Marketing for your practice can feel like a constantly moving target. As patients’ needs and expectations of their healthcare providers change, the way you market your practice may also need to change. It might feel like as soon as you have a marketing plan in place, it’s time to change up your strategy again.
If you’re an overwhelmed practice administrator, don’t panic: you can focus on just a few main areas to have a really successful marketing plan. You don’t need to be everywhere at once.
Here are 10 things to keep in mind as you’re building a healthcare marketing strategy:
Make communication easier for patients
Your patient/provider communication should go beyond the typical phone call. There are so many ways to keep in touch with patients now, including texting, chatbots and website frequently asked questions pages.
If your practice has stayed loyal to the phone call, now is an excellent time to broaden your horizons. Not only will it allow your patients to get the help they need faster, but it will save your staff the time of having to field questions that could easily be answered online.
CTAs need to be front-and-center
Potential patients won’t take the time to navigate a clunky, confusing website. If you don’t tell them right away why they should choose you, they might not stick around long enough to find out.
Make sure your website includes a call to action about why and how to choose your practice, and make sure it’s featured prominently on your website.
Landing Pages are key
Website traffic is great, but without landing pages, it’s not going to tell you much. Make sure you create separate landing pages for lead conversion.
What that means is that you segment your leads so you know where they came from. For example, if you’re running ads on two different sites, you should have separate landing pages for each of them.
This serves two purposes: it allows you to see how those individual ads are performing, and it gives you the opportunity to cater each landing page to those specific audiences. If you use one general landing page for new traffic, your efforts might fall flat.
Automate your funnels
Done well, automation can be a practice administrator’s best friend. And your marketing is a prime opportunity to work in some automated funnels.
One of the main reasons that businesses fail to keep up with their marketing is the time commitment. Even a brief social media post can take awhile to put together and get approved. Automation means you can schedule those posts ahead of time, so you’re not stuck with in-the-moment posting.
But your automation goes beyond social media. You can offer something for free, like an ebook or video series, in exchange for emails. With automation, those sign ups can continue to receive emails and practice information effortlessly.
Establish and set goals based on KPIs
A KPI is a key performance indicator, or a metric, that tracks how well you’re doing. The best KPIs to use will vary by practice, so it’s good to know what matters the most to your team.
Some common marketing KPIs include website visits, newsletter opens, conversion rates and link clicks. Tracking some of those metrics can help you understand what your patients are most interested in, or what they need now. And as you track those KPIs over time, you will get a much clearer look at your marketing performance.
Marketing doesn't have to be complex to be successful
It can be tempting to give up on marketing because it feels overwhelming, or you haven’t had much success in the past. The problem is usually that you’ve tried to go too big, or spread your marketing too thin.
Narrow your focus and find one marketing approach you can stick with, that will also resonate the most with your audience.
Identify which channels and tactics truly work and invest there
When it comes to marketing, doing one thing really well beats doing many things poorly or inconsistently. This might mean promoting just one service at a time, or focusing more on blog posts or video for now.
Talk to your patients to find out what has helped them the most. Is it your Facebook posts that update them about any changes? Your blog posts that give them helpful tips for staying healthy? Seasonal guides from your practice?
Pay close attention to what’s getting a good response, and think about focusing there.
Find a winning mix
A successful marketing mix will include foundational pieces and flashy tactics.
Foundational pieces are those high quality content pieces that inform your audience. This would include blog posts, newsletter and helpful website content.
Flashy tactics are attention grabbers. That could be a colorful infographic, video or trade show appearances.
Find the help that works for your practice
Some practices opt for a full custom agency option to overhaul their marketing approaches. But for others, that’s not in the budget - or it’s not necessary.
A proven framework is a more accessible do-it-yourself approach for marketing success. Whatever option you choose, the important thing is that you’re clear on how much time you have to dedicate to marketing, how much room is in your budget, and how willing you or your team is to take it on.
Patient experience and brand reputation
Every business has a brand, whether they created one intentionally or not.
There are the elements of branding that most people think of: colors, logos and the website. But your brand goes beyond that. It’s the feel and tone of your copy, the way you deal with patients, and even the way you interact with the community.
No matter how much time and money you put into your marketing, you have to start with a solid brand. Look to the mission statement or purpose of your practice as a starting point. Build up from there.
Ultimately, your marketing is meant to show a wider audience what your practice is all about, and what it can do for them. With a strong brand, it becomes much easier to create a successful marketing plan.