Curious about best marketing practices for your private medical practice?
We’ve worked with many doctors and dentists over the past five years, and we’ve had some big wins – as well as made some big mistakes!
Whether you want to do all your marketing yourself or you want to hire someone to take it over, these best practices will keep you on track and make sure you are attracting the right clientele to your practice.
Here are our top 5 pieces of marketing advice for doctors and dentists who run their own practices:
1. New patients want to see YOU.
No matter what else we’ve tried, we’ve found this to be true, time and time again. Patients want to see YOU, the doctor. Nothing else is as engaging or as important. After all, selecting a doctor is a very personal experience, and people want to make sure that they will vibe with your personality before they even make a first appointment.
So you have to show up with your face and your personality to truly attract new clients. Now, showing your face isn’t just having a good headshot or posting lots of photos of yourself. Folks want to see how you move, talk, and laugh. Video is key here.
You can do this by doing a monthly Facebook Live or starting a YouTube channel. Another option is to film yourself when you have a client who has a common problem. You can show how you handle that problem and give free bits of advice.
Video content from our doctors = new patients, every time. Even if you feel shy or awkward, give it a shot. You’ll get great results.
2. Existing patients want self-guided resources in between appointments.
Patients want to know how to take better care of themselves. This means that giving them personalized handouts (or even better – videos!) that describe what they can do at home will help.
Here are some ideas for self-guided resources that you can hand to your patients to take home after an appointment:
- Best stretches for chronic aches and pains
- Foods to eat (or not eat) to address digestive issues
- Teeth brushing charts to hang in the bathroom
- Things to remember in an emergency
- Favorite seasonal recipes
By empowering your patient with more information, you show them that you respect them and believe they are in control of their health. This is critical for patient retention.
3. Don’t run away from print.
Those educational handouts for your existing patients work best as printed documents. Of course, you can also leverage that same information as social media content or an email campaign, but print is still important.
Printable educational pamphlets, physical business cards, brochures, mailers, and prints ads all still have their places. Having a deep understanding of your ideal customer will help you to determine where is the best place to spend money on printing.
Is your ideal patient likely to refer you to a friend? Give them a few extra business cards.
Does your ideal patient have a brick-and-mortar business? Give them educational brochures to put in the lobby that would help their customers.
Are you always in need of new clients with acute issues (chiropractors, physical therapists)? Billboards and print ads are worth the investment!
4. Don’t get wrapped up in the newest social media platform. Email is still king.
There will ALWAYS be a new must-have social media platform that someone you know is having SO MUCH SUCCESS with.
If you have the bandwidth and want to spend time on fresh new social media platforms, by all means go for it.
However, a note of caution: never place all your eggs into one social media basket. All social media platforms own the content you are posting, plus they can change the algorithms at any time.
The goal of all social media posting should be to direct people to visit your website. From there, the goal of your website is to build trust and then encourage visitors to connect with you more deeply (e.g. download free content, enter a giveaway, set up a free consultation).
Once you have a solid list of email addresses (and yes, you should be gathering them from patients who come to see you!), you can begin sending valuable emails to your list. Valuable emails that foster engagement include:
- Educational videos
- Downloadable pdfs (these can be the same ones that you handout after appointments)
- Discount codes for visit packages or referrals
- Giveaway contests
- Special seasonal deals with partner businesses
Another note of caution: your patient’s email inbox is a sacred place. Sending an email to them is a privilege, and their time is precious. Always be mindful of that when creating email campaigns. Asking for too much of their attention or just sending fluff = unsubscribes.
5. Focus on expressing care over expertise.
You are absolutely an expert. You have spent years learning how to care for your patients. Your expertise makes you a great practitioner!
However, a doctor who is perceived as being more caring will have more patients and higher patient retention than a doctor with more impressive “credentials”.
When in doubt during your marketing, return to a simple question:
How can I make sure that this person knows that I care about them?
Yes, your website and email signature should highlight your educational background and credentials. But beyond that, your social media posts, emails, handouts, and ads should focus on the exceptional amount of care that you have for your patients. That approach leads to engaged, referral-giving patients. And attracting those types of patients is precisely what marketing is all about!
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