Originally Published August 18, 2017
Five marketing strategies to improve your reach and get more patients in the door
Want more patients? You already know you need a website, a social media presence, and an email list. After that, the trick is knowing how to leverage those tools effectively without breaking the bank. Here are five surefire strategies that doctors are using to get better results from their marketing efforts – and get more patients coming through their doors.
1. Update your website
Of course your medical practice has a website, right? If not, what are you waiting for? Surveys show that virtually everyone, even older patients, uses the Internet to look for health care information and to find and research providers. But just having a website isn’t enough. An outdated or non-mobile-friendly site is a common – and costly – mistake doctors make, given that 77 percent of Americans now have smartphones, and 52 percent of them have used their phone to look up health or medical information, according to Pew Research.
For more tips on improving your online presence, see Do’s and Don’ts for Your Medical Practice Website
2. Use video strategically
Video is rapidly becoming the preferred way for brands and businesses, including medical practices, to increase online visibility, convey expertise, and engage and educate potential customers and patients. Sharing educational videos, a virtual tour of your facility, and short interviews with your clinical staff can be effective ways to showcase your offerings and familiarize prospective patients with your practice. Using video has also been shown to improve a website’s SEO by keeping visitors on your site longer. Rendia videos give you more bang for your buck since they can be embedded on your website, shared on your social media pages, and included in your marketing emails.
For more on this topic, see Seven Ways to Use Video Content to Engage Your Patients
3. Consider ads on social media
“Valuable content is still king, but for health care practices looking to get new patients immediately, look no further than Facebook and Instagram advertising,” recommended digital marketing professional Seth Ollerton in an article on InboundMD.com, a marketing company serving doctors, dentists, and health care practices.
He gave the example of an orthodontics practice that ran a “$500 Off Braces” offer on social media. The follow-up calls to people who submitted their contact information converted to appointments 70 percent of the time, according to Ollerton, bringing in 12 new patients from the two-week campaign. As with any marketing, the key is to keep it patient-focused and add value. For more about Facebook advertising, see this how-to guide from FitSmallBusiness.com.
And for a related post, see How Doctors Are Using the Latest Social Media Channels
4. Email effectively
A recent survey showed that email has a median return on investment of 122 percent – more than four times higher than other marketing formats, including social media, direct mail, and paid search, reported PhysiciansPractice.com.
Using specific, catchy subject lines with call-to-action phrases like “Last chance” and “Still time” can increase your email open rate, while phrases like “We miss you” can show patients you care. Personalized emails receive 27 percent higher click rates and 11 percent higher open rates than non-personalized emails, according to the article.
In addition to promoting a special offer or new treatment, use email to remind your patient base of the importance of routine screening, or provide health and wellness tips. Rendia videos can easily be incorporated into any email tool, such as Solutionreach, Demandforce, or Constant Contact, to ensure patients view your messages as educational and helpful, not just promotional.
For more on this topic, see Patient Communication That Makes a Difference
5. Focus on word-of-mouth marketing
You may have heard the happy-life advice to focus on what you already have rather than what you don’t have. The same advice applies to marketing your practice. Are you so focused on attracting new patients that you’re overlooking a key marketing tool right in front of you? Satisfied patients and staff are more likely to recommend you to their friends and family. And word-of-mouth trumps any online ratings or search results. It pays to pay attention to patient satisfaction and employees who feel respected and rewarded for a job well done.
For more tips like these, see What Marketing-Savvy Doctors Know That You Don’t
Above all, remember that your primary goal is to serve your patients. “It’s easy to get caught up in your website design, SEO, and social media,” but the number-one thing you should always strive for is to create content that improves your patients’ health, Mark Burhenne, D.D.S., told InboundMD.com.