This is the first article in our three-part Marketing for Doctors series. Links to the other articles are at the bottom of this page.
A hundred years ago, most towns only had one or two medical practices that provided treatment to everyone in the area. Today, however, patients have access to numerous specialized healthcare options within a fifty-mile radius. Marketing your healthcare practice well has become an essential aspect of remaining successful as a medical professional in the modern age.
If you run a medical practice, you may not have much time to dedicate to marketing. However, making a few changes to how you run your business, interact with patients digitally, and promote your services online can produce significant results for your growth and success.
Read on as our team from Weave explains a few easy, effective strategies to market your healthcare practice in our digital age.
Recent Healthcare Marketing Trends
If you cannot dedicate much time or effort to marketing, you can at minimum examine the strategies that other medical practices use and attempt to outperform those techniques. Knowing recent healthcare marketing trends can give you a strong starting point to shape your own healthcare marketing plan.
Here are a few marketing trends that have emerged in the healthcare industry in recent years.
Healthcare Marketing Has Gone Digital
As with many industries, the healthcare industry has seen a major shift toward digital marketing strategies. Gone are the days of relying solely on print advertisements, signage, and billboards to market a business. Instead, the most successful healthcare practices use a wide range of digital platforms to promote their services as well.
Digital marketing strategies often include:
- Prioritizing digital communication methods such as email and text
- Making it easier for patients to schedule online
- Optimizing web content to increase search engine rankings
- Using social media platforms to connect with potential patients
Many practices have begun delegating most or all of their marketing budgets to digital marketing strategies, leaving traditional strategies to the wayside. Weave helps you easily collect and monitor reviews on Google and Facebook. These reviews can be some of the best marketing for your business.
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Healthcare Marketing Is More Personalized
Healthcare promotional practices have also strayed away from a one-size-fits-all marketing approach. Instead, many practices have found that the best way to engage with potential and existing patients is to personalize communication methods and marketing strategies.
One important step in personalizing your marketing strategies is to collect data about patients, and lots of it. You can use demographic and analytics data to understand the types of patients who regularly visit your practice and learn which target demographics are trailing behind.
Healthcare Marketing Is More Niche-Specific
Many people respond best to advertisements and marketing strategies that highlight specific problems they face. Rather than using marketing strategies that focus on every type of patient, many healthcare practices have begun implementing more niche-specific techniques to engage a specific patient group.
Maybe your niche is people who do not have health insurance. Perhaps one of your target demographics is patients who haven’t had a physical exam in years—or maybe your niche is a bit more age-specific, such as patients between the ages of 60 and 70.
Whatever the case, implementing niche-specific marketing campaigns can create a more engaged response from your target market, encouraging them to act by calling your practice or scheduling an appointment.
The 5 Ps of Healthcare Marketing
If you’re in the healthcare industry, you may know the five Ps of nursing. But have you heard of the five Ps of healthcare marketing?
When many people think of marketing, they think of one primary concept: promotion. While advertising your healthcare practice is an important goal of marketing, it should not be your only concern. Instead, you should balance your efforts between the patients you serve, the products and services you offer, your pricing strategy, your environment, and your promotions.
Here’s a quick breakdown of how to include the 5 Ps of healthcare marketing in your digital marketing strategy.
- People: “People” includes your patients and your staff. Shaping your marketing techniques toward your target demographic is essential, but you should also place significant emphasis on who you hire to service those patients. Your staff’s actions can promote your business as much as a digital marketing campaign can.
- Product: In the case of healthcare marketing, “product” refers to your healthcare services. Every aspect of your services should focus on creating the best experience for patients. Consider how you can change your methods to create a better patient experience and engage new patients.
- Price: How much do your services cost? Is price a barrier to new patients scheduling with your practice? Think about how price plays into your overall marketing strategy and whether you can make any adjustments to reflect your healthcare services.
- Place: Your healthcare practice’s location and environment also play a significant role in your patients’ experiences. Consider whether your physical building feels welcoming to patients and creates a positive first impression. Then, think about how any digital spaces, such as your website, contribute to your practice’s image.
- Promotion: Finally, consider what marketing strategies you can implement in the next few months to grow your practice. We’ll discuss some of the most successful healthcare marketing strategies below.
Healthcare Marketing Strategies for 2021-2022
Organic Social Media Marketing
Organic social media marketing is the practice of using free tools on platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram to market your business. This strategy includes making text and image posts that inform viewers about your services, responding to patients directly through comments and messages, and inviting your followers to share information about your practice with others.
Here are a few ideas of the types of content to include in your social media posts:
- Links to your practice’s blog posts
- Giveaways that invite followers to share your posts
- News items related to your healthcare practice
- Questions that ask followers to comment with their responses
- Patient reviews
- Videos about your services
- Images showing your healthcare practice’s culture
Ideally, your practice would post on your social media platforms about once a day. However, you should shoot to post a bare minimum of once per week. Remember, every post you make can act as promotional material to advertise your practice, engage existing and potential patients, and improve brand awareness.
Social Media Advertising
In contrast to organic social media marketing, which is free, social media advertising includes paid advertisements that social media users see on their feeds. Social media ads are some of the most effective paid advertisements to connect directly with your target audience.
Social media ads have the potential to be highly visible and engaging, as you can include videos, images, and text within your advertisements. Your target audience will see these ads as they scroll through their feeds full of other photos, text posts, and videos, allowing your ad to fit in seamlessly.
You can create social media ads that:
- Detail your services
- Present a solution to common problems
- Encourage viewers to visit your website or submit a contact form
- Promote exciting new services
The nature of social media advertising allows these ads to hit home with people who may never have heard of your healthcare practice otherwise, expanding your practice’s reach.
Your practice’s website is another effective tool that you can use to promote your business. When users visit your site, they want to see informative, professional, authoritative content about your practice and services. Ideally, you want your website content to stand out as valuable and relevant compared to the other information viewers see each day.
Content marketing involves tailoring your business’s written content, images, and video posts to engage your audience and promote your healthcare practice. Your content should showcase your authority within your healthcare practice, convince viewers that they need your services, and provide them with an easy outlet to take advantage of those services.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is another essential healthcare marketing strategy to bring in new patients. This strategy involves shaping your website’s content, structure, and authority to increase your search engine rankings on platforms like Google and Bing.
Search engines use complicated algorithms to determine which websites they will show in which order when users complete a query. Search engine optimization includes several strategies to ensure that your website shows up near the top of the list when users search for your type of practice in your area.
A few steps you can take to improve your site’s SEO include:
- Using a concise, relevant domain (URL)
- Implementing a logical site structure
- Including primary and secondary keywords throughout your written content
- Making your website mobile-friendly
- Using an SEO plugin to make adjustments to your site
Search engine optimization can seem overwhelming at first, and you may want to hire a digital marketing professional to help you implement the more complicated aspects of this strategy. However, starting with the above steps can set you on the right track to ranking well in users’ search results.
Automate Appointment Reminders
Communication is key when it comes to improving patient experience and retaining existing patients. However, your staff may not have the time to reach out to every patient to remind them about upcoming appointments.
One way to improve patient communication without taking up more time is to utilize an automation platform like Weave. Weave can allow you to send automatic appointment reminders to patients through text messages and even personalize your messages to sound as if they are coming from your staff.
When patients respond to your text messages, Weave can interpret those responses for you to determine if the patient confirmed or denied their appointment time. These steps can save your staff members the hassle of phone call reminders and improve direct patient communication.
Get Good Online Reviews
Your practice’s online reviews can act as marketing tools to either encourage people to schedule with you or lead viewers to another practice with better ratings. While you can’t always control what people say about you online, you can manage your patient reviews with Weave.
Weave Reviews is a review management tool that notifies you every time your practice receives a new review on Google or Facebook. These fast notifications allow you to reach out to dissatisfied patients quickly to address their concerns.
Weave can also send automatic review requests to patients as soon as they leave your office. Encouraging patients to leave reviews can help you outweigh any negative reviews with positive ones and give readers a more comprehensive understanding of your practice.
Text messaging is many peoples’ preferred communication method. Many healthcare practices have begun sending text messages to patients instead of calling them with reminders or requests, and thankfully, Weave makes the texting process simple.
With Weave, you can automatically send text messages to patients to:
- Follow up about a previous appointment
- Encourage them to schedule a check-up
- Invite them to update their contact information
You can customize these texts to reflect your healthcare practice and communication styles. Better yet, Weave can personalize each text message to include the patient’s name and specific needs, making it sound as if it is coming from a real person.
Sending engaging, professional emails to your existing and potential patients is another effective healthcare marketing strategy. Emails act as a direct line of communication between you and your patients. Often, people are more likely to read and engage with emails than they are with ads they see online or on their social media feeds.
You can use the Weave platform to craft high-quality emails to send to your patients. Weave provides professional email templates, a library of stock images, and even pre-written messages that you can include in your final drafts. Better yet, once you load your patient information into Weave, you can quickly select who will receive what email messages.
Strategic healthcare marketing is essential to your healthcare practice’s success and continual growth. With Weave, you can simplify many of the above marketing strategies, allowing your practice to focus on what you do best: providing healthcare services to patients. Contact us at Weave today to request a free demo.
In the next article of this series, we discuss healthcare marketing trends.
Read the Entire Marketing for Doctors Series
- Digital Marketing For Doctors: 7 Easy Ways To Bring In New Patients
- 8 Healthcare Marketing Trends For 2022