Do's and Don'ts of Medical Marketing

October 22, 2017

Promoting your practice using effective methods can be the difference between gaining and losing business.

To promote your practice and acquire more patients you cannot sit and wait for patients to approach you. You need to implement marketing practices that allow patients to get to know your practice. No matter your specialty, you need to market your practice in order to reach your target audience. To save your message from getting lost in the digital world, here are some do's and don'ts of healthcare marketing.

Do's:

•Identify your target audience

It's essential for you to identify your target audience according to the services you offer. Invest your time in planning and coming up with good strategies with your ultimate objective in mind. Focus on educating your target audience instead of just talking about yourself.

•Make use of marketing collateral

For your target audience to know the range of services you offer, you need to make use of marketing materials such as postcards, brochures, advertisements, etc. This promotes referral marketing and builds a good brand image for you, especially among elderly patients who are not Internet-savvy. Along with print media ads, you can make use of TV or radio ads.

•Have a personalized website

Secondly comes the digital space. These days, most people prefer browsing the Internet for almost everything. This makes it imperative for you to grow your online presence. The first and most important thing for creating an online presence is to have an intuitive and engaging website. This personalized website should include the following information:

•Contact details

•Patient forms (appointment schedule, test reports, etc.)

•Details about you and your employees

•Chat plugin for anytime availability

All these points help increase conversion through your website. In addition to the website, actively launch email campaigns to remind your patients about their appointments or for general health awareness tips. Remember to do segmentation of recipients before shooting out the mailer. This saves you from being labeled a spammer.

•Optimize your website

Optimize your website and blog pages with relevant keywords. Google Keyword Planner helps you select the right keywords for your practice or service. It also displays the low-performing keywords that can be omitted during optimization. Good SEO optimization helps you rank higher in search engine results.

•Do paid search

Once you have created a conversion, it is important to track it. Search engines such as Google and Bing offer paid search based on keyword searches for a service. Google Analytics is one such tracking tool that helps you identify the source of conversion. For paid searches, it is good to prepare a budget in advance.

•Stay active on social media

Since most people follow social media religiously, you need to be present on all the social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc. and stay active. Regularly post your blogs or general health awareness tips on your social media pages for your existing patients and new ones. Also, don't ignore any reviews on your page. Reply to all positive and negative reviews, because ignoring reviews is the worst thing you can do and will spoil your online reputation.

•Become known in your locality

Today, healthcare has become a patient-driven field and has seen many changes over the years. To grow your practice, you need to build a strong relationship with your patients through your treatment, urgent care facilities, good staff, follow up, etc. A happy patient will surely refer you to his near and dear ones. You can use the help of a referral marketer, as well. You can also try organizing medical camps in your area or participating in seminars or college workshops near you. This will make you known to people around you and grow confidence in you and your practice.

•Pay money to get money

Just waiting for more patients to visit you without any extra effort cannot succeed. Whether print or digital media, you need to advertise your practice. You need to invest some marketing money in your practice to reap good results. This means you need to plan your budget and activities accordingly. Track the leads and conversions incurred from different mediums to plan your spending wisely.

•Offer benefits

For your existing patients who have posted positive reviews on your page or referred you to their family and friends, you can offer benefits such as no-wait appointments, free dental consultation, etc. This will make them feel more valued, establishing long-term relationships.

Don'ts:

•Never offer discounts on your services; you can be penalized as it is against the law.

•Don't expect too much. Marketing strategies cannot change things overnight. Return on investment needs some ramp-up time. Reevaluate your strategies if you see no elevation in conversion after three to four months.

•Don't violate HIPAA rules and regulations for patient acquisition. Over social media or any online/offline marketing channel, never disclose your patient's identity or records.

•Don't just talk about your doctors, but your practice. People are more inclined toward the services you offer and want to know about them instead of a particular doctor and his/her achievements.

•Don't use too many medical terms. This will make it difficult for a layman to understand your marketing material.

In conclusion, you need to build a strong brand image that requires you to have a good online reputation.