Certainly the primary concern of the practice should be to provide a high level of care, but then it is crucial to invest the effort into continuously letting the target patient population know how your practice benefits them. As the medical community evolves into a patient-centered focus, its marketing must also adapt to that direction. Standing out should become paramount in the face of increased communication efforts from hospitals, medical centers, and other providers.
The fact is that today’s medical consumers are more likely than ever before to turn to their online resources when in need of medical care. They want to find a practice in their search results, gather helpful information from a website, and receive assurances that the facility has a positive reputation among family and friends. Once interest is aroused, and a patient relationship is initiated, they expect an exceptional degree of care, but also want to have a high level of education, engagement and communication.
Marketing Ideas That Will Help Attract New Patients
While you may know the fundamentals of website design, search engine optimization and social media marketing, here are four marketing ideas that can help your medical practice attract new patients:
1. Have a Website That Really Works
Don’t just settle for a functional website with pictures of your office. Make it work real hard for you:
- Contact information, practice specialties, and hours of operation must be front and center.
- Make it easy to make an appointment online.
- Have more videos and graphics than words.
- Include patient testimonials.
- Provide educational information.
- Solicit questions from current patients and answer them online.
- If you work with patients who have Chronic Care Management needs tell them how your practice keeps in touch and monitors their care more closely to better manage their conditions.
- Make sure the site works on mobile devices and can respond to voice searches.
- Above all, make sure you let them know you are accepting new patients!
Don’t forget your technical capabilities. Prospective patients want to know you make the patient interaction easy. Let them know you have EHRs to make charting faster, more efficient billing practices that get more insurance claims paid the first time through, and a patient portal where they can gain access to their lab reports and test results. If you comply with interoperability standards, make sure they realize how that helps coordinate healthcare in a more efficient manner.
2. Put Your Current Patients to Work for You
Have you heard the saying that a satisfied customer is your best advertisement? That applies to medical marketing as well. There are professional ways of having current satisfied patients help spread the word about your practice:
- Will they write a letter or provide a sentence or two that you can use in print materials or on your website? Better yet, will they appear in a video?
- Do you make it part of the visit to ask current patients to refer your practice to their family and friends? Do they even know how? Do you at least have business cards they can use?
- Can you direct them to a review website where they can post positive remarks?
- Are there ways they can send an email or make a social media post about your practice that doesn’t violate their confidentiality? Can you suggest points they can include?
- Can you sponsor an online webinar or in-person seminar on a topic of importance to your patients, and ask them to invite their friends?
3. Work With Large Local Employers
Employers have a vested interest in looking after the health of their employees. Turn to some local employers and find ways to help improve employee health. You might be able to offer lunchtime seminars, have onsite appointment hours, or provide information about injury prevention.
4. Communicate, Educate, Motivate
Pay heed to the rise in consumerism and be the practice that participates. Provide information in your blogs, have an e-newsletter, work with local social media influencers who are interested in healthy living ideas, share a column with a local newspaper, get interviewed on local radio shows, or be interviewed on TV. Just make sure that people realize who is providing this valuable information, and they make the association with turning to your practice when they need medical assistance.