While health clinics appear to be invincible to a bad economy – there’s always sick people! – you can steer your practice in a positive and negative direction with your marketing choices.
Maybe your clinic isn’t bringing in enough patients, or maybe you have a good flow of patients on a day-to-day basis, but know you could do better. Either way, it’s important to make sure your future patients know where to find you, which means marketing your practice the right way.
- Reach potential patients virtually.
While many clinics have professional websites for scheduling appointments and other patient information, many stop there. Your practice should have its own Facebook page (that stays active!) and a Twitter handle. A blog is also a hugely beneficial way to get your own brand of medicine on the internet – let your online audience know whether or not you think gluten is bad, what they can do to avoid the flu this year, or whatever important information you can spread to people who’d love to make an appointment to learn more!
- Add a personal touch.
When a new patient leaves from their first visit, send them home with a handwritten thank-you card to show how much you appreciate their business. Keep patient birthdays in a separate Google calendar, and send them birthday cards or fun animated e-cards when the day arrives.
- Be your own PR.
You run a medical clinic – you’re bursting with knowledge that the layman doesn’t have. Make yourself available to news outlets and publications to offer quotes and information on pertinent health issues.
- Bring your practice to potential clients.
Set up a booth at as many healthcare fairs as you can! Whether it’s offering free blood pressure testing or giving out stress balls and branded packs of Band-Aids, the easiest way to get new patients is to put yourself right in front of their faces – with free stuff and a friendly smile!
- Target the right patients.
You might not be attracting as many patients because you aren’t targeting the patients that need your specific services. An endocrinologist can easily put themselves on the map by starting a blog about living a healthy lifestyle with hypothyroidism. A cardiologist should be present at every marathon and sporting event they can attend, to hand out free promotional products and show their support for active lifestyles. Know what your ideal patient needs – and show them that you can provide exactly that!
- Ramp up your SEO.
When a potential patient turns to Google to find a new place to get healthcare services, your clinic should not only be on the first page of search results, but it should immediately show the individual pertinent information about your clinic. Make sure the title tag – the title of the search engine result – clearly explains the information the patient will find on that page when they click. The meta description beneath the title tag should be just as informative and clear.
- Join a Google + Community.
Google + offers a fantastic platform for local businesses to network. This offers patients and others interested in your specific health services a platform to ask questions, present new ideas, and host discussions.
- Let your clients help you get the word out.
Offer an incentive program that encourages your current patients to refer you to their friends and family. Whether it’s a discount on a service, or a credit that can go towards the patient’s next visit, give them a reason to tell everyone they know about your practice!
- Step in front of the camera.
While video marketing can seem daunting to a business that hasn’t used similar methods in the past, posting videos on your website not only makes your site more user friendly, but puts a face to your brand. Ask your practitioners to explain on their individual pages why they became a doctor. Give your employees a camera to host a video tour of the office, letting viewers see your welcoming atmosphere and fun, friendly staff!
- Simon Says: Look at what others are doing
What are busy, successful practices in your area doing right now? What does their website look like? How many times a week do they post to Facebook? Choose a few flourishing businesses who offer similar services to you that you would like to model – sometimes having a guide to set a standard for your own marketing practices is exactly what you need to improve them!