Like any business providing healthcare services, marketing your radiology practice or imaging centre is a challenging, but essential component of successful growth. If you want a radiology marketing strategy that communicates your expertise and can increase your market share, while also being sensitive to the needs of radiology patients and adhering to all relevant regulations, our marketing tips will help.
One way to start generating fresh ideas is by looking at what other people have done (or are doing), and use their approach to guide the development of your own radiology marketing plan. And this doesn’t necessarily mean copying your competitors either, as there are plenty of other similar providers in the healthcare sector to draw inspiration from. We blog extensively about healthcare marketing, so feel free to browse our other articles which contain plenty of transferable marketing strategies!
Just like any other business, radiology providers should focus on differentiating themselves from the competition. It is difficult to compete on price alone, as expenses are typically dictated by regulation requirements, Medicare reimbursement levels, insurance premiums, capital costs and the like.
These elements are out of your control, but you can stand out based on your practice’s unique characteristics — such as whether you are a private business or offer bulk billing, and what the patient experience (PX) at your radiology practice is like. This could include the decor and overall experience — from booking, to appointment and follow up — or focus on things like minimally invasive procedures that may not be available from other providers.
Your centre might also offer services beyond basic radiology imaging. Perhaps you have affiliated physicians or an onsite radiologist who specialists in a particular area. Use these attributes to add value to your own services, either directly or via recommendations and referrals.
What about your technology and equipment? Do you have the latest CT scanner, state-of-the-art imaging services, or specialist diagnostic imaging equipment? If you are investing in the latest technological advancements make sure that your patients and every referring physician is aware of how it can benefit them or their patients.
You can (and should) mention all of this in your promotional material, on social media and across your digital marketing to hep you stand out from the crowd.
Depending on where you are in the world, healthcare related legislation may prevent you from promoting discounts on radiology services or offering gifts or other incentives based on referrals. However, these aren’t the only types of discounts that your radiology or medical imaging business might consider offering to help market your services.
Consider any non-Medicare procedures that your business offers. For example, spider vein removal and other cosmetic-based treatments aren’t covered by Medicare in the united States. This allows some businesses to offer deals on sites like Groupon and promote a good foot-in-the-door offer, which can provide the opportunity to up-sell later on.
Another opportunity is to partner with local businesses and cross promote each others services. Of course this works particularly well with medical centres who provide referrals!
Offering educational clinics is another way that you can market your radiology practice.
For example, women’s health campaigns or mammography educational booths can raise awareness of both the need for checkups and your business’s services. And you can align these sort of activities with health promotion days which make them more newsworthy.
Reach out to the local press or reporters in your area and offer them access to the service for free, which should earn your business some complimentary exposure in return. Free screening clinics for people in need within your local community are a great PR opportunity!
If your business is located in a high density area with a large market size, or you are part of a large radiology group, you could also host and promote a webinar that teaches visitors about the warning signs of certain illnesses. If the webinar is pre-recorded this provides you with economies of scale, especially if you make it high quality and sharable on social media — meaning participants will do your work promoting it to their own connections.
Your radiology marketing can also benefit by advertising via a host of promotional items that a patient can take with them, or that you give out for free at health fairs and other local events.
You can create unique merchandise if you have a larger budget and can order in bulk, or simply order pre-made items with your business logo on them from health marketing companies.
For example, you could give away pens with your businesses logo and website address, key chains, USB drives with informative documents, water bottles and of course the old trusty fridge magnet! We have had one on our fridge for 3 years because it has the details of a local 24 hour emergency doctor — essential information if you have a sick child in the middle of the night!
Successfully marketing a radiology business requires a combination of creativity and strong knowledge and respect for your local healthcare laws.
A successful radiology marketing plan can be difficult to develop and takes continual time and effort to deliver and optimise, build traction and start seeing results. But the effort is worth is and the long term payoff is huge.
If you focus on educating others and differentiating yourself from the competition, you’ll be on your way to creating a strong radiology marketing campaign that gets you noticed and earns the respect of your local community.