How to Get New Patients for Your Practice
Does the following scenario sound familiar? Your medical practice appears to be slowing down over an extended period of time. Maybe more practices have opened in your area or your business for whatever reason is taking a hit. While these types of scenarios are common it’s wishful thinking to assume your business landscape will change with no extra effort on your end. If this is your practice, ask yourself, how can my medical practice get new patients? Marketing is key in order for any business to grow.
Nowadays, healthcare providers have many avenues to connect with a larger patient base. To stand out, try something new and explore your options for refining your business’s marketing strategy. Here are some of the best tips and tricks we recommend to practitioners looking to expand their horizons.
Create a Patient Referral Plan for Existing Patients
Creating a referral program can do wonders for attracting new patients. A referral program is a word-of-mouth tactic designed to incentivize customers to introduce the brand to others. You’re confident that existing patients have positive things to say about your practice, giving potential patients a good impression of your clinic.
What’s great about word-of-mouth marketing is that it strengthens people’s trust in your practice. Individuals are most likely to buy a product or try a service when their friends or family recommend it. Investing in a patient referral program can help you reap many rewards in the long run.
A patient referral program can also help your business improve client retention. When you incentivize new patient referrals, your current patients are more inclined to return to your clinic. While you may have to offer a discount or free services in exchange for their participation, your business will gain profit in the end.
How can you jumpstart your patient referral plan? There are various ways you can explore.
Here are some ideas you can try:
- Partner with trusted healthcare workers
- Have a contest or giveaway
- Go to a fundraiser
- Create a customer loyalty program
- Launch a seasonal campaign
- Hold exclusive events
- Provide referral bonuses
As you encourage your patients to invite new people to your practice, you should motivate them to provide patient reviews. Encouraging your happy patients to leave positive reviews can boost your online reputation. A simple way to help with this is by providing a direct link, allowing them to post a review immediately after their visit to your office. This tactic helps get more patients online.
Once you acquire more patients through your referral program, you should highlight any positive reviews from referrals on your website. You should post their success stories to encourage other people to follow in their footsteps.
Connect With Your Community
Connecting with your local community online will help foster and maintain existing relationships. Moreover, nurturing strong relationships with your community will allow you to educate more people, all while expanding your list of new patients.
So, how exactly can you strengthen your relationships online? Here are some ideas you can try:
- Host a seminar – You can try hosting a summer seminar that addresses common problems your patients face during the season. For example, dermatological clinics can emphasize the importance of wearing sun protection.
- Launch a newsletter – You can connect with your patients more by regularly sending newsletters containing updates on your practice and the services you offer. This is also an excellent opportunity to advertise your marketing campaigns.
- Become a sponsor – Sponsor a relevant or local community event. Doing so allows you to widen your reach in your local area and shows that your business stands for something.
- Volunteer at local events – You can provide free checkups at a local event, so more people can learn about your business. This will drive the value that your practice can bring to the community.
- Partner with local businesses – You can collaborate with other companies in the medical community to access their client base and let people know more about your area of practice.
When people see that you make an effort to be part of the community, you establish yourself as a credible healthcare provider they can trust. This is also a sure way to boost your influence, which can translate to more patients who trust your clinic in the long run.
Find a Social Media Strategy that Works for You
By now, you should have already set up your social media accounts. However, it’s not enough to simply have social media pages.
Investing in social media marketing can help your business reap plenty of benefits. These include increased awareness of your practice, developing meaningful relationships with existing patients, and reaching a wider audience.
It takes time and effort to build a healthcare provider’s social media presence. You won’t amass millions or even thousands of followers overnight. There are a plethora of different content strategies you can explore. However, you must be patient because you won’t always get it right. And that is completely fine.
An effective strategy you can incorporate into your social media content calendar is posting educational videos, funny memes, and patient reviews. You can also explore posting content about relevant holidays and seasons. You can even try partnering with influencers who may lead more people to follow your social media pages. Social media is an excellent platform to channel your creativity while showing your expertise to provide the best patient experience. It is a powerful tool to attract prospects, especially younger ones.
While you may find your posts relevant, they may not necessarily resonate with your target audience. Hence, you shouldn’t be afraid to experiment with different content and strategies. When it comes to social media, it’s vital that you measure the results of your posts. These metrics allow you to analyze how your posts resonate and whether they increase patient engagement. This helps you determine which method works for your medical practice.
Start an Advertising Campaign
Advertising can be instrumental in driving new patients to your practice. Your healthcare practice can explore various types of advertising, such as television ads, mobile advertising, traditional print advertising, online advertising, and direct mail.
Ads are vital for any business because they create awareness for your brand. There are millions of companies out there, and people will only learn about your practice if you put yourself on the market. Advertising educates people on the value you can bring to new patients and how your services can help solve their problems.
If you don’t put your business at the forefront of people’s attention, your competitors might swoop in and take the spotlight. The last thing you want is patients forgetting about your service or prospects never hearing about your business.
With advertising, you can amplify your marketing strategies to reach a wider audience. For example, you can complement your SEO tactics by investing in pay-per-click ads. You can also boost your social media posts to attract new patients.
Effective advertising drives repeat business. How? You keep your current patients’ attention on you because your business is visible. The more top of mind your clinic is, the more frequently you can expect your patients to return if they need your assistance.
To stay ahead of the competition, advertising should be part of your game plan. Continuous exposure is vital for more people to think of your business. It can give you a leg up over other businesses, which are also vying for more patients.
Traditional Advertising to Get More Patients
While digital marketing can do wonders for your business as a healthcare provider, you should still explore traditional advertising to reach more patients. Traditional advertising refers to advertising platforms that aren’t online. These may include newspaper ads and brochures, billboards, TV and radio commercials, and magazine ads.
Traditional advertising helps build trust. More people will perceive your clinic as an authority in the healthcare industry if you have an advertisement in the newspaper or television.
This type of advertising method can also attract new patients who aren’t very tech-savvy. It is accessible and suitable for all kinds of audience. For example, if you want to reach senior patients, you may have better luck getting their attention through print ads.
Moreover, traditional advertising can strengthen relationships in your local community. If you want to reach more patients in your local area, traditional advertising methods can help you get their attention. For example, putting up a billboard allows you to reach a diverse audience. Just make sure to focus on tried-and-true geotargeting tactics.
Traditional advertising may be a more feasible option for healthcare providers not equipped with all the tools to launch online campaigns. If you don’t have a marketing team to take care of your web presence, traditional advertising can be more straightforward to get the ball rolling.
Online Advertising for a Medical Practice
Meanwhile, online advertising is a form of advertising or marketing that uses the internet to promote products and services to various audiences. Online advertising includes email advertisements, search engine marketing, pay-per-click advertising, and pop-up advertisements.
One of the most cost-effective ways to get new patients is pay-per-click advertising. Commonly known as PPC advertising, it is a model wherein an advertiser pays a publisher every time a person clicks on the ad. PPC ads come in different forms and sizes and can comprise texts, images, videos, or a combination.
PPC ads allow your business to rank higher in search engine results and appear among the top search results. When you invest in PPC advertising, you pay to play. This means you have better visibility among your target audience online. This can lead to more appointments.
When executed correctly, PPC ads can help you earn quality leads. Your business won’t just be visible to more people online. You will be able to reach audiences interested in your services. Thus, you increase the quality and quantity of potential patients who learn about your business.
If you’re a beginner in PPC advertising, you should explore Google Adwords. Why? It’s free, easy to use, and grants you access to various platforms, such as Gmail, YouTube, and millions of websites in Google search.
What’s great about online advertising is that you control your budget and who your ads reach. You don’t have to invest millions of dollars to gain new patients. Whether a new healthcare provider or a veteran, online advertising is within your means.
Moreover, you can customize each ad to reach your target audience so that every click on your website or social media platform can be of good quality. This means people who would actually try your services.
Improve your Search Engine Rankings with a Blog
Here’s the truth – any business’s online presence is incomplete without SEO or search engine optimization. This area of digital marketing helps improve the quality and quantity of website traffic and visitors. With SEO, you can employ both artistic and scientific techniques to optimize your website, ultimately aiming to achieve higher search engine rankings like Google and Bing. The higher your web pages rank on search engine results, the more traffic you can drive to your practice website. And the more people who visit your site, the more patients you can acquire in the long run.
While there are different search engine optimization tactics you can explore, creating blog content is a fun, engaging way to add value to your website for your customers. Blogging can boost your SEO quality by positioning your website as a valuable resource for your patients’ interests, questions, or concerns. Blog posts that use various on-page SEO tactics can also give your practice more opportunities to rank in search engines and make your website more attractive and engaging to visitors.
Blogging allows you to push relevant keywords or phrases that your medical practice targets. It’s also an excellent opportunity to gain reputable backlinks. Moreover, your blog can help solidify your expertise in the healthcare industry.
When writing a blog article, you should keep your target audience in mind. Medical marketing professionals should focus on the primary audience they want to reach. Understanding who you want to go to help guide your blog strategy. It also enables you to determine what topics would be relevant to them. Overall, you get to improve your website’s content quality.
Refine Your Online Presence With Professional Support
Creating an excellent marketing strategy takes time and effort. It involves a good mix of both digital and traditional marketing strategies to get things right. As medical practitioners, you may not have the time and energy to develop stellar marketing campaigns. Fortunately, you don’t have to do everything alone.
At iMatrix, we can help your business establish and enhance its visibility in the medical industry. We can improve how you set patient appointments, your social media strategy, and more. For more information on digital marketing packages that include content creation, call 800.792.8384 or click here.