Marketing isn’t just for big corporations with their own department dedicated to planning strategies and campaigns – it also applies to smaller medical practices as well. Read on for ten of our favorite tips for making your marketing efforts a success:
1. Have a plan in place
There’s an old truism often quoted in business school: “Businesses don’t plan to fail; they fail to plan.” As surprising as it may seem, most medical practices simply start out with no firm plan in mind. The first part of that plan must include determining who your “ideal patient” is that you want to direct your marketing efforts toward. (Bonus tip: by working with a five-year plan first, your first year activities will more easily fit in with the future developments of the practice.)
2. Next, set goals
By setting attainable goals, such as one-year, five-year and ten- year goals, you’ll have a “map” of where you want to be and how you plan to achieve those goals. Goals will be affected by the age and type of practice as well as its location. For example, an ophthalmology practice might want to set goals of a steady first-year caseload of at least 10 cataract surgeries and LASIK surgeries, with 30 consistent monthly combined procedures within five years.
3. Create a professionally-designed website
Hire an experienced web page designer as a clean, well-organized web page should tell prospective patients about the providers and their backgrounds, a bit about the specialty involved, affiliated hospitals, as well as offer scheduling and other help. A separate page for a weekly personalized blog is a great idea as well.
4. Don’t overlook social media
Everyone is using some form of social media, such as Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn these days. If a provider isn’t comfortable with or has time to post regular Facebook or Twitter posts and ‘tweets’, then have a staff member adept at social media handle this task. Ideally you should post about 8-10 times weekly of fresh, relevant content.
5. Keep your practice’s name in front of the public
Studies show that it can take as many as five encounters for name recognition to occur. Become active in your local professional associations as well as the chamber of commerce and other civic and advocacy groups.
6. In an often-impersonal world, make each patient feel special
Send birthday and holiday cards (emails are okay too, but a card is usually more meaningful) as well as regular reminders of check-ups and other kinds of individualized attention. It’s a nice idea to send acknowledgement notes to new patients as well as their referring providers.
Download: Medical Practice Marketing – Online Optimization and Local Focus
7. Be the go-to expert in your specialty
Becoming available to news outlets, as well as print and online media, you’ll help establish trust and credibility when people are looking for your expertise. Your website’s blog is an ideal “bully pulpit” for discussing current health trends.
8. Offer an annual Open House
Invite the public, complete with refreshments, door prizes and health information –a sort of mini health fair.
Related Article: 10 Ways To Improve Medical Practice Profitability and Efficiency
9. Donate your time and expertise
This can take the form of a free check-up or similar service for local charity auctions. (Talk about a sought-after door prize!)
10. Finally, remember that word of mouth is the best advertising
Offer stellar customer service for patients and the word will get out, bringing in new business.
Another goal: partner with a medical services expert
Your medical billing services company can not only offer fast and accurate claims processing but also other services designed to increased revenue since they know your patient demographics and most efficient codes utilization. As an industry leader since 2002, M-Scribe Technologies, LLC offers a free confidential assessment of your practice’s needs and goals.