If you’ve set your sights on growing your practice this year, you’ll know that growing the business isn’t as straightforward as you would like it to be. Not only are you working to position your clinic ahead of the competition in your neighborhood, but you’re competing against practitioners in areas outside your vicinity. It’s an uphill battle – but one you can win with the right tools in hand.
Creating a growth trajectory requires a blend of short-term and long-term market strategies. It’s important to prioritize long-term marketing strategies that will bring in new patients on autopilot going forward. This way, all you have to do is pick up the phone and grow your business.
Build a Great Healthcare Website
A great website offers both long- and short-term payoffs – and it’s a necessity in today’s digitalized environment. While building a DIY website using free drag-and-drop builders can be tempting, this step will be time-consuming and frustrating. For a job well done, you should hire an expert website designer.
Think of it this way, every minute you spend building your website is time you’re not seeing your patients or focus on other marketing efforts that are in your wheelhouse. It’s better to leave this aspect to a professional web designer in Alabama who will get it done right the first time. Don’t cut corners on a website that will likely act as the first touchpoint between you and your patient.
A healthcare website in 2021 should tick the following points:
- Optimized for search engines
- Mobile friendly and compatible with major browsers
- Provides details of your services
- Shares contact information
- Includes an engaging ‘about us’ section
- It should load in less than 3 seconds
The website is important because more people turn to search engines for answers (the overwhelming number of people do their research online). It’s also a reflection of your brand and gives you a chance to get ahead of your competition.
Use Email Marketing
Email marketing remains one of the most effective healthcare marketing tactics for several reasons. It’s a great way to build rapport and break the ice, and you can keep getting repeat business from past clients.
Clients who will visit you are more likely to forget about your practice when they have a need for it. But if your emails regularly reach their inbox, they are more likely to book with you once your services are needed. This is also true for new clients or high quality leads, your emails should help build rapport even if they’ve never visited your clinic.
For the most part, the leads on your email list will be past clients. They are more likely to book another appointment if they had a great experience. This step is less expensive than getting new clients. In any case, any great medical marketing strategy will have an email component.
Building your email list should be simple. All you have to do is collect you clients’ email addresses by promising them free guides, ebooks, and downloadables. Or better yet, you can have them sign up to your online newsletter automatically if you are collecting payments online (unless they choose to opt out of it).
Once you’ve grown your email list, you can start sending blogs and informational content to your clients. It’s a great way of keeping patients engaged so that even if they do not need your services for another year or two, your medical practice will be at the forefront when they do need you.
Pro tip: Create a reminder on your calendar, maybe once or twice a month to send out an email to clients. You can use free templates with autoresponder tools like Mailchimp to create a professionally designed email.
Paid for Advertising is Highly Efficient
Search engines like Google and social media platforms like Facebook have made it extremely simple to set up your advertisement campaigns. The best part is that you don’t need a multimillion-dollar budget to compete with the best in the business.
Instagram advertisements are a good place to start because the cost of advertisement is low. You can also reach your ideal customers with segmentation such as age, gender, location, interests, and focus your adverts to find the ideal patients.
Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is very effective because you can reach patients who are actively searching for your services. It also allows you to work according to your budget. This means you don’t have to spend more money on marketing than you can afford. The best part is that PPC advertising is very quick (unlike organic marketing, which can take time).
PPC marketing also puts you in a better position to track your successes – and failures – in real-time. You’ll know which campaigns are working and which aren’t, and track where leads are coming from. This information lets you optimize your ads and reach your target audience more effectively.
Establish Yourself as a Thought Leader
Thought leadership will instantly set you apart from the crowd because clients think of you and your practice as a medical authority. It means you are ahead of the curve and one of the best in terms of medical care. You can participate in summits and conferences, host discussions, join a virtual panel, and a lot more.
While these are not necessarily marketing campaigns, these events provide your brand with the necessary exposure needed to get the ball rolling.
Create a Blog
A low-budget approach to building yourself up as a thought leader is to start your blog. It’s 2021 and people still love long-form content. Google still seems to reward high-quality blogs with a better rank. The trick is to focus on topics that you’re good at and pairing them with long-tail keywords.
A high-quality blog is the easiest way to establish trust with clients. And if the content is good enough, you can attract referrals from other blogs.
A well-performing blog can generate the lion’s share of organic traffic to your website if done right. You can use free tools like Ubersuggest and SEMrush to punch in keywords for topics you want to write on. It will give you information about things such as keyword volume, backlinks, and the top pages that are ranking for the keyword.
You can learn from your competitors and create a more detailed and informative post than the one they wrote.
In short, creating content on your site is a great way to become an expert in your field. You can write posts that offer advice on working out at home. Posts that update clients about your services, and so on. Just make sure that the content is entertaining and informative at the same time.
Ask for Patient Feedback
Online reviews will play a huge role in whether patients choose your practice over another. Studies show that people will dozens of online reviews before they feel they can trust a business. If your clinic doesn’t have enough reviews, you start building them right away.
There are a few easy ways of growing your reviews.
- Ask for feedback – just like those restaurants and hotels.
- Offer an option for leaving digital feedbacks. This method works best if you’re using an online interface to collect payment.
- Invite patients to leave reviews on platforms like Trustpilot and Yel.
It’s just as important to respond to all reviews, whether they’re positive or negative. When it comes to online reviews, there is no such thing as bad publicity. Even a negative review can be beneficial because it lends legitimacy to the positive reviews – because you can’t please them all. Isn’t it suspect for a business to have a long stream of five-star reviews?
Moreover, a response to a bad review can provide more context to your side of the story. Always respond with a professional demeanor, apologize if needed, and invite the reviewer to take the conversation offline. Give the reviewer a day or two to cool down and respond to them in an empathetic way.,
Get Your Practice Listed on Major Platforms
Most people looking for a healthcare practitioner will go online and search for ‘service near me’ or ‘service in [neighborhood name].’
This means that you should make it easy for clients to find your business online. You can do this by listing your practice in popular online directories . Another fool-proof strategy is to have a Google My Business page and a Facebook page. Make sure the information you leave on the listings is consistent with the contact info you left on your website.
If you do this right, you’ll notice that Google will create a knowledge panel – just for your business. This way, whenever someone looks up your practice online, they will be greeted with your GMB page along with your information related to your social media pages, major online directories, and of course, your website.
Looking to develop a marketing strategy for your healthcare practice? The experts at Purple Tie Guys can help. We are the top-rated healthcare marketing agency in Alabama with over 25 years of experience and counting. Let us help you find new patients and build a long-term marketing strategy. Schedule a call today.