GETTING STARTED WITH MARKETING YOUR MEDICAL PRACTICE
You went to school and studied medicine not marketing. In today’s online world where people turn to social media for recommendations on everything, it is important to learn ways to reach your intended audience and bring more patients through your doors.
You don’t need to invest a large amount of time or funds into marketing your practice. After all, your priority is treating patients not chatting with them online. Despite how intimidating you might find social media, the truth is that it can be a far reaching and cheap marketing asset for any business.
Whether you’re starting a new practice or just looking to expand your patient base, social media should be part of your practice marketing strategy. We’ve put together a variety of ways you can reach your intended audience and increase your reach within your community to help get more patients through your doors.
- Get online
It sounds strange but there are many small practices who have zero online presence. If you are still wondering whether your practice needs a webpage or social media page then consider the fact that the majority of searches for services are done via Facebook. Locals look to Facebook to find businesses based on reviews.
Many people also ask for recommendations in Facebook groups where they trust the community referral. By having a facebook page, it allows the person making the recommendation to automatically tag your page which instantly grows your reach and gives the person seeking a recommendation direct access to connect with your business.
- Spend some time working on your target market.
You need to identify the people who really want or need what you’re offering. Once your audience is defined it is easier to market to them.
By starting with a detailed customer profile, you’ll be able to make the most educated decisions when it comes to building a custom audience and crafting compelling advertising and marketing campaigns to attract the type of client you want coming through your door.
This is especially important for clinicians in specialised fields that do not attract the general public like a GP does. However, even a GP would benefit from evaluating their target market based on location and the demographic attributes of people within that location.
You might want to consider the following demographic and psychographic criteria:
- Age range
- Income levels
- Marital Status
- Lifestyle preferences
- Build relationships with current and potential clients.
Social media is all about building relationships. Respond to questions, comments, and reviews with a consistent tone of voice and provide thoughtful feedback when needed. This creates a ‘persona’ for your practice that clients can connect to. Think about it, it’s very hard to connect to bricks and mortar.
Just as you build professional but friendly relationships with your patients in person, try to do that online as well.
Some simple yet effective ways to do this would be:
- Introduce your physicians to your audience by posting images and facts about their medical and personal background.
- Conduct ‘question and answer’ posts or ‘polls’ on your page to give your audience a voice. This could be as simple as asking them what their favourite magazines are so you can include the most popular in your waiting room.
- Share real time appointment information with clients. This could be information regarding if you are behind schedule or even if you’ve had a cancellation that can be filled by those seeking last minute appointments. This will lead to clients being invested in checking your page when they need to which ultimately leads to greater engagement and social reach.
- Advertise to reach more locals.
Facebook looks for cues about your location to help determine whether your page is relevant to local consumers. Make sure your business details, including address, phone number and maps, are complete, accurate and up-to-date. Once these are updated, Facebook allows you to promote your page to locals based on their geographic location.
As you would expect, a practice is much more likely to gain new clients from the surrounding area it is therefore, important to use your marketing dollar to attract those who are more likely to become regular customers due to being easily accessible.
You can promote to locals using the “Promote Local Business” button in the ‘About’ section of your facebook page (pictured below). This will give you options to pick your target audience, content, location and budget for your promotion. It will then show you the potential reach of your advertisement.
There are a number of free tools available online to help you take full advantage of Facebook marketing. We will bring you a series of blog posts that go into further detail to help you along the way too.