For medical practice owners I work with, care and quality are what matters most to them. Marketing and promoting their services to get new patients usually take a back seat. It goes without saying, the business of marketing is not why most people became doctors and practices owners.
Unfortunately, one doesn’t have much choice today if they want to grow and thrive and help a lot of people or pets to live happy, healthy lives.
The question is, “what are the best ways to reach new patients or clients?” And, “what will get me the best ‘bang for the buck”?
Of course, if you have an unlimited budget, you can accomplish just about anything – own the top ad spot, own page one on Google and have the most beautiful website and social profiles, filled with engaging posts that make people want to visit you. (What a DREAM!)
Medical Practice Marketing for Little to No Cost
A practice owner can have some of those above-mentioned marketing goals for little to no cost. Getting as much as one can for as little expense as possible is what this article is about. Of course, that doesn’t mean that one shouldn’t also invest in oneself as regards your marketing. But, that said, let’s get into it.
Here are 5 things one can do right now to build an online presence and get more engagement and more traffic to one’s practice:
Social Media for Medical Practices:
Right now, in the fall of 2021, one of the best ways to get noticed on social media such as Facebook and Instagram, is to post fun, entertaining, localized posts. What do I mean? Posts that share your office culture: pictures or videos of you and your staff at work or having fun. Here are some examples of post types that we are doing with clients that are getting a lot of likes, comments, and shares:
- Staff pictures with short bios of what they do and their hobbies.
- Group staff pictures.
- All staff having lunch or dinner together and tagging the local restaurant (either in the lunchroom or at the restaurant).
- Birthday posts.
- New babies in the “family”.
- New puppies.
- New kittens.
- Funny pictures from the office (people and animals).
- Local food or education drives, such as donation collections for a local group.
- Videos from the office talking about a service.
- Videos from the office talking about a special or upcoming event.
- Behind the scenes pictures and video (could be of a procedure or setting up your office Christmas decorations)
- After-videos talking about how an event or service went and showing the smile, the pet, the happy patient.
- Post featuring reviews (include a picture of yourself or your staff).
- Educational posts.
- Posts that link to a blog that educates on how to do something.
The key is to keep it about the office and less of the “stock” pictures. Your community and patients love to see you and hear about what you are up to! For more post ideas and examples of social posts, take a look at the Walker Kreative blog.
Optimizing Google My Business for Medical Practices:
Google My Business is the most important online business listing for any small business. This is often the first place people find out about you when they “google” you. You probably have some kind of Google My Business profile already. And even if you didn’t set this up, the Google algorithm will set it up for you, after a time, automatically, but it won’t be optimized.
The key here is to “optimize it.” Go through the steps to fill in all the information fully. This includes your address and phone number, but also about your practice, tags, keywords, pictures of you, the staff, the office spaces, the outside, your logo, your specialties. Then post “what’s new” updates every few days or at least once a week.
You should also be getting reviews on Google. You probably are. You can take the link to your Google review page and put this on your website, on the bottom of all your email signatures that are used by yourself and the front office staff. You can include it within emails you send out to your email list. You want to constantly remind your patients to review you on Google.
We’ve made letter-sized signs for most of our client’s front office desks that request reviews and have a QR code to simply scan and it goes directly to the Google review form. If you would like such a sign, write us a note on our contact form.
Optimizing your Google My Business profile will increase your chances of ranking higher on google search because you are telling Google what to rank you for.
Medical Practice Blogging:
Write an educational “How-To” blog for your patients or clients. For example, if you are a dentist, write a blog about end-of-night cleaning steps that help keep a healthy mouth. Or, it could be tips on helping your kids brush and floss so they grow up with a healthy mouth. Or if you are an Orthodontist it could be what to do if something is poking you – or a rubber band breaks. If you are a veterinarian there are plenty of simple articles on care for dogs and cats you could write.
No matter the practice type, there are many ideas to be had for you or another employee to write a 700-word article – about 2 pages with a picture or two.
Post this blog on your website which supports improved SEO (search engine optimization) and then also share a link to it on your social media, as I mentioned above.
Medical Practice Video Marketing:
Humans absorb information through video faster and better than any other medium. I don’t mean to get into science here, but it’s just a fact. We can watch a video on how to do something in 5 minutes on YouTube and then turn around and do the thing instantly.
For that simple reason, video is blowing up as the most effective and most important marketing tool in business. Especially with the pandemic – companies are using video more than ever and people are watching it more than ever. According to economic predictions, about 82% of all internet traffic will be video-based by 2022. Further, video builds trust quickly. They see you, they hear your voice, they see your eyes. They get to know you.
But video marketing is super complicated, right?
This subject of video marketing may seem more complex or involved than it is. Or, I should say, than it has to be. For the sake of this blog, I’ll say there are two levels of video. There is the “premium” video content that is shot and edited by a professional company, such as what we do at Walker Kreative. This type of content would be for your main set of company videos to introduce you and your services and could include a beautiful set of testimonials.
But the polished videos are not required for all your video marketing work by a long shot. You can create wonderful local videos using a mobile phone and iMovie or another free or inexpensive video editor. And these are often what your community and patients love to watch the most.
It can be done “selfie” style or using a cheap tripod you can get for $19 on Amazon. For YouTube and Facebook turn the phone horizontal, for Instagram and Facebook Stories put it vertical. Simply turn the camera on yourself, push record and make a video on “how-to __________.”
You can do it yourself, you can get an employee to video you or you can have a family member video you. Then edit the beginning and end so you cut off where you’re starting the video and ending the video, then post it to Facebook, YouTube or Instagram.
One veterinarian had her 11-year-old son be her “videographer” and she set up in her house and got her puppy on her lap and she did a series of videos – one each week – on the care of puppies. It was great. Not overly polished, it had errors, but the public got her message and she was helping people. And everyone could tell it was more important for her to share the information than it was for her to pay thousands of dollars to look perfect.
Keep it simple, don’t overcomplicate it. The important point is to share useful, helpful information that your patients and clients will appreciate.
Take a few minutes and make a list of 5 “how-to” subjects you can talk about.
Do the first video. Share it. Do another one. Get on a roll so you can do one every week or two. Those videos on social media will get a lot of engagement and support for your practice.
E-Mail Newsletter to Your List
The final item in this list is to communicate to your list with a monthly newsletter. Share an update from your office, include pictures or video. Share your blog. Include useful information, not a sales pitch. This is not an email to sell something.
Simply send an email out to everyone that says hello, and keep the connection with your people. You can include local news or upcoming local events. You can include a contest or give-away. Or tell them you are doing a food drive or supporting a blood drive.
Also, don’t forget to ask them to share your practice with their friends and family. Maybe even have a referral program.
The point with this last one is to stay connected with your people. Make sure they don’t forget you are there, and maybe it’s time for another appointment.
In summary, marketing your practice doesn’t have to cost a fortune. I hope these ideas help you get the word out. Through these marketing steps, it helps your community obtain your services that improve their health or the health of their pets or loved ones.
To your growth.
CEO, Walker Kreative