Physicians may be in the business of helping people, but they need to build a customer base and make a profit just like any other business. So when it comes to creating marketing strategies for a small medical practice, these doctors and practices must use sound digital marketing principles to build a steady stream of new patients and a solid base of repeat patients.
Online Marketing Strategies for Doctors and Practices
Doctors and small medical practices, in particular, need strong marketing plans to compete with large medical groups and hospitals. Here are a few marketing strategies that all doctors and small medical practices should consider in their marketing plans:
Step 1: Drive Traffic to Your Website
Despite social media and the many other ways people obtain information these days, your website is still the best place for you to showcase your practice and the physicians within it. Any advertising or promotion that you do should always direct people to your website.
Once people get there, it’s important to make sure the site is easy to navigate on a smartphone, tablet, or computer. A poorly designed website can be enough to turn people away in an instant. Just because your practice is small doesn’t mean your website can’t look just as nice as larger practices with expensive marketing teams behind them.
Put yourself in the shoes of a prospective patient — what will they be looking for when they come to your site? They’ll want to understand what kind of care they can receive at your practice and who will be providing it to them.
Information about the services you offer and the doctors on your team should be front and center. Invest in professional headshots for your physicians and make it clear what services each person offers. Your site should also focus on what differentiates your practice from your competitors.
Step 2: Capture Contact Information
Your website is also a great place to capture information about your prospective patients that you can use to follow up with them later. Add a pop up to your site asking people to provide their email address to sign up for your mailing list.
Some people might voluntarily give up their contact information, but more discerning customers won’t be motivated unless they know they are going to receive something in return. Consider creating an email newsletter with medical tips or links to health-related articles and blog posts that relate to your practice.
You can also follow up with coupons and other offers to entice new patients to give your practice a try. Again, focus on driving traffic back to your website to schedule an appointment and make sure that scheduling is easy to do online.
If you capture phone number, you can make follow up calls or implement a text messaging campaign to continue the conversation after someone visits your website.
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Step 3: Follow Up and Re-Market
The other interesting aspect of medical practices is that people only see a doctor when they need to. Staying top of mind is important so that your practice is what comes to mind whenever a prospective patient is in need of care or medical services.
The best way to do this is to establish a consistent communication stream that provides value beyond talking about how great your practice is. Developing this larger content strategy takes time, but will pay off with more engaged patients in the end.
Your follow up strategy should include email as discussed earlier, but also social media and online targeting. Have you ever noticed that after you view a product on some websites, you start seeing ads for that exact thing on other sites you visit? This is a concept called remarketing, and it can be effective for maintaining brand awareness.
For example, you can set up a campaign that would display ads for your practice to people who visit your site and then go to other sites like WebMD or Healthline. That way, your practice is never far from view when people are looking for health-related information.
Putting It All Together
There’s no universal solution to cultivating new patients. The best approach is a multi-touch marketing strategy that provides value beyond the services that your physicians offer. Focus on how you can use information sharing to your advantage and then translate that expertise into patient visits through a consistent communication plan.
If that sounds like a lot of work, that’s because it is. No one ever said that marketing a small medical practice was easy. However, companies like ours specialize in marketing and content and will take care of all those details so you can focus on what you do best — providing patient care and running a successful business.
Need help creating Marketing Strategies for a Small Medical Practice? Contact us to learn more about how we can help market your practice.