As a medical practitioner, you may already feel pretty time-poor. Continuing to offer quality healthcare to patients takes up a lot of the day. So if the idea of marketing on top of what you’re already doing, fills you with dread, know you’re not alone. As a busy medical practitioner, it’s important to ensure your marketing strategies and tactics are offering you the best return for your investment.
Whether you’re looking to attract new clients, or boost client engagement with your brand, here are our top nine tips to market your business well.
1. Website Optimisation
Having a clunky and outdated website is no longer something modern medical practitioners can get away with. Your website is your virtual waiting room, the first impression of your business that potential patients will receive.
Ensure your site is easy to navigate, fully functional and free from clutter or unnecessary pop-ups. By having a website that is easy to use and presents a modern and professional appearance, your brand will benefit.
Double-check your site carefully for any potential errors, and make sure your written copy is clear and direct about what next steps your potential patients should take. Whether it’s booking an appointment or filling out a survey — keep your goals and messages clear online. Keep sentences short and to the point. Provide the information your patients are likely to be visiting your website for (contact details, booking information) highly visible.
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A well set up website will serve your business by converting visitors into your patients. Set it up always with your patients in mind. Emphasis should be placed on information, clarity and convenience. A good website is worth the time and investment for the potential benefit it can bring to your business.
2. Focus on your Team
Ideally, you or your team should be one of the first things seen when patients visit your website or clinic in person. Keeping your team of medical professionals up front can foster trust between patients and practitioners before even getting into the consultation room.
There are multiple ways you could do this, and some may be worth repeating over time as new patients are attracted to your business.
3. Offer Bilingual Marketing Material
In a similar vein to our point on focusing on your team, consider how you can best market the skills of those involved.
If you or your colleagues speak multiple languages, be sure this is highlighted through your marketing material. Producing marketing material in both English, and in another language shows that your clinic is professional and proficient in assisting patients who may otherwise not realise they can access your care in their language. Doing this may provide you with a competitive edge to other medical professionals who although may also speak multiple languages, do not advertise this strategically.
Areas to consider ensuring translations are available:
4. Respond where your patients are
Social media is a fact of life for business now. But with a plethora of social media platforms around, it can feel overwhelming to know where to start. Yes, you could start up an account on all the platforms, but this likely isn’t going to be the most effective strategy. Yes, there are automated systems that will allow you to create one content piece and post it everywhere. But this will likely be a case of taking aim at all the targets and hitting none.
Instead, focus your attention on where your patients are. It may be Instagram, or Facebook, or even Twitter. Once you know where they are, start up an account and take the time to study what content the most successful practitioners in your industry are producing. While you shouldn’t directly copy, this can be a good way to get inspired about connecting with your patients. Learn about what works and what doesn’t. Some of this will be via trial and error, but by developing an online presence on social media, you open another avenue of contact with your patients.
Ensure you are responsive to direct messages on the platforms and have a plan for your content. What are the goals for your social media? How will you know if your presence on the platform has made an impact on your business?
Be sure as a medical practitioner to always maintain your professional image online. Keep aware of AHPRA’s guidelines regarding online content for what you can and can’t do.
5. Email Marketing
Email marketing from medical practitioners is often overlooked. You might be worried about ‘spamming’ or annoying people, but this often isn’t the case. Effective email marketing can provide added communication and information for patients, which is often appreciated.
By popping up in people’s inboxes as a regular occurrence (weekly, or monthly is a good aim) you remind them of your service and can continue to be useful to them—even outside the clinic.
Not sure what to email about? Here are a few ideas:
Emails can be scheduled in advance and utilise automated technology to communicate with your patients. This means there’s a lot of potential for positive impact on your business, for relatively minimal effort. However, whenever possible, it’s best to go for personalising emails as these tend to be far more effective than those produced and sent en masse.
6. Focus on the Patient
One of the most effective marketing strategies is to provide exceptional patient care. This means all aspects of your business should focus on what you can offer your patients. From the information listed on your website to checking in with reception, their appointment and the follow up—your patients should feel valued and cared for.
If your patients feel this way, they’re more likely to stay with your business and even refer people to your business.
Ensure you have a welcoming environment and a staff strategy for how to interact with your patients. A consistent experience is reassuring.
Build systems that make the experience better for your patients. Listen to the feedback they provide to you. Lots saying they get lost finding their way to your rooms? You may need to provide better signage, website directions or even escort your clients in.
7. Be Transparent
Patients appreciate knowing how much they’re going to be out of pocket. By displaying your fees prominently on your website and in the clinic, your patients are able to financially plan for their appointment. This reduces stress and frustration for many people.
While it may seem odd marketing advice, displaying your fees may contribute to attracting new patients. At a glance, they are able to determine if your services will be financially accessible for them. Some patients may be considering swapping health service providers and knowing your fees may be the deciding factor.
You’ll also build a reputation of your business as one which is honest and direct. This continues to foster a trusting relationship between patient and practitioner.
8. Build your referral network
Getting to know fellow practitioners can be a great marketing strategy. Networking is an opportunity for you to grow the scope of your services, and collaborate with others in your industry. You never know what opportunities will arise from this.
Often when patients have a rapport with practitioners they will ask for their advice regarding other areas of health that they may not specialise in. By ensuring you have a good relationship with other professionals, this increases the likelihood that another medical practitioner will refer some of their patients to you.
How to build your network?
9. Video content
Video content is perfect for engaging patients. Typically people prefer the opportunity to see medical practitioners in their element. This type of content is also very shareable across social media, which can give your brand extra reach.
Educating and entertaining are excellent ways to increase brand awareness and video is a great tool for this when used well. Some health clinics and medical professionals now have YouTube channels where they engage with patients.
Not sure what you’d make video content about?
When making video content keep it short and direct. A few minutes is best to capture your patient’s attention. For those who want to explore an alternative to blogging, video content is a great option.
Marketing can feel overwhelming at times. But with these 9 tactics, you’ve got options. Rather than trying everything at once, pick one and give it a try. It may take time to figure out what will work best for your business, but the effort will be worth it in the end.
Entrepreneur, retired doctor. Passionate about helping health and beauty professionals build their own brand.