Proven Medical Marketing Tips to Grow a Practice
Putting together a medical marketing strategy for a physician or dental practice can be a daunting and often times downright confusing endeavor. With what seems like endless marketing and advertising channel options and often times contradictory information online about what is the best fit navigating these waters can seem treacherous.
The last thing you want to do is end up making a bad decision and spending time, money and valuable resources to find out the initiative was a waste of time and ineffective at growing the practice.
That is why I have put together a list of 12 medical marketing strategies every practice just simply should not do without.
I hope you enjoy and feel free to comment any additional suggestions. Feedback is always welcome.
1. Fully Responsive & Well Built Website Design
Today more than ever potential patients are searching on the web for local physicians and healthcare services. Improving your patient’s experience on your website will greatly increase patient leads and retention. Your website design should have customized features, fast page speed, be mobile friendly, and interactive.
Most searches are done via mobile or tablet devices so having a fully responsive medical website design is crucial. Make sure your website design includes flexible images and website structures. The practice website should be built for all platforms so you capture the maximum number of website visitors and not just limited to desktop searches.
Page speed can be the #1 reason for a high bounce rate for your medical or dental website. Slow website page speed will cause irritation to your online users and deter them from staying on your website. Websites that are difficult to navigate with slow page speed will give potential patients a negative experience. A negative experience makes users more likely to leave your dental website to go to a competitor’s. It is critical to evaluate and put a plan together to improve website page speed to lower bounce rates and increase lead conversion.
Clearly layout practice treatments and services on the practice homepage. When patients are visiting your practice website they should find all your services and treatments easily. If your medical practice offers a wide variety of services down select to the main treatments and services that you want to feature. When deciding on what treatments to promote, think of your ideal audience, key differentiators and high revenue procedures.
Use lead forms to make it easy for patients to request appointments and to create a call to action for high revenue services. Lead forms improve website conversion rates and drive new leads for the medical or dental practice. When designing lead forms on the website make sure they are simple and accessible. Patients don’t want to fill out lengthy and unnecessary forms just to schedule an appointment.
Your medical website needs to be built with the proper medical SEO and keywords. In order to stay competitive and show up in search results, your website design needs to have all the essential keywords and proper SEO structure. A top performing website will have a solid SEO and keywords at the foundation of the website design.
Search engine optimization will be built page by page for all aspects of the website through image optimization, correct meta descriptions, H tags, page structures and more. A medical SEO expert will spend their time building out each page of your practice website and do competitive keyword research to make sure your site is on top in local search results.
2. Social Media Marketing – Find the Best Platforms to Reach Your Patients
Social media marketing is an essential part of a medical marketing strategy and will help you share content and reach your ideal patient base. Social media for doctors is a huge contributor to driving traffic to your medical or dental practice website and search engine rankings.
Social media will help the practice’s medical marketing strategy reach a large audience and can be used as a critical lead generation tool. Digital marketing can also be used to increase your organic reach to help you get in front of a larger audience more consistently. Utilize the available analytics tools that social media platforms provide to track your efforts and modify the social media marketing campaigns for your dental practice.
Not all social media platforms are alike and not all social media is a good fit for your medical practice. Each social media marketing platform is different and created for a specific audience. Take the time to evaluate the social media profiles that are the best fit for the medical marketing of the practice based on the target audience and the makeup of the audience that each platform targets. You do not want to waste precious time and energy on profiles that don’t reach your audience. Instagram tends to be a great fit for marketing a plastic surgery practice, aesthetics or dermatology practice; however, Instagram may not be a great fit for a urology practice.
Social media marketing for physicians must be:
- Consistent and organized
- Optimized properly
- Regular Posting
- Contain unique images and content for your practice
- Create consistent brand continuity
- Share content that drives patients to your website
3. Business Listings for SEO – Claim, Unify, Optimize & Monitor
Business listings have a significant impact on local SEO for your medical marketing strategy. Your business listings are the business contact information that displays when patients search for you online. It’s important to claim, verify, and optimize your business listings across all platforms. Uniform business listings across all platforms inform Google that the information displayed about your medical practice is accurate. The more directories and reviews sites that contain the exact same business information gives Google additional confidence to return your information over a competitor’s practice.
Popular business listings platforms are Google, Yelp, and Facebook but there are multiple smaller listing sites that are important to your reputation. Google indexes all the listing sites to better collect the information for your medical or dental practice and uniform listings will ensure higher local search engine optimization. After your business listings are claimed and updated its important to continually monitor them or duplicated or errors that can arise.
4. Develop a Content Marketing Strategy
Medical SEO or Dental SEO relies on a solid content marketing strategy for your medical website. Content marketing increases your overall website traffic, grows organic search, improves brand awareness and more.
A great example of a content marketing strategy for a medical practice would be a long-form blog post about a particular service or procedure you perform that lots of patients in the area are searching for. A common mistake that doctors make is not creating a blog area for their website. A blog is vital to a successful medical marketing strategy and can drive significant traffic to your website and grow your practice.
A medical marketing agency can develop a well-rounded, strategic, thought out content marketing strategy for a dental or medical practice by brainstorming with your practice to create an editorial calendar, SEO keyword research, competitor research, which content it right for your patients, proper distribution channels for the content and more. A healthcare marketing agency will also supply blogs written by industry professionals to manage the consistent flow and the doctor approves all blogs.
5. Email marketing – Streamline New Patient Communication
Stay in front of your patients and website visitors with email marketing! Email as part of your medical marketing strategy is a great way to retarget patients or reach new patients that have expressed interest in a particular procedure or treatment.
Utilize email marketing to create touch points with your practice website visitors and share new promotions, specials, blog posts and the latest practice news. Grow your practice patient email list by encouraging website visitors to sign up for a newsletter.
A newsletter will help you share monthly content about your medical practice and keep your practice front of mind for patients.
6. Reviews Generation
Patient reviews are one of the top 3 most important local SEO factors when it comes to local search rankings. Studies have shown that 68% of potential patients form an opinion about your medical practice and it’s physicians with as little as 5 reviews.
What does this mean? Patient reviews are an essential way to convert potential patients and a huge reflection of your medical practice reputation.
When it comes to medical marketing strategies generating positive patient reviews needs to be at the top of the list! The best healthcare marketing agencies will work with your team to generate positive, HIPAA compliant patient reviews and streamline the process.
7. Video Content Creation for Practice
Video testimonials or insights with the doctor can go along way. Video marketing helps physicians and medical practices reach potential patients and easily market themselves. Video now receives substantially higher engagements rates than any other type of content including images and blog posts.
Video marketing is quickly becoming one of the top search ranking signals for medical marketing. Building a video marketing strategy will help you, as the doctor or dentist promote your practices, talk specifically about medical conditions and your treatment approach and create a know, like and trust relationship with potential patients before they ever walk through the door.
Did you know? YouTube is now the second largest search engine behind Google. Meaning people are turning to video platforms to learn more about practices.
8. Before & Afters for Cosmetic & Aesthetics Procedures
Sharing high quality before and after pictures of actual patient results can be one of the single most important medical marketing strategies a practice that provides aesthetics services can do.
When it comes to cosmetic surgery and aesthetic marketing before and after photos are an absolute must in the healthcare marketing strategy. Develop a large before and after gallery showcasing multiple examples of successful patient’s before and after for various surgical procedures and age ranges.
If your medical specialty is not cosmetic based consider working with a patient that is willing to share their treatment journey as a case study for your practice. Many potential patients are constantly seeking the best treatments for medical conditions and improving their quality of life. Sharing successful patient stories and educating your online visitors of your experience and expertise will turn online visitors into real patients. This can be a highly successful part of your medical marketing strategy if done correctly.
9. Lead Generation – PPC or Facebook Advertising
The digital advertising space is highly competitive but essential for driving leads and generating new patients for high revenue procedures. Digital advertising has various platforms but the most popular being, Google Adwords and Facebook advertising. These platforms are the heavy hitters when it comes to digital advertising for medical practices. Both PPC and Facebook Ads Manager have their advantages for targeting potential patients.
PPC allows you to target specific keywords in search and present ads to those people in a specific geographical area if you outbid competitors.
Facebooks Ads Manager allows you to create highly specific audiences to present ads based on the data Facebook ad pulled from their personal profiles. Things such as age, geographic, employment, interests, places visited, income, etc. Therefore, you can target only those people that best fit your potential patient base of a specific procedure you are promoting.
Digital advertising has revolutionized the advertising industry with platforms like Facebook and Google Adwords. Both PPC and Facebook advertising allows you to customize your advertisement to reach your exact potential patient base and provide specific tracking and analytics to gain great insights into the success of the advertising program.
Not only can you customize your medical practice ads but also monitor the ROI. Analytics will help you adjust the ads to improve results based on data that has been received. Digital advertising can be interactive and allows potential patients to engage with advertisements making it easier to capture contact information and convert leads.
Not only can you use digital advertising to drive in new leads and conversions but you can also use it to boost your organic reach. Adwords and Facebook advertising are huge drivers in converting new patients, growing high revenue procedures, and increasing overall practice revenue.
|TRADITIONAL ADVERTISING||PPC & FACEBOOK ADVERTISING|
|Price based on total number of subscribers or estimated traffic||Pricing fluid and can be based on impressions, clicks, leads, etc.|
|Difficult to completely customize Ad target demographic||Ad is optimized to target your exact audience: Age, sex, income, location|
|Nearly impossible to A/B test and reoptimize ad||Easily run many variations of ad to test: budget, ad copy, graphic, etc.|
|Little to no tracking||Advanced ad tracking and conversion for clicks, calls, emails, etc.|
|Return on investment can be difficult to find||Ad provides analytics to easily measure ROI and gain knowledge of leads|
|Ad cannot be adjusted after print without high cost||Ads quickly revamped and customized|
|Costly||Fits small, medium and large Advertising budgets|
10. Physician Liaison Marketing Program
Physician referrals can be the lifeline of a medical practice so developing a physician outreach-marketing program is essential for sustaining strong doctor referral relationships. A successful healthcare marketing strategy will center efforts on expanding your healthcare network and increasing patient growth.
Physician liaison marketing is hiring a representative for your practice to meet with local referring doctors and medical practices to increase patient referrals for the practice. As the physician relations representative, they extend the bridge of communication between referring doctors and the medical practice. Physician liaison marketing results in a significant increase in patient referrals and overall practice growth.
Physician liaison marketing is especially a great fit for surgeons and specialty medical practices because their patient base is majority referrals from general practitioners. Other medical and dental practices can greatly benefit from having a physician relations manager to help grow their healthcare network and meet with local physicians.
- Skilled physician liaison representative to promote the practice
- Connects medical practice and doctors with referring physicians
- Helps introduce new physicians to healthcare community
- Provides a way to easily streamline referrals for primary care providers
- Accessible point of contact for referring doctors for questions, concerns, or any other needs
- Marketing director for practice
- Increases patient referrals
- Increases high revenue procedures
- Increases overall practice revenue
- Track visits and builds physician’s network
- Provides physician referral analytics
- Evaluates practice growth and creates a marketing strategy
- Easy to track success and ROI
11. Ongoing Marketing Management
Healthcare marketing is constantly changing and involves ongoing management. Google is constantly indexing for the most qualified information and doctors need to have constant touch points to build relationships
There isn’t a solution where you can “set it up and they will come.” Medical marketing involves a commitment from the physician or medical practice to invest in a long-term multifaceted plan. A healthcare marketing professional will help you monitor and constantly optimize your marketing efforts to ensure they are successful.
12. Tracking Medical Marketing Initiatives & Optimizing Successes
Understanding the medical marketing efforts that are most effective for your medical practice requires monitoring the tracking and analytics reports. Tracking and analytics will give you a fully comprehensive report on the progress of the marketing for your practice. With tracking and analytics, you can target and re-invest in the marketing efforts that have proven successful.
Establish benchmarks and goals for your healthcare marketing strategy so you can easily measure progress and your return on investment. A strong medical marketing campaign will be ongoing and constantly adjusting to what has been proven to be successful for the practice.
Take a hard look at each of these strategies and formulate a plan to either implement or update these tactics in your overall healthcare marketing initiatives.
If you do, I think you will be plenty surprised at the amount of new patient growth the practice will experience. The beauty is that many of these items play directly off each other and the effectiveness of one greatly contributes to that of another.
As we mentioned in many other articles, whenever you add a new digital marketing campaign to your arsenal test, test and retest one more time to make sure you are properly optimizing all aspects of the campaign.