How do you market a clinic?

Aug 04, 2022

MeTime - How do you market a clinic?

How do you market a clinic?

You were trained to take care of your patients' health. Putting together a marketing strategy for your practice can seem like a daunting prospect. Yet, if you want to attract new patients to your medical practice and retain your current patients, you need to get involved in medical marketing.

But with an endless array of traditional and social media advertising channels available, it can be difficult to decide where to focus your marketing efforts. Navigating the waters of search engine optimization and content marketing can be treacherous if you don't know what you're doing. If you can afford a good marketing agency, there's nothing like it. They will manage your online presence and use effective digital marketing strategies to attract potential patients to your practice. But if you're doing your own marketing, you need all the help you can get to market your clinic.

The last thing you want is to make the wrong decisions and spend time, money, and valuable resources on things that don't grow your practice. That's why we've put together this article that covers the various healthcare marketing strategies you can employ to get more patients through the door. We hope they will help you fine-tune your marketing strategy to attract and retain patients.

Please continue reading for some effective marketing strategies for medical practices that will make it easy for patients to find you both online and offline and improve overall patient experience at your medical practice.

How do you promote a clinic?

Word of mouth publicity

This one is a no-brainer. But in a world where nearly every patient reads online reviews before choosing a healthcare provider, it is more important than ever to make sure your current patients are happy. This will ensure they have only good things to say about you, making it more likely for new patients to choose your practice. You can even offer a discount to existing patients for referring their friends and family to you.

Develop professional relationships

When you develop professional relationships, you not only get referrals from other providers in your community, you also build your reputation. Physician referrals can have a cascading effect where the referred patients may lead to further personal referrals, ensuring a steady stream of new patients for your practice.

Expand your services

A great way to garner new patients is to add new services to your medical practice. If you are an aesthetic medicine practice with predominantly female patients, for instance, consider adding services that would appeal to men, such as hair transplants and gynecomastia surgery.

Appreciate your current patients 

Don't forget to thank your existing patients for their business. Besides saying "thank you" when they're leaving after an appointment, you can go the extra mile and surprise long-time patients with a care package. Or hold a summer picnic for current patients and encourage them to bring friends and family.

Participate in TV and radio programs

A tried and tested medical marketing technique is to be a guest speaker on local TV and radio programs. This not only puts you on the radar of thousands of potential patients but also helps to build your reputation.

Advertise on radio

If you don't have the budget for TV advertising, consider advertising on the radio - this can be considerably less than expensive and equally effective.

How do you attract more patients to a clinic?

Undertake public speaking engagements

When you speak at public events, it demonstrates your skills, leadership qualities, poise, and professionalism to not only potential patients but also your colleagues (who will be more likely to send you referrals as a result).

Publish a newsletter

A free monthly or bimonthly newsletter for your patients that rounds up trending healthcare topics and provides accurate and useful information will ensure your current patients remain engaged with your medical practice. E-mail newsletters are easy to share, so there's a good chance your patients will provide you with some free advertising by forwarding it to their friends and family.

Send email updates

Don't spam your patient's inboxes, but every once in a while, an e-mail update about what's new at your medical practice is a great way to stay on the top of everyone's mind.

Use direct mail

Online marketing may be the new kid on the block, but direct mail hasn't gone completely out of style yet. It can be especially effective if your patient demographic is at the older end of the spectrum. Postcards and brochures are a great way to share practice news, advertise discounts, and attract new patients to try out your services.

Offer discounts

Limited-time special offers and discounts can often get fence sitters to take the plunge and try out a treatment at your medical practice. Publicize these offers on your social media channels, on your website, and in your newsletter.

Hold an open house

An effective marketing strategy for medical practices is to welcome potential patients to your offices, either in person or online, introduce them to your staff, and show them what you're all about.

Sponsor an event

Sponsoring an online or offline health-related event (a health quiz, a 5K run, a group yoga session in the park, or a free health check) can get your name out to your target audience.

Provide short preview consults

New patients are more likely to book a treatment with you if you offer a short free consult where they can get to know you and learn more about potential treatments without commitment.

How do you use medical marketing to increase clinic sales?

Send out press releases

This traditional form of publicity is still a powerful way to convey news about new treatments and services at your practice and can help you reach thousands of potential patients.

Leverage digital marketing

Advertising on Google Ads or Facebook Ads is a great way to target your ideal demographic. Getting listed in online healthcare directories such as Healthgrades and ZocDoc is the modern-day equivalent of a Yellow Pages listing - a tried-and-tested way to get business exposure.

Do SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) can increase your website traffic, help you capture competitors' website traffic, rank higher for targeted treatments and focused keywords, attract new patients without paid ads, increase leads for new patients, and generate online reviews.

Ask for testimonials

Current patients who are satisfied with your services are one of your best marketing tools. Don't be shy to ask for testimonials and publish them on your website, newsletter, and social media channels (ask for permission of course and stay HIPAA-compliant by leaving names off the web).

Everyone loves freebies

Pens, note pads, fridge magnets, and other free items with your medical practice logo are some of the most budget-friendly advertising tools for your company.

How do you use social media to market a medical practice?

Engage with patients on Facebook

A Facebook page for your medical practice is a great place to post news, offer discounts, advertise new services, and generally engage with current and potential patients.

Tweet the word out

Millions of people use Twitter to stay up-to-date on trending topics. For doctors and medical practices, this is a great place to connect with current patients, attract new patients, and build a reputation. Your followers on Twitter are very effective brand advocates because with a simple retweet they can flash your message to thousands of their own followers - that's medical advertising with no effort and no cost.

Post photos on Instagram

Instagram is a visual medium. It's a great place for you to post pictures, introduce yourself and your staff to potential patients via videos, and showcase some of your treatment results.

Connect on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a social media channel to form professional connections and get involved in discussions with other doctors. It's a great place to stay on top of what's going on in the world of medicine from a providers' point of view.

Try social media advertising

Social media is a cost-effective advertising channel. Instagram and Facebook Ads, for instance, allow you to choose your target demographic, which makes them very effective.

Publish a blog

A key medical marketing strategy that takes minimum effort and can yield great results is writing regular blog posts. Best of all, you have complete freedom to say what you want in a blog post. This can be anything from news about your practice, information about medical conditions, or treatments you offer.

Hold webinars

A webinar is an online seminar held exclusively for a target audience. It's an opportunity for you to showcase your knowledge and highlight information that can benefit your patients.

How do you make a clinic ad?

Define your goals

Before pumping precious healthcare advertising dollars into social media channels, it is important to decide on your goals. For example, the general goal for your medical practice could be to drive traffic to your website. However, if your specific goal is to increase appointment bookings, it is important that the ad links every visitor and potential new patient to your online scheduling page. So, for example, if you are a dermatologist, your ad could remind people to get an annual skin exam, and you should be sure to include a link to a webpage where they can book an appointment.

Build your target audience

There are two types of online ads. In paid search advertising, users are delivered ads based on the information they're searching for. Facebook Ads, on the other hand, interrupt a user's feed. Your aim should be to target the people who are likely to be interested in your services. To accomplish this, it helps to define your ideal patient. You can then build your target audiences on Facebook that are in line with your ideal patients and tailor your ad copy to this group of patients. Facebook Ads allow you to build audiences based on various parameters, such as age, gender, geographic location, and interests.

Create engaging ads

Social media users are constantly served with ads. The key to getting noticed is to create an ad that is relatable, relevant, and engaging. As a healthcare provider you already have an advantage. Research suggests that people are more likely to engage with ads that teach them something or tell them something they didn't know. Use sites like Facebook to create ads that educate. You can also offer discounts if you provide out-of-pocket services.

Familiarize yourself with online advertising policies

Before you put an ad out, be sure to familiarize yourself with the channel's advertising policies. Some content may be restricted or prohibited. So, for example, if you are a plastic surgeon and your ad contains photos of breast augmentation, you may get flagged for nudity. Also, ads with a single body part or excessive text may not be approved. Some ads, for example, weight loss treatments, may be allowed to target only people over age 18.

Keep your ads mobile friendly

An overwhelming majority of social media users access these channels on a smartphone or tablet. Your ads should be formatted for easy navigation and visual appeal on a mobile screen. There are other considerations as well. When a prospective new patient is scrolling on their phone, they are not likely to read a lot of text. People viewing search results or ads on mobile phones are often on the move, so your videos should be short and your ad copy should be crisp and to the point.  

Track your performance

This is true for all kinds of medical marketing. Some ads will do better than others. It's important to evaluate ad performance with key metrics depending on your original goal. For instance, if your goal was to drive traffic to your website, you should be looking at link clicks and click-through rate (number of clicks as a percentage of the number of people who saw the ad). If you find that these rates are low, you might want to optimize your ads or try different images and/or ad copy. After some time, you will gain an understanding of what works and what doesn't.

Apr 22, 2022

Will the spike in adoption of telehealth stick after the pandemic?

Indeed, there was a sharp drop in in-person visits and a spike in remote patient monitoring very early in the pandemic. Analysis by McKinsey and Company estimated that telehealth use was 78 times higher in April 2020 compared to February 2020. This has since settled at 38 times over the pre-COVID baseline. The question now is will healthcare delivery through telemedicine sustain these levels or return to the pre-COVID baseline?

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