5 Proven Ways to Get More Patients
“Running a successful practice includes marketing to find more patients. Let’s talk about it.”
It’s not news that people research, compare, price shop, and buy just about anything and everything online these days. It shouldn’t be news that potential patients are doing the same when it comes time to find and make an appointment with a new healthcare provider.
Gone are the days when word-of-mouth from friends and family influenced medical provider choices. Now, it’s the internet. According to a Google study, 77% of patients use Internet searches before booking an appointment. So, paying attention to and improving how you market your practice is more important than ever.
The new digital landscape has required practices to shift from traditional marketing models to multi-channel marketing powered by technology. With patients willing to travel for better care and physicians no longer able to rely on word-of-mouth or local catchments, physicians and practices need to be more strategic with their marketing strategies.
Here are the top 5 marketing tips for private practice physicians to promote your practice and services to patients.
Identify and understand your target audience
Before you can effectively market to your audience, it’s essential you know who they are, their common characteristics, and their interests.
Understanding your patients' wants, goals, and challenges will help you decide which media you should use to reach them and what marketing messages will resonate with them.
The fastest and easiest way to do this is to simply talk to your patients. Encourage feedback via quick email surveys and listen to what they say on social media.
Show patients the real you
For patients, selecting a doctor is a very personal experience, so it’s essential to give them an insight into who you are and what your approach to care is. With individual practitioner profiles often hard to find, patients will often search for reviews before deciding on their doctor. A video is a great way to introduce yourself and showcase your personality. It’s also a lot more engaging than a paragraph of text.
As medical marketing specialists, our team at Emergence takes it to a whole new level with personal websites. As part of our proven marketing strategy, each doctor gets a practice-specific website to help them stand out and express their unique philosophy and experience while making it easy for patients to schedule appointments and communicate with them.
Get active on social media
As we’ve discussed, patients are no longer only going by word of mouth when choosing a doctor but rather trusting “word of mouth” on Facebook, Google, Yelp, or LinkedIn. Although unnatural for most physicians, social media can be a powerful marketing tool helping you set the tone for your practice, stay connected with the patients you already have, and attract new patients.
Social media is all about connection, and if your Instagram page or Facebook profile feels welcoming and trustworthy, people will be more likely to contact your office for an appointment. It’s another way for patients seeking help to meet you before they meet you.
Here are some social media marketing tips to get you started:
- Choose one or two platforms and focus your efforts there
- Post consistently but focus on content that's valuable to your audiences
- Post shareable content
- Post tailored content that answers your patients’ key questions
- Leverage video for more engaging and authentic posts
- Use popular and relevant hashtags to reach more people
- For more specific social media marketing tips, read our article How Doctors Can Use Social Media for Good.
Develop a local search engine optimization strategy (SEO)
Due to the seismic shift toward local SEO for doctors, effective search engine optimization for your practice is now easier than ever before, even if you're a small or brand-new practice.
Done well, SEO helps doctors rise to the top of patient searches. The benefits of a robust local SEO strategy include:
- Improved traffic to your practice website
- New patient acquisition without the need for paid ads
- Increased monthly leads and new patient appointments
- Improved brand reputation
- Increased generation of new patient reviews
Our approach to medical SEO here at Emergence is to focus on local visibility to attract the most relevant audience and work hand-in-hand with the rest of the medical marketing services team to optimize results.
Build trust through patient reviews
Online reviews play a crucial role in not only building trust with potential patients but also improving your online visibility and your search engine rankings.
Plus, potential patients are looking. Current research shows that over 70% of consumers read online reviews when considering a new doctor. These folks are looking at both the quantity of reviews and the sincerity of the reviewers when making a decision.
Make it easy for patients to leave reviews on your platforms and be proactive by sending out follow-up emails or texts (if opted-in) asking for their feedback. These reviews will help your marketing and give you great insight into areas you can improve in your practice.
Proven partners for effective private practice marketing
With a focus on attracting new patients to your practice and ensuring you stand out, the team at Emergence has fast developed a proven track record for marketing strategies that deliver results.
Our suite of Marketing Services reaches patients and potential patients via traditional and digital platforms, including websites, social media, email newsletters, search engine optimization, and advertising. We handle all your medical practice marketing needs so that you do what you’re best at — caring for patients.