Marketing is a crucial piece of any business’s success, especially in healthcare and all the fields it encompasses. On average, a medical practice needs the doctor to see around 40 new patients per month. To get new patients, your practice needs to be able to offer necessary services at reasonable pricing and accept any insurance that you’re able to. Dedication and hard work can help retain patients, but marketing is sure to get them into your practice.
The importance of maintaining your existing patients cannot be overstated, but to thrive, you must add new patients regularly. Marketing and referral programs offer great benefits to practices like yours, but the following methods are tried and true when it comes to increasing your overall patient base.
1. Connect with your local community: Connecting with your locals allows you to lengthen your patient list or at the very least, educate people. One idea would be hosting events for kids to learn how to improve their physical, mental, or oral health (and their hygiene). It will let their parents know that you genuinely care. This requires more pro bono work on your part, but can really pay off in the long run.
2. A responsive website: What this means is that your site appears as it should across all screen sizes. Whether it’s a laptop, desktop, mobile phone, or 85″ flatscreen, your site should look perfect. Digital marketing aside, having a site that your patients can easily get to, obtain information, and schedule appointments is imperative. There are many plugins and widgets available from companies that will allow your patients to access their health records, make sure your site can handle them. A state-of-the-art website can be the best weapon in your arsenal.
3. Know your audience: Knowing the demographic of your existing patients can be a huge help in gaining more patients. Once you are aware of the median age, income, professions, and other details, you will then be able to market more to attract potential patients and promote your practice
4. Maintain a blog: Publishing new blog posts adds genuine content to your site which helps with SEO. This will show your patients that you’re glad to keep them informed. Providing tips for wellness, sharing updates, and announcing events (like screenings) are all ideas for blog posts.
5. Be active on social media: Posting and sharing on social media can have quite an impact when it comes to your patients, family, and friends liking and sharing your content. Activity on social sites can direct traffic to your homepage and be a driving force for new leads. You want to share info that is relevant to your desired demographic so people will feel more like sharing what you post.
6. Keep an eye on your online presence: If negative reviews are hampering your reputation, determine what common complaints are. Always respond to all reviews – positive, negative, even phony ones, it will show that you care. Keeping a high rating among the sites your practice is listed on can garner more calls for you.
7. Request references: A patient is not likely to ask you if they can refer someone to you. A good way to ask is by mentioning in front of existing patients that you have room for new ones or that you might be adding specific services. You also want to make sure you thank them for referrals regularly – recognition goes a long way when paired with loyalty.
8. Follow up with current patients: A practice spends anywhere from 75-90 percent of its energy attracting new patients. But keep in mind that it’s important to retain existing patients because it’s easy and cost-effective in growing your practice, and can increase your referrals from them.
9. Invest in SEO: Having local SEO included in your marketing will help your practice to show up for local search results. You want to come up in the first few results when prospective patients are searching on Google. No one goes to the second page on Google, so your practice’s site appearing in the top ten could be extremely beneficial for your SEO. This is great for existing and new patients.
10. Make sure you’re listed in local directories: Kind of a corollary to number nine, having your practice listed in local directories is important. Online listings like White Pages, Yelp, Google, and more can seriously boost your digital visibility and get more traffic to your practice’s site.
11. Maintain online reviews: One of the best methods for gaining new patients is by having great reviews on all platforms. When prospective patients see your excellent ratings it can really encourage them to visit your practice. Getting reviews isn’t terribly difficult, though people are bombarded with so many review requests that they can often skip some or do none altogether. Offering an incentive like a $5 Starbucks or grocery store card can often be enough to get someone to review you. This could be a small price to pay for something so valuable.
12: Embrace technology: Your practice needs to use any and all health applications that allow your users (especially younger ones) to keep tabs on appointments, health checks, and other updates. Many apps offered today are cost-effective for you but also offer ease and convenience from a user’s standpoint.
13. Display pictures of your staff online: By doing this you make your practice seem more personable and less stuffy than some of your colleagues. Real-life pictures of your team and your office can let patients connect to you in a personal way, and see what you might have in common.
14. Use email blasts and reminders: The top way to remind a patient of their checkup it to email (or text) them. Scheduling follow-ups, referrals, and asking for reviews can also be done by email. This is also another method of sending out helpful health tips, reminders about age-related procedures, and updates involving your practice.
15. Re-engage patients who haven’t been in for a while: Monitor patient appointments and send reminders to those who have missed appointments over some time. A couple of reminders might be all it takes to get patients back into your practice.
It’s always good to review whatever strategy you use for marketing your practice. Reviewing how valuable your current patients are can give you insight as to how to proceed. After a certain period of time, patients who were once highly profitable may not need as many (or any) visits. On the other hand, there will also be patients who increase their regularity and become more valuable. It’s best to watch patients’ potential for being more valuable. Working together with your patients gives you a chance to identify and develop your methods and how to best serve them while still maximizing profitability.
Having as many medical clients as we do, Barta Media Group knows how to customize marketing plans specifically for your practice. Whether it’s a dental office or a specialist for different types of conditions, we will plan for what suits you and your budget. Barta utilizes the latest marketing tactics that are designed to help attract more patients to you regularly. We are acutely aware of the proper methods, whether new or tried and true, to effectively market your practice for sustained growth.