Oh, Hello Branding Group
Marketing your private practice to reach new patients has completely changed in the past few years. Digital and social strategies have taken over, and patients are more involved than ever in their health journey.
During COVID-19, this is even more true. Things like telehealth, online educational content, and medical blogs have become very popular.
However, patient's preference for digital content has moved so quickly that some practices are struggling to keep up. Don't let this happen to your practice! It can be easy to think of the transition to the digital landscape as a challenge, but it's a really great opportunity to reach new patients through an effective strategy. Here are 7 strategies to market your private practice in 2021:
1. Evaluate Current Marketing Strategies
The best place to start is to evaluate your current and past marketing strategies. While it can be easy to re-use content for marketing purposes, old content isn't always relevant or even appropriate anymore. For example, during COVID-19, medical practices should try to be as educational and informative as possible, rather than self-promotional. You don't necessarily need to re-write all of your content and create a mountain of work for yourself, but even just adding a sentence or two to acknowledge and be sensitive to the pandemic can make a difference.
2. Try Telehealth or Video Medical Services
Telehealth can be very beneficial in both retaining existing patients and acquiring new ones. It can be especially beneficial in acquiring new patients who may be restricted by their location or COVID-19 guidelines. You can still provide excellent patient care over the phone or video, even when your physical office location is closed. Offering these types of services will also help you strengthen your relationships with existing patients, and let them know that you truly care about them and their health during this difficult time.
To advertise your telehealth services, you have a couple of options:
- Create a pop-up on your website or banner announcing that you now offer telehealth services
- Use your email list to send out an announcement email or include the announcement in your newsletter
- Promote your telehealth services on your social media pages
- Update your landing pages and contact page with a note that you now offer telehealth
3. Update Your Website
As we've mentioned in other blog posts, your website is the most valuable real estate you've got to market your medical practice. Check out our blog post to find details on why it's so important, and what you should be doing to optimize your website. Any time you are updating your website, you should always keep the patient in mind. As the practice owner and physician, the way you'd like your website to look and the way that is the easiest for the patient to navigate may not be the same. When updating your website, make sure that you are answering these questions:
- Are you taking new patients?
- How do new patients book appointments, on your website, over the phone, both?
- If you're offering telehealth, how is it offered? Do patients need to download Zoom, Webex, Google Meets, etc.? Will you automatically send them a link when they sign up or will they need to expect an email from your receptionist?
- If your office is open during COVID-19, are you following CDC guidelines? What safety precautions are in place? What can patients expect when they come to the practice?
Also be sure to update your office hours on both your website and Google Business page if they have changed due to COVID-19. The last thing you want is a patient to book an appointment with you based on your previous hours, only to find out your hours have changed. If you aren't sure where to start with updating your Google Business page, check out our blog post, 14 Ways to Optimize Google My Business, by clicking here.
4. Leverage Email Marketing and Grow Your Email List
If you don't already use your email list you definitely should! People are consuming more and more information digitally, including email. It's one of the easiest ways to communicate with your patients if you have any announcements, changes to office hours, or other news you want to share. You can also create a monthly newsletter and send out a content offer, any office specific news (such as an employee having a new child, getting engaged, work anniversary, etc.), free webinar, or any promotion at your practice. It will not only help build and maintain the relationships with your patients, but it will position you in their mind as an authority with valuable information to share.
5. Get Active on Social Media
If you don't already have social media pages, make sure you set those up and create a content calendar. Or, if you have social media pages but are not active on them, take the time to create engaging, educational content and really connect with your community. And you don't necessarily need to be on every single social media platform. However, it is worth it to take the time and do some research to see which platforms might be right for your practice. For some practices, Pinterest might not make any sense or offer any new leads, but for others, it might work great. It really depends on which type of physician you are and what type of practice you have.
Social media should be an asset to your private practice, not another task you have to do. You can monitor social media for your business in just 10 minutes a day, find out how by clicking here.
6. Implement A Local SEO Strategy
A good SEO strategy is one of the best ways to market your private practice, because the benefits only increase over time. An SEO strategy is making sure the structure and format of your website pages or blogs is following Google's best practices. This could include your title tag, H tags, body copy, website speed, on-page time, and other factors. If your practice doesn't currently have an SEO strategy, a good place to start is to do a full audit of your website to see where the areas of improvement are.
If you'd like to learn more about Google's best practices for SEO and how to rank higher, check out our blog post here.
7. Utilize Video Marketing
Video is one of the most engaging and highest performing marketing tools that exists today. Did you know that video drives a 157% increase in organic traffic from search results pages? Don't believe us? Check out our free infographic on The Importance of Video Marketing.
It's also the preferred medium for patients to consume content. Additionally, it can help you build a relationship with potential patients before you even interact with them. If you created 5-10 short videos about a condition you treat or other medical information relevant to your practice, viewers get to look to you as an authority, and feel like you are personally teaching and helping them.
Want more marketing ideas for your medical practice?