Congratulations! You’ve picked the location for your new office space, you’ve hired administrative staff, and your equipment is all installed. Now, onto the most important task for your burgeoning practice: getting patients in the door. How to market a new medical practice is a topic not often explored, despite being one of the most crucial aspects of ensuring your practices lasting success.
Whether you’ve moved an established practice or are starting a brand new one, this is a rare moment in time that provides you with a unique set of challenges as well as a window of opportunity to connect with your community in a powerful and lasting way. A fresh start affords you the ability to market your practice properly, often without the baggage of previous marketing and visibility efforts that may have been weighing your practice down.
So where to start? We’ve identified the 5 main concepts that are key to successfully marketing your practice from day one and on.
Where do people search for doctors and hospitals? Online, just as the do with anything else. For a new medical practice, it’s imperative that you increase your online visibility. This includes creating an SEO optimized website for the keywords associated with your practice, as well as your specific location. Additionally, you’ll need to update your location in the most widely used directories (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc). To further your reliable search results, you’ll need to maintain a presence on Facebook and G+, as those two factor heavily on search results that are location specific.
This includes press releases, a “grand opening” plan, formal announcements in cultural and community groups, and introductions to doctors in the area who may provide you with referrals. One of the best, most effective ways to do this is by using a physician liaison to represent you to potential referral sources, creating solid relationships with nearby dentists, doctors, chiropractors, injury attorneys, etc. Another excellent way to connect with the community is through schools- sponsoring a school will capture a LOT of parents and children, but you can also do this by providing schools and local newspapers with information about relevant topics (example: how to fight infection at school, nutrition tips to avoid illness, symptoms that warrant a visit to the doctor, etc).
When starting fresh, you have the perfect opportunity to create a strong brand, and concurrently solid marketing materials. If you appeal to a certain community, incorporate that into your branding. Get at least 3 designs from a skilled graphic artist, and then make sure to incorporate them into your pamphlets, web design, business cards, etc.
From the very first patient you treat, you should leverage every happy patient by prompting them to share their experience with others online and offline. Offer incentives to leave leave you a good review on Google Local (this is a huge boost to visibility), Yelp, and even Facebook. Create a new patient welcome package, but one with a strong call to spread your name around.
Sales Communication Funnel:
Why does Allstate send you a piece of mail every week? Because getting a quote or signing up for car insurance entered you into their sales funnel. The goal, quite obviously, is to get you to purchase every other form of insurance & value-added services they provide, as well as renew your policy time and time again. Your data is their most valuable commodity, since it offers them an opportunity to continually reach out to you and increase their chances of securing a purchase.
For a medical practice, we think a more appropriate term than sales funnel is communication funnel. You’re not selling a widget or overpriced insurance, but the concept remains the same: get every piece of data that you possibly can from your patients, and use it to more effectively market to them. Flu shot season? If they’ve given you their email address, you can send them a reminder to come in for their flu shot. Maybe they opted in to receive text messaging from you? You can send them a text to remind them of their upcoming appointment, or of vaccinations or checkups that need to be done. When you market effectively, you’re no longer perceived as selling- you’re communicating and creating rapport. By getting the most data from every patient and asking them how they’d prefer to be contacted, you’re allowed the unique opportunity to connect with patients when they otherwise might not be thinking of your practice. By keeping in contact, you have the best chance to be the first and only physician they think of when they’re in need.
Healthcare Marketing Agency- Physician Referral Marketing (PRM) provides the tools and the know-how to grow physician practices & increase visibility both online and off. PRM specializes in strategic marketing campaigns & referral development through a uniquely direct relationship establishment with demographically relevant doctors and hospitals.To stay on top of the latest healthcare marketing trends, contact PRM today at 888-336-1344 or visit www.physicianreferralmarketing.com. Also be sure to visit our Facebook, Twitter, or G+ page for the latest news in healthcare marketing. Nationwide service, with headquarters in Michigan and a regional office in Arizona.