Private medical practice is dependent on getting patients. Most good practices will get referrals. If you like the service that you received, you will likely tell others about it. Newer practices may struggle to drum up enough business in a competitive market. This is when marketing comes into play. If you are wondering how to market medical practice, this is the right post for you.
So you want to market your medical practice. Great idea. We can help. But first, let’s make sure you know what you’re getting into. It’s not as simple as putting up a website and waiting for patients to show up. Sure, that can be part of it, but to get ahead, you’ll have to think like a marketer. You’ll have to think creatively about how to attract patients and get them to trust that you’re the best provider for them. You’ll have to think about what makes your practice unique. And you’ll have to think about your competitors and how to outdo them.
Medicine is a business, and many healthcare organizations forget that. They focus on what they have to offer instead of what sells their services. The best marketing is always about benefits, not features. You are not selling a car; you are selling the ability to drive. You are not selling a house; you are selling the ability to live in a safe neighborhood. You are not selling a treatment; you are selling how that treatment makes your patients feel.
First things first: you need to advertise. You have to get the word out that your practice exists. If people don’t know that your practice is there, they can’t use it. Make sure you get your name out there locally. If you live in a big city, this could mean billboards or ads on buses and subways. If you live in a smaller town, this could mean print ads in local newspapers and magazines or even local radio and TV commercials.
Your local area is the best place to start. Advertising locally increases brand recognition.
Blog about the services offered
This might be the hardest part. You have to create a blog about your services and what you can do for your patients. It’s not easy, but it is necessary. Blogging is a potent marketing tool. It doesn’t cost much to start a blog, and you can put it on almost any platform: WordPress, Blogger, Livejournal, or some other free blogging website.
Use Google AdWords (PPC)
Google AdWords is a great way to get visitors to your site (if you use Google Website Optimizer). People can search for your services and see your advertisements in the Google search results. This costs money, but it’s an easy way to get started and see what works. You can always build a website later once you know what you’re doing.
So now that we have some of the basics out of the way, let’s talk about some industry-specific techniques for getting patients in your door:
Organizations like hospitals and medical schools offer free seminars on a variety of topics from time to time. These seminars are a great way to get patients ahead of time.
You can offer discounts and freebies for new patients (or new referrals). Patients love deals, and those deals will make them come back for more visits. Your referral flow will increase if you offer a lot of incentives like these.
Call patients to double-check appointments
One thing every good doctor does is double-check his or her patient’s schedule. This is a great way to interrupt the patients’ day and remind them that you are here if they do need help. It’s also a great way to get them thinking about your practice instead of their busy lives.
Host live events
You can host events like health fairs and car shows. Live events get people talking, and they spread brand awareness quickly. They also bring in traffic because people want to see what’s going on.
Getting on local social media site
Choose your niche
What makes you different from your competitors? What does your practice do better than anyone else’s? Focus on these questions and do what you do best. The more you can narrow down to a specific, unique service that only you offer, the better off you’ll be.
Search Engine Optimization is another important part of marketing. This is how you make your site come up in search. It’s how you make sure that the people searching for “doctors” come across your practice. If you don’t do this, they won’t see your practice in the search results, and they will never find out about you.
Email marketing is a great way to keep old patients coming back for more (and to get new ones as well). It’s also a great way to get new patients.
Social media and marketing on popular social networks
Social networks let you tell other people very quickly what you do. You can post pictures of how your office is organized, what you are focusing on now, and update your patients on what you’ve been up to. It’s also a great way to get ideas for new services that might make it onto your practice’s list of offerings.
Advertise your medical practice on local television/radio
The more people know about your practice, the better. Advertising on local television and radio will help you reach a lot of people at once.
Advertise your medical practice in flyers
Flyers are another great way to get the word out. You can hang them up on telephone poles, post them in mailboxes and hand them out. Flyers are a low-budget way to advertise that will let you spend your money more wisely.
With enough time, money, and effort, any medical practice can attract new patients and rake in new revenue. There are no magic tricks or marketing secrets for success.
Use Google Analytics
Google Analytics is the best tool out there for tracking your visitors (and their behavior). This will give you an idea of what people are doing on your site, and it can help you find ways to improve your patients’ experience.
If you are just starting, the best thing you can do is network. Find doctors who are already successful in their practice and ask questions about how they got started. You can also network with each other via Facebook groups. Attending local conferences and events is a great way to get your practice’s name out there!
Working as a doctor is rewarding, but it’s also a lot of work. Making your practice successful is tough, but it can be done if you work hard and stay optimistic. Good luck! Doctors are the backbone of any society. These people save lives daily and help those in need. They make their lives available to better their patients, but these doctors are also human beings who deserve to be rewarded for their hard work.