Physicians today navigate an ever-evolving world in many aspects of medicine, but this is especially true when it comes to attracting and retaining patients. Additionally, the fast-changing online landscape often makes implementing effective marketing strategies for medical practices feel like shooting a moving target.
But however difficult it may be, marketing is a must for doctors. Those who invest in marketing themselves thrive, while others who resist tend to fall behind. Luckily, a few simple tactics can quickly boost your medical practice’s online and offline presence, making it easier for patients to find you.
Before we dive in, there a few key things to remember as you plan your marketing strategy:
Marketing is not advertising, though advertising can play a part in your marketing strategy. Marketing involves public relations, media planning, client support, market research, and community involvement as well as advertising.
Marketing is an ongoing process. Your strategy will adapt to changes in the industry and the world around you. Invest in a long-term strategy to grow your business over time rather than trying a “set-it-and-forget-it” scheme that will likely fall short.
Marketing is an investment. You should not only plan to spend time and money on your marketing strategy, but you should also track results to determine your return on investment to ensure you’re on track towards success.
Marketing is a conversation between you and your clients. As such, you should focus on what your target audiences—whether patients, other doctors, or a combination of both—wants and needs from their doctor, i.e., you.
Marketing is useless if you cannot back up your claims. Your practice will grow from your clinical excellence—unmatched patient care, expertise in your field of medicine, and successful outcomes. Focusing your efforts on improving your practice will ultimately be the most effective marketing strategy.
Here are the best marketing strategies for doctors and medical practices:
Your medical practice needs an online home, somewhere you can be found by current and potential patients. Luckily, you don’t need to be an HTML wiz to get up and running with a customized site. Online services like Wix and Squarespace are straight-forward, easy to use, and relatively inexpensive. Alternatively, you can hire a professional marketing agency to design and build a professional website. How you proceed depends on your comfort level, time, budget, and skills.
2. Begin a blog
A regularly updated blog connected to your medical practice website provides many opportunities to address the needs and interests of your audience. This is also the place for content marketing, a type of writing that helps build your personal brand and show who you are.
3. Provide content on Facebook
There are more than 1.94 billion monthly active Facebook users worldwide. And as the social network’s tagline makes clear, the site is all about connection. A professional Facebook page for your medical practice (separate from your personal page) allows you to frequently contact your audience and remind them of your presence. Posting tips, news, and other noteworthy items will help ensure followers and fans keep you in mind when they’re in need of medical services. It’s also an ideal forum for your blog posts—useful and interesting links you post on Facebook can be shared and passed around, providing virtual word-of-mouth about you.
4. Connect on Twitter and Instagram
Twitter, Instagram, and other social networks like Snapchat and LinkedIn provide additional opportunities to connect and share with your audience. Doctors-only services like Sermo can help you network with professionals around the world and further demonstrate expertise in your field. The key to maintaining a successful online presence is frequent and consistent posting—try posting to your Twitter and/or Instagram accounts several times a day, if possible.
Our Social Media Management Services are a great way to leverage your digital marketing presence. At only $250 per month, our social media management service can help build your digital presence which will yield a higher patient count.
5. Become a source for journalists
There are few better ways to establish expertise and gain exposure than by being cited in media. Journalists for print, online, and TV regularly seek out medical professionals to provide context and legitimacy to their stories. “Think about partnering with a local news outlet on a health column to position yourself as the expert to prospective and current patients,” advises Andrew Hanelly. Signing up for services like Help a Reporter Out and ProfNet will gain you access to media queries as well as provide you an outlet for pitching story ideas of your own to journalists.