Medical Marketing Strategy
By Jeffrey Nasers
The question rarely changes. How can I get more patients through the doors of my practice? Today consumers are using a multitude of platforms to connect with businesses and to connect with each other. In an age when the majority of the population is using social media, has a smart phone, and has an e-mail account, practitioners have a great opportunity to reach out to them digitally.
Before you can develop a strong strategy, you need to decide what your ideal patient looks like. This helps a medical marketing strategist analyze the best possible touch points to connect you with potential patients.
I have been working with a doctor who knows exactly what his ideal patient looks like. The majority of his patients are young children and young adults with allergies and asthma. Mother’s, aged 25-47, become the primary target demographic because they are the primary decision maker for their children and serve as advisors to other young adults.
For my client, mothers and young adults are going to be much more apt to use a search
engine to first find what they are looking for. They are going to utilize social media to collaborate with their friends and family to get advice. They are more likely to sign up for information using their e-mail to have access to valuable information.
My advice would be to lay out a plan that best utilizes these resources and position the practice in a way that stays in constant contact with prospective and current patients. Below I have laid out three suggestions for a practice to consider when targeting patients.
1. In many cases, initiating an online ad campaign on a particular search engine is a great way to begin the dialogue with a patient before they even walk in the door. This is an opportunity to invite them to the site and share contact information with the marketing team. This helps populate a database of contacts that are already looking for a service that your practice offers.
2. Do not be afraid to e-mail your prospective patients. There are many automated programs that help practices reach out to current and new patients. The goal is not to fill their inboxes with useless information, but to serve as an expert, sharing insightful wisdom with your patients. For example, a primary care physician could remind patients to get their flu shot and explain how this year’s thread of vaccines affects the patient. A good e-mail campaign is not meant to be an attack on patients’ inboxes. Rather, it is meant to demonstrate what differentiates your practice from others in the market.
3. Engage patients on social media. Consumers are intelligent. They can see right through a scam and are turned off by the idea of being “sold” something. Instead, educate and engage with those patients on social media. Learn from your current patients about ways that you can improve your practice. Social media is a way to maintain a practice’s reputation and earn respect from your followers.
With a variety of media touch points, it is easier to connect with patients directly. It is important to stay in constant contact and engaged with patients. Patients are hit with information from all sides. If your practice is not top of mind, the greater likelihood is that they forget about your practice. The overall objective of a medical marketing strategy is to be the go-to resource for patients and to attract them as a loyal, consistent patient.
Jeffrey Nasers is a Public Relations and Content Strategist at 724 Factory in Sioux Falls.