Dentists, physicians, therapists, healthcare professionals, and health and wellness experts practice myriad specialties. However, you share something in common: the goal to attract patients, improve their lives, and grow your practice in the process. If you need help finding more patients to expand your business in 2019, try the following 13 medical marketing ideas.
Medical Marketing Ideas and Strategies to Try in 2019
1. Improve Your Patient Experience
Positive user experience is critical to every brand and every industry. But in medical marketing, UX helps you attract new patients through referrals, beat your competition, and retain your existing patient base—essential steps to grow your medical practice or wellness center.
Positive patient experience also conserves money. According to research, hospitals spend 90 percent less on patient retention than acquisition. So what’s the key to better patient experience? Honing in on every practice-patient interaction point and improving upon it.
Digital Patient Experience
Start your patient experience optimization with a digital presence and communication audit. This includes your website, online advertisements, email marketing, and patient portal. Is your website responsive and functional on mobile? If not, you may need a website redesign or optimization. Do you deploy automated confirmation emails when new patients schedule an office visit? You should set those up. Do you have a simple patient portal where people can access medical records on their own time? And is it easy to use? The more you can do to simplify your digital communication and website so it’s easy for patients, the better.
Physical Patient Experience
Does your office usually have a long line at check-in? Do you receive complaints about paperwork or a specific staff member? Is your office inviting and does it offer public Wi-Fi? These are all great questions to ask yourself to holistically improve your patient experience and practice’s affinity. Consider adding self-check-in with tablets so patients don’t have to wait or become frustrated if your administrative assistants can’t address them right away. Offer complimentary drinks and Wi-Fi to keep patients happy and busy while waiting. Look to other practices for inspiration. Even conduct a survey to see what customers would like to see improved and make changes!
2. Use Email and SMS for Your Medical Marketing
Most practices give patients an option for snail mail, email, or traditional phone calls. Personally, we love email drip campaigns and SMS marketing for doctors, dentists, and medical professionals. Why? These campaigns deploy based on standardized patient actions. For instance, appointment reminder emails go out a day or two before a scheduled patient visit. After a visit, a thank-you email may deploy to ask a patient to fill out a survey or remind them to book their next visit. Since more people read emails and texts on their phones within seconds or minutes of receiving them, using digital communications like email and SMS ensures your patients receive important messages to avoid confusion, conflict, or a negative experience.
3. Regularly Publish Educational and Useful Content
It may seem overwhelming to run your practice and invest time in medical marketing. However, marketing is essential to your practice’s growth! If you don’t have a blog or it’s inactive, start writing consistently in 2019. Begin with the most frequently asked questions and create blog posts about those topics. Then, you can use your blog as a resource for patients and save time going over the same issues on the phone or in person. Plus, you can utilize this content on your social media channels and email newsletters to cross-promote and create a sales funnel. When you write content, remember to add SEO-friendly keywords too so your website shows up in search results and more patients find your practice (more on that below).
4. Get on Social Media
It’s no longer an option to ignore your social media presence. Social media doesn’t only build trust with patients and increase your exposure; social media helps you grow your practice! Harness the power of Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other relevant social media platforms to communicate what your dentistry or medical practice is all about. Ultimately, patients want a doctor or medical specialist they can trust. Start building this relationship through social.
5. Ditch Stock Photography
Medical stock photography is disingenuous, obviously staged, and ineffective. While using stock imagery saves time, it doesn’t do you any favors. This year, take time to create engaging visuals with the help of a designer or a quarterly scheduled photo shoot. Snap photos of you at work, your staff, patients (if they sign a waiver), and your office. Then, use these photos on your website, social media, and email campaigns. We can’t stress the importance of high-quality imagery and video enough! People respond to transparency and authenticity—especially when it comes to health and wellness.
6. Publish Testimonials and Practice Reputation Management
Your reputation impacts your ability to acquire new patients and get referrals. That’s why it’s crucial to manage your practice’s reputation online in 2019. In addition to posting patient testimonials on social media and your website and asking current patients for reviews, respond to negative feedback. Instead of going on a wild goose chase to find reviews scattered on dozens of sites like Google Reviews, use reputation management software to aggregate and address these comments in one place. It only takes a couple bad reviews to put off potential patients, so don’t let unseen negative feedback hurt your growth.
7. Think Local
If you want to grow your practice, get involved in your local community. Consider sponsoring an event, partnering with a wellness center, or teaming up with a product or service that complements your medical practice. Also, ensure your Google My Business listing and online directories are up to date. About half of all people who search for a local business make contact or visit it within one day, and 78 percent of mobile searches lead to a purchase. Make sure your practice’s phone number and address are correct so your business shows up and gets this organic traffic!
8. Improve Your SEO
To ensure you show up in local searches, you need to focus on SEO, or search engine optimization. Conduct an SEO audit to determine where your medical marketing SEO needs improvement. This will set up the backend framework for your content to be found by people looking for your medical expertise and health and wellness services. We recommend doing a formal content audit at least every two years, but annually is best.
9. Implement a Referral Program
Certain health and wellness specialties should use a referral program to entice patients to do the acquisition legwork for you. Consider offering a percentage off chiropractic services, medical spa treatments, or other offerings that work for your business. Incentivizing a referral is a relatively inexpensive way to advertise your business to a qualified patient base.
10. Run Paid Social Ads
If you want to aggressively grow your medical practice, run paid social media advertisements on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. As long as you have a healthy presence on each channel (i.e., you publish content most days), as well as landing pages and lead capture forms, you should be able to expand your reach and acquire more patients.
11. Produce Video
In 2019, your medical marketing should include the use of video. That’s because more people prefer watching video to reading text or viewing imagery. Plus, Google and other search engines rank video the highest—so your practice will show up in front of more people in relevant searches. While video may seem intimidating, you can do a lot for a relatively low budget and high-quality mobile device. Here are some tips to create effective videos in 2019.
12. Run Offers and Promotions
Offers and promotions aren’t appropriate for every medical professional. However, dentists may offer discounts on cosmetic procedures like teeth whitening, licensed massage therapists and wellness centers may offer promotions on services and subscriptions. Whatever you decide to offer, build your giveaways and promotions into your annual marketing budget and promote these across your digital presence. Send out email announcements, create social media posts, and run paid social ads for your promotions. People love giveaways and this tactic is sure to bring more patients and clients through your door.
13. Hire an Agency
Medical marketing is critical—and you should set aside 7–10 percent of your annual budget for marketing. If you don’t have the time or budget for a full-time marketing team, hire a digital marketing agency like Witty Kitty to help. We come with all the (wo)man power you need to execute on modest or aggressive marketing goals—for up to 40 percent less than the cost of an employee! Give us a shout if you’re interested in hearing more, including a free content audit.