without quality content, people are likely to leave your site early, or never even be shown your site in the search results.
Another beautiful thing that creating custom content allows you to do is generate more quality leads.
Rather than attempting to only rank for extremely competitive terms, that are likely not seen by a majority of searchers, content allows you to rank for more specific keywords that are likely to drive conversions.
For example: You run a carpet cleaning agency, and you produce a piece of content about “What to do if you spill wine on your rug?”
Chances are, someone who is searching for this exact question has likely already spilled wine on their rug. Therefore, by the time they arrived on your site, they are extremely pre-qualified. You are not fighting for the more difficult to rank for “Wine on Carpet” because Rug is more specific. Which means you have a very specific content piece to do with types, brands, and cleaning (hopefully more professional priced services) for those rugs.
Content pre-qualifies the Buy.
By giving them information that can help them solve their problems, you are qualifying your business in their mind as a potential solution.
In 2019, only about 49% of Americans trust brands. This means that just over half of the people you could potentially be marketing to with paid advertising campaigns or come to your site organically do not trust your company, regardless of how well-structured your campaign or site is.
This means that no matter what, acquiring new customers is now an uphill battle, and the only way to get through to conversions is to build trust.
Just how effective is custom content at building brand trust? A study done by DemandGen show that 95% of B2B buyers look to content in the evaluation process of making a purchase.
Email marketing is one of the best ways to generate a positive ROI from your online marketing campaigns.
One study even found that email generates a 3,800% ROI. Content marketing allows you to leverage the value that your content can provide to customers in order to generate contact information from them. Nearly everyone has downloaded a guide.
From here, you can use the emails you generate in order to develop segmented audiences which are targeted by your email campaigns bringing you a higher ROI.
As we touched on earlier, content can come in many forms. Typically, the two types of content that are interacted with the most are blogs, and video.
This is a great place for anyone looking to start content marketing to begin developing high quality content for your audience.
Around 55% of marketers consider blog content to be their top inbound marketing priority. Of those who blog, those who create 11+ pieces of content monthly generate an average of 3x more website traffic.
But don’t sacrifice quality for quantity.
When creating blog content, you want to make sure that you:
Video content is quickly becoming the new face of marketing. In 2017, video made up 69% of all global internet traffic. Experts estimate that by 2021, video will represent 80% of all online search traffic. Needless to say, video is here to stay.
On top of this, video content has also been shown to dramatically improve conversion rates. In fact, we have seen by adding a great introduction video to landing pages improves conversions by an average of 80%.
Paid advertisements are the last piece of the online marketing strategy puzzle. You can have excellent SEO and content marketing, but without implementing some sort of paid advertising campaign, you will never reach the full potential of your online marketing efforts.
While content marketing typically generates a greater return on investment than paid marketing campaigns, this does not mean paid ads are ineffective.
In 2019, paid advertisements are still very profitable, with 65% of keywords that spur purchases had paid clicks while organic had 35%.
On top of this, in 2019, Google still reports that about $2 of revenue result from every $1 of ad spend across industries.
So yes, PPC is still very relevant in 2019.
Paid ads are the fuel for all of your hard work when it comes to content and SEO. It can take years in order to build up your website enough to generate lots of organic search traffic.
In the meantime, you need to find alternative and consistent ways to generate revenue from your online marketing efforts.
Paid advertising offers the best solution to this problem. It can also easily be combined with both of these other strategies in order to create very effective advertising campaigns.
Some of the main reasons that paid advertising is so successful are:
All these ingredients help to provide you with the information and tools necessary to easily integrate paid advertising into your existing marketing efforts.
It often takes multiple touch-points before generating a sale. Paid advertising is the perfect way to re-target people who have also already visited your website.
For example: If you use a Google ads campaign to drive traffic to your website, you can create a Facebook re-marketing ad to the visitors who didn’t convert. To make the remarking more profitable (and to limit competitors who may get captured by your Facebook pixel) re-market to visitors that did a desired action such as adding an item to a cart but did not purchase. This granular data can also be used to create a look-alike audience for future social media ads.
Now comes the fun part, combining search, content, and paid advertising to make the ultimate online marketing campaign for your business.
But how do you do it right? What are the best ways to combine all three of these strategies? How will you know if they are successful?
Let’s take a second to answer each of these questions at once.
Before you ever even get to producing content, or managing paid advertising campaigns, you need to first make sure that your technical SEO on your site is done right. Technical SEO includes coding errors, server issues, site speed, meta data, to list a few. We have some free SEO tools to take a 1000 foot look at your site and fix some common errors. We also provide much more comprehensive SEO audits and action plans, Contact Us to learn more.
Once you’ve taken care of this, you next must make sure that the SEO for your custom content is also done properly. This includes things like:
Once this is done, you can then begin focusing on the SEO for your paid advertising campaigns (Yes, you can optimize your paid campaign landing pages for search).
For the most part, this is the most simple SEO strategy to manage, because there is not a whole lot that you have control of other than keywords to target, and optimizing titles, meta, and ad copy if you have done more of the technical parts already. Link building is not a primary focus of a paid ad campaign.
This is where content begins to creep in.
The most important thing to remember when creating content for your audience is that quality trumps everything.
As we went over earlier in this article, Google is driven by user intent. This means that the user’s satisfaction is the ultimate determinant to how well a piece of content performs.
In order to create the best content for your brand, there are a few things you must do:
Applying these simple strategies on a consistent basis will allow you to appeal to a wider target audience, effectively reach your target audience, improve your search engine rankings, and deliver a better end product.
Once you have improved your site’s technical SEO, as well as created high quality content with search engines in mind, it is now time to begin building your paid advertising campaigns.
The most important thing to remember when it comes to creating paid ad campaigns online is that your business has multiple types of buyers with different types of needs.
Each buyer can be at a different part of the sales funnel. This means that you must develop multiple different ad campaigns, on multiple different platforms, with multiple different offerings.
This all sounds overwhelming, but essentially all you are doing is giving your content that you produced, the best chance to reach your audience and provide them with value. Moving them along in the buyer sales process.
Pro Tip: If you find areas where you can target near the end of the buyer cycle they can have the highest returns in the short term (eCommerce). But finding ways to capture and fostering them earlier provides scalability for brands with longer sales cycles.
When it comes to paid ads, you want to take these steps to always succeed:
By prioritizing these objectives, you will be able to gain the highest ROI from your paid marketing campaigns.
You want to be sure that with your paid ads that you are equally as focused on SEO when it comes to optimizing it for search engines and users. Guess what! Google and Bing use similar search optimization signals to evaluate the quality and relevance of your landing page to the quality of the ad (and how much you pay per click). Facebook uses site actions to optimize for conversions and great user experience has a high social share rate. Also, you want to be very deliberate that the content in your ads matches your landing page and buyer intent, including:
All of which ensures that your message comes across clearly and correctly, and you’re driving the leads to take the right actions.
By continually producing high-quality content, and monitoring the results of your paid advertising campaigns, you can begin to optimize them over time.
This will give you an edge over the competition, and allow you to combine all three of these strategies in a way that will skyrocket your online lead generation, while building your brand and developing an effective organic search presence.
Get started now by scheduling an intro call. We’ll talk through your marketing goals, and determine if we’re a great fit.