Many doctors may want to know about the most effective ways to market their practice. Primary care doctors tend to promote their services directly to patients, while specialists’ offices market to primary care doctors and other physicians. It is important to make sure that all marketing techniques are responsible for nature. Doctors’ offices around the country are making good use of new techniques like social media, digital ads, and influencer marketing. Dr. Michael Basco explains the process of marketing a medical practice and gives helpful tips for physicians and office managers who wish to raise the profile of their businesses.
Understanding the Market
Before you begin creating your marketing plan, it is smart to research the community you are serving. Explore your community in detail, including the areas your patients are likely to drive from when they are seeking care. This means that if you have a number of patients from surrounding rural areas, you should explore their demographics as well. You should look carefully at the traits of your target patients, whether they are parents with young children or elderly individuals.
Demographic information is available from your state department of commerce or another similar agency. It is also available online from the Census Bureau.
You should pay attention to population growth rates, racial and ethnic groups, age and gender distribution, average income, percentage of rental properties, and home values. This will give you a good idea of the economic conditions your patients live in. Doing a survey of the public transportation available near your office will also let you know how many of your patients will be driving and will need to park there.
Another good idea is to survey local businesses about their benefits programs. Finding out what their requirements are regarding pre-employment physicals, workers’ compensation treatment, rehabilitation, or safety requirements can help you understand more about the demand for your services in the community.
You should also take a look at the medical providers in your surrounding community. This can help you understand what your patients are looking for in a practice.
Marketing to Your Patients
One of the most important methods of marketing to patients in today’s changing environment is social media. Current and prospective patients enjoy having an insider view of your practice, and they may find supplemental information about common conditions or regional concerns to be very helpful.
Curating a social media presence shouldn’t be done hastily. You need to make sure that you are posting quality content at all times, and that your social media presence is frequently kept up to date. Having outdated postings on your social media pages will give the patients the impression that you do not care.
Use quality photos and information. You may want to link to world-renowned health care sources like Harvard Medical School or the Mayo Clinic.
At-home mailings can be another useful way of generating leads, though “junk mail” is frequently discarded in this day and age. Creating a health newsletter with information beyond what a traditional advertisement would contain is a value-added proposition. It will help your prospective patients learn about your practice and give them useful information for their health as well.
Another way to market to patients is to sponsor community activities. Dentists are frequently successful with this technique, sponsoring local sports teams and community events. There is no reason why doctors’ offices can’t use this technique themselves. Sponsoring community activities will build goodwill and will give you greater name recognition.
Make sure that your website is fully updated and that it can handle both mobile and desktop viewers. Having descriptions of the types of care provided and biographies of all of your major providers is a good idea. Many patients enjoy having the ability to contact medical providers’ offices by email or web forms. Make sure that you clearly communicate that these forms are not a place to receive medical advice. Many practices are also experimenting with online appointment setting, a great convenience for people who have busy lives.
Marketing to Physicians
Promoting your practice to specialists is another important aspect of the total marketing picture. In this case, word-of-mouth and personal contact is key. Take the time to thank medical colleagues for their referrals. Fully participate in all local meetings and interest groups, as well as professional organizations.
Effective Marketing for Physicians
When you use these simple tips to boost your practice’s visibility, you will find that you achieve a higher level of success. Above all, make sure that it is easy for your prospective patients to find your business, using social media, directories, and blogs. Michael Basco reminds doctors that taking these steps toward better marketing will bring you an enhanced public reputation and more patients.