Attracting and retaining patients is and always will be one of the top struggles for medical practices, which is why marketing is a must for doctors. However, knowing where to devote your time and effort can be daunting, so it’s important to focus on the most effective marketing strategies for medical practices.
Luckily for you, we’ve got a list of the five best marketing strategies that will help drive new patients to your practice.
Strategy #1: Generate reviews to build word of mouth and confidence in your medical practice
Some medical practices live or die by referrals and patient reviews, so they are a vital part of marketing for medical practices.
In fact, according to a 2020 Software Advice survey of patients*, almost three quarters (71%) of surveyed patients use online reviews as the very first step to finding a new doctor, so your online reputation is often the first impression you make on potential patients.
For more information about the importance of patient reviews and how patients use reviews when finding a doctor, read the full report: How Patients Use Online Reviews.
- Designate or hire a staff member to monitor and manage the online reviews presence of the medical practice at large as well as for individual physicians.
- Evaluate software programs that integrate with practice management systems to automate the process of recruiting reviews.
- Keep the patient experience in mind from intake to diagnosis, making all communications courteous and clear along the way.
- Consider investing in a healthcare CRM system with functionality designed to support medical professionals in marketing their practices.
Strategy #2: Build an optimized website to capture as many new patients as possible
If you don’t have a website, you’re already less marketable to patients. According to a 2019 Software Advice patient experience survey**, 82% of patients prefer a medical practice with a website, yet only 56% of patients’ primary care providers did have their own dedicated medical practice websites, but more than a quarter of patients’ providers did not.
Luckily, it’s never been easier to have a nice-looking, optimized website. Whether that’s hiring a contractor or service to build you one from scratch or using a website builder like Wix or Squarespace, you can make a reasonably good, optimized website where you can house important information patients are looking for when choosing their provider.
When thinking about your website, it’s important to consider a couple factors:
Ensure it’s mobile-friendly
It’s safe to assume most people who will find your website will be doing so on a mobile device, so it’s absolutely essential that your website is mobile friendly. The difference between a normal website and a mobile-friendly website is that a mobile-friendly website will have a more flexible structure.
Mobile-optimized websites are standard fare for nearly all website developers and builders these days, but double check your option to ensure that mobile optimization is available when making your website.
Include the services you provide
Make sure you have a visible, easily accessible link to all of the services and treatments you provide someone on the homepage, as well as in any dropdown menus you include on the homepage. You might also want to include a link to your patient portal as well.
You can use lead forms that link to your appointment scheduling system in order to capture new patients by making it simple for them to go from looking at your services to booking. In fact, these lead forms should be a key part of your healthcare marketing strategy.
Tip: Keep your lead forms accessible and easy to fill out. Patients will be off put if the form is unnecessarily long to simply schedule an appointment. If you need more patient information, wait until after they’ve scheduled to get what you need from.
Strategy #3: Begin content marketing by starting a blog to position yourself as a knowledgeable, trustworthy practitioner
Writing consistent content for a blog can be time consuming, but it is a vital part of any content marketing strategy for medical practice marketing. You can increase traffic to your website, help grow your brand awareness and reputation, and position yourself as a knowledgeable, trustworthy provider for current and future patients.
Make sure to keep each piece of content focused on one particular topic. Your content should be concise and informative so that your reader is able to get the most out of it. Search your topic and find what other people are writing about and try to find gaps in their content that your knowledge and expertise can fill to make your content stand out more.
Don’t forget that when it comes to medical marketing and content, written blogs are not the only viable format. Infographics, videos, and patient testimonials will also help your content marketing strategy by attracting and engaging your patients.
Strategy #4: Keep your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy localized to your area to get the most relevant patients
SEO improves the likelihood you’re found via online searches and can help drive traffic to your website for free as long as your website is optimized correctly. As a medical practice, it’s important to attract as many local patients as possible so that when someone types “[type of] doctors in [city]” into the search engine, your medical practice is one of the first that comes up.
You want to be one of the top three listed here before the “View all,” and you’ll only get that by having a targeted SEO strategy.
Step one is making sure you have an official business page on all online directories that mention your business name, location, and contact information. This includes Google, your website Yelp, Healthgrades, Vitals, and any social media platforms you’re making content for.
The more directories, review sites, and social media pages that contain your business information, the better, because it gives search engines confidence that you are a real business that is reliable, thus being something the person searching for is looking for.
Strategy #5: Use social media to share content from your blog and connect with patients
According to the Pew Research Center, roughly 70% of Americans say they use at least one social media site. Having a social media presence helps you attract new patients—particularly if you’re highlighting patient testimonials or have a patient referral plan set up. Social media is a vital part of your digital marketing strategy.
Your healthcare organization social media page is more than just a place to share photos and opinions. Instead, think of each of your social media pages as another business directory where you can provide patients with a way to quickly contact you. Include your phone number, email address, and location prominently.
Social media advertising is also a great way to help you reach patients in your area who might not otherwise know your medical practice exists.
- Be consistent and organized
- Optimize your content properly
- Be interactive with the patients responding to your posts
- Post regularly to encourage engagement
- Use real photos and content from your medical practice and not generic screenshots
- Drive patients to your website by sharing content from your blog
There’s always more to learn when it comes to improving your medical practice
Implementing these five healthcare marketing strategies will help boost your ability to reach new patients. Marketing for medical practices might seem daunting, but with just a little concerted effort on your part, you’ll be ranking higher in searches, getting more patient reviews, and building a solid brand that new patients can trust.
And don’t forget, once you’re ready to compare medical software options, our team of advisors is always ready to help you find products that meet your unique needs.
*Master Patient Experience Survey, 2020
Software Advice conducted this survey in 2020 of over 1,000 patients in the United States to learn more about patients’ experiences with healthcare practices. We used screening questions to narrow the number of respondents down to 990 with relevant histories and experiences. We worded the questions to ensure that each respondent fully understood their meaning and the topic at hand. For more information, see our methodologies page.
**Master Patient Experience Survey, 2019
Software Advice conducted this survey in 2019 of over 500 patients in the United States to learn more about patients’ experiences with healthcare practices. We used screening questions to narrow the number of respondents down to include only those with relevant histories and experiences. We worded the questions to ensure that each respondent fully understood their meaning and the topic at hand. For more information, see our methodologies page.
Note: The information contained in this article has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable. The applications selected are examples to show a feature in context and are not intended as endorsements or recommendations.