Updated: Aug 16
I've been working with medical practices for over 25 years now. I've tackled hundreds of website redesigns, marketing plans, and prior to COVID, I would even get in my car and visit referring practices on behalf of my clients to nurture valuable relationships in person.
There are a lot of ways to market a specialty medical practice.
Along the way, I've seen a lot of similarities emerge with growth-minded clients who were struggling with increasing their patient file. You’ve probably experienced some growing pains yourself, and turned the magnifying glass on your own practice to see what you could be doing better.
Let's focus our attention on some likely culprits that may be resulting in missed opportunities for your practice:
1. Lack of online presence.
In today's digital age, many people search for healthcare providers online. If you don’t have a strong online presence, it can be difficult for potential patients to find you. If this has been weighing on your mind, I guarantee there are steps you can take to increase online visibility with digital marketing and attract more patients, both today and in the future.
2. Negative reviews.
Eeek! No one wants bad reviews! I’ve had many a conversation with clients who wish they had the power to “take down the internet!” It’s no secret that online reviews are an important factor for patients in the research phase for a healthcare provider. Negative reviews can harm your reputation and deter potential patients from choosing you.
The anxiety caused by negative reviews is a common topic with our clients. When this comes up, I use it as an opportunity to discuss ways to improve patient satisfaction, address negative feedback and increase the overall number of online reviews to outweigh the good with that one “bad” needle in the haystack.
3. Stand Out from the Crowd.
The healthcare industry can be highly competitive, and you may by vying for the same pool of patients as the practice down the street. Finding new ways to have a stronger online footprint, stand out from the competition and attract new patients is crucial for practice growth.
4. Options. Options. Options.
Many patients rely on insurance to cover the cost of healthcare services, and if you do not accept certain types, or any insurance at all, you may struggle to attract patients who cannot afford to pay out-of-pocket. Providing, and thoughtfully promoting, several options for your patients such as creative payment plans or discounted annual programs is an opportunity to provide essential treatment and clear expectations without the fear of surprise invoices.
5. Fear and anxiety.
Many people experience fear and anxiety when it comes to visiting the doctor or dentist. This can cause potential patients to avoid seeking care altogether, even if they know they need it. You may be thinking about how to make your practice more welcoming and comforting to alleviate patient fears.
One way to calm patient anxiety is to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise to gain trust. There are several ways to do this, including providing educational resources on your website, via email and social media channels.
➡️ Marketing your medical practice as the "best choice" for patients involves creating a strong online presence and a clear strategy to promote your services.
I've pulled together some important tips to help you attract, convert and retain more patients for your practice:
✅ Build a high-converting website: Create a website that clearly outlines the services you provide, your qualifications, social proof/patient testimonials and educational resources to guide patients towards choosing you and only you for their unique needs. Make sure it highlights your practices' personality, is user-friendly and easy to navigate, but most importantly, it has CTA's (calls to action) that encourage visitors to take action and connect with your practice.
✅ Implement Search Engine Optimization: Simply having a web presence is not enough these days. You must also actively market it to the fullest to reap optimal benefits. After all, what good is having a stunning website if no one can find it? SEO is an essential component of any marketing strategy. It serves as the foundation for organic growth by ensuring all website pages can easily be found, crawled, and indexed. Want to understand the basics? Get my FREE SEO Guide and Workbook here.
✅ Utilize social media + email marketing: Create social media profiles for your medical practice and send out quarterly practice updates, health tips, and news related to your field. Social media platforms help you reach a wider audience and provide another opportunity to show up with authenticity as the trusted expert. Email marketing is a great way to stay "top of mind," encourage patient referrals, nurture engagement and connect with your patients!
✅ Encourage patient reviews: Encourage your satisfied patients to leave positive reviews on websites like Google, Yelp, and Healthgrades. Online reviews build your online reputation, build your local SEO and attract new patients.
✅ Offer incentives: Consider offering incentives to patients who refer their friends and family to your practice or help to increase your 5-star review rating. This can be in the form of discounts on services, free consultations, promotional items or other rewards.
✅ Get back out there: Build relationships with other healthcare providers in your area. Referrals from other providers are a valuable source of new patients. Now that in-person events are back in action, make sure to continue nurturing those relationships!
Remember, marketing your medical practice requires ongoing effort and attention. By focusing on these simple tips above, I can say from over two decades of healthcare marketing experience that these "sound moves" will help you attract more patients and grow your practice.
Sound Moves Marketing has worked with practices like yours for over 20 years.
✅ Schedule a free 30-min call to discuss your needs and goals - I'd love to meet you!
-Wendy Durham, Founder and Director of Client Programs at Sound Moves Marketing