Well planned healthcare practice marketing can create a undeniable competitive advantage for your business. By maintaining a presence on multiple fronts, you are much more likely to stand out and be noticed.
Employing this strategy in your healthcare practice marketing means that your business name, logo, message, and mission becomes easily recognisable to your target market, something know as ‘brand awareness’.
And that’s a valuable position to achieve, because building the right associations between your practice and patients makes it unforgettable and paves the way to loyalty.
But enough of the theory — how hard is it to achieve this coveted position within your local community? Well the good new is that it doesn’t have to be complicated. To succeed a healthcare practice should establish the six fronts, detailed below.
1. Embrace the community
Support from (and for) the local community is essential to the long term success of a healthcare practice. Advertisements in your community and at local businesses are a great way to facilitate these relationships. Just ensure they contain clear information about your practice and, if possible, an offer to entice patients – both new and old — through your doors.
And it doesn’t have to cost money either, reciprocal relationships can lead to stronger and better results!
Local businesses should know you because you offer patronage. Visit them often and use their services or buy their products. Get to know your peers! Ask to place business cards, brochures, flyers, and other promotional material at their place of business. But remember it’s a two-way street! Be sure to take their cards as well and do the same for them.
Finally, make sure to add business partners to your mailing lists to notify them of events or special offers which they may promote by word-of-mouth in conversation with their own friends, family and customers.
2. Healthcare practice marketing online
An online presence is essential for successful healthcare practice marketing. Take advantage of the internet and work hard to establish your online presence — after all, it’s the digital business card for your practice and often the first exposure that patient’s have to your services.
Your practice website should include general information about your business (opening hours, parking etc…), clinical services, a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) section, and a help centre or contact form where patients can ask (non-clinical) questions.
Make sure it’s designed to be accessible to people with disabilities or impairments too.
The power of the web is in its universality. Access by everyone regardless of disability is an essential aspect.Sir Tim Berners–Lee, inventor of the internet
Making your healthcare practice website more accessible is often overlooked by many businesses, but should be high on the list for healthcare practices to demonstrate a good duty of care.
You should also consider maintaining an email newsletter and a blog. Both of these items offer patients further exposure to your practice as well showing you as a trusted industry expert.
3. Get up close and personal with the patients
Your patients are a very important part of your healthcare practice marketing strategy. Not only must you provide excellent service, you must be memorable to them in a positive way.
Call or write your patients about actionable events. Offer seminars, host parties, and have promotional awareness events. Determine a schedule and host events that encourage them to bring a friend with them for awareness of an ailment or health concern relevant to your practice. Offer freebies as well to attract your patients to come back to your healthcare practice.
4. Referrals are not just for doctors!
After an appointment follow up with all of your patients. Ask how your staff members treated them, medically and otherwise. This provides an opportunity to surface and address any objections before they get out into the community.
For patients who are evangelists you can also ask for positive (but non-clinical) feedback to be added to third party websites such as Mediflare in order to enhance your reputation.
Communicate regularly and encourage your patients to recommend family and friends to your practice by highlighting the positive outcomes of your services.
Finally, always strive to exceed their expectations about healthcare providers by delivering the utmost quality of care. In doing so they are sure to refer their friends, family, and coworkers in a passive and organic way, which is the best advertisement possible for your healthcare practice.
5. Build relationships with other businesses
Work on being actively affiliated with complementary healthcare industry businesses, allied health practitioners and professional organisations. Trade literature and business cards and build positive relationships.
Also join local business organisations such as networking groups, and the local and regional chamber of commerce organisations. Become a member of any professional organisation to your healthcare practice. And as you’re building your network, look for mutual opportunities.
This helps your healthcare practice to build recognition on a professional level which can lead to partnerships or media exposure that make your business more prominent amongst patients.
Credibility, trust, and recognition of healthcare practices come from sponsorship. When your community hosts an activity, sponsor it.
Frequently donate to charities, and sponsor events for them. Be an awareness advocate, a location for donations, and leverage any other form of sponsorship your healthcare practice can add value to.
Be present at community activities as a sponsor and offer quick health screenings. Collect patient details and automate a follow-up email sequence to ensure they book an appointment.
Taking advantage of local sponsorship should be a no-brainer for your healthcare practice. It’s and incredibly effective way of getting your message in front of huge cohorts of potential patients in return for a small financial outlay.
When your sponsorship is done right, you can expect a great return on investment!
Maintaining a presence on six fronts is a marketing feat, but necessary to survive in the healthcare industry. Write a thorough plan, work with your team, and always track your progress to view your healthcare practice marketing success.