Medical marketing is not as simple as selling a 60 percent off sale on your latest fall sweater. Medical marketing must follow different guidelines in order to gain awareness and overall trust to patients in order for the candidates to come to your practice. You certainly need to think “out of the box” in many cases. Here are the top do’s and don’ts to follow when you are marketing your practice or practices:
Medical Marketing To Do’s
- Marketing materials are essential. Do you offer a lot of services? If you answered yes, then be sure to create marketing materials (e.g., brochures, postcards or folders with inserts) for each service you offer or condition you treat. This will be a must for referral marketing (you will see why as you read on). Regardless of the size of your practice, you have to have marketing materials that explain what your practice offers.
- Website conversions are a must. Nowadays, the majority of the world is on their phones or desktops seeking out local businesses. If you are not established online, you might as well not exist. Having a website that is user-friendly and allows users to easily access or connect with your practice(s) is a necessity. The phone book is long gone. Your website should allow for easy access to connect with staff members in order to seek information or to request an appointment. One of the most important things to establish on your website is a conversion. What is your conversion? Well, that depends. If you’re a practice looking to get new or current patients in the door, your conversion is booking an appointment. There are a few options to initiate contact:
- Set up a form on your website that allows users to request an appointment.
- Set up a chat plugin on your website where people can connect with your staff members or a call center to book an appointment.
- Integrate a self-scheduler on your website.
- As an added touch, you can apply an automated appointment notification system that can send appointment reminders to your patients, so they never miss another appointment. Learn more here.
- Bring potential patients to your website with paid search. As stated above, creating a conversion on your website is ideal. What’s more important is tracking that conversion. Google and Bing allow for paid search where people specifically input keyword searches for a service in their search engines. Tracking tools that show a patient coming from Google and Bing can be measured when they request an appointment through your website. Establishing a monthly budget to utilize paid search is something your practice should be doing.
- Raise awareness of your practice in the local community. The medical field has changed quite a lot over the years. Right now, many patients will need a referral from their primary care physician. It is important to build relationships with urgent care facilities, primary care physicians and other practices that have a referral potential. Hiring a referral marketer who can build these relationships is ideal. You can hire someone internally to do this or ask us about our referral marketing monthly plans. Referral marketers should come equipped with promotional items and brochures that will help promote your practice. Another way you can raise awareness is by participating in sponsorship opportunities. Sponsorships include posting a banner at a sporting facility, promoting your practice at a 5K race or hosting local community events.
- You have to spend money to make money. Waiting around for patients to come to you is not the way you are going to get found. Advertising is something that is needed to build brand awareness. Spending money (particularly in the beginning of your efforts) is something you are going to have to do. You will need to test different advertising options to determine which will fit best and have the highest return on your investment. Start with direct mailings, digital efforts and radio.
Medical Marketing Dont’s
- Don’t offer discounts on services. This is against the law and it can get you and your practice penalized. Serious trouble is a brewing, so don’t do it.
- Don’t expect results overnight. Building a brand and nurturing relationships takes time. If you are working with an agency and have not seen results right away, rest assured – that is normal. There is a ramp up time that occurs before you notice a return on your investment. If you do not see any results in three months, then you may want to reevaluate your program. Ultimately, your practice will need to build a strong brand image and reputation before you see results.
- Don’t use ZocDoc as a conversion. ZocDoc is very pricey for what you get. There are better and cheaper ways to treat your conversion. As stated above: use a form, install a chat plugin on your website or apply a self-scheduler to your website. Ask us to learn more!
- Don’t violate HIPPA laws and guidelines. Never mention patient names (unless you have written consent and signed releases that allow you to use their name).
- Don’t market your doctors; market your BRAND. This is a trap a lot of practices fall into. Instead of building your brand, you are promoting only certain doctors. You brand is a one-package deal. Market your brand so when people see your logo they know who to search for online.
There are plenty of other do’s and don’ts that we would be happy to share. We welcome the opportunity to conduct an audit of your practice and work with you to build your brand. Let us help you build your growth strategy. Are you ready to grow your business?