Being a marketing agency specializing in medical practices, we get approached by all different specialties with different needs in mind. Some practices have not engaged in any marketing, some have dabbled with a little advertising and some already have in-house marketing teams but need an agency to help supplement their efforts.
At the start of every new meeting we are always asked the question, “What do you think I should do to market my medical practice?” Although each practice may be at different stages in their marketing and what might work for one practice may not work for others, there are a few fundamental marketing initiatives a medical practice should have before we dive into bigger campaigns. Before video development or event planning, these 5 areas are what we look at first when a medical practice asks us, “What should I do to market my medical practice?”
Logo and brand
- You don’t have to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on market research to create your logo, but you should have a memorable professional appearance. Brand yourself wherever you can from outdoor signage, stationary and uniforms. The more items that are dressed in your logo, the more people will start to recognize the symbol and remember your practice. If you want to start advertising you have already put the foundation down for brand recognition.
- 80% of American web users look online for health information. That statistic should be enough reason to convince any doctor that they need a website. If someone is searching for a doctor online and you are not there, your competitor will be. In addition, when developing more extensive marketing campaigns, it will always encourage the person to either call the practice or visit the website.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- If you do have a website we quickly move onto the next step which is SEO. We can get into very in-depth SEO strategies but first we make sure the fundamentals are covered.
- A properly built website – Content management systems are the most conducive for SEO. WordPress is a very SEO friendly system that we typically recommend and will either build a new site or convert an older site (when possible).
- Rich content with an on-site blog – A major factor of SEO is the need for unique content on each page. While you always want to keep keywords in mind, the readability of your site is most important. A great way to expand content is through a blog. Many SEO companies offer to create and manage a blog, but the blog does not live on your actual site. While it will not hurt to having a separate blog website, there are greater benefits to having the blog on your own site.
- Links from outside websites to your site – Back links are a major factor with SEO. I like to explain it as a popularity contest. The more websites have a link from their website to yours, the better it will look to Google. In addition, some websites that link to you have more influence then others. This means if one very popular website links to you, it means more to Google then if 10 less popular sites link back.
- You do not need to have a website in order to have a web presence. Google the doctors and practice and what do you see? Inaccurate directory listings? Unclaimed or nonexistent Google map listings? A negative patient review stealing the first spot on Google? Before you do any other marketing for your medical practice these areas must be addressed or it could sabotage the success of all other efforts.
- At Points Group we offer extensive patient experience programs from customer service training to secret shoppers. If your medical practice is ready to invest in marketing you must first take a look to see if you office is ready for new patients. To get an initial assessment we may analyze the patient experience by listening to a variety of recorded phone calls, actually calling the practice to experience the phone tree and observe the waiting room and treatment room experience. We also provide the practice with a short-term patient survey to get an understanding of what current patients think of your practice. This will address the appointment- making process, facility and courtesy of the staff. All the marketing in the world will not grow a practice that is not ready internally.
At Points Group we integrate consulting with media marketing. There is never one answer to the question “How can I market my medical practice?”, but there is a methodology in which you should begin. Very often when we first engage with a medical practice, we address issues that were not even on the radar. We will not just deliver services that are asked of us, but rather consult and provide expert advice and a strategy that is best for your medical practice. Call today to speak with one of our medical marketing specialists for a free consultation.